Diver diving on ocean floor near Buddha statue in Bali

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Renowned around the world for its majestic underwater seascapes, Bali is the perfect scuba diving destination for beginners and experienced divers alike.

Bali is a tropical island in Indonesia. Surrounded by the warm waters of the Bali Sea, this popular holiday destination is a virtual paradise for diving, with incredible scuba diving spots, a host of world-class diving schools and a huge range of exciting underwater life.

The best diving locations in Bali are celebrated for their unspoiled waters, abundant biodiversity, and stunning underwater landscapes. Beginner dive spots like Amed feature incredible coral and tropical fish, while some areas like Tulamben offer exotic locations like the USAT Liberty Wreck, provided you have the know-how to navigate stronger currents and increased water depths. Many of these areas include a multitude of incredible diving spots within a single area, such as Nusa Dua, which boasts spots like Crystal Bay, Manta Point and SD Point.

Bali is truly a fantastic place to scuba dive, even for more experienced divers looking to enhance their skills or explore new sites. There are dozens of diving schools in Bali, many of which offer PADI diving certification. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses are recognised worldwide and typically cheaper to obtain in Indonesia compared to other countries. Some of the best schools include Bali Dive Concepts, Bali Diving Academy and Bali Fun Diving.

The best time to dive in Bali is during the dry season from May to October, as the generally favourable weather conditions facilitate optimal ocean visibility. The cost of diving in Bali is usually between 350,000 to 1,500,000 IDR (~$35 - $150 AUD) per dive, depending on the type of dive, length of the dive, and whether the course is accredited.

The top 8 locations for diving in Bali are below.

  • Tulamben: Famous for the USAT Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben is a prime spot for wreck diving with easy shore access. The site is enveloped in vibrant coral reefs and bustling with marine life.

  • Amed: Known for its striking black volcanic sand that enhances the visibility of colourful marine life, Amed caters to all diving levels. The area's dive sites are a haven for underwater photographers.

  • Nusa Penida: With clear waters and an array of sea life, including manta rays and sunfish, Nusa Penida is ideal for experienced divers due to strong currents. The best spots include Manta Point and Crystal Bay. 

  • Menjangan Island: Located in a protected national park, Menjangan Island is celebrated for its wall diving and the diversity of its marine life, including gorgonian sea fans and pygmy seahorses.

  • Padangbai: The small coastal town of Padangbai offers divers a range of environments, from muck to reef diving, and is particularly good for spotting sharks and turtles. 

  • Nusa Lembongan: The small island of Nusa Lembongan off Bali's southeast coast provides excellent diving conditions with calm waters and high visibility, ideal for divers of all skill levels to enjoy sights of pufferfish, scorpionfish, and even manta rays.

  • Pemuteran: Located on Bali's northwest coast, Pemuteran offers access to some of the most well-preserved coral reefs and is notable for its wall dives and biodiversity, including sea fans and pygmy seahorses.

  • Gili Islands: Just off the northwest coast of Lombok, the Gili Islands are a popular visit point from Bali. Renowned for crystal-clear waters and rich marine life including turtles and sea sharks, these islands are a diver's paradise. 

1. Tulamben

Woman diver on the wreck of the USS Liberty, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

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Tulamben is a small fishing village located on the northeast coast of Bali. Tulamben is home to the USAT Liberty shipwreck, one of Bali's most striking destinations for wreck diving. Sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1942, hundreds of divers flock daily to explore the wreck and the vibrant coral reefs surrounding Tulamben.

Dive sites in Tulamben are easily accessible directly from the shore, eliminating the need for boat travel. The beaches here present unique volcanic sand and rocky landscapes, contrasting sharply with the golden sands found in southern Bali. The area's marine life is extraordinarily diverse, thanks to the ecosystems established by the shipwreck and nearby coral formations. Diving enthusiasts come here to see a wide array of species, including sea turtles, nudibranchs (soft-bodied marine molluscs), and octopuses, amidst both hard and soft corals. The waters are bustling with life, from schools of tropical fish to eels and various species of sharks.

The most convenient way to reach Tulamben for a diving trip is by hiring a private car from major tourist hubs like Kuta, Seminyak, or Ubud. The journey takes between 2 to 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Once there, those interested in diving often opt for professionally guided tours that explore the USAT Liberty Wreck and the vibrant Coral Garden. The Coral Garden is an artificial reef dotted with beautiful statues. These tours often include comprehensive packages that cover hotel transfers, professional diving guides, and all necessary diving gear. Beyond the typical diving tour for tourists, Tulamben is a great place to learn how to dive. The best diving schools in Tulamben include Let’s Dive Tulamben and Bali Diving Academy. 

The best time to dive at Tulamben is during the dry season months of May to October, when the weather is typically clear and water visibility is at its best. 

The two main Tulamben dive spots include the USAT Liberty Shipwreck and the Coral Garden. More information on each spot is given below. 

