Diving Bali and its surrounding Islands

DIVING
During your stay in Bali why not join Bali Dive Academy for a dive.
They have over 20 years experience in Bali and its surrounding waters.

They offer daily dive trips for certified divers and introductory
dives and PADI courses. Indonesia has the largest amount of fish and coral species in the world and Bali is no exception.
They have a custom designed dive boat with a very experienced crew. If you would like a tailor made private dive experience contact brett@privatevillasandhouses.com (Padi Instructor)

Here are the favourite dive sites:

Mola Mola/Sunfish

Wanting to catch a glimpse of the worlds most fascinating yet mysterious
creatures then you might be in luck. The Mola Mola or SunFish inhabits Bali all
year round, however, there are certain months in the year that are better for
sightings:
The best months are July and September. In 2007 there were still sightings into
mid November.
The most sighting occur at: Crystal Bay – Blue Corner – Gili Tepekong
They have been seen at many other sites in the East Bali area, but the above
sites provide the diver will a good chance of seeing them. These dive sites are
not for novice divers as strong currents are occasionally present.
The word “Mola” comes from the latin for Millstone, which refers to its shape. It
has sandpaper-like skin which is covered with copious amounts of mucus. It
holds the record for the heaviest bony fish (one having been recorded at 2235
kg). it?s diet consists of jelly fish, ctenophores, salps, sponges, squid, and small fish
Average dimensions: Length (snout to tail) -1.8m, Height (tip of dorsal to tip of
Anal fin) – 2.4m, Weight – 2200 kgs
For further information on the dive sites contact brett@privatevillasandhouses.com (PADI Dive Instructor)

Manta Point

Type: Shallow coastal site(max 16m) gradual slope
Location: 15 minutes drive from Amankila, then one and a half hours by boat
Topography: Mainly rocky with small hard and soft coral growth
Current: Mild to moderate with moderate to strong surge
Visibility: 5m – 15m
Highlight: Very high chance of seeing Manta Rays at the cleaning station, free
swimming, or at the surface. Sometimes very large numbers. 73 is the most
sightings
Note: Dive conditions are best early in the morning
Number of Dives: 1 or 2
Difficulty Rate: Easy/Medium
The dive site is located on the South side of Nusa Penida. The boat trip around
the island is spectacular: white sand beaches, volcanic rock cliffs and strange
rock formations. As the manta rays are gathering to visit the cleaning station
they tend to be stationary whilst being cleaned, or if they waiting to be cleaned
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they will circle around. If divers remain calm in the water, the rays will come very
close providing excellent photo opportunities.
If Manta rays are seen on the first dive, the second dive is usually taken on the
north side of the island on one of the spectacular drift diving sites.
Accessibility to the site depends on the phase of the moon.

Gili Mimpang /Shark Junction

Type: Three mini rock islands, slope and walls
Location: 15 minutes drive from Amankila, then 15 minutes by boat.
Topography : Excellent coral coverage and variety.
Current: Moderate to strong (can reach 5 knots and more)
Visibility: 25m+ (Best June – October)
Highlight: Shark junction, one of the few spots to get a shot of swimming shark
from underneath, get your under water video ready!
Note : Around new moon only enjoyable for experienced divers because of
strong and tricky currents.
Number of Dives: 2
Difficulty Rate: Medium – Hard
Mimpang is a small archipelago of four big rocks, and just another half- dozen
smaller ones just 3 kilometers southeast of Amankila. Only the center two rocks
have any vegetation, and even this is only a rough covering of grass. A sea
eagle has nested on a tower adorning the second rock (working from south to
north) for many years. The rocks follow an underwater ridge that runs north by
northeast. Mimpangs southern extent drops off sharply to deep water, but the
north becomes a shallow, rubbly reef. The whole southern extent of the
Mimpang reef – in both the west and the east – is excellent, whether your
interest is small animals or large. Great clouds of anthias among ragged schools
of striped sweetlips, white tip reef sharks and even a rare oceanic sunfish (mola –
mola), this all in a contrast of healthy hard and soft corals, big barrel sponges
and very large gorgonians.
Together with Gili Tepekong this dive site is one of the best in Bali, but because
of strong currents it is only recommended for advanced divers with recent diving
experience.

