Review, Scuba Diving in Bali, Macro, Manta Ray and Mola Mola
Located between the islands of Java and Lombok, Bali is one of the 30 000 islands of the Indonesian archipelago. The island of volcanic origin is approximately 153 km wide and extends about 112 km from north to south. This destination knows a strong tourist attraction with nearly 3 million visitors each year. Bali has everything to seduce, wonderful sandy beaches, exceptional surfing spots, Balinese temples, rice field, hiking trails and of course world famous diving sites. If you never been, you must definitely put the island of Bali on your bucket list for a diving trip
Where to dive in Bali?
Several areas of Bali are perfect to practice scuba diving.
In the south-east , the island of Nusa Penida offers a wide choice of diving spots, the most famous are for sure "Manta Point", an incredible cleaning station for manta rays and "Crystal Bay "considered the place where you are most likely to see giant moon fish in the world. Those two dive site are not the only one, if your dive center propose you SD point or anything else around Nusi Penida you should accept, you will dive on an healthy reef full of fishes in a clear water!
Not to far from Nusa Penida, you must dive in Nusa Lembongan. The Blue Corner dive site is worth a visit but get ready for a drift dive with lots of current. Here it is not rare to encounter giant napoleon fishes and shark on the vertiginous wall.
Further east, the dive sites around Gili Tepekong like the Canyon are worth a look.
Personally we recommend strongly the North East of Bali for diving. The city of Amed propose some exceptional dive sites like Gili Selang and Jemeluk.
A few kilometers away, the city of Tulamben is home to one of the most beautiful shipwrecks in the world, the USS Liberty. And if you are a good spotter you might encounter pigmy seahorses.
If you still not have enough, you could finally aim to the northwest and dive in the Menjangan Reserve. This place is famous for its macro dive sites like Secret Bay.
When to go diving in Bali?
Like many islands in the Indian Ocean, Bali is experiencing a dry season followed by the rainy season. The wet season takes place from November to March. During the dry season, visibility is generally better than during the wet season because the rain water tends to bring more sediments in the water, which slightly blurs. The best time to dive in Bali is during the dry season from April to October. The best diving period to see the Mola Mola in Bali is from August to October. The best time to observe the Manta Rays in Bali is from April to October.
Sscuba diving conditions
The visibility is generally good in Bali (33 to 98 feet). To get the clearest waters, go to the north of the island.
Currents are known to be quite strong or very strong in the strait between Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan and around Gili Selang.
Diver level: Start diving in Bali is a extraordinary oportunity. The north of the island offers the most favorable conditions for beginners although the wreck of the USAT Liberty in Tulamben remains the most popular place to start training.
The water temperature in Bali is high: 28°C (82°F) most of the year. However, there are certain exceptions like Nusa Penida or Gilimanuk where the temperature can drop to 22°C (72°F).
What to see while diving and snorkeling?
Bali is known for having an amazing fauna and flora. Coral reefs have a wide variety of hard and soft corals, sponges and sea fans. Corals in Bali are very colorful and well preserved. Indeed, the island has no known campaign of destructive fishing with dynamite and that part of the Indian Ocean is not strike by coral bleaching. Many divers go to Bali to observe pelagics which are very common in the area.
Mola Mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world (it can weigh over 2 300 kg and measure over 10 feet long) It can be spotted a few months in the year in Bali, most of the time at "Crystal Bay". Manta rays are present in large numbers around the island of Nusa Penida. These pelagic fish stop in some « cleaning stations » to be freed of parasites clinging to their bodies. Napoleon fish is the largest fish of the family of wrasses and can measure more than 6 feet long. Its massive appearance and prominent hump make an attraction for divers. Reef sharks such as black tip or white tips can be seen in Bali all year long. Turtles are very common in Bali. It is not unusual to see several of them during a dive.
Pygmy seahorse is a star for underwater macro photography. It is only found on a particular type of gorgonian between 52 and 131 feet deep. It can be observed on the wreck of the USAT Liberty.Ghost Pipefish is also an extraordinary creature. Floating head down, it is particularly difficult to observe. Mimic octopus, Leaf scorpionfish, Frog fish are also very popular for macro photographers. To observe them, take your time, patiently or find an experienced divemaster ...