Bali is an Indonesian island that’s situated within the Indian Ocean, north west of Australia. Measuring just 87 miles by 50 miles, this relatively small island is home to some of the most beautiful scenes both on land and in the water. Out of all the islands that belong to Indonesia, Bali is most known for its tourism, and has some of the top dive sites found throughout the world.
Diving in Bali takes place all year round with the dry season occurring between the months of April and September, however many tourists feel that if you’re planning a trip to this incredibly idyllic location, then the best time to go would be between September and November.
Marine life in Bali is like none-other with the chance to see manta rays throughout the year at Manta Point. Not only will you get to see manta rays, when diving in Bali you may get the opportunity to see mola mola, (sunfish) which is the largest bony fish found in the ocean as well as numerous reef fish, nudibranch and a variety of sharks and octopi.
Where is Bali?
Top 7 Dive Sites In Bali
This dive site is perfect for newbie divers. It’s a great location for macro diving and muck diving. If you are new to diving, be prepared to see amazing creatures that you have most likely never seen before. Once entering the water, you’re met with what can only be described at a scene from the animated film ‘Finding Nemo’. The colors are stunning, with little to no current at all, making it the perfect dive site to spend the day at.
This wreck dive is one of the best wrecks in the world. The USS Liberty sits on a black sandy slope, which is almost parallel to the beach. It’s located just 30m offshore and is suitable for all levels of scuba diver.
Approximately 9-30m deep, the wreck stretches around 120m long and is not in one piece, making penetration impossible. However, just because you can’t penetrate the wreck doesn’t mean you can’t see all the incredible features of the vessel as well as some of the cargo, including guns, boilers, anchor chain, toilets and more. Visibility can stretch to 25m when it hasn’t been raining and the current can range from non-existent to mild.
If you’re a budding photographer, then make sure you get yourself to this amazing spot as the contrast between the black sand and the stunning colors of the anemone encrusted ship and the marine life surrounding it, will blow your mind.
If you do get the opportunity to dive this wreck at night, make sure you do it under the full moon as you may see flashlight fish, Spanish dancers and even some phosphorescence.
The Coral Garden
Towards the middle of Tulamben beach, just south of the USS Liberty Wreck, runs a shallow reef made up of table and fire corals, combined with barrel and other sponges, peppered with stunning, colorful anemones. This location is home to a large number of blue ribbon eels and octopi. There are huge numbers of reef and anemone fish, however if you’re looking for larger fish, keep an eye out for bumphead parrotfish as well as black tip reef sharks. It’s quite a shallow dive, so visibility is excellent and can even be done as a night dive. This is definitely a dive site not to be missed.
This is by far the best location for macro diving as well as night diving in Bali. With a maximum depth of 10m, the black sand covering the seabed acts like a blank canvas allowing all the colors of the surrounding marine life to really pop. You could spend hours at this location, waiting and searching for the strange creatures hiding in holes and crevices. If you’re lucky enough, the rare mimic octopus likes to swim through this area, so make sure to keep your eyes open. It’s a great dive location for all levels of diver.
The Wall dive site is the site where an old lava flow occurred from Mount Agung. It’s a shore dive and is about a 10-minute walk from the Liberty Wreck. This dive begins on a steep sandy slope with nudibranch and other critters including shrimp and lobster. As you go down the slope, you are met with impressive sponges, leaf scorpion fish and many more reef fish. If you follow the slope, round to the right, the sand changes into a reef with stunning topography. At about 15m, the reef turns into a drop off which descends roughly 60m into the abyss.
There are usually huge numbers of plankton around this dive site, so visibility isn’t as good as other spots, ranging from 15-20m.
The marine life in this area is similar to the marine life found around the wreck, however at this location, you will have more of a chance at seeing white and black tip reef sharks, big bumphead parrotfish, large napoleon wrasse and large moray eels. If you manage to get to this dive site later on in the day, you will see the sheer variety of lionfish that these waters have to offer. If you’re lucky, hammerheads and whale sharks have been spotted in this area too.
If you are having a day off from diving, but still want to be in the water, then why not snorkel? There is so much to see in the shallows, so don’t miss this opportunity.
It’s all in the name. This dive site is not for beginners, due to its location, being at the southern most point of the island. It is potentially hazardous, with big swells and super strong currents. The maximum depth of this dive is around 15m, however divers like to stay around the 4m to 6m mark as this is where the manta rays like to patrol, along the cliff line. The calmer you are, the closer the manta rays get. This is an experience that should not be missed when traveling to Bali, so if you’re an advanced diver with 10 dives or more, make sure to add this site to your list.
Crystal bay is an incredible dive site, which is only for advanced divers and above, due to the strong and downward current. With a sandy bottom at 15m, if the current is too strong, then the fish are few and far between. However, if the conditions are good, this is the place to see Mola Mola between the months of August to October.
There are so many amazing dive locations throughout Bali and its surrounding islands, so if you have one that hasn’t been mentioned in this ‘Top 7 Dive Sites In Bali’ then please share in the comment box below…