  • USAT Liberty Shipwreck: Located just a short swim from the shore, the USAT Liberty Shipwreck is a haven for divers and history enthusiasts alike. Sunk in 1942 by a torpedo, the ship's remnants have formed an artificial reef teeming with marine life. This site is particularly famous for sightings of Black Tip Reef Sharks, a species commonly found along Bali’s east coast. We recommend diving early in the day when the site is less crowded. 

  • Coral Garden: Tulamben’s Coral Garden offers an exceptional diving experience with its array of artificial structures, including statues and creatively placed souvenirs. Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Coral Garden is known more so for its human-made features as well as its natural underwater beauty rather than coral.


2. Amed

Underwater temple in ocean near Amed, Bali. Diving site in Bali

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Amed is an extensive series of fishing villages stretching for about 14 km along Bali’s east coast. Famous as one of the best spots for snorkelling in Bali, Amed is equally fantastic for diving. The unique diving experience over black volcanic sand provides a stark, captivating backdrop that enhances the visibility of colourful marine life and is popular for underwater photography.

The dive sites in Amed host a diverse collection of fascinating sea creatures, including nudibranchs (colourful sea slugs), scorpion and leaf scorpion fish, frogfish, ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, and mantis shrimp. For those interested in larger species, the waters of Amed are populated with blue-spotted stingrays, reef sharks, and moray eels. What makes Amed one of the best places for diving in Bali is its suitability for divers of all skill levels. The conditions in Amed are generally mild, with water temperatures reaching 30°C (86°F). Plus, most diving is conducted from the shore, eliminating the need to pay for a boat trip. For added convenience, numerous dive shops along the beachfront provide rental diving equipment like wetsuits and oxygen tanks. For those who want to improve their diving skills, the best diving schools in Amed include, No Fear Diving Amed, Amed Dive Centre and Amed White Sand Divers.

The most straightforward way to travel to Amed is by hiring a private car, taxi, or using a rideshare service like Grab or Gojek (the local equivalent of Uber). It is easiest to reach Amed from areas of east Bali, such as Candidasa and Tulamben, which are only 30 minutes away. From more popular areas of Bali in the south, such as Kuta or Seminyak, the journey takes approximately 3 hours.

The optimal time to dive in Amed is during Bali’s dry season, from May to October, when sunny weather and minimal rainfall create ideal diving conditions. Although Amed is quieter than other parts of Bali, its diving spots are less crowded, especially if visited earlier in the summer.

The five main diving spots in Amed are Jemeluk Bay, the Japanese Wreck, Gili Selang, Amed Beach and the Drop Off. More information on each spot is given below. 

  • Jemeluk Bay: Jemeluk Bay is renowned for its reef diving, where divers come to see leaf scorpionfish and blue-spotted stingrays swimming amongst hard and soft corals. Night diving here offers a unique spectacle with nocturnal creatures like moray eels and parrotfish in their sleeping bubbles.

  • Japanese Wreck: Located in Banyuning, just east of the main Amed area, the Japanese Wreck is the remains of a World War II-era Japanese patrol boat. The wreck sits at a depth ranging from about 6 to 12 metres, making it perfect for beginner divers. The site is covered in colourful corals and is a haven for macro photographers seeking to capture images of rare critters like pygmy seahorses and ghost pipefish.

  • Gili Selang: Known for its challenging currents, Gili Selang is ideal for experienced divers and is a hotspot for drift diving along its dynamic walls teeming with large fish. The site is also popular for muck diving, where divers spot unique species such as the mimic octopus and nudibranchs.

  • Amed Beach: Amed Beach provides a gentle introduction to muck diving, a type of underwater exploration where divers search for small, often camouflaged marine life. Divers at this site frequently encounter garden eels, shrimp, and an array of juvenile fish species among the volcanic sands.

  • The Drop Off: The Drop Off offers a dramatic dive experience with its steep underwater walls that descend deeply, making it suitable for both reef and wall diving. This site is particularly known for sightings of vibrant Gorgonian fans, large groupers, and during certain times, passing reef sharks.


3. Nusa Penida

Aerial drone view of snorkelers with huge oceanic manta rays at Manta Point

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Nusa Penida is a small island located about 12 km southeast of Bali, close to its smaller island neighbours, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Famous for its dramatic cliffs and clear waters, Nusa Penida offers excellent visibility of 10 to 20 metres, perfect for witnessing diverse marine life like colourful fish, turtles and Manta Rays. 

Diving in Nusa Penida is enhanced by the clarity of the water, which allows reef divers to appreciate the full spectrum of underwater biodiversity. The diving season in Nusa Penida runs from May to October, with peak months for manta ray sightings typically falling between August and October. Divers need to remain cautious because the currents in Nusa Penida are somewhat unpredictable at times. 

The easiest way to get to Nusa Penida is typically by speedboat from Sanur Beach on Bali's main island, which takes less than an hour. Dive operators on Penida island usually provide comprehensive diving tours, which typically include round-trip hotel transfers, professional guidance, diving equipment, and meals at an oceanfront beach club. For those looking for formal instruction, two of the most respected diving schools in Nusa Penida are Legend Diving Penida and Purple Dive Penida.

