Bali has a variety of world class dive sites whether you prefer photographing amazing little critters doing muck diving, swimming with massive pelagic creatures such as manta rays or if you want to explore famous wrecks. Some of the best diving in Indonesia can be found around Bali. See our detailed guide to diving around Bali for all you need to know about diving around this magical island.
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The best dive sites around Bali
In a nutshell, the dive sites not to miss around Bali
- Crystal Bay from Nusa Penida to see Mola Mola (in season).
- Manta Point from Nusa Penida to swim with the majestic Manta Rays.
- USAT Liberty Shipwreck unreal wreck and marine life, Tulamben on the East Coast.
- Secret Bay in Gilimanuk with black volcanic sand, great muck diving, a nursery for a variety of weird and wonderful underwater creatures.
Some special creatures not to miss in diving in Bali
- The Bobbit Worms at Secret Bay
- Marble Rays at Blue Corner Nusa Penida
- Bumphead Parrot Fish on the USAT Liberty Tulamben
- Frog Fish, Ghost Pipe Fish, Mantis Shrimps, Pigmy Seahorses all over the East Coast
Bali Scuba Diving Areas
Bali is a large island so plan diving sites in the same area close to each other. The three main diving areas in Bali are; the South, the East and the North West Coast. Some dive sites are close to the mainland and some sites are located around small islands off the coast of Bali.
South Bali Dive Locations
The islands Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, famous for diving with Mola Mola (the oceanic sunfish) and Manta Rays are the main dive locations in the South of Bali.
See our detailed dive and travel guides –
Dive Sites in the South of Bali (Nusa Penida)
Fantastic site to see manta rays, it is a shallow dive with the manta cleaning station around 10m. Manta Point is at a couple of bays surrounded by the fantastic cliffs of Nusa Penida. Standing on the cliffs you can see many mantas swimming below. There are two spots referred to as Manta Point, some dive shops call them Manta Point or Manta Point 1 and Manta 66 or Manta Point 2. I preferred snorkeling here, swimming with plenty of mantas everytime. Mantas can be seen here all year around, but the best season is March to June. They say you have more than a 90% of swimming with the mantas here.
Named after the crystal clear water often found in the bay, this is the best place to see the famous Mola Mola of Bali. The strange looking fish with a body that is flattened laterally is very large, weighing up to a ton and diving with them is a fantastic experience. Crystal Bay is located in the channel between Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan.The best season for diving with mola mola is from August to October. We also saw reef sharks, tunas, turtles, garden eels and a variety of nice nudibranches diving here. It is a deep dive with most of the time spent waiting between 25m and 30m waiting for the sunfish.
Blue Corner is a deep drift dive very close to Nusa Lembongan and is known for diving with large marine animals. Mola mola, dolphins, reef sharks, tunas, schools of eagle rays and big marble rays are often seen here. This is an advanced dive and currents can be strong. The dive starts shallow at about 5m with a downwards slope with some terraces down to about 40m. At 38m we saw a couple of large marble rays.
Located between Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida, a plateau at around 10m with large boulders and beautiful coral formations, drop off to about 30m. Nice drift dive with turtles and a variety of reef fish and pelagic species. In season Mola Mola is sometimes seen here.
Drift dive over sloping reef covered in beautiful coral. Tons of triggerfish, turtles, reef sharks big schools of bat fish. We dived here more than once and I asked Alya to marry me on a dive at PED. Great dive site, lots of life and color and with a thermocline mola mola are sometimes seen here.
Accommodation in Nusa Penida
- Penida Dive Resort – We loved diving with these guys and it is great to stay at your dive center, nice place, Awesome staff, great pancake breakfast!
- Dragonfly – Great budget stay, AC, dormitory beds and rooms
- Ampel Hill Homestay – very well rated home stay with excellent views, nice rooms, budget price
- Pandawa Beach Resort and Spa Luxury – Luxury suites with nice sea view, 5 star luxury for a great price.
