Under the blue: Five best diving sites in Bali
Bali, the island of Gods, is a reverie for all those who visit- white sands, blue waters, lush green rice fields, vibrant culture, Balinese massages and jovial locals. And when it comes to diving, Bali is one of the most preferred destinations in the world.
This beautiful Indonesian island offers more than enough escapades a diver could dream of- colorful coral reefs, cave diving, shipwrecks, encounters with magnificent sea creatures, muck diving and even tec diving.
While Bali has many dive sites, here are some of the frequently visited ones:
Amed, a quiet fisherman village, is located on the black sand coast of the east of Bali. It offers an authentic Balinese experience while enjoying a serene atmosphere along the sea. Part of the beauty of Amed is the transfer from the beach to the dive site: in a traditional jukung boat.
However, the greatest charm of Amed is its wide variety of sites. You can find coral reefs and a glorious diversity of tropical fauna, hear sweetlips and parrotfish make crazy noises and much more.
Amed is also known for wall diving. The wall falls down until about 30 metres and even if you are an experienced diver, you will find along the wall, always something new on each dive, no matter how many times you dive here. You can find a range of fish along the wall- batfish, barracuda, colorful nudibranchs, napoleon fish, etc. You could also spot the occasional black tip reef shark. Amed is an impressive site for night dives as well.
Drive north of Amed for 30 minutes and you will come across the small village of Tulamben, known for one of the most famous wreck diving sites in the world- The USAT Liberty wreck. One of the most accessible wreck diving sites, it is only 25 meters from the beach, so it is a shore dive.
The American ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942 during World War II. The wreck was then towed to the beach of Tulamben. However, there’s more to the story. In 1963, Agung mount (still an active volcano) erupted and destroyed the east coast of Bali. The lava pushed the wreck underwater just offshore, making it one of the most dramatic coral reefs for divers around the world.
The highest point of the wreck is only at 5 meters deep while the deepest point is at 30 meters beneath the surface, making it an exceptional site for all levels of divers.
However, the wreck is not the only beautiful dive site around Tulamben. Diving the Tulamben Wall, also called Drop Off, is a breathtaking experience. The depths of the wall range from 3 meters to 80 meters and it was formed by a lava river following the 1963 volcano eruption. Now, you might not see the dramatic lava river, but you won’t be disappointed. Its diversity is second to none and if you are interested in tiny critters or bigger beasts or underwater photography, The Drop Off makes a wonderful dive site.
One of the best dive places around Bali, Padang Bai offers several good sites just a few minutes away from the main beach. While most of the spots are perfect for beginners, there are also more challenging diving sites with current and huge chances of spotting reef sharks, various Rays and large schools of fish.
Padang Bai is also considered to be a haven for macro lovers and underwater photographers. Blue Lagoon is a site perfectly suited for beginners or those looking for a cruisy dive due to its sheltered location. It is also wonderful for night diving. You can find leaf scorpion fish, the ghost pipefish, the famous Spanish dancer and the very rare cat shark and wobbegong sharks here. And all of them in shallow, clearly visible, calm waters!
You could also dive the Ferry Channel just 200 meters from the main beach and you will be enthralled by the rich marine life! If you are lucky enough, this is one of the dive sites where you can spot the world famous Mola Mola, the oceanic sunfish!
Manta Point, Nusa Penida
This dive site is accessible from various places around Bali and derives its name from the gracious giants that can be spotted here. Yes, you guessed it right- the manta rays. The different currents from the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean that congregate here bring with them- the phytoplankton, a delicacy for the mantas.
The best chance to observe the rays is to go to a cleaning station where they come to get their skin cleaned by the tiny lip fish. Now, this is exactly what Manta Point offers.
These two dive sites are spectacular for experienced divers who are looking for their next adventure. The dive conditions here can rapidly change due to strong currents, thus, the two sites are known for drift diving. However, the best part of these islands is that if the conditions for diving are bad at Tepekong, chances are they’ll be better at Mimpang and vice versa.
The underwater world here is filled with colorful corals and beautiful rock formations. It is also a great site for diving with the sharks. While Gili Tepekong is a cave dive site, Gili Mimpang is a place where you can spot the Mola mola if you visit at the right time (July-September).
Whether you fancy a shipwreck dive or a dive along the coral wall, whether you are planning your first dive or are an advanced diver, you can be assured that in Bali, you will get a buffet where you can pick and choose everything you like.
So, are you ready to pack your bags and fly to the island of gods for a dive adventure? Well, you don’t have to wait long. Join Scuba Evolution India as they explore the underwater world of Bali.