...Good for: Large animals, small animals, drift dives, visibility, advanced divers and non-diving activities...
...Not so good for: Underwater photography and snorkelling...
One of the most beautiful islands in the world, Bali is Indonesia's most popular dive travel destination. Many visitors find the attraction of good shore-based resort diving set against a stunning back drop of huge, magnificent volcanoes and picturesque rice paddy terraces, simply irresistible. Others enjoy the island's charms and then hop on board a liveaboard cruise departing from Bali.
The waters of this island are surprisingly unheralded. Bali scuba diving isn't simply the holiday 'extra' that some people might imagine. Previously the preserve of surfers and beach vacation types, nowadays the island sees an increasing number of tourists hauling dive bags around. Show more
Amed - The east side of the north facing shallow bay of Cemeluk has dense stands of sloping staghorn corals, teeming with cardinalfish. Here you can see striped convict tangs, sailfin tangs and orange-lined triggerfish quite close to the Bali shoreline. Show more
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Staying at a resort on the coast, either in the north-west or east of the island, will allow you to see all of Bali's charms (and a few of its warts) and most of the dives you will want to do are more easily accessible from here. Nusa Lembongan Island is also a great base for vacationing divers and those who want to see the region the way it was 30 years ago.
Don't let anyone tell you to stay in Kuta or Sanur - unless you want to be surrounded by Aussies buying T-shirts from locals with even stronger Aussie accents than their would-be customers. Divers should steer clear of this part of Bali as there aren't any good dive spots nearby and to base yourself here will mean long daily journeys to the sites by minibus. But if this really is your only option then check out our Bali day trip diving options.
If you are in Indonesia with diving high on your agenda then you could consider stepping on board a liveaboard safari from Bali. Some routes include Bali's dive sites and others leave from Benoa Harbour and head for the Komodo National Park, diving there and en route.
The dive season is year round in Bali although conditions do vary from time to time and location to location. December to March is rainy season (although most days it doesn't rain) and there are fewer scuba divers around. However, visibility is sometimes a little reduced around the north and west of the island.
The best conditions to dive in Tulamben can be found between early April to July, October and November. It is dry season during these months and visibility can reach a spectacular 40 metres at this time of year.
The diving around Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida is good all year round and visibility is generally 20-30 metres. Water temperatures are usually 25-26°C except during mola mola season when it can drop to the low 20's. Sunfish, sharks and other large pelagics are best spotted between June and September which is also the time when seas might be both disturbed and enriched by the monsoon winds. The best time to see mantas is from April until June, although they are present all year round.
Review our maps below of Bali, and its host country Indonesia. Here, you will find information on how to get to Bali.
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 10 - 45m
Currents: Can be very strong
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 19 - 26°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: ~50
Recommended length of stay: 1 - 2 weeks