The largest part of West Bali is covered by West Bali National Park, also called Bali Barat National Park, the only national park on the island. The park is relatively young, but for a long time Bali Barat and the Dutch nature reserve that came before it had been considered the last refuge of the now extinct Balinese Tiger. Today, the national park is home not only to deer, monkeys, leopards, wild boars and civets, but also the Bateng, a species of wild cattle and the protected Bali Myna, a bright white starling with black tips on the wings and a very distinct vivid blue circle around the eyes.
They all live in one of the most diverse areas of the island. Evergreen monsoon forests, lowland rain forests and palm savannas alternate with mangrove swamps and stunning coral reefs on the coast. The park is managed by the Indonesian Forestry Service and to keep the hordes of visitors at bay and protect the nature, only a few narrow trails lead through this pristine piece of Bali. Additionally, the national park can only be entered with a guide. Just a small part of the park is actually accessible and divided into zones defining what activities are allowed. Diving and snorkeling is a popular activity at the offshore coral reefs surrounding Prapat Agung Peninsula and Menjangan Island, bird watchers will find the most bird life along Tegal Blunder Trail and hikers as well as other animal spotters can enjoy trails both easy and difficult.
Bali Barat National Park is located about four to five hours from Denpasar or 90 minutes from Lovina and covers most of the northwesterly point of Bali. Popular starting points for obtaining permits and subsequent treks and tours through the park are the ranger stations in Terima Bay, Cekik and Gilimanuk. Because of the heat and the mosquitos, a visit in the morning is recommended.