Book Diving Nusa Penida
- Dive 2 sites around Nusa Penida, more than 100 bookings, Check out Dive Nusa Penida Hotel pick up and drop off at Sanur, South of Denpasar, Seminyak, Kuta, North of Nusa Dua, and the North of Jimbaran. Include lunch and gear.
- Nusa Penida, Manta Point full day snorkeling trip includes shuttlebus pickup in South of Bali, lunch, boat trip, equipment
East Coast of Bali Dive Locations
The East Coast of Bali offers some of the best shore diving in the world. Here you will find world class muck diving sites on the black volcanic sand, spectacular wall dives and the beautiful wreck of the USAT Liberty.
Dive Sites on the East Coast of Bali
The USAT Liberty, Tulamben
This massive wreck must be the most famous wreck dive in Indonesia. A shore dive from Tulamben, the USAT (United States Army Transport) Liberty is located only about 30m from the beach. The dive starts at 4m deep dropping down to over 30m at its deepest end. This United States military cargo shipwreck has an interesting history, it was torpedoed by the Japanese and towed towards Bali, the damaged ship was beached onto the shore of Tulamben. In 1963, Mount Agung erupted and lava flow pushed her back into the water where she now lays on her side. The amazing wreck is 120m long, encrusted by coral and surrounded by plenty of marine life. You often see schools of big bumphead parrotfish, barracuda, turtles, stingrays and look carefully on the black sand surrounding the wreck for some unique little critters like pygmy seahorses on fans, a variety of nudibranches and other fantastic little animals. The wreck is great for snorkeling and makes for a spectacular night dive.
The Drop off, Tulamben
The Drop Off, also called The Tulamben Wall is one of the most popular dive sites in Bali. The reef drops from 3 metres down to about 70 metres deep. The sheer wall was created by the same lava flow that pushed Liberty back into the water during the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963. The spectacular wall is covered by corals, gorgonians, and sponges and makes for some great muck diving with pygmy seahorses, ghost pipefish, frog fish, mantas shrimp and a variety of interesting nudibranches on the reef. Keep an eye out for reef sharks, big bumphead parrotfish, triggerfish, moray eels, stonefish and big groupers.
Coral Garden, Tulamben
Another nice shore dive in Tulamben, location is close to the Liberty wreck. Fairly easy dive with usually little current and depths varying from 5m to a maximum depth at about 25m. Lots of reef fish; damselfish, butterfly fish, surgeonfish, lionfish and many other species found over South East Asia. Large Moray eels, great macro life with frogfish, ghost pipe fish, mantis shrimps and more awesome critters.
The village Amed is located about 30 minutes drive from Tulamben. The Amed Wall is only a 5 min boat ride in a traditional jukung boat. The wall of massive rocks, covered in soft and hard coral and giant gorgonians start at a depth of about 8m dropping down to a maximum depth of 40m. The trained eyes of your dive master might spot tiny pigmy seahorses, leafy scorpionfish and a variety of nudibranches. Turtles, moray eels and big groupers also frequent this reef.
Japanese Wreck, Amed
The Japanese Wreck is located in Lipah, a quiet bay, close to Jemeluk and is accessible by road. This is a shore dive and this 20m long wreck is located only about 15m from the shore. It is an easy dive in shallow water between 2 and 12m depth on a sloping sandy bottom. There is a lot of life on the wreck, encrusted with coral, keep an eye out for octopus, cuttlefish, beautiful nudibranches, and even pigmy seahorses. This shallow wreck is popular for snorkeling.
This artificial reef dive site is only about a 10 min boat ride in a traditional jukung boat. The man made pyramid reef structures on the sandy bottom is now covered in life. These structures boast with a variety of fish including titan triggerfish, damsel fish, trumpet fish, and blue spotted stingrays. Check on the sand for garden eels, and nudibranches. Amazing macro life found here includes leafy scorpionfish, ghost pipefish, frog fish, and the pink pigmy seahorse.
