Discover the incredible Balinese marine life
When someone asks us what we would suggest to do in Bali, we usually hesitate, we picture in our mind an imaginary list and we cannot see the end of it. There is too much to see, too much too do in this magical island. Whether you come here for a few days or a few weeks you need to give yourself some priority. If you love nature you’ll have so many things to choose from, this magical island is a fantastic mix of natural wonders: from the dense jungle to the active volcanoes, not to mention the majestic mountains, picturesque rice paddy terraces, gardens, waterfalls and much more. When it comes to ocean lovers it is easier, the list is shorter and one of the first things that comes to mind is diving.
Bali is indeed a true paradise for Scuba Divers, whether you are a beginner or a professional diver this island is the perfect place to get your gear on. There are endless options, both for number of diving spots and diving trips, whatever you are looking for you’ll probably find it here.
Bali’s heavenly coast line offers some of the most incredible diving spots of the world: you can choose to dive with the astonishing oceanic Sunfish, explore the famous ‘Liberty’ wreck in Tulamben or be amazed by the hard and soft corals and thousands of amazing marine species. For all these reasons every year Bali is listed within the top 15 dive destinations in the world, it is a truly amazing place to dive or to learn to dive, with over 130 scuba diving schools and centers.
Where to dive in Bali
Most of the diving sites are concentrated in the east or north-east coast of the island, although some beautiful diving spot are found on the west coast as well. The main regions offering the best diving spots are: Tulamben and Amed in the north east area, Padang Bai in the east, Penida and Lembongan islands, the north west area of Bali with Menjangan Island.
Renting a villa or a house in Kuta is still a good idea if you want to enjoy diving during your holiday, but if your trip is focused solely on diving, you might consider staying close to the above mentioned main areas. Or stay on one of the three small island located a few km east of Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. This areas might be an excellent option for divers, close to all the main diving sites, really quite and almost untouched.
When to dive in Bali
Best period to dive is probably during the transition months between the two seasons, therefore from September to November and from April to June. In these periods the winds are not as strong as during the middle of both seasons, the sea is calmer and the level lower. That being said one can find good conditions even in the ‘worst’ diving season, which is between January and March, and choppy conditions in October.
Knowing the best seasons to dive is important, sure thing, but at many of Bali’s dive sites the tide has an even stronger effect on the dive conditions and diver don’t usually care about it (unlike surfers). Bali is located at the meeting point of two tidal regimes, which gives the island two unequal tides a day, tides that varies at different location of the island. As we all know moon has a really strong influence on this natural phenomena. During full and new moon we’ll have highest highs and lowest lows tides. During first and last quarter moon we’ll have definitely more moderate tides. The best and recommended dives take place at the end of ‘rising tide’.
If you are a passionate diver you may want to take tides into consideration, they can really make a big difference.
Diving spots are numerous in Bali and some have to be discovered yet! Here's a short list of the most popular diving sites.
Tulamben Located North-East of Bali, this spot is probably the most popular in the area. Here you’ll find the famous ‘US Liberty’, the wreck of a cargo ship sunken by the Japanese in 1942. Long 120 meter, the wreck is a beautiful artificial reef, its wood and steel parts now transformed in astonishing coral. Here you can also expect to see beautiful marine species. Considered an easy dive, it is suitable for beginners.
Gili Selang This site is located in the easternmost point of Bali and hosts the most protected area of the island, home to big colonies of leather and brain corals and sharks. This spot is also famous for the deep waters channels that attract adventurous divers, this currents can get dangerous.
Biaha Located in the east of Bali near Candi Dasa, this dive will start with the exploration of a cave full of white-tip reef sharks, lionfish and lobsters.
Candi Dasa One of the most spectacular dive you can have in Bali, you’ll be able to encounter bigeye trevally and rainbow runners. This site is characterized by cold waters and strong currents.
Padang Bai Located in the south-east of Bali, Padang Bai offer you access to many sites: the most popular are Pura Jepun, Tanjung Bungsil and Padang Bai Channel. Being on the bay crossed daily by ferries to Lombok or to Bali, one might need to delay a dive to avoid ferries.
Nusa Lembogan & Nusa Penida Located off the main land these incredible sites will give you the opportunity to spot the beautiful sunfish, but also sharks, mantas and mola mola.
Menjangan Island This island is located in the north-west of Bali and its very popular due to the fact that is a protected location that offers really good visibility. One can spot gorgonian fans, black-spotted moray eels and ribbon eels. This site is also home to the Anker wreck.
Secret Bay Beautiful site located in the east coast of Bali that will offer you calm water and a collection of treasures ready to be discovered.