Mesmerizing Indonesian island, Bali is world renowned for its unmatched beauty & serene, laid-back life! Blessed with some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, Bali makes you fall in love the moment you step into this magical island! Every corner of Bali has been just tailor-made for all sorts of tourists around the globe.
The tiny island of Bali, which lies northwest of ‘Australia’, is an eminent diving destination in the world. Diving in Bali is a year-round experience, although the best season is considered between September & November. Diving sites in Bali offer a great range of variety. It has got everything an ardent diver can ask for! Diving sites feature vertical walls, shipwrecks, volcanic ridges, colorful coral reefs, the rich schools of marine creatures & plenty of sunshine! Out of 100 plus diving sites, some are just perfect for the novice divers whereas, the spots with strong ocean currents need a bountiful of experience! Some of the most revered diving destinations in Bali are as follows:
- USAT Liberty, Tulamben: (Depth- 9 to 30 meters)
Reckoned as one of the best wreck dive in the world, the shipwreck of the US cargo steamer Liberty is Bali’s most popular diving destination. This ship was sunk during the WWII when it was attacked by the Japanese in 1942. The wreck has now got seamlessly assimilated with the surrounding marine life & has got transformed into an amazing artificial reef.
The shipwreck now serves as a home for a wide variety of corals, including gorgonian sea fans & sponges. It also houses huge schools of fishes such as big-eyed jacks, emperors, batfish & sweetlips. More than 400 of marine creatures have been recorded frolicking in the proximity of the ‘Liberty’! Night diving at this location on the full moon nights is a truly lifetime experience.
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Tulamben Drop-Off: (Depth- 5 to 30 meters)
Regarded one of the most celebrated diving spots in ‘Bali’, Tulamben drop-off is suitable for all types of divers! The steep slope that starts right from the coast hosts notable groupings of nudibranches, flounders & shrimps. Moving forward aolng the same line, the slope transforms into a vertical wall that drops more than 60 meters. Thriving colonies of sponges & other coral species have sheathed the wall & have transformed it into a rich settlement of various species of shrimps, ghost pipefish & scorpion fish. Diving deeper, you may also come across varieties of giant fishes, including hammerhead & reef sharks, moray eels, bumphead parrotfish & Napoleon wrasses. The occasional sighting of whale sharks is also recorded here.
This site is located on the opposite end of the bay where the ‘Liberty’ wreck is located. Early morning dive at this location is much more enjoyable as the visibility reaches up to 20 meters, thanks to its plankton-rich waters!
Difficulty Level: Moderate
- Amed: (Depth- Up to 40 meters)
‘Amed’ is situated along the eastern coast of ‘Bali’. The place offers good sighting of myriad sea creatures. The gentle slope that starts from the coast gradually gets converted into a sheer wall that drops some 40 meters. The wall features sponges, sea fans, bommies & various other types of coral plantation. Aquatic life befits the ecology of this part of the world & features a bevy of marine creatures, including tuna, black & white snappers, Bluefin trevally, Indian triggerfish & Cardinalfish.
There are two more diving sites in the vicinity of ‘Amed’. Diving near Lipah village provides an opportunity to explore the shipwreck, whereas, the place called Gili Selang, located further south of Lipah, is famous for drift diving!
Difficulty Level: Easy.
- Gili Selang: (Depth- 18 meters)
The isolated location & strong currents of this amazing diving spot make it one of the most favorite destinations for the expert divers! The shallowest part of the ‘Gili Selang’ houses thriving congregation of leather corals whereas, the deeper part that lies in the eastern part of the islet features steep drops & fierce currents. This part attracts massive fish species such as trevally, reef sharks, barracudas & hammerhead sharks.
Diving in the deeper part needs to be done with the utmost care since the underwater currents in this part are highly treacherous. ‘Gili Selang’ is the popular option for liveaboard cruises & is a great spot for some ardent, adventurous divers!
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Tough.
- Blue Lagoon, Padangbai: (Depth- 10 to 22 meters)
Vastly famous among the novice divers, the ‘Blue Lagoon’ offers some of the best opportunities to explore the underwater world of the Amuk Bay. The seabed is sheathed with the stag-horn corals & soft corals. The reef patch usually starts from 3m of water, although not much variety in the coral life can be found here.
However, the ‘Blue Lagoon’ is super-rich in terms of the marine creatures as multitudes of fishes, including massive Nepolean Wrasses, blue ribbon & moray eels, squids, octopus, nudibranches, lionfish, reef sharks etc. can be seen whirling around. The phenomenal visibility at this spot makes it a hot destination for the night divers & enthusiastic underwater photographers!
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida: (Depth- 15 meters)
‘Crystal Bay’ is very much popular among the divers due to its crystalline waters. A large rock that sits right at the center divides the bay into two parts. Although the seabed is shallower than most of the diving spots in Bali, the strong currents, which can be treacherous, especially while diving along the outer edge of the bay or around the central rock, make this spot very tricky for the novice divers.
The drop-off may let you come face-to-face with giant aquatic species such as Eagle rays, manta rays, Bumphead wrasses, iconic Mola Mola & dog-tooth tunas. Surgeonfish can be seen here in abundant form.
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Tough
- Manta Point, Nusa Penida: (Depth- 5 to 25 meters)
As the name suggests, ‘Manta Point’ is famous for its year round sighting of the incredible Manta Rays. The spot is located in the south-west region of Nusa Penida Island. It features a sandy bottom that can dip up to 18 meters. Giant Mantas show up here on a regular basis as this place is their favorite feeding spot, although their sighting cannot be guaranteed! The current in this region is mild & easily negotiable, however the big swells can be dangerous due to the rocky cliffs that flanks the coastline.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
- Menjangan Island: (Depth- 30 to 60 meters)
Menjangan Island is just a perfect spot for the experienced divers. A diver can experience every type of diving features- from vertical walls to the deep gorges & from thriving coral life to a plethora of aquatic species, ‘Manjangen’ has it all! Moreover, gentle ocean current, soothing temperature & incredible visibility make ‘Menjangan an ideal place for the family outings as well!
Experienced divers can also find diving at ‘Manjangen’ value for money since the deeper part of the bay offers fantastic cave diving opportunities. While diving deep, a diver can enjoy encounters with myriad aquatic species, including round-face batfish, hinge-beak shrimps, cuttlefish, triggerfish & schools of spotted moray eels & ribbon eels. The coral life in this part is also equally worth admiring! The northern part of the island houses a 19th century shipwreck, which has now become the shelter for white-tip reef sharks.
Difficulty Level: Moderate