The three top diving spots in Nusa Penida are Manta Point, Crystal Bay and SD Point. More information on each spot is given below.

  • Manta Point: Located on a slope with beautiful coral and gentle currents, Manta Point is an ideal site for divers of all levels. The highlight of diving here is the frequent sightings of manta rays, especially from March to June, although they are still able to be spotted year-round. Manta Point is known for its reef environment, making it perfect for both muck and reef diving.

  • Crystal Bay: Sometimes called Silver Beach, Crystal Bay is a challenging dive site known for its medium to strong currents, making it best suited to advanced divers. The site is famed for its deep dives down to 30 metres to spot the elusive Mola Mola (oceanic sunfish), particularly from August to October. The bay features stunning coral at shallower depths, around 15 to 20 metres, and is a hotspot for witnessing a variety of sea life including eagle rays, scorpion fish, and nudibranchs. 

  • SD Point: Located on the north coast of Nusa Penida, SD Point offers a pleasant drift diving experience over a beautiful coral plateau at depths of 12 to 18 metres. The name "SD" stands for Sekolah Dasar, which means "elementary school" in the Indonesian language, referring to its proximity to a local school. Known for its easy conditions and incredible sea life diversity, SD Point is popular for hosting reef sharks, manta rays, and occasionally, whale sharks. The site's extensive coral reefs and frequent pelagic fish sightings make it a popular choice among divers.


4. Menjangan Island

Diving at Menjangan island, Bali, Indonesia.

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Menjangan Island is located in the far northwestern part of Bali, within West Bali National Park. Menjangan is an idyllic diving area in part because it is so far from tourist hotspots, offering a serene and off-the-beaten-path diving experience that is totally immersive. 

The diving at Menjangan Island is characterised by its majestic coral walls, which plunge steeply into the deep and are adorned with soft corals, barrel sponges, and enormous sea fans. Menjagan’s walls are often the habitat for tiny, elusive pygmy seahorses, perfect for both wall and muck diving. The island’s location, far from the more frequented southern Bali dive spots, contributes to its less disturbed waters and abundant sea life, including sea turtles, reef sharks, and large schools of reef fish like tuna and jackfish.

Access to Menjangan Island is typically arranged through tours, given that the island lies within a national park. Divers usually access the island by boat from mainland Bali, often departing from places like Pemuteran, which provides the shortest route. Some diving excursions include everything from diving gear rental to park entrance fees. Two of the best diving schools in Menjangan Island are Dive Concepts and Blue Corner Dive. 

The five main diving spots in Menjangan Island are Eel Garden, Anchor Wreck, POS II, Sandy Slope and Temple Wall. More information on each spot is given below. 

  • Eel Garden: Situated off Menjangan's western tip, Eel Garden is renowned for its dramatic underwater landscape. The dive starts on a vibrant reef topped with blue sponges and descends into a stunning wall dive, abundant with gorgonians and a chance to spot pygmy seahorses. As you continue along the dive, the site transitions into a sandy slope dotted with garden eels. This slope eventually leads to a shallow coral garden, perfect for spotting smaller creatures like nudibranchs and octopuses. 

  • Anchor Wreck: Also known as Kapal Budak, the Anchor Wreck is an impressive dive site marked by a large, ancient anchor at its shallow entrance. This anchor leads divers down to explore the remains of what is believed to be a 19th-century Balinese boat. Despite the wreck being dispersed and covered by sand in parts, divers still enjoy the surrounding underwater landscape filled with diverse marine life including reef fish, nudibranchs, and occasional reef sharks.

  • POS II: POS II (or POS 2) offers an exemplary wall diving experience in Menjangan starting from a sandy slope that meets a deep coral wall, rich in soft corals and sea fans. Divers here drift along the wall, exploring its abundant marine life and potentially finding turtles, eagle rays, and even manta rays.

  • Sandy Slope: Sandy Slope provides a delightful dive in Menjangan with a mix of soft and hard corals, sea fans, and abundant fish life. As you swim north, the terrain transitions to a beautiful drop-off that descends to 40 metres, offering divers a chance to see batfish, moray eels, unicorn fish, angelfish, and butterflyfish. 

  • Temple Wall: Temple Wall is a must-visit site for divers, located on the eastern side of Menjangan Island. One of the most shallow diving spots in Menjangan, Temple Wall ranges from 5 to 7 metres, making it accessible and rewarding with its rich soft coral cover. The underwater scenery is complemented by the view of the beautiful temples above the water. Divers here enjoy encounters with moray eels, snapper, hawksbill turtles, giant frogfish, pygmy seahorses, scorpionfish, lionfish, and triggerfish, among others.


