Looking for the best places to scuba dive in Bali, Indonesia ? We’ve got your back. The island of Gods is certainly known for its picturesque rice fields, its dreamy beaches and its mesmerising culture, it also hides a stunning underwater world that you will be lucky enough to witness as a diver. From healthy and colourful coral reefs to giant shipwrecks, everything that you could dream of has its place in Bali’s waters. No wonder why Bali is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world… So where should you go diving in Bali ? Let’s find out now !
What are the best places to scuba dive in Bali ?
1. Diving in Tulamben, Bali
It is no coincidence that we decided to build the diving resort of BCD in the charming town of Tulamben, in the North-East of the island… Tulamben is in fact often cited as the best diving spot in Bali !
The main reason why divers rush to Tulamben when staying in Bali is the presence of the USAT Liberty shipwreck, an american cargo from WWII. The wreck is gigantic (120 m!) and it is the perfect playground for any diver, regardless of their level. The best part is that the shipwreck is a shore entry dive, making it accessible to beginners and cheaper as you would expect, since you don’t even need to hop on a boat. Fun fact : initially, the ship was lying on Tulamben’s beach after being hit by a Japanese torpedo. It was only in 1963 that the eruption of the nearby Mount Agung caused the vessel to slip off the beach and into the water !
Muck diving is another reason why Tulamben is so popular among divers. People come from all over the world to photograph the fascinating and intriguing creatures that populate the bottom of the ocean in beaches like Seraya or Batu Belah. Don’t miss those spots if you’re into macro photography ! It is definitely a must-see diving spot in Bali.
Other sites are worth visiting in Tulamben if you want to witness stunning marine life, such as Drop Off or Coral Garden. At Drop Off, you’ll be able to enjoy a 70m deep wall descent created by the same volcano eruption that pushed the Liberty off the beach ! A more unusual experience awaits you at Coral Garden, since the site is scattered with sunken Balinese statues ! You’ll also dive in a shallow reef full of rare marine life. Get ready to dive among octopuses, Napoleon wrasse, clownfish, moray eels, pygmy seahorses and frogfish… just to cite a few of them ! Overall, you get the idea : you won’t be disappointed if you decide to make a diving trip to Tulamben, Bali 😉
2. Diving in Amed, Bali
If you know divers who live in Bali, chances are they chose to settle down in Amed. Amed is this lovely peaceful town located just 20 min South of Tulamben and it is another one of the best diving spots in Bali. Colourful coral gardens, reef sharks, turtles… You name it ! Amed has it all. Like Tulamben, Amed is a great diving spot for all levels of divers, since several dives are quite shallow and accessible from the shore. For deeper dives, you’ll get the chance to hop on a jukung, the traditional fisherman’s boat that many dive centres use with their customers.
Among the most famous diving spots in Amed, we must mention Jemeluk and its beautiful coral garden. No need to go very deep to see wonderful things, as this small coral reef lies in depths ranging from 12-22m ! Jemeluk is particularly famous for its wall full of corals, invertebrates and fish life. Lipah and its nursery of corals is another great option in Amed. That’s where you must head if you want to swim with butterflyfish, moorish idols or even juvenile harlequin sweetlips ! Like Jemeluk, Lipah is accessible from the beach. Ghost Bay is another spot in Amed that you might enjoy if you’re into macro. Here, you can be lucky enough to see mimic octopus, schools of reef fish, frogfish or clown fish !
To finish, Amed even has its own shipwreck, known as the Japanese Wreck, where you can either dive or snorkel since the site is also accessible from the beach. Although smaller than the USAT Liberty in Tulamben, it is still an easy and safe dive that is completely worth it ! Indeed, the wreck has been completely colonised by marine life : pygmy seahorses, barrel sponges and soft corals are just a few of the species you will encounter there. Now there’s only one way to check that Amed is indeed one of the best diving spots in Bali : go there and see it with your own eyes 😉
Want to go diving Amed, Bali ? Book your guided dive now with Bali Conservation Diving !
3. Diving in Menjangan island / Pemuteran
Menjangan island is this tiny piece of land located at the North-West of Bali. It is without a doubt one of the best diving spots in Bali ! Although it is on the opposite side of Bali’s main tourist attractions, Menjangan is a hidden gem you don’t want to miss as a diver ! As part of the West Bali National Park Conservation Area, it is a true natural paradise made of white sand beaches and underwater filled with enchanting marine life. The island is surrounded by coral reefs with amazing drop offs of near to 60 metres ! No wonder why Menjangan is known as the location for the best wall diving in Bali…
A great diving spot in Menjangan is Anchor Wreck, a 150 year old wooden boat lying on the sea bed around 40 metres deep. As you might have guessed, the spot got its name from an anchor embedded in the reef ! The wreck itself is quite impressive (you even get to see the ship’s original cargo, such as ceramic bottles and sheets of copper), but its surroundings are the true star of the show ! Indeed, the wall that hangs on top of the wreck is home to an incredible biodiversity that includes nudibranchs, huge sponges, different species of reef fish and (if you’re lucky !) even some reef sharks.
Eel garden is another must-see while you’re in Menjangan. Don’t miss this spot if you want to get the opportunity to swim among pygmy seahorses, blue soft sponges, leaf scorpion fish, giant frogfish and other out of this world creatures ! Following the wall down from the top (5-8 metres) to a maximum depth of 35 metres, where it gradually becomes a white sand slope, is a wonderful experience adapted to divers with different levels of experience !
