Bali has many diverse dive sites, from wrecks to walls, critter dives to ripping drifts, the island offers a variety of diving experience that would amaze all underwater lovers
The Jakarta Post Travel with Bali Scuba recommends these five dive sites:
Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida
Crystal Bay is a cleaning station for Mola-mola (disc-shaped sunfish) between July and October. The banner fish clean the Mola-mola to get rid of the parasites that they become infested with.The Mola-mola fish are all fins with a unique-shaped mouth. When they are being cleaned, they hang around for ages providing you don’t get too close.Even out of season Crystal Bay boasts some of the healthiest coral in Bali as well as nurse sharks and sea snakes.
Manta Point, Nusa Penida
Being a cleaning station, where underwater creatures gather for their morning ablutions, there’s higher chance of seeing enormous Manta rays.
Seemingly undisturbed by divers, mantas are not shy and when they are being cleaned by the cleaner wrasse fish, you can get really close them, to even see the little fish getting to work on the Manta's mouths.
The Mantas swim with each other in what seemed like an underwater dance. It is a once in a lifetime experience.
The Jetty, Padang Bai
Although this site has lots of trash caught under the jetty – putting a different slant on the term "muck diving" (diving over sandy or muddy bottom) – the creatures have adapted to this environment and use the trash as a shelter. A burlap sack can be found as home to the tiniest red frogfish and a bicycle tire is the residence of a yellow cockatoo wasp fish.Frogfish can be found here and flying gurnards are a pretty sight when they run along on the bottom with their wings out.
Jemeluk has a range of depths with a dramatic wall as well as plenty of sand for muck diving. There is plenty of marine life along the wall, including a very chilled-out large Napoleon wrasse that can sometimes be seen there. Cuttlefish seem to be in abundance, as well as a very shy octopus. Up in the shallows is macro photographers’ dream. The dark sand is home to some weird and wonderful critters including the much sort after mimic octopus.
Stonefish can be spotted looking like the moss-covered rocks that are surrounding them and brown thorny seahorse can perfectly blend with the colour of the sand.
USAT Liberty, Tulamben
The best time for a dive is at dawn as the light is fantastic, the dive site quiet and its cleaning time!
The USAT Liberty shipwreck site in Tulamben is the bedroom for bumphead parrotfish that come out in the morning like a herd of cattle to be cleaned by the tiny cleaner wrasse.If you stay still you can see all the details of the parrot like plated teeth and the scarred bony head plate, while the cleaner fish dance around the mouth and gills – picking off bits of debris.These fish can grow up to 2 meters in length and are really graceful in the water. They usually gather in large numbers, so it’s not unusual to find 15-20 on the wreck as they move in unison. Who knows where they go during the day, but they always come back to the wreck at night.