Are you looking to go for a dive in some of the richest waters in the world? Bali is renowned for the magic and tranquility of its waters.
Here’s a guide to the best dive spots in Bali.
image source: www.airasiatour.com
This location is what first brought Bali its international diving fame. Menjangan, or Deer Island, lies in Barat National Park, 8km off the North West coast. It’s famous for wall diving and stunningly clear waters to depths of over 50m. The walls here range from 10m to even 60m and come with their overhangs and crevasses. There are soft corals, sponges, pygmy seahorses, and the highest concentration of Gorgonian sea fans. Pelagics are rare since the island is protected from cold ocean currents. You can go for dives here any time of the year. A local boat can get you there from mainland Bali in under 30 minutes. Due to its protected location, the waves are not a problem, and the visibility is mind blowing.
Take an impressive wall dive at Nusa Penida or go for a dive with manta rays on Manta Bay, or Manta Point. Wall and slope diving goes with the current, to depths between 5m and 25m. Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Lembongan are small islands located in the South East of Bali. Nusa Penida is the largest of the 3, coming in at 17km. The deep upwelling south of Bali makes the water here to be relatively cold, and immaculately clear. There are marvelous corals and the Grey Reef, prolific fish, the giant, weird and wonderful Mola-Mola ocean sunfish and the famous Silvertip sharks. There’s even a Bat Cave at Nusa Penida’s Crystal Bay. You enter underwater and surface inside the cave which opens to the sky. Of course, there are bats, but those leave when you arrive. All diving here is a boat and drift diving.
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This one comes with diversity. Blue Lagoon is rich in a variety of marine life. There is everything from the magnificent anemones and black and yellow feather stars to sea squirts and lizard fish. Oriental sweetlips, long crocodile toms, yellow trumpet fish and boxfish are a common site during dives here. You may be lucky to catch a glimpse of the heavily camouflaged peacock flounder, staring back at you with its two eyes, lying on the same side of its flat head. Some of this marine life is not found anywhere else in Bali. All this is surrounded by abundant reefs, and visibility reaches 15m to 20m. Sometimes, there is a little surge and a mild current. However, the bay is fairly protected.
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Amed is located on the north east coast of Bali, just a 2-hour drive from Sanur. The area is quiet and comes with lovely scenery. There, you’ll find plenty of dive sites, some accessible from the shore, others by boat. The dive sites have pretty corals and offer great macro marine life, from the leaf scorpion fish and pygmy seahorse to the larger marine life such as turtle. Here you’ll see the striped convict tangs and orange-lined triggerfish close to the Bali shoreline. On the east side of Cemeluk’s shallow bay, you’ll find dense stands of sloping staghorn corals that are teeming with cardinal fish. There’s a steep wall of sponges, sea fans, and hydroids that plunge to over 40m. You might even get lucky and spot the white-tip and black-tip reef sharks.
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Everyone wants to go to Tulamben Bay. Why? It’s at the heart of the richest marine biogeographic zone on the planet. On your visit here you’re likely to bump into internationally renowned writers and underwater photographers. Since it’s on the northeast coast, Tulamben Bay receives plankton-rich waters from the major ocean currents moving from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. Its three main dive sites provide entirely different physical and startlingly unique environments, giving it a diverse underwater ecosystem. You’ll find almost everything you’ve ever heard exists in the Indo-Pacific waters. From the invertebrates, black corals, the hard and soft corals, sponges with crinoids and sea fans to the minute anglerfish, ghost pipefish, shrimp/goby sets and multi-colored and schools of sweetlips, fusiliers, batfish, and butterfly fish. Also, just off the shore of Tulamben lies the famous USS Liberty wreck. The 120m American shipwreck is one of the most famous in the world, and should be on your “To-Dive” list when on Tulamben.