Combining a rich marine biodiversity, the tropical sun and its warm people, Bali is one of the most beautiful places to visit for some freedive adventures. It offers a unique vast of marine species and underwater landscapes, some of which are still unexplored.
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 village in the northeast coast of Bali known for its smooth rocks covering the shores. These rocks were formed from the remains of Mt. Agung explosion in 1963. Tulamben Bay is absolutely a freediving paradise for those who seek for some wreck and reef dives with its USAT Liberty Wreck and Coral Garden sites. It also has a drop-off/wall which is a sand slope leading to a wall dive with a view of different creatures such as octopus and reef sharks.
Tulamben is situated 90km from Denpasar Airport and will take you about 2.5 to 3 hours by car to reach.
Tulamben is well known for its amazing diving sites that will leave you breathless. Its rich marine biodiversity along with its beautiful wall of corals are definitely a perfect feast for your eyes. To add to its spectacle, Tulamben is also known for a shipwreck which now serves as a marine habitat for various species.
- USAT LIBERTY WRECK: 30m from 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 are 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 Gusti Nguraj Rai International Airport (Denpasar Airport), you can ride a taxi, motorcycle or a bus. It will take you about 3 hours to get to Tulamben.
Northeast coast of Bali
Photo by Apneista Freediving
Another diving site in the northeast coast of Bali is Amed. Amed is a fisherman village famous among divers for its wide diving space that offers astonishing marine environment. Additionally, you will also find the ‘pyramids’, a device that attracts marine life to help develop its coral cover.
Amed is only 106km from Denpasar Airport and can be easily reached by car or bus.
Amed is filled with waters rich in marine life you wouldn’t want to miss. You’ll spot shrimps, goby sets, lobsters, anemone and clownfish among many others. You will also be amazed to dive along 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. It is known for its one of a kind wall dives and coral plateaus, applauded for its coral bommies covered by gorgonian. The spot offers excellent visibility for underwater photography, and beginning freedivers will be thrilled exploring the Japanese ship wreck and the sunken mermaid statues which 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 both snorkeling and watching the sunset over Agung volcano from the waters.
From Denpasar Airport, take a 10-minute bus ride to Sanur which costs around 97,000 IDR. From Sanur, ride a bus to Amed proper at around 174,000 with 2.5 hrs ETA. You can also take a taxi directly from Denpasar Airport to Amed which will cost you around 578,000 with at least 1.5 hrs travel time.
10 minutes from Denpasar Airport you will find car rentals that are very affordable. Make sure to bring your international driving license. You can also pre-book with Kuta Transport to provide private car directly from Denpasar Airport to Amed with a friendly local driver for a reasonable price. This service is 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 clear waters offer a wonderful experience with its scenic corals and marine species, not to mention its famous manta rays. Manta rays are present all year round, which makes Nusa Penida a great diving spot any time of the year.
Nusa Penida is still quite an undeveloped island but is easily accessible by speedboat from Sanur (30-45-minute ride).
Nusa Penida has a rich marine biodiversity and beautiful wall of corals, a perfect view for underwater photography.
Lots of people come here to dive and snorkel with manta rays. As mentioned, mantas are not seasonal which makes your chance of interacting with them fairly high. It will only vary depending on water conditions (less chance if there is strong current, too cold or too clean water without plankton). There are two main spots where you can meet them which are both accessible only by boats.
- MANTA BAY: closest and the most popular one, it is located at the west coast of Nusa Penida, close to Crystal Bay. Average depth here between 6 and 15 meters. This is a wide bay where manta rays come for having food. Usually they swim on very shallow waters (1-5 meters deep) with mouth filtering and eating plankton. It can be crowded here so it’s best to plan your trip ahead of time!
- MANTA POINT: located much further at the south coast of Nusa Penida, there are usually less people here and which allows you more chance to see some mantas. This point is not accessible all the time depending on the weather condition. The locals will guide you and inform you if it is a good time to visit.
There are also several other spots that you can go for a nice reef freediving. Crystal Bay and Gammat Bay can be reached from the shore or by boat. These are shallow bays with beautiful corals suitable for snorkelers and freedivers. Additionally, there is a grand underwater cave near Crystal Bay which is very attractive for experienced freedivers.
Buddha Temple near Nusa Ceningan is also a breathtaking attraction with its underwater Buddha statues at the depth of 4-6 meters. Dive sites Toyapakeh Wall and Ceningan Wall offer freedivers a wonderful view with its colorful corals. These sites are accessible only by boat.
The northern side of Nusa Penida also offers a picturesque view of healthy reefs at its sites: SD Point, Ped, Sental, Buyuk, etc. You can spot different kinds of fish, turtles and occasionally some big stingrays, eagle rays or tuna. All these points can be accessible from the shore, but divers need to be aware of the current as it can get strong.
From Denpasar 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 offer excellent visibility and amazing underwater experience with its variety of reef fishes, soft and hard corals and turtles.
Pemuteran is a four-hour drive from Denpasar Airport. The dive spots are usually accessible 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 its unique man-made underwater formations embraced by nature itself.
- BIOROCK: First launched back in 2000, Biorock is a coral nursery at around 6-8m deep. Though the sanctuary was partially damaged from a bleaching accident, Biorock is still being developed up until present time. Marine species such as 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 by renting a local boat.
- GARDEN OF GODS: Constructed 400m away from the shores of Pemuteran Bay, Garden of GODS is a 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, sponges, small fishes and crinoids. Offering clear visibility at 20m, Garden of Gods is one of the most beautiful underwater structures you’ll need to see to believe. It is also accessible from the beach, or by renting a local boat.
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 in the area. This is the most convenient way to get Pemuteran especially if you plan on exploring around the district. Note that you will need an international driving license before being rented a car.
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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