5. Padangbai

Corals and fish at Blue Lagoon Padang Bai Bali, Indonesia

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Padangbai, sometimes spelled Padang Bai, is a small coastal town in eastern Bali, Indonesia.  Besides its function as a ferry port to get to neighbouring islands such as Lombok from Bali, Padang Bai offers superb diving opportunities, thanks to its striking coral reefs and abundant marine species.

The waters of Padangbai are home to a variety of species, including turtles, which are a common sight for divers. The area is known for its excellent conditions for spotting white-tip reef sharks, octopuses, sea snakes, and camouflage fish. In Padang Bai, divers find excellent water visibility, typically ranging from 10 to 30 metres, and warm and serene waters averaging between 26°C to 29°C throughout the year. The underwater environments at Padang Bai are diverse, offering reef diving, wall diving, and even muck diving for those interested in smaller, unique marine creatures.

Located 54 km east of Denpasar, Padangbai is just a one to one and a half-hour drive from Kuta and Legian. Diving excursions here are typically conducted from traditional boats, providing accessible and family-friendly outings. The optimal time for diving in Padang Bai is from May to October when the sea is calmest and visibility is at its best.

While Padang Bai is a crowded gateway to popular destinations around Indonesia, the town itself offers one of the most tranquil diving spots in Bali. Two of the best schools in the Padangbai area include Padangbai Bali Dive and Absolute Scuba Bali Padangbai.

The seven best diving spots in Padangbai are Blue Lagoon, Bias Tugel, Jepun, Jetty, Channel Point, Gili Mimpang and Gili Tepekong. More information on each spot is given below. 

  • Blue Lagoon: Just a short boat ride from the beach using a traditional Jukung boat, Blue Lagoon is known for its excellent coral formations starting from 5 metres deep and a diverse array of marine life including sharks and occasionally dolphins. Also known as Baong Penyu or Turtle's Neck, Blue Lagoon is particularly popular among photographers for its shallow depths and the variety of marine creatures. The best time to dive at Blue Lagoon is at night when exotic species like the Spanish dancer are commonly seen. The Spanish dancer is a large, colourful type of nudibranch known for its graceful, undulating movements.

  • Bias Tugel: Located near the ferry channel in Padang Bai, Bias Tugel is a beach known for its excellent diving conditions. Considered one of the best hidden gem beaches of Bali, Bias Tugel is a beautiful white sand beach that is excellent for surfing and sunbathing. Diving at Bias Tugel is fantastic as well, especially along its main slope adorned with large rock formations and the coral which decorate its sandy ocean floor. With depths from 10 to 30 metres, Bias Tugel typically allows divers to see white-tip reef sharks and even turtles. To spot the elusive ocean sunfish known as Mola Mola, we recommend planning your dive for June to October.

  • Jepun: North of Padang Bai just past Blue Lagoon, the Jepun dive spot includes a fascinating wreck alongside a descending reef down to white sandy bottoms. Starting at shallow depths and sloping down to 26 metres, divers are able to spot a variety of creatures around the wreck and reef, including scorpion fish, rays, and white-tip reef sharks. Jepun is rich with small coral groups, sea fans, and an assortment of critters such as frogfish and blue spotted stingrays, making it ideal for underwater photography.

  • Jetty: Known as the Secret Jetty, this site offers a unique diving experience among the giant pillars of a structure previously used only by cruise ships. The area's black sand and sloping bottom host soft corals and anemones. Secret Jetty is one of the top muck diving sites in Bali, where divers find an array of special species such as frogfish, seahorses, flying gurnards, and crocodile fish.

  • Channel Point: Just a stone's throw from the beach at Padangbai, Channel Point offers a fascinating dive onto a coral plateau about 18 metres deep. The site is noted for its dynamic environment with moderate currents that are often strong and unpredictable, making it more suitable for experienced divers. The plateau is adorned with small caves where white-tip reef sharks are often found resting or gliding in the currents​.

  • Gili Mimpang: Gili Mimpang consists of four small islets offering a dramatic underwater landscape dotted with sea fans, which are large, fan-shaped coral structures. Gili Mimpang is one of the best spots in Bali to see rare marine creatures, including Napoleon wrasse (a large, colourful reef fish), black rays, leopard sharks, and white-tip reef sharks. 

  • Gili Tepekong: Known for its impressive dive environments, Gili Tepekong is a short boat ride from Padang Bai. The site features large walls and a canyon, suitable only for the more adventurous and experienced divers due to its strong currents. The richness of the marine ecosystem here includes grey reef sharks, eagle rays, and barracudas, with superb coral visibility enhanced by the nutrient-rich waters​.


6. Nusa Lembongan

Hawksbill turtle eating corals (Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia)

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Nusa Lembongan is a small island located off the southeast coast of Bali and is part of the Nusa Islands.  The beaches of Nusa Lembongan display incredible crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, offering divers the chance to observe species such as pufferfish, scorpionfish, blue-spotted stingrays, sea turtles, and even manta rays. Popular diving sites like Mangrove Point provide excellent conditions with calm waters and high visibility, ideal for both beginner and advanced divers. 