While you’re diving in Menjangan island, you could also stop by the nearby town of Pemuteran, which is another one of the best diving spots in Bali ! Great diving sites in Pemuteran include Napoleon Reef (named after the great number of Napoleon fish that live in the coral), Temple Wall (a man-made, archeology-like site made of a beautiful Balinese temple) or Deep Reef (particularly popular among macro diving lovers).
Want to go diving in Menjangan island ? Book your fun dive now with Bali Conservation Diving !
4. Diving in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Penida and its little sister Nusa Lembongan are two islands located South-East of Bali. Not only do they have dreamy sceneries on land : their underwater world is also mind blowing, which makes them another two of the best diving spots in Bali. If you travelled to Bali to catch a glimpse of Manta Rays or Mola-Molas, you came to the right place ! Penida and Lembongan are indeed home to those stunning animals.
The most iconic diving sites in Nusa Penida include Crystal Bay and Manta Point. While Crystal Bay is the perfect place to observe fantastic Mola-Molas (or oceanic sunfish, one of the largest bony fish in the world) in their natural environment, Manta Point is quite obviously the spot you should head to if you’re dreaming of sharing a magical moment with majestic Manta Rays. It has indeed several cleaning stations where those rays come to rid themselves of parasites ! Although the water is a bit colder here than in Bali’s main island, the visibility is often incredibly good.
If your schedule allows it, make sure you also stop by Nusa Lembongan while you’re here. Its two main dive sites, Mangrove and Blue Corner, are definitely worth the trip ! Mangrove is a unique spot to observe diverse varieties of coral fish, reef sharks, turtles and even some very surprising species such as crocodile fish ! Blue Corner, which takes its name from the marvellous colour of the water, is home to other stunning big sea creatures such as eagle rays, marble rays, white tip sharks and bamboo sharks. Do keep in mind that this diving site in Bali is more recommended to experienced divers, since the currents can get quite strong.
Want to go diving in Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan ? Book your fun dive now with Bali Conservation Diving !
5. Diving in the Gili islands
Ok, we might be cheating – just a little bit – on this one. It is true that the Gili islands, made up of Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno, are technically part of Lombok and not Bali. They remain, however, a great place for divers and they are easily accessible by boat from Bali. For these reasons, we had to mention them as one of the best places to dive in (or near) Bali.
The big highlight of your diving in the Gili islands will undoubtedly be the turtles. No need to be a very experienced diver to be able to swim along those beautiful creatures which are easy to spot there. Tuna, eagle rays, sweetlips, damsels and butterflyfish are other species you might encounter. The best diving sites in the Gili islands include Shark Point, on the North-West of Gili Trawangan, with its 50 metres deep drop off and its communities of turtles, jack fish and of course, sharks. Another great spot you don’t want to miss is Turtle Heaven, on the North-East side of Gili Meno – the name speaks for itself ! Finally, we could also mention Sunset Reef, on the south-west side of Gili Trawagnan, which we highly recommend to observe turtles, sharks, snappers and occasionally, even Manta Rays. A great thing to know about those spots is that they are suitable for all levels of divers !
Want to go diving in the Gili islands ? Book your fun dive now with Bali Conservation Diving !
When is the best time to dive in Bali ?
If diving is an important part of your trip, you’re probably wondering when the best time is to come dive in Bali. In Bali, we’re treated to wonderful weather pretty much all year long. The temperatures don’t vary much, since the country is located on the equator : on average 31°C. The thing you do want to take into account is the rain pattern, since the heavy rain makes the visibility underwater not so good. While the dry season extends from March to November, the rainy season takes place from December to February.
The diving season in Bali actually takes place during the transition months : from April to May and from September to November. With that being said, Bali has warm temperatures all year long and the coldest temperature you can get in the water is 29°C ! Plus, the rain pattern isn’t exactly the same throughout the island and at BCD, we dive from February to December as often as the weather permits !
Book your guided dive in Bali now with Bali Conservation Diving !
How much is scuba diving in Bali ?
Because of all the equipment needed and the presence of an instructor or dive guide, scuba diving is an activity that could seem a bit pricey to some travellers. The good news is that diving in Bali is actually cheaper than doing it in many other destinations, like Europe or Australia. For a fun dive in Bali, prices start on average around 500 000 rupiah (more or less 33 USD). The price depends on the length of the dive, its location and the potential need to take a boat if you can’t start the dive from the shore. For scuba diving certifications in Bali, dive centres and resorts all have pretty much the same price : from around $380 for the Open Water to around $1100 for the Divemaster. Note that this is the price for a PADI certificate (the most well known one). Prices might be different if you choose another type of certificate.
Where can I dive in Bali as a beginner ?
If this is your first trip here and you’re looking for an easy fun dive in Bali, many spots are available for you ! You don’t have to be an advanced diver with a lot of experience to be able to enjoy the beauty of Bali’s underwater world. Actually, several of the best diving spots in Bali that we just mentioned above are perfectly adapted to beginners, including :
- Tulamben : Coral Garden and the USAT Liberty Shipwreck
- Nusa Penida : Manta Point
- Amed : Jemeluk Bay
Those are just a few of the diving spots for beginners in Bali, but if you’re looking for further recommendations, the best option is to ask directly your diving centre about nearby sites. With BCD, you get to discover Bali’s most beautiful diving spots with a professional dive guide. Not only will your guide look after you and make sure that you’re in a safe environment, he will also be your personal photographer ! Check out all our fun dives now.
We hope you enjoyed this article about “where to dive in Bali” ! Feel free to leave us a comment below if you have any questions, or you can message us directly on Whatsapp. See you very soon for new diving adventures !