Blue Lagoon /Tanjung Sari

Type: Shallow coastal reef (max. 25m.), slope, short wall.
Location: 15 minutes drive from Amankila, then just 5 minutes by boat.
Topography : Sandy bottom with huge coral bommies, table corals and some
soft corals
Current: Mild to moderate
Visibility: 15m to 20m+ (Best June – October)
Highlight: Spectacular coral formations, large variety of fishes, including rarely
seen species that would enthuse even the more experienced diver or
photographer.
Note: Dive conditions are best in the morning.
Number of DiveS: 1 or 2
Difficulty Rate: Easy
In a 1,5 Km stretch of underwater terrain in between Blue Lagoon and the
peninsula of Tanjung Sari there are 5 varied dive sites ranging from a sheltered
lagoon to an easy / moderate current dive for beginners to advanced where
there is a high probability of seeing white tip reef sharks and turtles.
Imagine staghorn corals teeming with colorful anthias and blue cromis together
with oriental sweetlips, rocky outcrops with moray eels, napoleon wrasse and
even a rare cold water specie of wobbegong shark.
Lion fish, scorpion fish, including the leafy and weedy have made this reef their
home, along with cuttlefish, octopus and squid.
This dive site is very close to Amankila and often use the local boats to take you
on a few minute ride out to the site.

Tulamben / U.S.A. LibertyType:

Coastal reef, Ship wreck and wall
Location: 1 Hour by car from Amankila, the dive starts directly from the shore, the
wreck is only 30m of shore.
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Topography : Great variety of soft corals, huge sea fans (gorgonians), barrel
sponges and large black coral bushes.
Current: No or very mild, perfect conditions for beginners.
Visibility: 15m to 20m+ (Best June – October)
Highlight: Gigantic swirl of schooling jack fish above the wreck.
Note: Bali?s most popular dive-site, so it?s best to leave early morning at 8:30 am
to avoid crowds.
Number of Dives: 2
Difficulty Rate: Easy
The Liberty was a cargo ship, hastily armed with a bow and stern gun for World
War II service, that was disabled by a Japanese torpedo in the Lombok Strait
early in the morning of January 11, 1942. She limped towards Buleleng
(Singaraja) under tow, but made it only as far as Tulamben, where the vessel
was beached to keep it from sinking. It was the tremors produced by the 1963
eruption of Gunung Agung that rolled the Liberty off the beach and finally sunk
her. When she motored away from Kearny, New Jersey dock in 1918 (powered
by a then novel steam turbine engine) the ship was 395 feet long (120 meters)
and grossed 6,211 tons. Although some writers continue to traffic in this
misinformation, the Liberty was not a ship of the Liberty class, all of which were
built later and were powered by more primitive piston engines.
This wreck offers a rather rare combination in a dive site: easy conditions and
great richness. Lying thirty meters offshore in generally calm waters, this may be
the world?s safest large wreck to dive. It is also very rich, particularly in the kinds
of rare animals that have made the Tulamben area so famous. Over 400 species
of fish live at the wreck, which over the period of time have become
accustomed to divers, which allows us to get really close for a good look. This
area is also famous for its macro objects, including pigmy seahorse
(hippocampus Sp.).

