Combining a rich marine biodiversity, the tropical sun and its warm people, Bali is one of the most beautiful places to visit and to freedive! It offers a unique vast of marine species and underwater landscapes, some of which are still under exploration.
We compiled the Top 4 Fun Freediving Spots in Bali you’ll surely fall in love with!
Northeast coast of Bali
Tulamben is a little northeaster village known for its smooth rocks covering the shores. These rocks are the remains of the Gunung Agung explosion back at 1963. Tulamben Bay is also a freediving paradise with various spots that will surely amaze you.
Tulamben is situated 90km from Denpasar Airport and it takes you about 2,5 to 3 hours by car to get there.
Tulamben is well known for its amazing diving sites that will leave you breathless. Its rich marine biodiversity along with its naturally beautiful wall of corals is perfect scenery to appreciate life and nature. It is also know for a shipwreck which now serves as a marine habitat for various species.
- USAT LIBERTY WRECK: 30m form the shores of Tulamben, a 120m long World War II ship is sitting at the ocean’s steep sandy bottom. This now amusing diving spot offers good visibility at 15-20m, with the bottom of the wreck at 29m. There is an estimated 400 marine species inhabiting the wreck and is visited by more than 100 types of pelagic species. Night diving in the wreck is also recommended to see the unique flashlight fishes decorating the black corals. Water temperature is usually around 28°C-29°C.
From the closest airport, Gusti Nguraj Rai International Airport (Denpasar Airport) you can ride a taxi, motocycle or bus. It takes you about 2,5 hours to get there.
Northeast coast of Bali
Photo by Apneista Freediving
Amed is a northeastern fisherman village offering all types of fun activities for everyone. You will be surprised by the amazing diving spots this place has to offer. This village is now famous to divers for the wide diving space that offers amazing marine environment. Also, don’t miss the chance to learn the processes how salt is produced. You will also find the ‘pyramids’, a device that attracts marine life to help develop its coral cover.
Amed is only 106km from Densapar Airport and can be easily reached through road.
Amed is filled with amazing natural gifts. Its waters are rich in marine life you wouldn’t want to miss. You’ll spot shrimps, goby sets, lobsters, anemone and clownfish. You will also be amazed to dive along with blue-spotted rays, lionfish, black-tip reef shark, surgeon fish and moray eels.
- JEMELUK BAY: a beautiful bay dazzled by its black sand beach, freediving in Jemeluk Bay can be done right from the beach. Its crystal clear waters are hiding rich marine biodiversity. It is also known for its one of a kind wall dives and coral plateaus, applaud for its coral bommies covered by gorgonian. The spot offers excellent visibility for underwater photography, and beginning freedivers will be thrilled freediving the Japanese ship wreck and the sunken mermaid statues which both can be found at rather shallow depths. There is little to moderate current within the area with a water temperature that ranges from 26°C-30°C. Jemeluk Bay is great for freediving all year round.
There is also stand up paddle boarding in Jemeluk bay which is great for mixing up the snorkeling and watching the sun set over Agung volcano from the water.
From Densapar Airport, take a 10 minute bus ride to Sanur that costs around 97,000 IDR. From Sanur, ride a bus going to Amed that costs around 174,000 with 2.5 hrs ETA. You can also take a taxi directly from Densapar Airport to Amed which costs around 578,000 with atleast 1.5 hrs ETA.
10 minutes from Densapar Airport you will find car rentals that are very affordable. Make sure to bring your international driving license. You can also prebook with Kuta Transport to provide private car directly from Densapar Airport to Amed with a friendly local driver for a reasonable price available 24 hrs.
3. Nusa Penida Island
Southeast of Bali
Photo by Freedive Nusa
Located at the southeastern part of Bali, Nusa Penida is a 17km long island separated from mainland Indonesia by Bandung Strait. The water around the region is fairly cold which originates from the deepest ocean of south Bali. Its crystal clear waters offer wonderful experience with its scenic corals and marine species, and off course the famous manta rays. You can freedive at Nusa Penida all year around, also the manta rays are here all year around.
Nusa Penida is still quite and undeveloped island but easily accessible by speedboat from Sanur (30-45 minutes ride).
Nusa Penida has a rich marine biodiversity and beautiful wall of corals, a perfect scenery for underwater photography.
Lots of people coming here to dive and snorkel with Manta Rays. Mantas don’t have season. Chance to meet them is depending on water conditions (less chance if it’s wavy or too cold and too clean water without plankton). There are two main spots where you can meet them. Both of them accessible only by boats.
- MANTA BAY: closest and the most popular one. Located at the west coast of Nusa Penida close to Crystal Bay. Average depth here between 6 and 15 meters. This is big bay where manta rays coming for having food. Usually they are swimming very shallow (1-5 meters deep) with opened huge mouth filtering and eating plankton. It can be lot of people and boat here, especially during high season. So be really aware about boats!
