Usually a given location has a couple of types of diving and that’s it, but not when it comes to Bali!
The Four Corners of Bali Diving
Bali is an island in the Lesser Sunda group of islands in Indonesia. On the East side the neighbouring island of Lombok and Gili’s can be found and on the West Side, the Island of Java.
Bali has long held a reputation and place in the hearts of those that have travelled there, with an array of both natural beauty and man made attractions. From semi active volcanoes to rice terraces, beaches of pristine white sand and to the north black volcanic sand.
It is however, below the surface that the beauty and diversity of Bali is truly experienced. Bali seems to have it all when it comes to diving. From Wall diving to wrecks to palegics and even muck diving. You can easily spend a few weeks diving and still not catch it all.
Types of Diving in Bali
Usually a given location has a couple of types of diving and that’s it, but not when it comes to Bali. Bali borders the Indian Ocean on South East side, the Java and Bali Seas on the North, and Australia to the South East, Bali has an array of dive site types on the different coast lines.
There are many different types of diving and the dive centres on Bali cater for a few of them, standard Scuba, as well as Tec Rec, Tec, Free Diving and Rebreathers. So whether your digging around looking for critters in the Muck to walls, reefs, or wrecks you can take your pleasure.
So what are the four corners of Bali diving?
North West – Menjangan Island
In the North east you have Menjangan Island that’s within a national park and marine reserve. Menjangan has some of the best Wall diving in Bali. Steep drop offs and rock walls covered in huge Gregorian fan corals and a dense array of reef fish. You can find pigmy sea horses and all sorts of critters around the walls of Mejangan. This area is also visited by reef sharks, turtles, Barracuda and the occasional surprise too. More on Diving Menjangan...
North East - Tulamben
Tulamben is perhaps one of the best known areas of Bali when it comes to diving, this is a wreck divers dream. Just off the coast lies the USAT liberty wreck starting at around 4meters down, the bottom of the wreck site goes as deep at 30 meters. The wreck now lies on it side on a sandy bottom.
The USAT Liberty is 120m long and 17 metes wide, It was a world war 2 US Army cargo ship, which was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in January 1942. The disabled ship finally got beached off the coast of Bali in Tulamben. Since then it has become home to a variety of coral, reef fish and critters. More on Diving Tulamben...
West & South – Nusa Dua & Nusa Penida
To the South West we find the small Islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. This part of Bali is best dived a couple of months before the wet season starts, when the changing weather and currents bring a population bloom of phytoplankton. This bloom brings with it pelagics and all sorts. Notably you will Find Mola Mola (Sun Fish) in these waters. Nusa Pendia is know for its Pelagic diving with schools of barracuda. Be mindful, the waters around Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan can have strong currents. More on Diving Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida...
South East – Padang Bai / Amuk Bay
Padang Bai is on the South East coast of Bali, this is a quite village but the waters are teaming with life. There are several sites suitable for beginners with calm waters and plenty to see. Most of the dive sites are pretty close to the beach, perhaps a few minutes by boat. The star attraction at Padang Bai is the Muck diving, and as such is a preferred destination for underwater photography enthusiasts. You will also find Reef Sharks, Pelagic, Rays, and large schools of fish. More on Diving Padang Bai & Amuk Bay
Dive Trips and Courses For Bali Below
There are over 60 different operators on Bali, understandable as there are 4 distinct areas with different types of diving and it can take upwards of 2-3 hours drive from one area to another. This provides the diver a great deal of choice, but it can also be challenging to pick the right dive centre. As such the dive centres in Bali have come up with a handful of options that make it easier for the diver to decide. By creating a range of options that fit the different preferences divers may have. To find out more check out the Dive Trips here.
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Weather - Bali has two seasons a wet and a dry!
The dry season stretches from May to September, South westerly winds from over Australia bring dry air to the region, reducing rainfall and fewer clouds. As a result the weather and the waters around Bali warm up. The wet season is between November and March (predominantly December to January it rains heavily), during this period the wind changes to a north westerly wind, which brings with it moist air.
Find more information at Bali Diving Seasons
Bali is a year round diving destination with warm temperatures. During the colder months, the water is around 29’, so you don’t have to worry about getting chilly! The best diving season is from May to November.
Bahasa Indonesia is the National language, and Bali is no different, however as this island has a huge number of tourists visiting, English is spoken almost everywhere and most dive centres can be considered multilingual, employing staff and instructors from all over the world. If you have a specific language requirements check out the Dive Centres to see if your Language is covered.
Where to stay
This all comes down to what kind of diving you want to experience, each area listed above has various options from hotels to home stays, if your looking for a 5 star experience then Nusa Dua / Nusa Penida are your best bets. Around the other areas you will find a range of accommodation but the more diving specific areas have fewer or no 5 star Hotels. Having said that most of the accommodation is good clean living.
The temperature ranges from 30’ to 25’ throughout the year. Although more recent reports indicate water temperatures as high as 33
Visibility is usually very good and ranges from 10 to 50meters.
The diversity of marine life is exceptionally rich. Bali is located at the heart of the coral triangle, and is known for its 3000 species of fish and its 700 species of coral that populate the oceans of Indonesia. The marine life is teeming and the coral reefs are very healthy, some of the marine life includes sharks, pelagic fish and on occasion hammerhead sharks.
The best time to see Manta Rays is April and May. The best time to see the famous Mola Mola, oceanic sunfish is from August to October.
Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, is located in southern Bali, 13 km south of Denpasar. It is Indonesia’s third-busiest international airport.
Visa - http://www.bali.com/visa-indonesia-entry-requirements-bali.html