The Best Dive Spots in Bali

There are so many dive spots on the Island of the Gods (Bali) that it can be difficult to choose. So we made a small selection of the best spots, for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

Most of the best dive sites are located on the coast to the north and east of Bali, or on the islands off these coasts. There are many wide variety of diving spots, whether you are a beginner, a professional or simply curious to try diving, you are bound to find a spot that suits you.

Where to dive in Bali?

Most of the dive sites are located on the coast to the north and east of Bali, or on the islands off these coasts. There is really a wide variety of diving spots, whether you are a beginner, a professional or simply curious to try diving, you are bound to find a spot that suits you.

1. Manta Point (Nusa Penida & Nusa Lembongan)

Located on the southern tip of Nusa Penida, Manta Point is only accessible by boat, in 45 minutes. Diving at Manta Point is quite easy, and the site is shallow (maximum depth of 15 meters). It is therefore widely accessible to all levels of diving. However, it is a very popular site because it is undoubtedly the best spot to swim with manta rays in Bali, so I advise you to dive early in the morning to avoid the crowds of divers!

Minimum level: beginner.
Current: low to medium. sometimes very strong.
Water temperature: 15 to 28°C
What to see underwater: manta rays.
Best time to dive: all year round.

20-Indonesia-Bali Nusa-Penida Crystal-Bay 08 (Mola-Mola Sunfish1)-APiazza cropped
Mola Mola Sunfish. Roland Unger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

19-Indonesia-Bali Nusa-Penida Manta-Point 12 (Manta-Rays)-APiazza
Nusa Penida, Manta Point. Andrepiazza, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Gilimanuk Bay (Menjangan, Pemuteran, Lovina)

This diving spot in the northwest of Bali will delight fans of muck-diving and underwater photography. It is known for its great biodiversity. Only 40 minutes by boat from Permuteran or Lovina, this site is a must if you want to photograph formidable creatures underwater!

Minimum level: intermediate.
Current: none to medium.
Water temperature: 26 to 30°C.
What to see underwater: ideal for underwater photography and muck-diving.
Best time to dive: February to April.

2015 09 Bali 109 menjangan island (21905073510)
Menjangan island. Lakshmi Sawitri, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Kubu (Amed, Tulamben)

This spot is especially suitable for experienced divers. The dive begins on a coral garden, then you descend along a drop-off, where you can see black and white tip reef sharks. On the sandy bottom you will also have the chance to see blue-spotted rays! This site is also home to a beautiful wreck of an Indonesian ship that sank.

Minimum level: advanced.
Current: none to medium.
Water temperature: 26 to 30°C.
What to see underwater: reef shark, humpback parrotfish, barracuda, wreck of an Indonesian ship
Best time to dive: February to April.

Growing Habitat (220482421)
Part of the USAT Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben, Bali and how it is overgrown with hard corals and sponges. Inhabiting fish looking for food or shelter. Tilonaut, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Natural Underwater Frame (219417519)
Some fish couldn’t resist but pose in their natural frame of the USAT Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben, Bali. Tilonaut, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Soft coral (Bali) 3
Soft coral. Shooted in Bali near Amed. AlexeiAVA, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Turtle Bay (Candidasa, Padang Bai)

If you want to swim with turtles, this spot near Padang Bai is undoubtedly the best! You have a 90% chance of encountering beautiful turtles during your dive, and even of seeing rays. Turtle bay is one of the best dive spots in Bali.

Minimum level: beginner.
Current: none to medium. Occasionally the current can be strong.
Water temperature: 20°C to 30°C.
What to see underwater: manta rays and turtles.
Best time to dive: all year round.

5. Jepun (Candidasa, Padang Bai)

Jepun is THE essential dive site to see the famous blue-spotted rays, as in the photo below. It is also an excellent spot for macro underwater photography thanks to the many rare aquatic species found there. At 17 meters deep, you can even see a small wreck and some metal structures underwater.

Minimum level: beginner.
Current: medium. Occasionally the current can be strong. Ideal for drift diving.
Water temperature: 20 to 30°C.
What to see underwater: blue-spotted stingrays, frogfish, nudibranchs, small wreck at 17m (56 ft) depth.
Best time to dive: all year round.

Thornback Cowfish, Lactoria fornasini
Thornback Cowfish has a pair of large spines that are forward in front of the eye. This species lives in tropical waters, and some of the warm climates of the Indo-Pacific ocean.
Has a unique poison compared to other fish poisons; Pahutoxin (formerly called ostracitoxin), is a neurotoxin that is present in the mucous secretions of the skin of these fish (Ostraciidae), and appears when the animal is under stress. The picture was taken in the waters of Padang-Japan Bay, Padang Bai. victorius eps, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bep chaetodon gutt punc bali
Chaetodon guttatissimus, Peppered butterflyfish (left) and Chaetodon punctatofasciatus, Spotband butterflyfish (right) amongst Acropora corals. Underwater photograph, Padangbai, Bali, Indonesia. Bernard E. Picton BernardP, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Padangbai harbour 2017-08-14 (3)
Padangbai harbour. Magul, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When to dive in Bali?

You can dive all year round, but in some places it is best to dive at a specific time of year. Especially if you want to see some particular species underwater.

This table brings together all the details to enlighten you on the best times to dive, depending on the city for best dive spots in Bali:

Visibility (in metres) Level What to see underwater Number of dive spots Best time to dive
Nusa Dua 5 – 15 Beginner Sea snakes, frogfish, sea bats (bat star, webbed star) 2 All year
Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Penida 20 – 45 Beginner and advanced Sunfish (mola-mola), manta rays More than 15 All year round but the sea is a bit choppy from June to September. Sunfish from June to September
Amuk Bay (Padang Bai – Candi Dasa) 10 – 30 Beginner and advanced Sharks and sometimes sunfish 7 All year round but the sea is a bit choppy from June to September. Sunfish from August to September
Gili island 15 – 25 Beginner and advanced Sea turtles, gray reef sharks More than 20 All year round but reduced visibility from December to January
From Amed to Gili Selang 10 – 25 Beginner and advanced Barracudas and gray reef sharks 8 April to November
Tulamben 10 – 30 Beginner and advanced The wreck of the USAT Liberty 5 All year
Pemuteran 10 – 25 Beginner and Intermediate Tuna and barracuda 5 All year but avoid August
Menjangan Island 10 – 25 Beginner and advanced Colorful aquatic fauna in the heart of corals, 19th century wrecks 9 All year but avoid August
Gilimanuk Bay 20 – 50 Beginner and Intermediate Frogfish, nudibranchs (soft-bodied marine gastropod molluscs). Ideal for macro photography 1 From February to April

Sources: CleverlySmart, PinterPandai, Blue Water Dive Travel, Travel Triangle

Photo credit: lpittman via Pixabay


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