An introduction of the most commonly visited Bali dive sites. This is a general reference of what each area provides and it’s location on the map. As there are many different kinds of diving available in Bali, it’s hard to decide where to go. For the purpose of creating a perfect custom Bali diving trip, we provide descriptions of each area here.
This small island in the north west of the island is the first marine protected area in Bali. Surrounded by dramatic walls, beautiful hard corals and some secret macro hotspots. Menjangan is the perfect location for two or three days of diving. With clear waters almost a guarantee, this is one of the top wide angle photography spots in Bali. With a profusion of soft and hard corals Menjangan is great reef diving.
Situated at the NW tip of Bali, Secret Bay is a shallow bay located beside the ferry terminal to Java. This sandy bottom cove is thriving with seagrass and one of the most reliable places to spot seahorses. Unique to the area is the chance to encounter Banggai cardinal fish, a species introduced here in years past. The water temperatures are typically a few degrees colder than Menjangan averaging around 25C.
Puri Jati is located west of the idyllic town of Lovina along the north coast of Bali. The location is midway between Menjangan Island and the large town of Singaraja. Situated beside a beautiful rice paddy field, the site is a long black sand slope, famous for its bizarre inhabitants. Ambon scorpionfish, lionfish, pipefish, coconut octopus, and the amazing mimic octopus are just some of the residents found here. As the average depth is less than 10 metres, long bottom times are the norm on this site. It’s known as one of the most productive dives for macro photographers.
Home to one of the Bali’s iconic dive sites: the Liberty Wreck. Tulamben is a quiet village on the north east coast under the shadow of Mt. Agung. With a great mix of drops-offs, coral gardens, and black sand sites, the Tulamben area is one of the most photographically productive areas in Bali. With three great sites just walking distance from the resorts, the diving here is convenient and easy. For the more adventurous, a variety of sites are just moments away via local boat. This area is perfect for both macro and wide angle photographic opportunities. Tulamben is one of our preferred destinations for teaching photography.
Located a few miles to the south of Tulamben, Seraya is one of the hottest muck diving locations in Bali. The black sand in the area is “chock a block” with interesting critters of the small variety. Frogfish, harlequin shrimp, ornate ghost pipefish, seahorses, and boxer crabs are only the tip of the iceberg. There are several different dive sites in this strip of beach and all of them are productive for finding weird and interesting critters. Seraya is always one of the favourites of our camera toting guests.
A little known secret in Bali diving, Amed is a tranquil village to the south of Tulamben. Amed has clear water, colourful drop-offs, and killer black sand diving. Amed is less crowded than some of the other areas in NE Bali and offers a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great place to chill out for a few days while exploring the far from crowded dive spots. One of the top attractions is Melasti with a great chance to find long arm octopus, stone fish, ghost pipefish, and frogfish. Other attractions in the area include the beautiful reef around the “Japanese Wreck” as well as high voltage Gili Selang.
Located a 1 hour drive from Sanur, the reefs around Padang Bai and Candidasa offer a wide variety of both macro and wide angle photo opportunities. Candidasa is home to several sites with good opportunities to find white tip sharks and possibly Mola during the right season. Do keep in mind the currents can be strong! Padang Bai has good critter and macro photography dives and is a great place to dive that is not far from Sanur. We often dive here on the last day of a diving safari.
A set of three islands just 45 minutes from Sanur by speedboat, this area is home to some of the healthiest coral reefs in Bali. With the right current running, this area is where the “big” fish are! During the months of July – November the elusive sunfish are found at several sites around the islands. Mantas are present here all year round! For an action packed day of diving adventure this is the place to go. Be prepared for cold water in the high season as temperatures average around 23C temperatures as low as 16C not being uncommon!
Would you like to learn more about Bali Dive Sites? Have a look at our Bali Diving – What to Expect article to learn more.
Although a little dated, the Diving Bali book by David Pickle and Wally Sagian is a great resource. There is in depth descriptions of many of the top sites in Bali contained in the book.