Bali is a popular destination to try scuba diving for the first time or get a PADI (license). The underwater world is amazing to visit and see. Scuba Diving in Bali offers great places: reefs, coral gardens, many fish, turtles, manta bay, mola-mola and sometimes dolphins. Without any license, you can still scuba dive up to minus 12 meters below sea-level. This makes it great to try it out before getting a license.
Before scuba diving
The experience is exciting and should only be done in good health conditions. There is a questionnaire that needs to be filled out before diving. The Padi Questionaire is to check out if a medical examiner should check, or perhaps maybe not dive (at this moment).
Tips for anyone going to scuba dive in Bali
- If it is your first time, or haven’t dived in a long time be sure to go over the hand signals.
- Take more or less weight on your belt if you have issues maintaining depth.
- Every diving site has different views to offer in Bali. Check out where you want to dive first. (read further down)
- Always follow the instructions of your master diver.
- Respect the marine life, look but do not touch.
- Most importantly, do enjoy the experience.
Discovery Scuba Diving in Bali
There are many people that actually do not have the PADI (license). But this does not mean that you are not allowed to dive. You can do the Discovery Scuba Experience, which allows you to go up to 12 meters depth without any license. There are plenty of great places to have your Discovery Scuba Diving experience. Each place has different views and marine life to offer. Note that some places require a PADI license.
Liberty Shipwreck diving at Tulamben (Amed)
This 115 meters shipwreck is only 25 meters from the coast. For snorkeling, it is also visible as the ship is at 12 meters deep. This makes it great for a Scuba Discovery Experience. The dive here takes about 50-60 minutes (also depends on the usage of oxygen). There are many companies that take you here. When I stayed in Amed (a small town next to Tulamben), I went with Ecodive Bali and I do recommend them.
You can do 2 dives for 75$ in Amed with them. They give the option to do the shipwreck twice or bring you to a reef. I have done them both, and next time I would do the shipwreck just twice because it is an amazing experience (and reefs are elsewhere)
This is the most beautiful place for diving in Bali (but that’s my opinion). In the North-West you can find Pemuteran. From Pemuteran you take a boat to Menjangan Island. Our boat were a few divers and snorkeling people. We would dive where they snorkel. There are so many colorful corals and marine life here.
We went to the reef which the locals referred to as the Bat Cave and another reef. It was a very amazing experience diving at Menjangan Island. From depths of 5 meter, it suddenly descends to 30 meters where all kinds of marine life would show themselves to you.
Padang Bai has 3 diving areas: Blue Lagoon, The Jetty and the Ferry channel. Only the Ferry Channel is not available on some days and requires some more experience than just a beginner.
You can start from the beach where you are geared and ready to venture into the water. Within a few meters, it’s still between 3-5 meters. But shortly after the reef descends too much further depths. There are 2 locations, chose the one called Tanjung Sari. Make sure your divemaster knows so he can already plan the way to go there upfront. This adventure goes up to -18 meters.
The Jetty is near Padang Bai and this dive goes up to -22 meters. This is where you will find the bigger kinds of marine life. During clear and calm waters, there are so many colors to see from the plants and fish. This dive requires a little bit experience because it goes beyond just discovery which allows you to go to 12 meters.
Only available on some days and times is the Ferry Channel. As the name suggests this is where the ferries come and go. The dive is up to -30 meters and is only meant for those with more experience. The marine life you can expect are green sea turtles, reef sharks
Other islands near Padang Bai
For anyone with Advanced Open Water, you can go to where the bigger fish are at depths not meant for the beginners. Mimpang, Gili Biaha and Gili Tepekong. See some manta/stingrays, the huge mola mola fish and other wonderous sea creatures.
Manta Bay Diving
At the manta bay near Nusa Penida is where you can watch the Manta Rays swim by. It’s an amazing thing to see when you swim below the mantas. At depths of 40 meters at this location, there are even bigger fish to see. Diving here requires advanced open water with frequent experience. This is because the water can have a difficult current and you would need to be able to handle that.
Night Scuba Diving in Bali
With some lights (and glowing sticks) you will venture the deep dark blue. This can sound scary to some, and others would really love the adrenaline rush. What you see are the fish that are a bit shy during the day time. They would come out. Here’s how night diving looks like at Tulamben.
Choosing a Scuba Diving Company in Bali
When choosing a diving company do talk with the different upfront. Listen to what they offer and check also online how others experienced it. I went with Ecodive Bali which I can recommend. They offer different locations and very professional master divers. Check their prices for scuba diving in Bali.
Best time to dive in Bali
The best time is during the dry season. When it’s raining the water can become less visible. Also, a current is more likely to happen during the wet seasons. So between March – September would be best, but when it’s dry it should be fine.
Diving is fun but sometimes not for everyone. Try it first if you like it. How was your scuba diving in Bali? let me know in the comments below.