Bali is a great place not just for holiday but also for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can dive in the vicinity of Sanur and in Nusa Dua, but the most exiting scuba-diving locations are in more remote places. Pulau Menjangan in the west is a favorite, as are Candidasa, Padangbai, Tulamben, and Amed in the east. Other spots are Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.
The most beautiful unspoiled coral reefs in Bali are off the coast of Pulau Menjangan ("Deer island"). Comprising hundreds of species of coral, these reefs extend 100 to 150m from the shore then drop 40 to 60 m down to ocean floor. Menjangan Island and the nearby mainland are excellent places for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Candi Dasa is a new but rapidly growing beach resort located on the black sand coast of Karangasem Regency. It is the perfect base for explorations of the area, as well as a quieter alternative to the southern tourist centers.
Padang Bai is a major harbor for ships to Lombok and points east, as well as for smaller boats to Nusa Penida. Padangbai hides great coves and dive spots behind its hills. Just north of Padangbai is the Blue Lagoon, a treasure-trove of marine life. 2 islands (Tepekong and Mimpang) outside the bay, and Biaha a little to the north, offer some of the most breath-taking diving in Bali. However, due to conditions, these 3 sites need to be treated with care and respect. The currents coming from the Lombok Strait create unpredictable water movements that can result in a washing machine effect.
Tulamben is a quiet village on the northeast coast of Bali, facing the Lombok Strait. Divers occasionally meet mola-mola sunfish, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks in the waters off Tulamben. Its biodiversity and location make Tulamben one of the best dive sites in the world. Complete with its own wreck, the USS Liberty, which sank in 1963 when Gunung Agung erupted, the easy access to this wreck adds to the village's charm.
Amed reef, this small coral reef lies in depths ranging from 12-22M. In this area you will find many different kinds of sponges and gorgonians and the marinelife includes everything from gobies and shrimp as well as anemones with attendant clownfish to schools of barracuda and Blue Spotted Ray. Many different kinds of parrotfish, angelfish, surgeonfish and moray eel.
Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
Nusa Lembongan, a small island between Bali and Nusa Penida in the Badung Strait, is the perfect location for a dive trip like no other. With seasonal migrations of the Mola Mola and all year round sightings of Manta rays, this is an exceptional location to see prolific marine life.