Bali Diving Guide

18 Jan 2024

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Bali, Indonesia's enchanting island, is a diverse tapestry of rich cultures, lush landscapes, and inviting seas. Its warm, crystalline waters harbor an array of stunning marine life, creating an underwater haven for scuba diving enthusiasts. Bali isn't just a gateway to Indonesia's captivating beauty; it's a diver's paradise for individuals ranging from beginners to seasoned divers. In this guide, we'll delve into the captivating world of scuba diving in Bali, covering dive spots, optimal dive times, marine life, certification processes, and the advantages of opting for guided diving tours.

A sunset in Bali, Indonesia

SCUBA Diving

Scuba diving is an immersive experience that goes beyond simply swimming underwater. It allows you to explore the hidden depths of the ocean using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), enabling longer and more intimate encounters with the wonders of the underwater world. Essential scuba gear includes:

  • A Scuba Tank: A cylinder filled with compressed air or a gas mix, providing a supply of air to the diver.
  • Regulator: A device controlling air flow from the tank, ensuring comfortable breathing.
  • Buoyancy Control Device (BCD): A vest aiding buoyancy control underwater and on the surface.
  • Dive Computer: Worn on the wrist or attached to the BCD, it provides depth, dive time, and ascent rate information.
  • Fins, Mask, and Snorkel: Crucial for maneuverability, vision, and surface breathing.
  • Wetsuit or Drysuit: Depending on water temperature, these suits provide thermal protection, preventing hypothermia.

Scuba diving is not just about the equipment; it's a gateway to experiencing the tranquility and beauty of the underwater environment.

Two people SCUBA diving near Bali, Indonesia

Where to Dive Around Bali

While Bali offers numerous underwater wonders, here are some popular diving destinations:

Tulamben Wreck

The Tulamben Wreck is renowned for the USAT Liberty shipwreck, providing a unique diving experience. The wreck is covered in vibrant corals and home to an abundance of marine life, making it a favorite among divers.

Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida, located southeast of Bali, offers thrilling encounters with manta rays and the famous Mola Mola (sunfish). The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island make it an ideal spot for divers seeking awe-inspiring marine life.


Amed is a charming coastal town known for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine species. The calm waters make it suitable for both beginners and experienced divers.

Underwater near Bali, Indonesia

When to Dive

The optimal time for scuba diving in Bali is during the dry season, which typically spans from April to October. This period offers favorable conditions for divers, characterized by calm seas, excellent visibility, and an abundance of marine life. The dry season provides an ideal environment for exploring Bali's underwater treasures, with water temperatures ranging from 27 to 30 degrees Celsius (81 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

More specifically, the months of June to September are considered the peak of the diving season. During these months, divers can enjoy crystal-clear waters, making it easier to spot a diverse range of marine species, from colorful reef fish to larger pelagic creatures.

Conversely, the wet season, from November to March, brings higher rainfall and slightly less predictable diving conditions. While diving is still possible during this time, visibility may be affected, and there could be occasional rough seas. However, the wet season can also be appealing for some divers who appreciate the quieter atmosphere and the opportunity to witness unique marine behaviors associated with this time of the year.

Ultimately, choosing when to dive in Bali depends on individual preferences and priorities. Whether you prefer the optimal conditions of the dry season or the unique experiences offered during the wet season, Bali's underwater world welcomes divers throughout the year.

Some fish near Bali, Indonesia

Typical Marine Life

Bali's waters boast a rich tapestry of marine life, offering divers a captivating glimpse into the underwater world. Here are some of the incredible species you might encounter:

Reef Fish

Explore vibrant coral reefs inhabited by an array of colorful reef fish, including angelfish, parrotfish, clownfish, butterflyfish, and many more. These lively and diverse species create a stunning underwater palette, providing an immersive visual feast for divers.

Predatory Fish

For those seeking thrilling encounters, Bali's waters are home to predatory fish such as sharks, trevallies, and barracudas. Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of these majestic creatures cruising through the depths, adding an adrenaline rush to your diving experience.