The optimal time for diving in Nusa Lembongan is from May to October, coinciding with Bali’s dry season. Access to the island is typically via a short boat ride from Sanur Beach or through faster services from Benoa Harbour, generally taking less than an hour. Diving tours on the island often feature comprehensive packages that include guided dives at key locations like Mangrove Point and Lembongan Bay, complete with equipment rentals and sometimes additional services such as meals and transportation.

Divers should note that prices in Nusa Lembongan tend to be higher than in other parts of Bali due to the logistical costs of transporting goods to the island. As such, goods and services carry a premium, and bargaining is not as effective as on the main islanded of Bali. For learners, the best diving centres in Nusa Lembongan are Legend Diving Lembongan and Scuba Centre Asia Lembongan.

The three best diving spots in Nusa Lembongan are Blue Corner, Mangrove and Lembongan Bay. More information on each spot is given below. 

  • Blue Corner: Blue Corner is an excellent but challenging dive site off Nusa Lembongan, perfect for experienced divers. Blue Corner features strong and unpredictable currents, a steep slope with a plateau at about 20 metres, and is famous for drift diving. Divers at the Blue Corner dive spot encounter diverse sea creatures, including manta rays, giant tuna, marble rays, and thresher sharks. Visibility ranges from 25 to 40 metres, making it an exciting spot for those seeking adrenaline-pumping dives in Bali​.

  • Mangrove Point: Mangrove Point is a superb drift dive location in Nusa Lembongan. Its gentle currents make it accessible for divers of various skill levels. The Mangrove dive site boasts a rich marine ecosystem hidden among mangrove roots, making it perfect for diving. 

  • Lembongan Bay: Lembongan Bay offers a relaxed diving experience in Bali, suitable for beginners due to its sheltered conditions and relatively shallow waters. Lembongan is great for training dives and features a variety of coral formations and marine life typical of the region, including colourful reef fish and occasional sea turtles.


7. Pemuteran

Artificial reef Coral Goddess in Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia

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Pemuteran is a tranquil village located on the northwest coast of Bali. It is especially recognised for its proximity to the Menjangan Island dive sites within the Bali Barat National Park. Pemuteran presents stunning underwater scenery, featuring some of the best-preserved coral reefs in Indonesia and a variety of diving sites like Napoleon Reef and Pemuteran Jetty which are suitable for all levels of divers.

The diving in Pemuteran is characterised by its vibrant coral slopes and spectacular wall dives, offering a chance to see large sea fans, soft corals, and an array of small marine life, such as nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses, ideal for macrophotography. The area of Pemuteran is known for innovative conservation efforts like the BioRock project, which involves the creation of artificial reefs to help regenerate coral growth.

Located around 3.5 hours from popular tourist areas like Kuta and Seminyak, Pemuteran is one of the areas of Bali worth travelling to despite the distance. Pemuteran is close to Menjangan island, so we recommend visiting the north and northeast of Bali for a longer period of time for dedicated diving enthusiasts. The local dive centres in Pemuteran, such as Dive Centre Bali, offer not only excellent instruction but also various excursions to the nearby Menjangan Island and the reefs directly off Pemuteran's coast. These trips often include comprehensive packages with gear rentals and guide services, ensuring a memorable diving adventure in one of Bali's most serene environments.

The three best diving spots in Pemuteran are Napoleon Reef, Pemuteran Jetty and Deep Middle Reef. More information on each spot is given below.

  • Napoleon Reef: Accessed by boat, Napoleon Reef is an excellent diving site in Pemuteran known for its accessibility to reef divers of all skill levels. The shallow areas of the reef boast a variety of hard and soft corals, making it a great spot for novice divers and underwater photographers. For the more experienced, the deeper sections of the reef present a sandy slope that offers a different kind of exploration, where the seafloor gradually deepens and reveals different species and larger marine creatures.

  • Pemuteran Jetty: Pemuteran Jetty is celebrated as one of Bali’s top muck diving sites, despite its unassuming appearance from the surface. Located under a rickety jetty at the east end of Pemuteran Beach, Jetty plunges to a maximum depth of 8 metres and starts in waters as shallow as 2 metres. The dive begins in murky water scattered with some debris, but divers quickly discover a rich underwater environment filled with elusive creatures such as Rosy Spindle Cowries (small, colourful sea snails), pipefish, and a diversity of small lionfish.

  • Deep Middle Reef: Accessible for beginners, Deep Middle Reef ranges from 6 to 30 metres deep. It's known for its large sea fans and table corals. Divers come to Middle Reef to spot anemones, nudibranchs, cleaner shrimps, and larger species like sharks and turtles among the vibrant coral formations.

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8. Gili Islands

Sea turtle underwater in the Gili islands, Indonesia swimming in clear shallow waters of Lombok, Indonesia.

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Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air are collectively known as the Gili Islands, located just off the northwest coast of Lombok in Indonesia. The Gili Islands are famous for their crystal-clear blue waters and sandy beaches, making them an ideal destination for diving holidays.

