Bali is one of the most famously beautiful islands in the world, and its fame comes not only from what is above sea level, but from what is below the surface of its sapphire waters.
Bali is Indonesia’s most popular diving destination for holiday goers and serious dive enthusiasts alike. With amazing shore-based diving destinations which are set against the irresistible scenery of rice fields, volcanoes, quaint traditional villages and green, dense jungles, Bali offers beauty, tradition and amazing natural wonders every step of the way. From deep drop-offs, steep banks and coral ridges to bommies, ship wrecks, seagrass beds and volcanic outcrops no two sites are the same.
Trying to narrow the diverse and eclectic dive spots to a top seven is not an easy task. Bali is an island that has some pretty spectacular underwater life that has to be seen to be believed. The marine life is as diverse as it is colourful and is sure to impress, with hairy frogfish, pygmy seahorses, sunfish, bumphead parrotfish and reef sharks you are sure to have your fill of the rare, the strange and the wonderful that live under the sea.
The most famous perhaps dive spot in Bali is Tulamben, home to the mysterious Liberty Wreck. But it is not just this sunken ship that makes Tulamben such an amazing spot for diving.
Tulamben offers a drop of 60 meters and an overhang where you can spot a spectacular purple gorgonian fan, it is over three and a half meters tall and is sure to take your breath away for a moment or two, before you get lured in by the other magical creatures that call this underwater playground home.
Kelebit Rocks is just south east of the wall and has great visibility. The conditions can be very challenging which really makes it all the more exciting for experienced divers.
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2) Lembongan Island
Number two is definitely the dive sites off of Lembongan Island where commonly divers get to experience the curious and rare sunfish.
Sunfish grow to around two meters in length and are very rare in other dive sights around the world. But in these warm tropical this large fish swim together, feed on jellyfish and delight divers from all around the
For experienced, adventurous divers, Blue Corner has a strong roller coaster current that will whip you through the underwater maze giving you a speed view of the beautiful reef and its colourful marine life.
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3) Nusa Penida
Coming in at number three is Lembongan Islands next door neighbour Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is home to Crystal Bay, undoubtedly the islands best dive site. The current is milder than some of the other sites and this dive spot is host to a beautiful shallow bay which is blanketed in beautiful, healthy corals.
Mola-Mola, Manta Rays, schools of Barracuda, Eels, Triggerfish and some pretty spectacular Emperor Angelfish are just some of the natural wonders here to be viewed with awe.
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In the North West of Bali, eight kilometres off the coast of the mainland is Menjangan, a spectacularly beautiful Balinese island and understandably a very popular diving destination.
This protected island ensures excellent visibility all year around with thirty meter drops to the south and sixty meter drops to the east. This dive spot is home to the very very big and the very very small.
There are spectacular gorgonian fans in pink, purple, green, yellow and orange and are huge and easy to spot… much more difficult perhaps are the tiny pygmy seahorses which are decorated in pinks and yellows and quite a special sight to see. From eels, cuttlefish, triggerfish and beyond this curious and colourful world of protected marine life, shipwrecks and corals is an awesome experience, and is our number four.
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5) Amuk Bay
Number five of the Bali Dive site destinations would have to be Amuk Bay, and the rocky islet of Gili Tepekong.
This site is only 100m wide and has cold water, steep coral walls and quite a strong current. But for experienced divers drifting through the canyon is undeniably a dramatic, awe-inspiring experience.
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6) Gili Selang
On the most eastern point of Bali, just off the coast is the small island Gili Selang.
This isolated destination is a great place to go on a liveaboard and experience the natural wonders under the water’s surface for days. The area is very protected and home to amazing coral formations.
There are dive sites all around the island which host marine life from tiny seahorses to spectacular hammer head sharks, trevally, grey reef sharks and beyond making it very popular for adventurous divers and one of our favourites coming in at number six.
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7) Padang Bay
No list of Bali Dive sites would be complete without giving a mention to Padang Bay, where a shallow reef is a gateway to an incredible underwater landscape complete with anemones, feather stars, sea squirts, boxfish, trumpetfish and oriental sweetlips.
Bali is an underwater playground for divers, and one of the best places to explore the mysteries of the deep and all of the amazing marine life that call these island waters home.
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For more on diving Bali, read our guide to all Bali’s major dive sites – Diving Bali