The warm waters around Bali are frequented by sea turtles, including the Hawksbill and Green species. Diving alongside these graceful creatures is a magical experience. Watch as they gracefully navigate the ocean, and if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of them feeding or resting on the coral formations.

Nudibranchs and Critters

For macro photography enthusiasts, Bali offers a treasure trove of small yet fascinating creatures. Discover vibrant nudibranchs, ornate ghost pipefish, seahorses, and a variety of crustaceans hiding among the coral. Take your time to explore the intricate details of Bali's underwater microcosm.

Manta Rays and Mola Mola

Venture to sites like Nusa Penida for encounters with majestic manta rays gliding gracefully through the water. Additionally, the famous Mola Mola, or sunfish, is a unique highlight. These intriguing creatures, with their distinctive appearance, add a sense of wonder to Bali's diving landscape.

Coral Reefs

Bali's coral reefs are vibrant ecosystems supporting a diverse range of marine inhabitants. Marvel at the intricate coral formations, which provide shelter and sustenance for various species. Keep an eye out for moray eels, octopuses, and other fascinating marine life nestled within the reef structures.

Whether you're fascinated by the small wonders of the ocean or thrilled by encounters with larger marine species, Bali's underwater realm promises a bounty of marine life for divers to explore and appreciate.

Underwater near Bali, Indonesia

SCUBA Certification

Bali is an excellent destination for obtaining scuba diving certification. Numerous dive centers offer courses from internationally recognized organizations such as PADI and SSI. Beginners typically start with an Open Water Diver course, covering theory, confined water dives, and open water dives, leading to a globally recognized certification.

Diving Tours

The quickest and easiest way to get started is with a guided tour. Scuba diving tours offer the following benefits, among others:

  • Expert Guidance: Tours are led by experienced, certified dive masters or instructors who provide insights into the best dive spots, marine life, and local underwater conditions.
  • Safety: Group tours ensure safety protocols are followed, and there's immediate assistance available in case of emergencies.
  • Convenience: Dive tours handle all logistics, including transportation to and from dive sites, equipment rental, and sometimes meals and refreshments.
  • Learning Opportunities: New divers can learn from the experience of others, while seasoned divers can share tips and experiences.
  • Social Experience: Diving in a group allows you to share your experiences with fellow enthusiasts, creating a sense of camaraderie.
  • Diverse Dive Sites: Tours often visit multiple locations, offering a variety of diving experiences in one trip.

If your time is limited, or if any of that sounds intriguing to you, here are a few of our favorite diving tours in Bali!

Recommended Tours

Bali Cheap Water Sport Package SCUBA DIVING, FLY FISH, JET SKY

A promotional image for a diving tour in Bali, Indonesia

Experience an exhilarating half-day water sports adventure in Bali with this convenient 3-in-1 package, perfect for those looking to add some excitement to their vacation. This package offers you the opportunity to try scuba diving, feel the thrill of riding a "flying fish" towable, and zoom across the water on a Jet Ski. It's an ideal way to get a taste of the underwater world without committing to a full dive course. Keeping the experience budget-friendly, this small-group package is capped at 15 participants, ensuring a more personalized adventure. Transfers are hassle-free, with hotel pickups and drop-offs included from Ubud and south Bali locations in an air-conditioned minivan. This package includes all activities, ensuring a day filled with fun and excitement. Optional extras such as food, drinks, and a DVD of your adventure are available for purchase, adding to the memorability of your Bali water sports experience.

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Discover Scuba Diving in Pemuteran

A promotional image for a diving tour in Bali, Indonesia

Begin your scuba diving journey off the coast of Menjangan Island in Bali with this diving initiation course. Under the patient guidance of a certified instructor, you'll comfortably adjust to using scuba equipment and learn essential skills. Start with practicing breathing techniques underwater in shallow waters, along with fundamental buoyancy principles. This course provides all necessary gear, including wetsuits and weight belts. Once you've gained confidence, embark on an actual dive, exploring up to a maximum depth of 12 meters in the warm waters surrounding Menjangan National Park. This course is ideal for beginners and provides hands-on instruction, ensuring a safe and enjoyable introduction to scuba diving. The package includes the use of all diving equipment, and access to dive center facilities like Wi-Fi, toilets, showers, lockers, and a changing room. While digital souvenir photos and videos of your dive are available for purchase, accommodation options are also available at the dive center. Please note that the entrance fee for Menjangan Park is 200,000 IDR per person on weekdays and 300,000 IDR on weekends, offering a comprehensive experience for those looking to discover the underwater wonders of Bali.

