Bali is often associated with nice beaches, but if you ask a frequent visitor, one may say that the paradise island is more strongly associated with dive sites. There are good reasons why divers flock to Bali dive sites year after year. The shorelines around the island are relatively untouched, have great biodiversity, excellent visibility, and pleasant warm water all year round.
In this article, we’ll take you on a tour around three of our favorite Bali dive sites – Nusa Penida, Padang Bai, and Menjangan.
Nusa Penida is one of the sister islands of Bali, located near the southeastern shore, and it’s not too far from Sanur. From east Denpasar, you can already see the three islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan.
Nusa Penida dive sites such as Crystal Bay are one of the places where divers can appreciate the elusive sunfish resurfacing from the depths every July to November (known locally as the Mola-mola season).
Photo by episodebali.com
Our next destination is Padang Bai. Yes, that’s the official spelling of the port town. In Padang Bai’s bay – also known as Padang Bay – you can find many divers who want to make their way to the dive sites a little off the shore from where the shipping traffic lanes are.
In Blue Lagoon, one of the most beautiful dive sites in Bali, you can find both hard and soft coral collections at the multilevel reef systems. Living among the staghorn corals and giant gorgonians are shy critters that are waiting to become trophies of macro photographers. Secret Jepun makes great muck diving sessions where ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, and nudibranchs can be found lurking about.
Photo by deepblu.com
Menjangan is an ideal destination to appreciate the richness of scuba diving in a tropical paradise. Explore and see gorgonian sea fans and hard sponges that encrust the coral bommies at 10 meters, and dive the wall that offers a spectacular view point to appreciate pelagic fish at 60 meters. Other areas of the site are beginner-friendly with very minimal current, 50 meters of visibility (often in October and November). More experienced divers can spot bizarre sea critters: garden eels on a sandy seabed, and sleeping reef sharks inside a cave.
There are more exciting sightings that Menjangan can offer, and it’s best to enjoy them first-hand by staying near the dive sites. The Menjangan is an eco-resort with a simple philosophy – to bring guests closer to the natural state of the island. Our own house reef is home to what many consider the holy grail of underwater photography: the elusive mandarinfish. Book a stay now at The Menjangan.
Photo by Blue Season Bali