Bali is an awesome island for scuba diving. While it wasn’t on my wishlist for a long time (the drunken Aussie bogan stories had always put me off), once I started diving, I heard it was the place to be.
The diving around Bali has strong currents. Because of this, it is super rich in nutrients. This is what draws the cool stuff to see while scuba diving. The mola molas, the mantas, and the thousands of little critters hiding in the muck.
Best time to go to Bali for diving?
The best time to go to Bali for diving is from May to November. It’s after the hot hot season, and before the wet wet monsoon.
The best time to see Mola Molas apparently is September, and apparently, the best time to see Manta Rays is April and May (edit: two years later we went back to Bali and saw Mantas in September, so they are around!).
I personally recommend September/October as the perfect time. It’s just after July/August which is the crazy high season time. It’s high season in most of these South East Asian countries, as this is when the Europeans have their summer holidays. You see loads of families around, and backpackers on their summer break. It’s good for the workers, but as a fellow tourist, it can be pretty busy. Roads, hotels, diving etc. I like it when it’s a bit quieter. Sometimes prices can be lower in low season too!
Where to Stay in Bali for diving?
Bali is freaking huge. But then again, everything is huge in comparison to our tiny island home on Koh Tao (all 21 square kilometres of it!!). But Bali is super big, and worse is the traffic and narrow roads. Because of this, it can take ages to go south from the airport, up to north, where the cool diving is.
Here are some of the areas to stay in for the amazing diving.
South of Bali: Sanur
This is a big beachside port near the airport where you can get the fast speedboats to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Those two islands are the gateway to some very awesome scuba diving spots. You can either stay on the two Nusas, or stay in Sanur and take day trips over. There are plenty of dive shops in Sanur and they arrange your transport from the hotel, take you diving, and then back again in the late afternoon.
North/East of Bali: Amed
Amed is an awesome place for any scuba diver. There are a few really worthy dive sites from this little town. Amed is about 3-4 hours away from Denpasar Bali airport and yet still not even properly north. It’s definitely worth staying for a few days instead of driving up and down each day. Amed has a street of dive shops and they take you to the famous Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben which is about 30 minutes away by car. It is also close to Soraya’s Secrets, a great dive site for proper muck diving. (So much so, that I went into deco for about 20 minutes….but shallow…I swear).
Scuba Diving in Bali
Obviously, we love scuba diving. And Bali is definitely the place to do it. The best time to go to Bali for diving is when you can avoid the rainy monsoon season but also the brutal heat. We think September is a great time to do it as it’s just after the high season of July, so everything is a bit quieter. Because of the currents, the visibility is top notch, super impressive. But it’s also good to note that diving in Bali is a bit colder because of the currents. Either way, freaking awesome and highly recommended!
Check out the video I filmed from our trip in Bali, diving and motorbiking around!