Scuba diving in Bali is on top of any traveler’s to-do list. Here are the top 5 of the best dive sites in Bali to explore during your holiday on the Island of the Gods.

When thinking of scuba diving in Bali either for beginner or advanced divers or simply for introductory dives such as Discover Scuba Diving, the next 5 dive sites are simply amazing and perfectly suitable.

1. Nusa Penida

On top of the list without a doubt must be Nusa Penida. This dive location is an island located approximately 40 minutes away from Bali, easily reachable using speed boats leaving from Sanur or Padang Bai.

Nusa Penida is considered to be by far the highlight and the best of the dive sites in Bali, mainly because this is where divers can spot the majestic Manta Rays, and the best coral reefs around.

The most famous dive sites in Nusa Penida are:

  • Manta Point
  • Crystal Bay
  • SD Point
  • Toya Pakeh
  • Mangrove

Although Crystal Bay sometimes can surprise us with strong currents, that usually happens at deeper depths not reachable by beginner divers. So it is safe to consider that the dive sites in Nusa Penida are perfectly suitable for both beginner and advanced divers.

The Manta Rays in Nusa Penida can be seen all year round. Some days are better than others but it is usually a sure thing to spot at least a couple of Mantas.

The best coral reefs in Nusa Penida are seen in the drift dive spots SD Point, Toya Pakeh and Mangrove. These dive sites are generally visited as part of the 3 dives day package as it’s usually the last dive of the day.

snorkeling nusa penida manta

2. Padang Bai

On top of the list of the best dive sites in Bali is Padang Bai. Located just one hour away by car, Padang Bai sits on the south-east corner of the island and it’s famous for good coral reefs and diverse tropical marine life.

Padang Bai is the ideal location for beginner divers to have an easy day out diving for either 2 or 3 dives. Currents in this dive location are generally low to moderate with rare occasions to bring any difficulty underwater.

Padang Bai has a total of 9 dive sites but the most famous ones are:

Blue Lagoon
Jepun
Jetty
Shark Point
Channel

Turtles, Moray Eels, Sea Snakes, Octopus, Frog Fish, Crocodile Fish, Sea Horse, these are just a few of the many specifies we can see while diving in Padang Bai.

Padang Bai View

3. Tulamben

Tulamben is an amazing dive site in Bali and definitely worthy of it’s 3rd place. Most famous because of the USAT Liberty shipwreck, Tulamben is also home to the Bumphead Parrotfish and we can see schooling of them here.

Along with the shipwreck, Tulamben is probably the best location for macrophotography and muck diving on the list of best dive sites in Bali.

However, from all the beauty that Tulamben has to offer, the major disadvantage is the location as Tulamben is located approximately 2 hours and a half away from Sanur, or the other cities in South Bali.

The USAT Liberty shipwreck can be explored by beginner and advanced divers.. Night dives and early morning dives are a specialty here.

Liberty Shipwreck Tulamben

4. Amed

Placed nearby Tulamben, Amed has a lot to offer and is also famous for diversity. It has better coral reefs than Tulamben and Padang Bai, and it offers both artificial and natural dive sites, as well as shore dives and boat dives.

An ideal location for both beginner and advanced divers, but just like Tulamben, the potential disadvantage is the location as it can only be reached by car on an approximately 2 hours car trip from the south of the island.

Amed has several dive sites but we can not the most important ones:

Pyramids
Jemeluk Bay
Japanese Wreck
Ghost Bay

Diversity defines Amed more than any other dive location. Black Tip Reef Sharks can often be spotted here. Nights dives and muck dives are quite special but diverse should keep an eye out for surprise currents, specially around Jemeluk Bay and Japanese Wreck.

Amed Artificial Dive Site

5. Gili Mimpang, Gili Tepekong and Gili Biaha

On 5th place of the best dive sites in Bali list, and rightfully so, sits three of the advanced dive sites Bali has to offer. Gili Mimpang, Tepekong and Biaha are dive sites specially reserved for advanced divers with a minimum of 50 logged dives.

The specialities here are sharks, specially White Tip Reef Sharks, and during the season of August – October, the elusive Sun Fish also known as Mola Mola.

The dive conditions here are often unpredictable, strong and down currents are to be expected, and with an average depth of 30 meters, it is understandable why only advanced divers should dive here.

Gili Shark Cave Bali