Gili Biaha

Type: Small Island, reef slope, deep walls and shark cave.
Location: 15 minutes drive from Amankila, then 25 minutes by boat.
Topography: Very good coverage of hard and soft corals.
Current: Moderate to strong, normally big surge in the afternoon.
Visibility: 20m to 25m+ (Best June – October)
Highlight: Sleeping white tip?s in the shark cave at 12 meters. The view from the
darkness inside the cave into the crystal clear blue water full of swirling fish is a
picture you?ll never forget.
Note: Can be a challenging site around full and new moon.
Number of Dives: 2
Difficulty Rate: Medium
Gili Biaha is a rocky outcrop with the approximate shape of an inverted comma,
lying about 6 kilometers east from Amankila. A rounded, grassy knoll caps the
thick end of the island, and the cave is located at the rocky northern curve. In
the cave we can expect sleeping white tip?s and sometimes nurse sharks.
Coming out of the cave going southwards there is a wall with a trove of
fascinating smaller species, such as frog fish, cuttlefish, octopus, interesting
nudibranchs and the rich soft corals, gorgonians, and black corals, many with
commensals.
Depending on ocean conditions the southern tip of the island can be rounded,
at this point the wall becomes very steep, at points a sheer drop to forty-some
meters.
Diving Gili Biaha is mainly combined with diving at Gili Mimpang, because of big
surge in the afternoon we recommend only to go diving there in the morning.

Nusa Penida

Type: Large island facing 20 Km south-east of Amankila, The north coastal reef is
about 7 Km long, long drift dive, slopes, steep walls and some sheltered bays.
Location: 15 minutes drive from Amankila, then 25 minutes by boat.
Topography : Very good variety and number of hard and soft corals, long whip
corals.
Current: Mild, moderate, strong and very strong depending on the moon and
location.
Visibility: 20m to 35m+, best visibility in Bali! stable even in rainy season.
Highlight: Drift dive, rich in nutrients which attacks large schools of fish for
feeding and with some luck manta ray, thresher shark and oceanic sunfish
(mola – mola)
Note: Due to unpredictable currents in the south and in the channel in between
Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan we do not dive there often.
Number of Dives: 2
Difficulty Rate: Medium
Nusa Penida and it?s smaller sister island Nusa Lembongan offer a great variety
of dive sites, popular are Toyapakeh, S.D., Ped, Sental and Buyuk. Toyapakeh
has towering bommies swarming with huge schools of unicorn fish, batfish and a
veritable snowstorm of orange and pink anthias. Going eastwards to S.D. you
can find staghorn Acropora and even big Tridacna clams. Ped is a slope of low
hard corals, punctuated in the deeper areas by black coral spirals and sponges.
Because of the steady current the spirals and the sponges lie almost horizontal.
Sentals is the center of the North Penida reef. The deep slope is offers a good
chance to see pelagics like manta ray and oceanic sunfish (mola – mola).
Buyuk offers perhaps the best combination of features of all the sites here – very
healthy staghorn Acropora in the shallows and a deep slope nearly as rich as
Sental, which also offers a good chance to see pelagics.

Gili Tepekong
Type: Small island, reef slope, deep walls, rock pillars and cave (swim through).
Location: 15 minutes drive from Amankila, then 15 minutes by boat.
Topography : Excellent coverage of hard and soft corals.
Current: Moderate to strong and very strong
Visibility: 25m+ (Best June – October)
Highlight: Magnificent rock pinnacles covered with hard and soft corals and
breath taking vertical walls with sea fans and a kaleidoscope of colorful tropical
fish.
Note: Can be a difficult site around full and new moon (down currents).
Number of Dives: 2
Difficulty Rate: Medium – Hard
Although reef surrounds the entire island, the Canyon is by far the most
interesting site on Tepekong. Dropping in next to the rock wall on the island?s
western face, and heading south and down slope is a great start to explore the
Canyon, and if conditions allow, continue to the offshore pinnacles, and finish
up on the northern, protected side. Although there are a few gorgonians in the
protected area of the slope just before the Canyon, for the most part the cover
here is a modest growth of Dendronephthya and other soft corals, pale yellow
cup coral trees and fist-sized heads and colonies of branching coral. In many
areas, crinoids provide the dominant cover. However, rich coral-covered
surfaces and macro scale treasures are not what Tepekong is about. It is the
great scale of its structure, and huge schools of fish. Sweetlips, batfish, jacks,
snappers, rainbow runners can nearly fill the Canyon. A big Napoleon wrasse
lives here and bumphead parrotfish patrol the tops of the mounds west of the
Canyon proper.
Like Gili Mimpang this site can have strong current and we only recommend this
site for advanced divers who dove recently.