Beautiful Bali is a top dive destination. The sheer variety of marine life and dive sites combined with its magical landscape and culture topside makes Bali a dream destination even for the discerning diver. Bali has an incredible array of dive sites, with all kinds of diving for all levels. Stunning tropicals reefs, pelagics, mantas and more, diving here is an adventure.
Bali in Pictures
Marine Life in Bali
Marine life in Indonesia is abundant and diverse and Bali is simply spellbinding. Coral reefs alive with tropical fish, macro critters and big pelagics, sharks, manta, turtles, bumphead parrotfish, great barracuda, and mala mala are all found at the sites here.
Bali is also a paradise for macro enthusiasts with frogfish, nudibranchs, cuttlefish, stingrays, leaf scorpionfish, pipefish, eels, mantis shrimp, pygmy seahorses, larger seahorses, various octopus, bobbit worms, muck creatures, tropical reef fish, and more.
Dive Conditions in Bali
Bali is an island in the middle of the Indonesian Archipelago, one of the 17000 or so Indonesian Islands. Located east of Java and west of Lombok, the province of Bali includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighboring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. Diving conditions in this area are varied and generally good with warm water, offering something for everyone. Pinnacles, drop-offs, drift dives and plenty of muck diving, will keep you diving for days. Diving is from shore, by traditional boat and there are also a number of liveaboards that operate in the area.
Best Time to Dive in Bali
Diving in Bali is possible all year round. December to March is the rainy season and mid-July to September is high season. Mola mola season is from August to November. The best diving season is from May to November and the best time to see manta rays is April and May.
Water temperatures are 27-29°C (81-82°F) in the northern parts. Around Nusa Penida and Secret Bay, temperatures can drop to 24°C (75°F)
Best Dive Sites in Bali
Bali has it all. Wrecks, reefs, big life, drift dives, and drop-offs. Bali’s dive spots are scattered around the island. In the northwest of the island is Secret Bay, Menjangan Island, and Pemuteran. Menjangan Island offers mostly calm diving on walls and you can see sharks and manta rays there. Pemuteran is good for beginners. On the eastern coast, you’ll find Tulamben, Amed, Candidasa, and Padang Bai. Tulamben is home to the spectacular Liberty Wreck. There’s some top muck diving here and at nearby Seraya, too.
One of the most famous dive sites in the Bali area, its must-dive if you are a wreck enthusiast. USAT Liberty was a United States Army cargo ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. Not only an impressive wreck suitable for all levels, but it is also a major attraction for marine life. It’s covered in a variety of hard and soft corals and is frequented by several pelagic species including blacktip reef sharks and oceanic whitetip sharks, giant trevallies and barracuda. Schooling fish also frequent the wreck and are often quite curious.
Off the small island of Nusa Penida in southeast Bali is the aptly-named Manta Point. It’s a cleaning station where these magnificent creatures congregate. There are also plenty of beautiful coral reefs, tropical fish, pelagics, and large mola-molas getting cleaned in their season. Strong currents are often present here and its recommended for experienced divers.
This protected area at the west end of the island is a remote and unspoiled place. With thriving coral reefs, it offers fantastic and colorful sites underwater and is also a great place for snorkeling. There is a deep wall dive for advanced divers here where you can see the best of Indonesian diving!
This quiet fisherman village on the eastern black-sand coast is an all-round fantastic diving destination. Traditional jukung boats transfer you to the splendid dive sites for an unforgettable trip. The reefs team with life and it’s a muck diver’s dream.
Crystal Bay – Penida
Your best chance at seeing the elusive mola mola, also known as the giant sunfish is at this dive site which is a cleaning station for these wonderful creatures that can be 3m long. This site is recommended for experienced deep divers.
Temple Garden – Pemuteran
This fascinating site, created by local dive centers of Pemuteran, features a 4m high traditional Balinese temple gateway and statues of Buddha, Krishna, and Ganesh. The statues have been colonized by coral formations especially gorgonians. It’s like diving on an ancient monument. Suitable for all levels.
How to Get to Bali
The International airport of Ngurah Rai is on the southern coast of Bali in the capital, Denpasar. There are direct flights from many parts of the world. Typically, connecting flights can be caught at Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, but also from Hong Kong, Dubai or Singapore depending on where you set off from.
The liveaboards usually depart from Benoa Harbour, across the bay.
Good to Know
Bali is known as an island paradise and has many natural and cultural wonders to explore on land. There is great hiking, beautiful beaches, and good surf as well as vibrant festivals and fascinating temples.