The scenic five-kilometre-long peninsula of Tanjung Benoa, once solely the preserve of coconut groves and fishermen, has been transformed into a charming resort area. Acclaimed for its seafood restaurants and unimpeded views of the Nusa Penida cliffs across the Badung Strait, this coastal strip is dotted with premier hotels offering ocean-view convention and meeting facilities, complete with function rooms. The peninsula is served by a narrow, meandering road lined with luxury hotels, private villas, fine restaurants, open-air caf és and a plethora of water-sport facilities.
Heinz von Holtzen’s award-winning restaurant, Bumbu Bali, serves the finest Balinese cuisine, while down the road his Rumah Bali combines a cooking school with an exquisite group venue.
Dozens of dive shops offer the marine enthusiast diving trips as well providing equipment for sale or rent. Visitors can try their hand at windsurfing, waterskiing, jet-skiing and reef fishing, as well as experiencing exciting rides in glass-bottomed boats, power-boats and banana-boats. Only ten minutes away, in Nusa Dua, is the Bali Golf & Country Club, one of Asia’s premier golf courses.
On the peninsula’s tip, the quiet port of Tanjung Benoa retains a remarkable village-like atmosphere. Visitors will find it fascinating to explore the lively alleys of a genuine Bugis village, peer into the smoky confines of the red and gold Chinese temple, or stroll along the beach past rows of brightly-painted Balinese outriggers pulled up on shore. In Benoa Harbour, yachts, fishing boats and traditional jukung bob at anchor, whilst offshore in the distance is Serangan, commonly known as Turtle Island — the site of a sacred Sakenan temple dating back to the 16th century.
The reef, lying 200 metres off the peninsula’s northeast tip, is great for diving and snorkelling — being easy to reach, with a gentle current and home to a surprising variety of colourful, tropical fish.