Places to learn to dive in Bali
POSTED BY Mavy | June 9, 2015
Label: Adventure Travel, Asia, Beach Holidays, Travel Tips
When we think of Indonesia, many of us think of one thing. Bali Beaches. Not only is Bali one of the most beautiful islands in the world - it also boasts arguably the most rich and varied selection of dive sites on the planet.
Great options of shore-based resort diving within a beautiful setting where you’ll find incredible beaches, pretty terraced rice paddies and a stunning backdrop of volcanoes make it an ideal destination.
And with many dive sites promising very light, or no current, it’s ideal for anyone wanting to learn to scuba dive.
Diving on the island is one of the top things to do in Bali. Here you’ll find coral ridges, a colourful and varied marine life, including the rare sunfish, manta rays and whale sharks, and one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks.
There are three main scuba diving zones in Bali - South, East Coast and North West Coast - all with sites suitable for beginners.
Here’s our guide to the best dive spots in Bali, where you should be heading as a newbie and Bali dive schools.
Diving in this area is usually good all year round, with visibility of around 20-30 metres and water temperatures of 25-26°C, dropping to low 20s during Mola Mola season, where if you are lucky you may even spot one of the giant Sunfish. Mantas are present here all year, although best spotted from April to June. Meanwhile, the best time to spot sharks, sunfish and other large pelagics is between June and September, during the monsoon winds.
Dive schools in this area include Big Fish Diving and World Diving, both based in Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan.
While some dives in this area, such as Blue Corner, are strictly for experienced divers, Lembongan Bay offers a perfect introduction, thanks to its calmer conditions and maximum depth of 10m. Coral bommies found on the sandy bottom are home to moray eels, frog fish and schools of many smaller species of fish.
The water here is very clear, meaning there’s some of the best visibility on the island, but as the reason for this is a strong current, in general it’s not a destination for beginners.
Buyuk, however, is an easy dive suitable for all levels. The water temperature is quite warm and there’s usually only a slight current and plenty of sea life. Mantas, turtles, sea snakes and even the occasional sunfish can be spotted here amongst the corals.
East Coast of Bali
The vast shipwreck of Liberty, a US Naval Supply Vessel torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942, at Tulamben is a unique opportunity for beginners to experience this type of exciting dive site. As well as schooling fishes, barracudas and Blacktip Reef Sharks, it’s also popular with “macro diving” fans and rare pygmy seahorses can be found in the area. This one is absolutely not to be missed.
You’ll find a few dive operations to chose from here, including Aqua Dive Paradise and Baruna Dive Center.
No current and a nice environment make Coral Gardens, situated next to the Liberty, a perfect spot for beginners to enjoy Tulamben.
Nearby Amed can provide a good base to explore the Liberty and with a coral so close you can walk out to it, is a very easy option. Jemeluk is a great spotting the rare ghost pipefish and the mimic octopus and is also somewhere beginners can have an atmospheric night dive.
The Blue Lagoon near Padang Bai is an easy spot for fun dives and classes, while Tanjung Sari is a place where inexperienced divers can swim with sharks and is another option for night dives and macro photography.
North West Coast of Bali
Dive sites off the North West coast of Bali, form part of the Bali Barat National Park, which is home to Mejangan Isalnd, one of Bali’s most famous dive sites.
Blue Season Bali at The Menjangan offer dive packages in the area.
Sitting inside a bay, Menjangan is one of Bali’s most protected locations for diving, with good visibility and almost current free conditions.
You’ll mainly see small and medium sized fish, but can spot blacktip and whitetip reef sharks and Manta rays at certain times of the year and may even see bull and whale sharks.
While the mysterious sunken ‘Anker Wreck’ is considered too deep a dive for beginners, ‘Pos 1’ is a good easy option near by.
The Gili Islands are the paradise many of us imagine when we think of Bali. Three small islands just off of Lombok with bright white sand, crystal clear waters and Bintangs all day long! If you’re tempted to seek out dives further afield, dive sites in the Gili islands are becoming popular with beginners and experienced divers alike.
Known as ‘the turtle capital of the world’, here you’ll find 25 dive sites and dive schools including South Sea Nomads and Manta Dive. A visit to Bali is never complete without a trip to the Gili’s, home of some of the best beaches in Bali
There area number of dive sites around Gili Trawangan that are suitable for beginners, including Shark Point, Halik Reef and Manta Point.
As the name suggest, this is a brilliant spot to see Manta rays between November and February, when they pass in large groups. As there’s very little current this site is popular with divers of all levels and is also good for getting up close to reef sharks, sting rays, cuttlefish, octopus.