Best rated and reviewed accommodation.
- Backpacker Budget – Bali Reef Divers Tulamben
- Budget Rooms – Matahari Tulamben Resort, Dive & Spa
- Mid Range – Liberty Dive Resort
- Luxury – Toyabali Resort, Dive & Relax
Book Diving East of Bali
- Full Day Tulamben Dive Trip – Dive three of the best dive site in the east of Bali, the Liberty Wreck, Coral Gardens, and Tulamben Drop Off
- Full Day Snorkeling around Bali – Tulamben, Padang Bai, Amed or Nusa Penida Choose snorkeling at one of Bali’s famous sites, snorkel on the wreck of the Liberty or with the mantas of Nusa Penida! Includes Snorkel equipment rental, Hotel pick up or drop off (Central Kuta, Seminyak, Legian and Sanur), Lunch, Drinks, Marine Park entry fees
Diving the North West Corner of Bali
The West Bali National Park, in the north west corner of the island is known for spectacular wall dives around Menjangan island, amazing visibility and extraordinary muck diving on the black volcanic sand of Gilimanuk Bay.
Dive Sites North West Corner of Bali
Eel Garden (Pos1), Menjangan Island
This dive site gets its name from a large colony of garden eels and lies on the sand at the western point of Menjangan. Nice wall dropping from 10m to 40m with a lot of beautiful gorgonians and other sea fans. Plenty of triggerfish, butterflyfish, batfish, moray eels, and lionfish around the reef, look carefully for pygmy seahorse on the gorgonians.
Anchor Wreck, Menjang Island
Site gets its name from 2 anchors lying on the reef, an heavily encrusted anchor located at about 6m and an anchor at about 30m. These belonged to the shipwreck scattered all over this site here, an old wooden ship wreck sits here on the western tip of Menjangan between 30 and 45m.
Secret Bay, Gilimanuk Bay
Secret Bay located in Gilimanuk Bay is well known for spectacular muck diving. This dive site is a shallow shore dive on black volcanic sand in front of Gilimanuk Harbor with a variety of awesome macro critters, not a blue water coral dive, classic muck diving and the water is chilly. A dive guide is important here to show you all the weird and wonderful little creatures. Well known as one of the best places to see bobbit worms, dragonets, many frogfish, a variety of nudibranchs, ghost pipefish and mimic octopus.
- Backpackers Budget – Angga Guest House
- Nice Room – Putu Guest House
- Mid Range – Reef Seen Divers’ Resort
- Luxury – Kuda Laut Bungalows & Diving
Book Diving Menjangan Island
Two tank dive on best sites of Menjangan Island. Includes Hotel pick up and drop off at Sanur, South of Denpasar, Seminyak, Kuta, North of Nusa Dua, and the North of Jimbaran, Entrance ticket to the national park. Lunch and drinks
Getting inured while diving can be costly, get a quick and easy online quote here to see the cost of travel insurance for divers. – World Nomad Insurance
Things to Pack
Check out our Complete Packing List for Scuba Divers. My dive computer, mask and camera are always the first things I pack for a dive trip.
Loving my Mares Smart computer, nice computer for a good price.
Mares Star liquid skin mask, we have both been diving with this comfortable, high quality mask, scuba and freediving for a long time.
Canon G7x camera in combination with an ikelite housing awesome camera, amazing photography without carrying a massive rig. The Go Pro Hero 11 is an amazing little action cam, I love the video footage I manage with this little camera.
Dive Resources for South East Asia
- Dive Sipadan – a Travelling Instructor’s Guide
- Diving Perhentian Islands
- Swimming with Whale Sharks in Cebu, The Philippines
- Choosing the Best Dive School in Koh Tao Thailand
- 17 Awesome places to visit in Indonesia
- Indonesian visa on arrival; extendable vs non-extendable
- Komodo island and Flores complete guide
- How to get from Bali to Flores
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