Gili Meno and Gili Air are particularly excellent for divers due to the natural variety in their waters and ease of access. Gili Meno is regarded as the best of the Gili islands for diving, as it offers reefs that are easy to reach from the shore and a rich array of marine species including reef fish, moray eels, and sea turtles. Gili Meno boasts unique underwater attractions such as the Nest sculpture and the Bounty Wreck. The nearby Gili Air is known for its relaxed atmosphere and, despite some damage, its reefs still provide opportunities to see various reef fish and turtles in the shallow waters close to the island.

To reach the Gili Islands, most visitors travel from Bali by fast boat, a journey that typically takes about 90 minutes, departing from Padang Bai in East Bali or Serangan near Sanur. Once on the islands, there are lots of diving shops that offer equipment for purchase or rent, and there are options to book diving tours too. Private diving tours provide a customisable experience and are available in two or four-hour sessions covering multiple spots, while group tours are perfect for solo travellers looking to meet others. For those looking to learn a few tips from local experts, the best diving schools in the Gili Islands are Gili Island Diving Center and Trawangan Diving.

For those arranging their visit to the Gili Islands with a focus on diving, the optimal time to go is from May to October, when sunlight is abundant in Bali and water visibility is at its peak. 
The five best diving spots in the Gili Islands are Shark Point, Turtle Heaven, Manta Point Sunset Reef, Deep Turbo and Meno Bounty. More information on each spot is given below. 

  • Shark Point: Located off the coast of Gili Trawangan, Shark Point is suitable for divers of all levels but is particularly rewarding for those with some experience due to the presence of moderate to strong currents that make it a superb spot for drift diving. The site features a variety of depths and marine environments, including shallow coral plateaus and deep ridges. 

  • Turtle Heaven: Situated to the east of Gili Meno, Turtle Heaven is named for its abundance of sea turtles. Here, a sloping reef with a coral-encrusted pinnacle attracts diverse fish, moray eels, and the occasional nudibranch. Turtle Heaven is suitable for all skill levels and offers a mesmerising experience with the sheer number of turtles present​. 

  • Manta Point Sunset Reef: Manta Point Sunset Reef is located on the south side of Gili Trawangan and offers a variety of marine species amongst its hard and soft corals. While manta rays are occasional visitors, divers are more likely to see white-tip reef sharks and stingrays. 

  • Deep Turbo: Known for its dramatically steep underwater landscape, Deep Turbo lies between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno. The site features large coral pinnacles rising from the sandy bottom, with the upper levels bustling with fish life. The deeper areas offer sightings of sharks and rays among the vibrant soft corals and Gorgonian fans, which are large, fan-shaped coral structures providing a habitat for various marine species. The Deep Turbo site is best suited for advanced divers due to its depth and the potential for strong currents​. 

  • Meno Bounty: Meno Bounty revolves around a pier wreck that sank in 2003 and is now encrusted with corals. It starts at a shallow depth of 9 metres and drops to 18 metres. Divers come to Meno Bounty to enjoy exploring the structure that's now home to a wide range of marine life including scorpion fish, frogfish, and schools of glass fish.


What are the best less-known Diving Spots in Bali?

There are five main hidden gem diving spots in Bali. These include Seraya Secrets near Tulamben, Secret Bay in Gilimanuk, Puri Jati which is a few hours from Sanur, Gili Selang at Bali's eastern tip, and Ceningan Wall in Nusa Penida.

Below is more information on the 5 best-hidden dive spots in Bali.

  • Seraya Secrets: Seraya Secrets, located near Tulamben in the northeast of Bali, is a secluded diving destination that draws in critter enthusiasts and macro photographers. Seraya’s unique underwater landscape features dark volcanic sand and a gently sloping topography. Divers here are treated to sights of rare marine life such as harlequin shrimp, ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, and vibrant nudibranchs. The dive site gained fame with the rise of digital underwater photography in the early 2000s, quickly establishing itself as a top macro photography destination.

  • Secret Bay (Gilimanuk): Secret Bay, also known as Gilimanuk, is a captivating dive site known for its nutrient-rich waters that house hundreds of marine plants and creatures. Located at the mouth of a bay, Secret Bay experiences strong tidal currents that maintain the health and diversity of marine species. The dive site features a shallow water profile with mostly volcanic sand and occasional seagrass. Despite its remoteness, taking more than three hours drive from Padang Bai, Secret Bay attracts divers specifically for its exceptional muck diving conditions.

  • Puri Jati: Puri Jati is a little-known destination for underwater photographers and divers looking for a unique muck diving experience. Situated a few hours from Sanur, on the northern coast of Bali, Puri Jati offers a diverse marine ecosystem with no coral reefs but plenty of seagrass, sea pens, and debris that house rare creatures like mimic octopuses and frogfish. The site's black volcanic sand provides a stark contrast that enhances the visibility of the colourful marine life, making every dive here a photographic opportunity.

