10 EXTRAORDINARY THINGS ABOUT DIVING IN BALI
Bali is full of wonder and is a fabulous holiday destination. From its picture-perfect rice terraces and cultural sites to its white sand beaches and stunning dive sites, there’s something for everyone. It’s not like you need more reasons to visit; but here are a few.
1) Mola Molas
Mola Mola or sunfish are very unusual looking fish; almost square and looking for all the world like half a fish they can grow to up to 4m (14ft) tall and 3m (10ft) across. They come up from deeper water to bask in the sun, and this is when you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse. There are a few places in the world that they are seen, and Bali is one of them. Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida is the most popular site for encounters with these creatures that time forgot. The best time to see them is between July and October.
2) Manta Rays
Manta Point in Nusa Penida is the place to go to see manta rays, and they’re there all year around.
3) Black Sand
In Tulamben and neighbouring Amed, the sand is black which makes everything look different. The black backdrop is quite a contrast to the colorful marine life and makes for interesting macro hunting muck dives.
4) Dive Porters
Tulamben is a shore diving location and as any diver knows, dragging your kit to the water’s edge is a pain. In Tulamben, a scuba porterage service grew to assist the growing number of divers coming to explore the sites. The service is offered mostly by women who carry your kit, already attached to your tank, balanced on their heads. These amazing women often carry up to three sets of gear in this way. We implore you not to try this at home!
5) Mimic Octopus
Mimic octopus are the masters of disguise, so much so that you might not even know that is what you saw. They can be found, with luck and a great guide, in many locations in Bali; Amed, Pemuteran, and Tulamben are just a few places that you can search.
6) Muck Diving
Mimic octopus aside; there are a great many top-notch muck diving locations in Bali which are home to all sorts of nudibranch, shrimp, and frogfish plus stargazers, ghost pipefish, eels, scorpion fish, stonefish and all manner or other oddities. The best thing about muck diving in Bali is that if you have never tried muck diving and don’t know if you want to dedicate a whole scuba diving vacation to scouring the ocean floor; there’s plenty of other diving variety around to keep you entertained. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an aficionado, you’ll find a variety of macro critters trying to hide in Permuteran, Tulamben, Seraya, Amed, Padang Bai, and Puri Jati.
So often with scuba diving holidays, destinations are often one-trick-ponies and by that, I mean that your chosen spot is often all about one thing, i.e. wall diving, drift diving, macro diving or wreck diving. With Bali you don’t have to choose, you can have it all. Not only that; you can also see a variety of locations during your stay. Many operators have packages that take care of all the arrangements for you as you travel from place to place and get a taster of the best diving in each location.
8) Yoga and Diving
The benefits of yoga for divers include improved breathing technique and calmness. While some dive locations pay lip service to their combinations, nowhere offers you a better opportunity to embrace your love for both activities than Bali. Many dive resorts offer classes, and there are many retreat opportunities designed to ensure you get the most out of each breath.
Once a niche sport, freediving has seen a huge surge in popularity and Bali has perfect conditions for you to enjoy the ocean unencumbered by scuba gear. Amed, Tulamben, and Nusa Penida all have dedicated freedive professionals ready to help you whether you’re just starting your free diving journey, looking to improve or want to enjoy the sites.
10) Seeing The Future
There are many spiritual and mystical places and people on the island, but the coral nurseries and Biorock structures at Permuteran are not among them. Dive these manufactured habitats though and you can see what the future holds for newly deployed artificial reefs. The nurseries at Permuteran were started in 2000 making them some of the oldest and show what careful propagation and management can mean for coral nurseries.
Have you visited Bali? What did you love about your time there?