5 Best Dive Sites in Bali for New / Infrequent divers

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Bali is a total melting pot for diving tastes. Whether you have decided to learn to dive or you have just qualified Bali has everything you could ever want when it comes to dive sites. Even if you haven’t dived in a while and want to ease back into diving slowly…

Across the entire island the local dive professionals know ever critter (almost on first name terms), what time of day is best to dive each site and will be able to assist you in choosing the best site for your experience level, enjoyment and safety.

There are so many dive sites to choose from and more being discovered by local dive professionals all the time. The majority can be found on the interactive map on www.divenowworklater.com. If you think I have missed some out or would like me to add some more, please get in touch.

Jemeluk Bay & Wall , Amed Bali

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So this is where the fun begins, you take a Jukung (traditional outrigger boat) from Amed. The easiest way I find, is inflate your bcd/wing give to your dive buddy in the water and then gently (in my case as I have restricted mobility) get down into the water. Quick Buddy check and away you go. It’s a shallow start (3-8M) in a stunning coral garden. On a nice drift dive after roughly 10 minutes, you will reach the drop off. It does drop to 35m so your dive guide will allow for this depending on your experience level and qualifications. The variety of fish species is astonishing. If you are lucky White Tip and Black Tip might pop up while patrolling their feeding grounds.

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The Pyramids

A series of artificial reef structures that have developed well and become home to an impressive variety of marine life. Ask the local dive professionals about their reef restoration project where they actually make these artificial structures from local cement and timber frames. ( I covered this extensively in my last blog)This a fantastic site to see pygmy seahorses hiding in the large gorgonian fans, frogfish sitting on hard coral or just go with the flow and enjoy the drift dive. Keep an eye out for some hawksbill turtles also.

Coral Garden – Tulamben

This dive site is a stunning coral garden gently sloping down from the surface to 18 metres situated a short distance up the beach from the USS Liberty wreck. It is home to numerous species of reef fish, nudibranch, beautiful blue-yellow ribbon eels and juvenile white tip reef sharks which are commonly found in the shallows. 

Manta Point – Nusa Penida

One of the best dive sites in Indonesia to see Manta Rays gracefully swim by all year round.  This is suitable for all levels. Currents can vary and with the open ocean there is an opportunity to some other large pelagics and the infamous Mola Mola. Watching these beautiful gentle giants will stay with you forever. The local professional dive guides will fully brief you before the dive and will be there right beside you to ensure you get the maximum enjoyment out of a safe dive. Water can be a bit chilly sometimes, also ask your guides about the Great White Shark that made a guest appearance in 2019. 

USAT Liberty Wreck – Tulamben

This is my favourite dive in Bali, I never get tired of this wonderful dive. It’s a nice gentle shore dive from Tulamben.  This wreck dive is in the 100 dives in the world as rated by National Geographic.  Early morning dives , you should get to see the amazing Bumphead Parrot Fish. During the day , you have everything from morays, shoals of jack fish , pufferfish, cute little yellow boxfish and a lot more in between.  Make sure you bring a camera. The Liberty Wreck also makes an awesome night dive.  Don’t forget to bring some cash to buy your souvenir t-shirt to support some of the local community and their families. Use of porters is mandatory and again goes a little way to help them support their families, and they are super strong!

Learn more at: www.divenowworklater.com

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About Author

Business Recovery Specialist turned scuba nut. Been visiting Bali since 2006. Visited Gili Trawangan in 2014 to do my open water course(SSI) with Manta Dive Gili Trawangan. While I am still a novice in the dive world , having just completed my rescue Course I intend to do my dive guide(in UK) later this year to help me achieve my Dive Master qualification. After getting stuck on Bali at the start of the lockdown in April 2020, two things happened, firstly my local Balinese friends rallied round to make sure I was safe, fed and watered, and secondly when I got back to the UK I had left my heart behind me in Bali. Cliche I know, but after all the years of visiting Bali it just got progressively worse each time. Over the course of last summer I came up with the Dive Now Work Later concept. The purpose(still in development) is to help novice divers and people that want to learn to dive come to Bali , informed with everything in place having made informed choices about who to dive with, where to stay and how to get there from the airport.Stress and Hassle free. The site will expand from Bali in the future to include The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and The Maldives. Dive shops, Restaurants, Villas, hotels, Hostels and tour guides will be given the opportunity to advertise on the site at different levels.

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