  • Gili Selang: Located at the eastern tip of Bali, Gili Selang offers an adventurous diving experience with its challenging currents and rich marine biodiversity. Gili Selang starts on a black sand slope rich in macro life and transitions into a vibrant reef at shallow depths. The site offers a mix of soft and hard corals, sea fans, barrel sponges, and an array of fish including yellow margin morays and big-eyed trevally. The unique topography and dynamic water conditions make Gili Selang a thrilling spot for experienced divers.

  • Ceningan Wall: Ceningan Wall in Nusa Penida features a vibrant underwater wall adorned with vivid corals, sponges, and sea fans. Ceningan is renowned for its immense array of sea creatures, including Moorish idols, clownfish, and fusiliers (ray-finned fishes), with strong currents fostering a rich ecosystem. As you drift along the wall, you find moray eels, scorpionfish, and a variety of nudibranchs, while schools of giant trevally and tunas navigate the deeper waters.


When is Bali’s diving season?

The diving season in Bali spans May to November when the oceans are calmer and water visibility is at its best. This period aligns with Bali’s dry season, which is considered the best time to visit Bali due to the typically clear and sunny weather, with less humidity. 

For divers specifically interested in marine life, the best time to spot Manta Rays and the famous Mola Mola (Oceanic sunfish) is between August and October, when these creatures are more commonly sighted near the island. The water temperature remains fairly consistent throughout the year, typically ranging from 26° to 30°, making it comfortable for most divers.


What is the best place to dive in Bali for beginners?

Padangbai is one of the best places in Bali for beginner divers, specifically the Blue Lagoon dive spot which has quite shallow waters, ranging from 3 to 5 metres deep. Padangbai offers a safe, protected environment for learning to dive, and there are some excellent dive schools in the area like Bali Diving Academy and Geko Dive Bali which cater to beginners.  

Blue Lagoon in Padang Bai offers exceptionally shallow waters, which is perfect for beginners who are just getting comfortable with diving equipment and underwater breathing using an apparatus. The shallow depth reduces the pressure and complexity of diving, allowing new divers to focus on learning and enjoying their surroundings. What’s more, the waters around Blue Lagoon in Padang Bai are calm and clear, providing a safe environment free from strong currents or deep dives that could overwhelm a novice. This setting not only ensures safety but also makes the learning process more enjoyable. Lastly, numerous Padang Bai dive schools offer beginner courses where you learn the basics of diving. Diving courses often include practical dive experiences in Blue Lagoon, where beginners apply what they've learned in a real-world setting. 


Is Bali a good place for diving courses and accreditation?

Yes, Bali is an excellent place to complete a diving course or accreditation. Major organisations like PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) offer a variety of programmes on the island. Bali is home to dozens of diving schools that offer tailored instruction for both beginners and advanced divers.

Bali hosts numerous dive schools that offer comprehensive training and certification courses accredited by PADI, such as Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, and various specialty courses. These programs are designed to ensure divers are well-prepared, confident in their skills, and knowledgeable about safe diving practices. With its calm, clear waters in areas like Padang Bai, Amed, and more challenging sites around Nusa Penida, Bali is a prime destination for divers seeking quality diving instruction and certification. 


What is PADI?

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world's leading scuba diver training organisation. PADI courses range from entry-level diver education up through instructor certification. The association sets the standards in the diving industry for dive training, safety, and customer service. PADI certifications are recognised globally, making them a valuable credential for divers looking to explore underwater environments anywhere in the world.


Which are the best dive centres in Bali?

Three of the best dive centres in Bali are Dive Concept Bali, Bali Diving Academy and Amed Dive Centre. More information on each of these diving centres is provided below. 

  • Dive Concepts Bali: Dive Concepts Bali is known for its comprehensive diving services, including fun dives, diving courses, and special diving safaris around Bali's best dive sites like Manta Ray and Liberty Wreck. Located in Amed, Pemuteran, Lembongan, and Tulamben, the school offers tailored dive safaris that allow divers to explore multiple dive sites over several days. Dive Concepts Bali is highly rated for its knowledgeable instructors, well-maintained equipment, and affordable pricing​​. 

  • Bali Diving Academy: Bali Diving Academy offers professional diving trips, PADI certifications, and specialised programs like marine biology. The Academy is known for its professional approach, excellent safety standards, and a strong emphasis on marine conservation. It receives high praise for its experienced instructors, diverse course offerings, and high-quality equipment​. Bali Diving Academy has locations in Pemuteran, Lembongan, Tulamben, and Sanur. 

  • Amed Dive Centre: Located in East Bali, Amed Dive Centre provides a range of diving and accommodation packages. These are particularly popular for those looking to combine a stay-and-dive experience in the beautiful Amed area. The centre is noted for its well-rounded diving packages that include accommodation and multiple dive trips, ideal for an immersive diving holiday. Amed Dive Centre is known for its friendly staff, beautiful dive sites, and comfortable accommodation options​​​.