- MANTA POINT: located much further at the south coast of Nusa Penida. Usually, there are less people here and more chance to see mantas. This point is not accessible all the time. It’s ocean side of the island, so sometimes it can be very wavy and unsafe.
Here is cleaning station for mantas and bay is quite small. So they are mostly collected around one place.
Remember! Respect marine life! Never touch mantas and always keep enough distance (at least 2-3 meters) between yourself and these amazing creatures.
There are also several other spots that you can go for nice reef freediving. Crystal Bay and Gammat Bay you can reach from the shore or by boat. Shallow bays with beautiful corals suitable for snorkelers and freedivers.
There is an awesome underwater cave near Crystal Bay which is very attractive for experienced freedivers.
Buddha Temple near Nusa Ceningan with a beautiful underwater Buddha statues at the depth 4-6 meters. Nice place to take pictures. Accessible only by boat.
Dive sites Toyapakeh Wall and Ceningan Wall offer freedivers wonderful drift above lots of colorful corals. Accessible only by boat.
The northern side of Nusa Penida is one long healthy reef at certain spots have names like SD Point, Ped, Sental, Buyuk, etc. You can see lot of different kind of fish, high chance to see turtles and occasionally some big sting rays, eagle rays or a tuna saying hello. All these points can be accessible from the shore but be aware about the current. It won’t push you away from the shore but can be really strong along the shore. Also be always aware about boats. In some points can be collected lot of diver’s speedboats.
Everywhere at Nusa Penida you need to be very cautious about the currents, at some spots they might even be downward. Really fun is freediving and riding along the current along the still healthy reef, before the boat picks you up.
From Ngura Rai International Airport, take a taxi to Sanur. The easiest and the most comfortable way is by speedboat from Sanur harbor (30-40 minutes). Another option is by ferry boat from Padang Bai for those who want to come to Nusa Penida by their own transport. You can also take a speedboat from Kusamba or Tribuana (villages between Padang Bai and Sanur). For more details please visit how to get to nusa penida.
There is no public airport at Nusa Penida. You need to get there by boat. The island is also part of the ‘kecamatan’ district along with two other islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Seningan.
Northwest coast of Bali
Photo by name1 – Model: name2
Pemuteran is a small village in west Bali’s northern coast. It has dramatically developed its tourism over the years for its undeniably amazing beaches and vast marine species. Along with its tourism, the awareness for the marine environment has also rapidly increased which led to the largest artificial Biorock reef project in the world. Pemuteran dive sites offers excellent visibility and amazing underwater experience with its variety of reef fishes, soft and hard corals and turles.
Pemuteran is a four hour drive from Denpasar Airport. The dive spots are usually accessed from the shores of Pemuteran Bay.
The Pemuteran diving spots are relatively untouched by freedivers as it is difficult to get to from outside of Bali but if you have the time to get there I would say it would be a wild card that would surprise most people.
The diving spots are a combination of both artificial and natural marine environment, creating a vast habitat for various species. This doesn’t only allow marine animals to survive and multiply, but also bewilders divers with is unique man-made underwater formations embraced by nature itself.
- BIOROCK: First launched back at year 2000, Biorock is a coral nursery sank at around 6-8m deep. Though the sanctuary was partially damaged from a bleaching accident, Biorock is still being developed till the present time. Marine species such seahorses, manta rays, scorpionfish, stripped snapper, humbugs, damsels and unique bleached anemones can be spotted here. 20-30m from the shore, Biorock serves clear visibility as deep as 10m with a water temperature of 27oC-29oC and can be accessed through the beach, or rent a local boat.
- GARDEN OF GODS: Constructed 400m away from the shores of Pemuteran Bay, Garden of GODS is recreational dive site inspired by the Balinese legend “Dewata Nawa Sanga”, also known as the 9 Gods of Bali. It is covered by gorgonian fans and inhibits sponges, small fishes and crinoids. Offers clear visibility at 20m, Garden of Gods is one of the most beautiful underwater structures you’ll need to see to believe. Also accessible from the beach, or rent a local boat and the captain will know where to take you.
From Denpasar Airport, the most expensive option is a 4 hr taxi ride directly to Pemuteran that costs around 600,000 IDR.
There are buses from Kuta Sanur to Lovina which is 1 hour away from Pemuteran. The company Perama Tour offers this service for 125,000 IDR per person. From there you can take a taxi or local shuttle bus which is very cheap.
There are also car rentals available. This is the most convenient way to get Pemuteran especially if you are roaming around often. But this needs an international driving license to be done.
This article was written in collaboration with freedivers who live or dive in the area. If you have any feedback, suggestions, corrections or adjustments to make, please leave a comment down below or contact us. Your feedback is highly appreciated!
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