Kitesurfing and diving in Bali
 

 

 

BALI DIVE SITES

 

Diving in Bail - Dive in Bali

 

 

Sanur
Sanur offers good conditions all year round with abundant coral, plenty of fish, and almost daily encounters with reef sharks. Some of the dive spots are: Snake Farm (from 3 to 12 metres), Shark Corner & Shark Rock (from 12 to 30 metres), Mushroom Pass (from 3 to 15 metres) and Penjor (from 10 to 21 metres). Visibility depends on the site and direction of the current but tend to vary between 10 to 30 meters and on some days it's as good as the more famous spots of the north coast.
 

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Tulamben

The diving capital of Bali is 2 and a half hours drive from Sanur. This tiny village on the dry and desolate north-east coast has a world war II American shipwreck lying close to shore. The USS Liberty wreck attracts large groups of divers, who come to see the wide variety of marine life inhabiting the ship’s remains. Marine biologists and photographers are regular visitors, as this area is renowned for its unique and varied fish species. The Liberty was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in Lombok Strait in 1942. She was limping to Singaraja Port on Bali’s north coast but couldn’t make the distance and was driven onto the shore at Tulamben. During the last volcano eruption in the 60' she was pushed in to the sea, today she’s broken up on the edge of a deep black sand slope 50 meters from shore. A road has been constructed right to shore at the wreck site, replacing a 200 meter walk along the pebbled beach. The wreck lies along the drop off parallel to the shore, her port side facing the surface. Depths range from five down to 35 meters and the whole wreck is packed with colorful fish, soft corals, sponges, various types of ascidians and crinoids. The stern is shallowest and has brilliant small invertebrate life; the cargo holds and engine room have the largest schooling fish. The bow has stunning gorgonian fans and an intact deck gun. The Liberty has an easy entry and exit at the pebble shore if the sea is calm.

Onshore is a small restaurant and toilet/shower block. Within a kilometer of the shipwreck a Hindu temple tops a rocky headland, below which is the Kubu drop-off, a spectacular wall dive easy reach from shore. Corals abound along with some huge barrel sponges. Thick schools of surgeonfish and fusiliers patrol the reef edge. Scorpion fish and lionfish are particularly abundant on the wall along with white tip reef sharks lying in sand patches along the deeper sections. The shallows round the headland have some splendid hard coral gardens and abundant smaller fish life in clear water.
 

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Padangbay

1 and half hours drive from Sanur. The fishing village, faces into the Badung Strait, on Bali’s north-east coast. A group of offshore islands offer clear waters and coral with sharks and pelagic fish action. These uninhabited islands are a couple of kilometers from the shore surrounded by very deep water. Dive sites can be reached by traditional outrigger or jukung.

Blue Lagoon is situated near Padangbay's harbour, 5 boat minutes away. There are two diving sites at either side of the harbor. On one side (south from the harbour) the reef drops vertically to 20m and continues into a sandy area. The drop off is covered in hard and soft corals. Many Nudibranches and some Flatworms can be found here. The underwater landscape is dominated by Bommies, up to 4m high, underneath which large spiny lobsters can be found. Diving out into the open water you are often accompanied by large schools of Batfish. At the other side (north from the harbor) we will start the dive in 3-5 m water. Either we will explore an interesting slope, which drops to 30 m (many 'fan' worms and feather stars), or we dive the sandy area from Bommies to Bommies. After approx. 3 mins we will encounter a large Stag horn coral field at 8 m depth with many oriental Sweet Lips, Basslets and shoals of Chromies, followed by sandy area's and Bommies. Eventually the sandy area's will become smaller and the landscape turns into hard- and soft coral growth. There the current picks up in the direction of the open sea, where quite often white tip reef sharks can be seen. The blue lagoon is actually a perfect site to start your diving trip in Bali. You can re-acquaint yourself to diving once more, plus practice your buoyancy control in a relaxed environment. The lagoon is an excellent site for snorkeling, discover scuba diving, swimming and sunbathing. More demanding for the diver is leaving the place.

Gili Tepekong is a huge steep-sided black volcanic rock. Underwater it drops vertically into 6-12metres of water then slopes down to well beyond sport diving depths into the Badung Strait. Underwater visibility at the island is often around 20metres when swells are low. The rocky bottom is covered with hard coral growth intermingled with sponges, colored soft corals and fans of blood red or orange. Small caves and ledges cut back into the island’s face; these house squirrelfish, cod, sweet lip and banner fish. Beyond 18metres the water is usually quite cool, with distinct thermo clines. Fish tend to congregate near pinnacles of coral covered rocks and gullies. Cod, butterfly fish, angelfish and wrasse are most dominant, but lionfish, bump headed parrotfish, scorpion fish and schools of striped sweet lips are also regular sights on deeper reefs .

