After surfing, Diving in Bali is the Indonesian holiday isle’s most high profile adventure activity. Dive shops offer excursions suitable for divers from novices to those with PADI Dive Master Certification. Diving spots run the whole gamut from the gentle seas of Padang Bay to scintillating drift spots and the flagship wreck of the USAT Liberty.
Compared to other popular locations around the world, is a definite bargain and comes with the added bonuses of ultra-clear visibility and waters that are temperate and unlikely to induce shivering attacks. On their undersea odysseys, divers may spy denizens of the deep which include latticed butterfly fish, nudibranch, angelfish, powder blue surgeonfish, rays, mantas, and dwarf seahorses.
Marine biologists say more than 900 species are native in the waters of the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean. This figure doesn’t include stunning coral formations. Pulau Menjanganin particular is renowned for its fabulous coral gardens. For Diving in Bali with a difference, the USAT Liberty is a favourite for tour operators. The village of Tulamben is closest to where the cargo ship now lies 10 metres below the surface.
The bulk of Bali’s hotels and tourism infrastructure is around Kuta in the south of the island. Reputable dive shops are found in locations such as Ngurah Rai, South Kuta, and Seminyak. There are a few others in Ahmed and Padang Bay. These shops provide recreational dive and snorkelling tours plus specialised PADI and SSI tuition. Introductory dives are specifically designed to cater for visitors who have never donned masks or scuba tanks before.
Apart from Menjangan and Lovina, the best diving close to Bali's shoreline is on its east side. Departure points range from Ahmed in the northeast through Padang Bay, Lembongan, Sanur, and Nusa Dua. Tulamben is an easy trip from Ahmed. Bali dive excursions include all transportation costs in addition to equipment hire. Professional tour and dive leaders are always on hand to ensure no untoward incidents occur.
PADI accreditation is the industry yardstick and is recognised all over the world. As an alternative to diving excursions, vacationers on Bali can enrol in PADI open water and advanced open water; rescue; and dive master courses. Bali’s dive schools and tour operators only employ fully trained and accredited instructors. Course participants can rest assured their safety is of paramount importance too.
Bali has two seasons. The dry season generally runs from May to September and the wet season from November to March. Dive enthusiasts on Bali claim the best diving is in the changeover months and the worst one is towards the end of the rainy season.