Are there diving safaris in Bali?

Yes, many Bali diving schools offer dive safaris as part of their course offering. A dive safari is a multi-day dive expedition that involves travelling to multiple diving sites over the course of several days. Dive safaris typically include the most popular diving locations in Bali such as Amed, the Nusa Islands, Menjangan Island and Tulamben. Participants typically have the choice between a “liveaboard” (where you stay overnight on the boat) or a land-based (where you stay on land) dive safari experience. Some great schools offering safari experiences are Dive Concepts Bali and Amed Dive Centre. These Bali centres make diving in Bali not just about exploring the underwater world but also about learning and advancing one’s diving skills through well-structured courses and exciting dive safaris.


How much does it cost to dive in Bali?

Diving in Bali typically costs between 350,000 and 1,500,000 IDR (~$35 - $150 AUD), depending on the duration and type of dive and whether there is instructional training or certification involved. Typically, a fun dive in Bali costs just $35-50 AUD, while a single certification dive costs around $150 AUD. For a full 2-5 day PADI course, expect to pay between 5,000,000 IDR - 8,000,000 IDR (~$500-$800 AUD). 

A "fun dive" refers to a recreational dive that does not involve formal training or certification, allowing certified divers to explore dive sites under the guidance of a dive professional. The PADI-based dive schools in Bali provide a structured diving education for those looking to gain or advance their diving certification.

A list of the main PADI courses offered in Bali and the associated prices are given below. 

  • PADI Discover Scuba Diving: The PADI Discover Scuba Diving course involves two dives in Nusa Penida, priced at around 1,500,000 IDR (~$150 AUD).

  • PADI Open Water Diver: PADI Open Water Diver is a comprehensive course spanning three days with four dives, costing about 4,500,000 IDR (~$450 AUD).

  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver: This advanced Open Water PADI course includes five dives over two days and is priced at approximately 4,000,000 IDR (~$400 AUD).

  • PADI Rescue Diver: This three-day PADI Rescue Diver course includes three dives and is priced at around 4,000,000 IDR (~$400 AUD). It focuses on developing rescue skills and managing diving emergencies.

PADI diving courses are highly regarded, ensuring that divers are well-prepared, confident in their skills, and equipped with the knowledge to safely enjoy diving adventures.

Do you need a wetsuit to dive in Bali?

Yes, a wetsuit is best for diving in Bali. While Bali’s waters typically remain at a warm 26°-30°C (79-86°F) most of the year, a wetsuit of around 3-5mm is ideal for maintaining body warmth during most dives. That being said, given its tropical Bali climate, the best diving conditions usually align with the dry season months.

For most dive sites in Bali, an adequate wetsuit provides temperature insulation, protection from the sun, and protection from any scrapes or stings from marine life. Most dive centres in Bali provide rental wetsuits if you don't have your own, ensuring you are adequately equipped for your dives.


How deep is the water in Bali?

The water in the Bali Sea is approximately 1,590 metres deep at its maximum depth. For divers, the depths at various dive sites around Bali vary significantly. Recreational dive sites typically range from shallow coral gardens only a few metres deep to deeper walls and drop-offs around 30 to 40 metres. At certain advanced sites, such as those around Nusa Penida, depths reach up to 200 metres. Typically, recreational dives in Bali are limited to depths of no more than 40 metres, in line with Balinese diving regulations.

Which are the best beaches in Bali? 

There are many fantastic beaches in Bali. Three of the best beaches in Bali are Amed Beach in northeastern Bali, Blue Lagoon Beach in Padangbai and Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida. More information on each is given below.

  • Amed Beach: Amed Beach in northeastern Bali is a picturesque spot ideal for diving thanks to its crystal-clear waters. The breathtaking marine life and coral landscapes beneath the waves draw underwater enthusiasts from around the world. The beach area is perfect for leisurely days and lively evenings, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars offering everything from delicious local dishes to live music.

  • Blue Lagoon Beach: Blue Lagoon Beach, located in the village of Padang Bai, is a serene and somewhat hidden gem known for its striking blue waters and easy diving conditions. This narrow beach gets its name from the vibrant blue hues of the water, making it possible to observe a wide variety of colourful fish even without gear. The beach is also frequented by large, friendly sea turtles. For convenience, the local warung (restaurant shack) on the beach is much loved by divers who go to grab a bite and rent equipment for a nominal fee.

  • Crystal Bay: Sometimes called Silver Beach, Crystal Bay is located in a secluded cove on the west coast of Nusa Penida and is one of the main tourist draws of the island. The bay is famous for its clear waters and exquisite coral reefs. The sandy shores are darker here, typically lined with deck chairs to accommodate the numerous visitors. Crystal Bay offers encounters with sea creatures such as manta rays and turtles. Additionally, the beach often serves as a launch point for manta ray tours. As a result, it sometimes gets quite crowded, especially during midday.


Flights to Bali

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