Three rocks nearby known as Gili Mimpang offer similar diving to Tepekong except that currents sweeping the rocks strengthen throughout the day, limiting diving to early mornings. Gili Mimpang has white tip reef sharks that can be seen lying on the bottom at the edge of sand and coral at around 25 meters. The area has become known as 'Shark Point'. At times the sharks congregate in groups lined up on the sand like sardines in a can! One large submerged rock is a cleaner station where surgeonfish, sweet lip, snapper and white tip sharks congregate. With luck its possible to see huge sunfish, also called mola-mola.
 

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Amed

2 and half hours drivefrom Sanur. It is a village, situated in north east Bali, which lives from salt panning. When you get there you will notice the woodpiles, which are used for salt winning. The coral garden starts right off the beach at the water surface with a Stag horn coral field and huge schools of small Chromis. This is the best snorkeling area of Bali. The divers however, will make a boat trip (of a few minutes) by outrigger boat to the dive site. The dive starts in a flat area of about 3-8 m in a wonderful coral garden. If you are lucky you may encounter Turtles and Bump head parrotfish. A mild current will take you in approx. 20 min to the drop off. The drop off at the right side of Amed falls down to 30 m. It is beautifully grown with soft coral and all possible species of reef fish can be found there. Every now and then you will meet some white- and black tip reef sharks. The highlight however, is an area at 27 m with blue-spotted stingrays. The drop off at the left side is approx. 25 m deep, most of the time the second dive will be done here. During this dive we will see a needle rock, which climbs up from 25 m, and allows us to swim through at 20 m. At both drop offs your 5m safety stop will be highly entertaining. Both dives are drift dives with a mild current, with outrigger boats following the divers.
 

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Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan

These are two tiny islands that lie 20km east of Bali. You can reach them in about one hour from Sanur Beach with well equipped traditional, Balinese boats. The major problem in these two island is the current that tends to be "fast & furious", so when you dive, be constantly aware and stay with your group. The current can came up from scratch and you can get caught into a "train" that can drive anywhere. So be careful! Nusa Penida diving offers all the superlatives that make a diver's mouth water, including sharks (even gray reefs, silver-tips, and oceanic white tips), sea turtles, molas, pristine hard coral reefs, deepwater wire corals five meters long, bright, healthy fishes, and the kind of stunningly clear visibility that refuses to quit until the whole ocean glows a deep, rich blue.

Toyapakeh, is probably the single most popular dive on Nusa Penida, and deservedly so. The water is clear, the coral is rich and the bay, although it is quite exposed, does offer some protection from the strong current flowing through the strait. The underwater topography here is very interesting, with the ten to fifteen metre area in particular, being made up of great coral boulders and pillars. Drifting along at twenty metres, and looking up the slope, here appears a kind of coral city, which makes a nice change from the basically flat structure of the north coast. Big schools of fish, sea turtles, and occasionally, molas are highlights of Toyapakeh diving, but these can be found at the other sites on Nusa Penida as well. What makes Toyapakeh special is its structure; those great pillars of coral. If you could make only one dive on Nusa Penida, Toyapakeh is where you should go. The protection these bommies provide makes Toyapakeh one of the few places on Nusa Penida where you can see big gorgonians and soft coral bushes. The fish life here is also excellent, and the deeper areas offer chance encounters with molas and other pelagic. The current, unfortunately, can be frustratingly difficult to read at Toyapakeh, and if you judge it poorly, you can drift past the good reef and into the rubble out past the pier in a mere fifteen minutes, so it is definitely worth taking some time to evaluate the conditions.

Manta Point, is a limestone rock off Pandan Cape. The above-water scenery is dramatic, with sheer limestone cliffs cut out by the strong swell that pounds this coast year-round. The profile is a down to fifty meters, and there is no coral at all, just bare limestone rock. At eighteen to thirty meters there are huge boulders that have fallen from the cliff above. The best reason to dive this site is to see mantas, tiger mackerel, tuna, and other pelagic. The bigger fish are here, but bear in mind that their abilities underwater are considerably better than yours. There is no real current here, just swell, but if its heavy this becomes a scary site. You can be fogged around like a plastic bag underwater, or even shot to the surface. One diver, who has literally hundreds of dives at tricky places like Tepekong, Gili Selang and other sites on Nusa Penida, considers her one dive at Manta Point to be the scariest of her life. Do not get in the water here if the swell is strong (which is most of the time). If you can't tell, look at the cliffs. If spumes of water are shooting up trough blowholes, the swell is strong.

 

 

 

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