Trekking, tree planting and eco-adventures galore - here's what you can look forward to at Plataran Menjangan, a pioneer of ecotourism in Bali.
It’s official: Bali is finally on the map as a destination for eco-tourism, AKA a place where natural beauty will be preserved and where savvy travellers can tread as lightly as possible. And one of the pioneers of this green movement can be found in north-west Bali, away from it all and hidden within the West Bali National Park, teeming with wildlife and protected flora and fauna.
We’re of course talking about Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa – one of just five pilot destinations in Indonesia that’s working towards climate-positive tourism with a ‘Towards Net Zero’ declaration. Amen to that.
Yes, if you’re conscious about the environment and want to leave a smaller footprint on your next island adventure, then you’ll want to leave the hustle and bustle of south Bali for a change of blissful, untouched scenery. It takes around four hours to reach Plataran Menjangan, but trust us when we say it is worth the trip. The resort sits within 382 hectares of lush National Park, fringed by a seven kilometer-long shoreline and wild landscapes straight out of a fairytale. And of course, it’s surrounded by Mother Nature’s best bits – 167 different animal species and 175 species of flora, to be exact.
Back to nature, in utmost luxury
Unlike most ‘back to nature’ escapes, you won’t be left to fend for yourself at Plataran Menjangan, nor will you be sacrificing any home comforts. Instead, you’ll be staying in one of just 17 breathtaking villas, surrounded by five-star facilities and top-notch hospitality. Feast on scrumptious Balinese and Indonesian flavours at Wantilan restaurant, and spend an entire day at The Octagon Beach Club, home to an elevated lookout point, a 33-meter-long infinity pool and an oceanfront sunken bar. And once you’ve wined, dined and spotted Menjangan’s famous local deer, head to Padma Spa for a blissful massage or wellness ritual.
Whatever you choose, your itinerary can be wholly tailor-made to suit your own tastes and preferences. And that means, any stay at Plataran Menjangan is perfect for all travellers, whether you’re an adventurous family, a couple wanting to escape from it all, or even a solo traveller keen to connect with Bali’s natural surroundings…
Eco activities galore
On top of all the five-star luxuries at Plataran Menjangan, one of the best things about this eco-friendly resort is the way in which you can really get back to nature and do your part in more ways than one, from the eco-activities each day (like tree planting, trekking and bird keeping) to the eco-initiatives that the resort is continually developing and improving. After all, Plataran Menjangan is the official partner of the G20 in Bali, and has also been chosen as one of five pilot destinations by Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to encourage climate-positive tourism through decarbonisation and ecotourism. This forward-thinking program is perfectly in line with Plataran’s motto – #HospitalityWithImpact – which also prioritises eco-awareness and conservation.
Go trekking on the Trails of Life
To really get up close and personal with Bali’s wildlife, the best way is by taking a tour around the massive park with the resort’s Trails of Life trekking program. You’ll want to don your most comfortable walking shoes to stroll along the verdant forest floor, across the pristine white-sand beach, and into the thousand year-old mangroves where you’ll also encounter ‘Menjangan’, which mean deer in Indonesian (hence the name of this spectacular area!). And in true Plataran style, the trek will be laced in luxury, with a ready-to-dine gourmet picnic set up by the ranger wherever you choose to perch. Or, amp it up a notch with an elaborate picnic set-up at Plataran Ijen, boasting views of the iconic Ijen mountain, Menjangan island and the ocean.
Plant a tree with every stay
As a pioneering eco-resort with conservation at the forefront, Plataran’s three key pillars are: nature, people and heritage. So as part of its “Plataran L’Harmonie West Bali National Park” program, you know that every activity here is intrinsically beneficial for Mother Nature. For starters, simply by staying at Plataran Menjangan, you’ll be playing your part in preserving the natural surroundings, because for every room booked, one tree is planted in your honour. The same happens every time you hold an event at Plataran Menjangan (with a minimum spend of IDR50 million): one tree will be planted on behalf of your contribution. That means, you get a luxury Bali vacay all while reducing carbon emissions and growing more trees at the park. Sign us up!
Get up close with wildlife with Plataran’s Encounters
Trekking through the forest and encountering wild deer are just two of the many wonderful adventures at Plataran Menjangan. Animal lovers, you’ll be pleased to know that the West Bali National Park itself is home to the world’s rarest species, sprawled across 19,000 hectares of land, water and sky. Spot leopards on the land, the Java sparrow in the sky, and all of the lively colourful corals under the sea.
The national park is also known as the only conservation spot for the endangered Bali Starling – known as Jalak Bali among locals. And it’s here where you can make friends with these rare birds by being a bird keeper for a day. Discover the day-to-day duties of the sanctuary keepers, all while learning all there is to know about the graceful bird. You can also take a guided nature walk and keep scores by identifying the many species of birds inhabiting the park.
Then, head over to Menjangan Island, a short sail away from the resort. It’s one of the most popular dive spots in Bali, and Indonesia. With dramatic wall diving and steep drop-offs, divers are spoilt for choice under the surface. And if you’re not a pro, don’t fret – with its 110 species of coral reefs, many can be found just a short swim from the beach, meaning you can simply snorkel your way to this magnificent realm if you don’t fancy exploring to the deep.
Last but certainly not least, to keep fit during your Menjangan getaway, you can try the resort’s Two Wheelin’ The Jungle adventure – a bike ride around the park complete with a gourmet breakfast and picnic. A two-hour Jungle Yoga class is also available, which can be paired with a luxe spa treatment and a workshop to learn how to make jamu, Indonesia’s healing herbal drink.
All that’s left to do? Pack your bags, and don’t forget your binoculars!
This article is proudly sponsored by Plataran Menjangan