The island of gods – Bali – offers a huge variety of different dive sites, while some areas are famous for small critters and muck diving over black sand, others are coral walls teeming with fish. It is possible to dive around wrecks covered in coral or with mantas and mola molas. It is also one of the most famous diving destinations in Indonesia, if not in whole Asia.
Level: From entry-level to experienced diver
Who should go there: With the huge variety of different dive sites there is something here for almost every diver, including underwater photographers. To experienced divers who do not like small critters I would probably recommend to consider Komodo or Raja Ampat instead.
How to get there: Direct international flights to Denpasar are available from many different countries. From the airport in Denpasar take either public buses, a taxi or better organize a transfer to the destination. None of the places below is futher away from Denpasar than 3 to 4 hours, to Nusa Lembongan/Nusa Penida it’s a short ferry ride from Sanur or Benoa.
Climate: Max. temperatures are in the range of 30 to 35°C, dry season is March till September
Season: Diving is possible all year round, it gets busy during the summer months, Easter and over Christmas/New Year. Conditions are better during the dry season, in the wet season visibility can drop and the waves can be high.
Ultimate Guide to Dive Bali – The South
What to see: Some coral and reef fish, this might not be the place for experienced scuba divers to visit. However, it is possible to take all courses there up to instructor and it is a good option when staying in Sanur or Kuta and you want to try some diving. It is also possible to book day trips to any other destination on Bali, but these usually require long car rides.
Who should go there? People who would like to sneak in some dives during their beach and/or party holiday in the south of Bali
Visibility: 8 to 15 m
Water temperature: 25°C in summer, 30°C in winter
Where to stay: Sanur
Ultimate Guide to Diving Bali – Padangbai / Candidasa
What to see: Critters and a lot of action around „The Jetty“, many other macro sites, some coral at blue lagoon, Mola Molas from July till September at Mimpang/Tepekong
Who should go there? Some sites are great for entry-level divers, while most are more suitable for experienced divers who love small stuff and underwater photographers, currents can get strong
Visibility: 10 to 25 m
Water temperature: Usually the temperature is between 26°C and 28°C, however in thermoclines it can drop down to 17°C, so make sure to bring a good wetsuit and a hood
Where to stay: Padangbai or Candidasa
Ultimate Guide to Dive Bali – The East
What to see: USAT Liberty and two more wrecks, natural and artificial coral reefs and some of the best muck diving in the world. Divers can find hundreds of different nudibranchs (including the famous donut doto and shaun the sheep), shrimp, crab, seahorses, pipefish and juvenile fish.
Who should go there? Almost every diver will find something here. Entry level divers can explore the Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, the Japanese Wreck in Amed, the artificial reefs in the area (for example the Pyramids in Amed and Suci Place in Tulamben) as well as coral reefs like the Drop Off in Tulamben. Macrofans find incredible muck diving in the whole area with the beaches between Amed and Tulamben (Seraya Secret, Melasti, Sidem,…) offering the largest variety.
Visibility: 5 to 30 m depending on the season and the amount of rain
Water temperature: Between 27°C and 30°C
Where to stay: Amed, Tulamben or in between, from the resorts in Tulamben it is possible to walk to the liberty wreck, many dive sites in the area are shore entry – make sure to choose a place with a good house reef if you’d like to go diving independently (experienced divers only).
Ultimate Guide to Dive Bali – The North
What to see: Coral at Menjangan (the coral suffered from bleaching in 2016), coral slopes in Pemuteran as well as Macro/Muck in Puri Jati and Secret Bay, artificial reef projects in Pemuteran
Who should go there? Divers who would like to see coral reefs, enjoy muck diving or are interested in the artificial reef projects
Visibility: 10 to 30 m, Secret Bay usually low visibility
Water temperature: 27 to 30°C, in Secret Bay 23°C to 25°C
Ultimate Guide to Dive Bali – Nusa Penida / Nusa Lembongan
What to see: Mantas all year round, Mola Molas from July until September and drift dives over some coral reefs
Who should go there? Divers who love drift dives and those who would like to dive with Mantas and Mola Molas. Due to strong currents the area it is more suitable for experienced divers
Visibility: 20 to 40 m, the visibility usually remains good here, even when it drops at the dive sites around Bali during rainy season. High waves can make it tricky to get to the manta point
Water temperature: 20°C to 26°C
Where to stay: Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida, day trips from Sanur or Padangbai are also possible