Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
What to see: USAT Liberty Wreck covered in coral and divers, reef life around it, wall dive with coral, macro and some of the best muck diving in the world.
Diving: Most sites including the Liberty Wreck, Coral Garden and Drop Off are shore entry, some boat dives are possible too
Level: From entry-level to experienced diver, mostly little currents, depth from shallow to over 30 m
Who should go there: The area offers diving for almost every diver from coral reefs and easy dives to muck diving with the most special critters for underwater photographers
How to get there: Flight to Denpasar (Bali), Bus (around 4 hours) or private transport/taxi (2 1/2 hours), the taxi costs about 500’000 to 700’000 Rp ($ 40-55).
Where to stay: A wide range of accommodation is available in Tulamben
Where to dive: With your resort or the associated dive shop. A few liveaboards also offer trips to Tulamben
Rates: Accommodation from $ 10 per night in homestays, a meal from $ 3, dives from just under $20 up to $35 per guided dive. In many shops in the area it’s possible to just get tanks, weights and porters/transport which costs $ 5-10 per tank.
Climate: Max temperatures are 30°C to 35°C all year round, rainy season December until March
Water temperature: 26-30°C
Visitbility: 10-30 m, can drop even a bit more during rainy season
Season: All year round, the best conditions during dry season. It can get busy in summer, during Easter and Christmas/New Year
Favorite dive sites: The Liberty Wreck with the beautiful coral growing on it and the macro life around, I can spend hours and hours looking for small stuff around the wreck. I also love to cruise around between all the different artificial reefs and the sandy slope to look for small critters.
My trip to Tulamben:
Transport from the airport to Tulamben organized through the resort which is cheaper than an airport taxi. Staying and diving with Matahari Tulamben Resort, which is an inexpensive hotel (300’000 Rp, $ 25 per room/night) at the beachfront, just a short walk from the local dive sites, including the liberty wreck. Very reasonable prices; weights, tank plus porter, unguided: 100’000 Rp ($ 8) with guide 250’000 ($ 19); two dives at dive sites close to Tulamben including transport and guide: 500’000 Rp ($ 38). I absolutely love this place, the staff is friendly and the guides extremely experienced. Some of them are into macro photography themselves.
Alternatively tours through whole Bali can be booked through different shops and freelancers.