Coral reefs, shipwrecks and manta rays – the underwater world of Bali is one of the most beautiful in the world. Idyllic coves with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water are nestled among high cliffs. There are quiet spots with almost no currents where novice divers and snorkelers can admire the fish, turtles and coral at their leisure. More experienced divers can enjoy truly exciting forays into a real shipwreck.
Also known as the Amazon of the seas because of its sheer size and abundance of animals and plants, the Coral Triangle encompasses Bali. There are dozens of places around the island where you’ll feel like you’re part of a colourful nature documentary the moment you venture beneath the surface. The overwhelming aquatic landscapes are fascinating, both for novice and experienced divers and snorkelers.
The healthy coral reefs and many fish around the islets of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, southeast of Bali, mean they are popular destinations for diving and snorkelling. From July to November you have a chance to spot the rare John Dory fish here. A bit further south, and more difficult to reach due to the waves, is Manta Point, where spectacular giant manta rays can be admired. These ‘devil rays’ have a fin span of up to 7 metres with fins so powerful that they can jump out of the water. The word ‘wings’ suddenly seems oddly appropriate.
A little way north is the Blue Lagoon, just outside the port of Padang Bai, from where ferries depart to Lombok. This is a perfect dive site for beginners who are not afraid to come across a turtle, batfish, thorntail stingray or shark. An exceptional experience is the nocturnal excursion during which you can observe the Spanish Dancer, a strange bright red slug. A favourite spot for experienced divers is the more distant island of Gili Tepekong, with its sloping reefs and vertical walls.