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Discover Scuba Diving in Tulamben

A promotional image for a diving tour in Bali, Indonesia

Embark on a private scuba diving tour in Bali, tailored specifically for beginners, where you'll have the unique opportunity to learn diving in the ocean rather than a pool. This tour allows you to practice in shallow waters at your own pace, ensuring you gain confidence before exploring two of Bali's premier diving sites: the vibrant Coral Garden and the historic USAT Liberty Shipwreck. These locations are renowned for their rich marine life, significantly increasing your chances of encountering rare underwater species. The private nature of the tour ensures you receive undivided attention from your instructor, making the learning process both effective and enjoyable. The package includes all necessary equipment, such as a mask, snorkel, fins, buoyancy control jacket, regulator, and other instruments. Additionally, you have access to the dive center's facilities, including Wi-Fi, toilets, showers, lockers, and a changing room. Round-trip transportation is provided for those in the Amed/Tulamben area. Digital souvenir photos and videos of your diving adventure are available for purchase. For those seeking an extended stay, accommodation options, including dormitories and bungalows, are available at the dive center. This tour offers an ideal introduction to scuba diving, set against the backdrop of Bali's stunning underwater landscapes.

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Tulamben Diving USS Liberty Shipwreck Scuba Dive

A promotional image for a diving tour in Bali, Indonesia

Dive into a unique underwater adventure with a day trip to the USS Liberty Wreck near Tulamben, a World War II transport ship turned into one of Bali’s most fascinating dive sites. This private package offers the convenience of 2-way hotel transfers from Ubud and much of south Bali, along with an Indonesian lunch, making it accessible even if you're not staying in Amed or Tulamben. The package includes two dives at the wreck site, suitable for both certified divers and beginners, ensuring an unforgettable experience regardless of your diving skill level. There are no hidden extras; the package covers all diving equipment and the guidance of a dive guide. Opt for a private tour to enjoy the comfort and space during the long drive in an air-conditioned car, accompanied by an English-speaking driver. This tour offers a hassle-free way to experience the renowned USS Liberty Wreck, providing a full day of diving and exploration in the rich marine environment of Tulamben.

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USS Liberty Shipwreck Scuba Diving at Tulamben Bali

A promotional image for a diving tour in Bali, Indonesia

Dive into the rich history and vibrant marine life of Bali with a scuba diving adventure at the USS Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben. Suitable for both beginners and experienced divers, this tour lets you explore the World War II–era wreck through two guided dives, led by a PADI-certified instructor. Marvel at the diverse underwater ecosystem, home to sea turtles, flashing clams, and pygmy seahorses thriving among the ship’s remains. Enhance your diving experience with a Balinese lunch by the beach and enjoy amenities like coffee, tea, and showers. This excursion includes the convenience of door-to-door round-trip transfers from select hotels, ensuring a hassle-free journey. The tour package covers hotel pickup and drop-off, bottled water, and the expertise of a dive master or instructor, with the option to purchase souvenir photos to commemorate your exploration of one of Bali&rsquo's most iconic underwater attractions.

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Diving Around Bali

Scuba diving in Bali is an adventure that combines the thrill of exploration with the beauty of the marine world. Whether you're getting certified or joining a guided tour, Bali's underwater landscapes provide an unparalleled diving experience. Dive tours, in particular, offer a blend of safety, convenience, and social interaction, making them a fantastic option for both novice and experienced divers. As you plan your dive journey in Bali, consider the unique aspects of each dive site and the enriching experience that a scuba diving tour can offer. Dive in and explore Bali's underwater world, a journey that promises both adventure and discovery.


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