Just off Bali’s unique southern coast are the islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, and Nusa Ceningan, which offer some of the most exciting scuba diving locations in Indonesia. Some of the islands’ dive locations are so well-known that they’ve been immortalized. Don your wetsuit and get swept away by the island’s infamously strong currents past sheer drop-offs, rainbow-hued slopes, and rocky cleaning stations teeming with huge reef mantas and mola molas (Oceanic sunfish). These islands also provide protected areas, perfect for underwater photography, that are teeming with amazing macro findings and bright coral gardens.
Some of the top dive locations in Bali, if not the world, are just 45 minutes away from Sanur harbor! Crystal Bay is known for its dazzling corals and crystal-clear seas. At dive locations like Sakenan and SD in the northern part of the islands, you may swim with majestic manta rays and then unwind with an exhilarating drift dive. Remember that the best time to dive with Mola Mola is between July and November.
The best beginner dive locations in Bali
- Manta Point
Come to Manta Point and be amazed as manta rays of all sizes glide gracefully over the cleaning stations. If you give them space, these curious creatures will keep coming back to wow you. Approximately 45 minutes of travel time is required to reach Manta Point, the farthest dive spot on Nusa Penida from Sanur harbor. The coastline of Nusa Penida is rugged, undeveloped, and stunningly gorgeous, making the trip well worth it.
There is a very good probability of sighting manta rays whenever you dive in Bali because they are year-round residents of the island. Some of the mantas in this area have wingspans of more than 3 meters, which can be easily identified thanks to the unique black, white, or grey pattern on their undersides. Keep an eye out for blue spotted rays. In addition to bamboo sharks and possibly even a Mola Mola, octopuses can also be found among the massive limestone boulders that divers explore at this spot.
- Crystal Bay.
Crystal bay is one of the best touristed places in Nusa Penida Island. To have a safer and more enjoyable diving experience, you can hire local professional guide. There are a good numbers of trusted dive centre in Bali that offer affordable Diving Nusa Penida packages. You can buy a suitable package. Crystal Bay is a popular dive location all year round, especially during Mola Mola season, because of the water’s exceptional corals and dazzling clarity. To reach the corner with the larger fish and Mola Mola, descend to the sandy bottom and swim over the lovely soft corals. Keep an eye out for the frogfish, which have been known to call this their home, as well as the mantis shrimp darting around the corals in search of food. Keep your eyes peeled, and your camera charged, as nudibranchs come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
Various plateaus on the reef at Toyapakeh are covered in hard corals, sea fans, and black coral plants. Swarms of angelfish, sweetlips, anthias, and snappers mingle with parrotfish, grouper, and stingrays are among the abundant marine life found here. At the southern end of the reef, where a sheer wall marks the beginning of a current-swept canal, is one of the island’s greatest places to spot Mola Mola. Coral pillars are the site’s most notable feature. In addition to the blooming hard and soft corals and massive schools of fish, there are also enormous gorgonian sea fans. Sharks, turtles, and, when in season, the renowned Mola Mola can all be seen at the dive site’s deeper end.
- Gamat Bay
Although initially a protected bay, this small, memorable spot off Toyapakeh Strait quickly opened to a fast-paced drift. The reef slope is steep and rocky, full of hard and soft corals, with stunning and colorful formations that go far beyond the limits of where divers may safely swim and snorkel. It is recommended to begin your dive in Gamat Bay by searching the slope for little fauna, peering under enormous bommies, overhangs, and small caves. After that, you can either return to the shallows to spend your safety stop coral-gazing and critter-hunting or drift along the wall in search of pelagics and vast schools of trevally.
If you want to go diving in Indonesia, you may want to visit Bali. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner, the sites highlighted above will make your time worthwhile.