You have explored the vast landscapes of Bali island, and now you are ready for your next adventure, under the sea..
Bali is one of the top places in the world for unbelievable diving. You can find colourful sea life, coral shores, hidden shipwrecks and majestic manta-rays.
From the East to the far North of the island, there are dive spots suitable of beginners, advanced and pro divers.
With help from one of the ultra-professional local dive centres, you can explore the underwater world of Bali safely and thoroughly.
Whether you are looking for an easy dive or want to spot a stunning sun-fish, here are the best diving spots in Bali.
Best Diving Spots in Bali for Beginners
Amed – The Wall, The Japanese Shipwreck & The Pyramids
Amed is one of the most popular diving spots in Bali for beginners with easily accessible sites just off the shore. A wealth of colourful sea life sits below the water, and the easy current keeps things simple for newbies.
There are a few different diving sites in Amed itself to check out, including The Wall, a Japanese Wreck and The Pyramids.
Each an uncomplicated dive with a myriad of sea creatures to be found, you are sure to have an unforgettable diving experience.
- The Wall is home to pygmy seahorses, lionfish, potentially manta-rays and even black-tip reef sharks. Just a short boat ride from the shore, it is a great dive site in Bali for the novice divers who want to observe life under the sea.
- The Japanese Shipwreck of Amed is just 10m below the ocean. Have your eyes peeled for a whole company of different sea life including hair crabs, candy crabs, seahorses, lionfish, barracudas and damsel fish. If you have an underwater camera, make sure to have it on hand for this dive spot!
- The Pyramids is accessible right off the beach. The natural coral reef was planted with concrete pyramids in 1995 to help assist in growing the ecosystem. And, it was successful! This dive site in Bali is now packed with underwater creatures and sea life thriving in the healthy environment. It is one of the most popular dive spots in Amed as it is easy to reach and just 5m below the shore. You will find many divers and snorkelers in the area.
Padang Bai – The Blue Lagoon
Padang Bai is another of the best diving spots in Bali for beginners.
A port visited year-round for fast boats to the Gilis, Nusas and Lombok, not many people know of its diving potential. A great muck diving site – the exploration of the ocean floor to find tiny macro-citters and their homes – Padang Bai has calm waters, perfect for new divers.
The most popular site in the area for beginners is the Blue Lagoon. Shallow and protected, it is ideal for snorkelling in Bali and diver training.
However, the ease of the dive shouldn’t lure you into thinking it will be boring – quite the contrary! Blue Lagoon dive site is filled with colourful and diverse marine life that will have you stunned.
For those who want to have a fun and memorable day diving, without any challenges, Padang Bai is the perfect place to go.
Gilimanuk/Menjangan Island/Pemuteran – Napoleon Reef, Secret Bay, Temple Garden & Pura Tembok
If you are looking for an adventure, Gilimanuk, Menjangan Island and Pemuteran are as far away from the tourist crowds as you can get, at the very North point of Bali.
After a 3 hour drive through winding jungles and roads, you will reach these peaceful fishing towns with pebble bays. You can hop on a boat over to Menjangan Island, or hang around in Pemuteran and Gilimanuk to find dive sites just off the shore.
These Northern dive spots in Bali are ideal for beginners as there is great visibility, calm currents and easily accessible sites.
Just a few meters below the water you will be greeted by huge schools of fish and coral reefs filled with life.
- Secret Bay is located in Gilimanuk just off the harbour. Not a coral reef but a volcanic, black sandy reef, it is a great spot for some muck diving. Explore the sands to find hidden creatures, small habitats and even octopuses! Secret Bay is a good dive site in Bali for beginners as it is calm and shallow. Another amazing underwater photography opportunity.
- Napoleon Reef is just a short boat ride away from the Pemuteran shore. A hub of fishy activity, the reef is filled with a huge variety of colourful, tropical fish who come to that specific location for mating. Filled with corals of all colours, gorgonian fans, sponges and other types of sea plants, it is a beautiful spot to see how life under the water thrives.
- Temple Garden is another diving site just a 10-minute boat ride from the Pemuteran beach. A funded project to encourage the health and growing environments of Bali’s sea life, a vast range of statues and a temple were planted underwater. Sitting 15-30m below the ocean, you can explore the hidden crevices of the statues to find tiny creatures.
- Pura Tembok or Temple Wall sits behind Temple Garden as a huge home for every type of creature. Covered in a variety of plant life, it is a healthy ecosystem protected from harmful fishing methods. Spot manta-rays, eels, scorpion fish, eagle rays and white-tip reef sharks. For a beginner, this is a must-try wall dive.
Tulamben – Liberty Shipwreck & Coral Garden
Tulamben is the last beginner diving spot in Bali on my list.
Still on the East coast of the island, it is another easily accessible, calm water diving area where beginners can get to grips with their new diving techniques, as well as seeing beautiful marine life.
Here are a few of the best dive sites in Tulamben –
- Liberty Shipwreck is one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world as it is so easy to reach. Just 30m below the water, beginner divers can explore the sunken wreck and see some incredible sea life. Visited by reef sharks, encrusted with coral and home to tropical fish, it is an epic shore dive experience.
- Coral Garden, as the name suggests, is a gorgeous reef filled with sea plant life, fish, coral and creatures. You can explore the vast space to find a real-life nemo, statues, shrimps and octopuses. A great spot for every level of diver, the water is so calm all you need to do is concentrate on the outstanding marine life in front of you.
Best Diving Spots in Bali for Advanced Divers
Nusa Penida – Manta Point, Crystal Bay & Bat Cave
Nusa Penida is a famous hub of diving activity. Just a short boat ride from Bali, the tropical island is encompassed with white sand shores and crystal clear waters that lures advanced divers from around the world.
On an extended day trip or short staycation touring Nusa Penida, you can explore the ocean floors to find sea life and corals that won’t be found in Bali.
With strong, unpredictable currents, the dives can be hard work, but are totally worth every moment for a glimpse at a manta-ray or mola-mola.
- Manta Point is one of the best dive sites in Bali. The reef is a popular manta-ray cleaning spot with a shallow and deep section. Almost guaranteeing a manta-ray spotting, the huge creatures swim slowly around the protruding rocks allowing smaller fish to come and pick parasites off of their skin. The shallow cleaning station can be filled with up to 10 mantas, while the deep cleaning station can reach up to 20-30 mantas. If you want to have a miraculous diving experience, Manta Point is a must-go place.
- Crystal Bay can have unpredictable currents which makes it only appropriate for divers with some experience. During sunfish season – July to October – the water will be full of divers hoping to catch a sight of the incredibly unique creatures. As well as the magical fish, Crystal Bay is occasionally visited by turtles. It is one of the best diving spots in Bali for finding tropical sea life.
- Bat Cave is part of the Crystal Bay but deserves its own shout-out. Diving down 10-20m you will emerge into a cave sparkling with theatrical lights and lined with hundreds and hundreds of bats. It is unlike any other dive site you will find.
Nusa Lembongan – Lembongan Bay, Blue Corner & Mangroves
The smaller sister of neighbouring island Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan is just a short boat ride away from Bali. The same stunning clear waters and white sand reefs as Nusa Penida, it is another hotspot for advanced divers searching for rare sea life.
Similarly, the currents can be rough so these dive sites in Bali are not recommended to beginners unless you have a reliable and confident dive instructor.
- Lembongan Bay is the calmest of Nusa Lembongan’s dive sites reaching only 10m deep. The white sand reef is packed with nommies homing tropical frog fish, unicorn fish and moray eels. If you are a beginner diver on the island, Lembongan Bay is the most suitable dive site. You can explore the reef and enjoy the clear water for a relaxing and beautiful dive.
- Blue Corner dips dramatically into a 50m fall. For experienced divers only, the overhang hides bamboo sharks, nurse sharks, mola-mola and schools of dolphins. You need to reach at least 40m down to see the impressive big creatures. However, even the 5m coral reefs are a magnificent sight full of colour and life.
- Mangrove is a drift dive site where experienced divers can fly across the reef in the current. Hosting puffer fish, eels, nurse sharks, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks, it is a zoo of marine life. Just a short boat ride from the beach, it is a great spot for those who want to try out drift diving and get to see some incredible sea life.
Candidasa – Gili Mimpang, Gili Biaha and Gili Tepekong
All less than 30 minutes boat ride from Padang Bai, these Candidasa diving spots are best suited for a more experienced and advanced diver because of the strong current and jumping off from the boat.
These fantastic dive sites are a few of the lesser known spots in Bali, where you can escape the crowds and enjoy some peaceful, undisturbed time in the ocean. Come face-to-face with majestic sea creatures, drift the current and explore the reef for tiny sea life.
- Gili Mimpang, also known as Sharks Point, is a sea life rich dive where you can see a range of different large fish, corals and – if you are lucky – a white-tip, wobbegong or cat shark. Just 10 minutes by boat from the shore, the current can be very strong and unpredictable. You can try your hand at drift diving and be led by the current.
- Gili Biaha is a reef slope dive located 25 minutes boat ride from Padang Bai. For the advanced divers only, you are in for a high chance of spotting sharks and a vast number of types of fish. As well as the Gili Biaha site, there is Shark Cave that can be entered with extra caution. From the stunning spot you can see sleeping white-tip sharks and a beautiful view of the swirling fish around.
- Gili Tepekong is a super exciting and varied dive with a range of natural obstacles to swim around. Featuring a huge wall covered in sea fans, towering boulders and rock pinnacles, you can maneuver your way around the site to find hidden sea life, and beautiful creatures. At Gili Tepekong you may also spot some white-tip sharks with their babies in the huge amphitheatre-shape canyon.
Personally, I am not a professional-diver, but have tried my hand at a few of the beginner dive sites in Bali.
The feeling of being surrounded by huge schools of bright tropical fish is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
For those who have tried diving before – but wouldn’t consider yourself an aficionado – I would recommend finding a trusted, insured dive centre who will be willing to refresh your skills, and take you out to the more advanced diving spots in Bali.
Learn a new skill, and see what life is like under the sea.