20 best dive sites in Bali around Nusa Penida, in Padang Bay and Tulamben : read everything about manta rays, oceanic sunfish, sharks & more

Diving in Bali is normally high on the list of dream destinations for all scuba diving lovers. For many, the best dive sites in Bali are located around Nusa Penida. You will meet a wide variety of marine fauna, from the smallest pygmy seahorse to the incredible ocean sunfish, also called Mola Mola. And of course the majestic Manta rays that have taken up residence most of the year around Nusa Penida island. We even met a whale shark there on December 31st ! Visibility is very good, water is warm and the underwater flora and fauna are very varied. So go scuba diving in Bali and you will see a multitude of colors, corals and fish species !

The only debate is how to rank Nusa Penida, Raja Ampat and Komodo for the best scuba diving spots in Indonesia! Give us your opinion !

Diving Bali Nusa Penida best dive sites

Diving in Bali

There are more than fifty dive sites in Bali. Mainly around Nusa Penida. But the dive sites of the small Gili islands in front of Candidasa in Padang Bay and the USS Liberty wreck ship at Tulamben are also amazing.

Turtle Crystal Bay Nusa Penida Bali

Turtle at Crystal Bay

2 iconic dive sites in Bali

Two pelagic animals contribute to the global reputation of two dive sites in Bali : the oceanic sunfish at Crystal Bay and the Manta ray at Manta Point.

Crystal Bay is very famous because it is possible to regularly meet the famous Mola Mola or sunfish from July to October. It is a very beautiful site but it can be pretty crowded sometimes with divers coming from Sanur. At Warnakali, we therefore try to dive Crystal Bay before the Sanur boats arrive or during their surface interval. Besides with a good guide, you can actually see the Mola Mola everywhere around Nusa Penida. Not just at the second corner of Crystal Bay!

Manta Point includes several cleaning stations where Manta rays come to get rid of their parasites. The spectacle of rays circling around you is truly magical. And it is also a very beautiful dive site. The site is approximately 45 minutes of navigation from the port of Toyapakeh. We will therefore give you all the information before leaving on the state of the sea, sometimes rough.

Ray Manta cleaning station

Manta Rays at Manta Point cleaning station

Drift dives in Bali on the North coast of Nusa Penida

The north coast of Nusa Penida offers very beautiful drift dives. Five dive sites follow one another to form an extremely large coral plateau.  Their names are Ped, SD point, Sental, Buyuk and Tugu drop off. Here, no need for effort, we drift in the currents and just enjoy the panorama. From the shallow to the end of the slope, the dive is punctuated by incredibly diverse coral fields.

You can also expect there beautiful encounters with turtles, tunas and barracudas. Some white tip sharks also live there. You can even come across a Mola Mola. Or more rarely a whale shark, as we did on December 31 2019 !

Whale shark diving Nusa Penida Bali with Warnakali

Whale shark in Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida – Nusa Ceningan Chanel

In addition to Crystal Bay there are very beautiful dives in the channel which separates Nusa Penida from Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. The currents, sometimes strong, bring a lot of life there.

Toyapakeh, just below the Warnakali diving center. It’s a very beautiful coral plateau, very colorful. We can really take full advantage of it to get the macro. But you can also see schools of different fish species, rather in the blue.

Gamat Bay is a vast shallow coral plateau, between two rocky points, extended by a wall that descends to 40 meters. From the smallest to the most imposing, we frequently observe there many species of nudibranchs, turtles, morays, schools of platax, marbled rays, as well as our dear Mola Mola.

Marble Ray at Ceningan Wall

Marble Ray at Ceningan Wall

And if you want stronger sensations for your diving in Bali, try these two other dive sites reserved for more experienced divers.

Amok is a technical but intense dive, which will mark you with its incredible colors and the diversity of its fauna. I say no more, go read the article!

Ceningan Wall a wall rich in color and which always reserves a lot of surprises in blue. One of our favorite dive sites in Bali.

Nudibranch in Nusa Penida Bali

Nudibranch in Nusa Penida

Nusa Lembongan dive sites in Bali

There are two nice dive sites on the north coast of Nusa Lembongan.

Mangrove, right in front of a large Mangrove area of Nusa Lembongan island. The dive site is extremely complete and diverse. In addition to a multitude of coral fish species there are crocodile fish, reef sharks and turtles. A feast for the eyes to see these all these species coexist.

Blue Corner, a dive in the blue where you can meet some sharks, eagle rays who like to play in the current, and the Mola Mola surrounded by its tick fish.

Eagle Ray at Mangrove dive site, Nusa Lembongan

Eagle Ray at Mangrove dive site, Nusa Lembongan

Batu Bolong, on the south-west coast of Nusa Penida

We sometimes explore the island to discover new diving sites from the cliffs. We may take you to one of these sites (that we keep secret) during a 3 dive day. A site still deserves to be mentioned because it is a legendary dive site in Bali. And not only because it served as inspiration for the Warnakali logo.

Batu Bolong : the ultimate diving site in Bali: abundant life, aquatic ballet, sharks, rays, sunfish. Go read the story of our divers who tell you their emotions during this dive, which will remain etched in their memories for a long time.

Batu Bolong dive site

Batu Bolong dive site

Padang Bay Gilis, great diving in Bali

Discover with Warnakali these three small islands off Bali, in front of Candidasa, the Gili of Padang Bay. These 3 islands are some of the best dive sites in Bali. You will see at Gili Biaha a white tip shark nursery. We will continue to Gili Tepekong, a multifaceted dive, where our quest will alternate between the smallest and the largest. And we will end with Gili Mimpang where the Mola Mola dance in the current. It is only a 45 minutes boat trip from Nusa Penida.

Mola Mola at Gili Tepekong Bali

Mola Mola at Gili Tepekong Bali

Tulamben dive site and Bali north coast

There are also some very beautiful dive sites in Bali on its north coast. There is of course the very famous USS Liberty wreck ship at Tulamben.

But we also like a lot, from west to east of Bali:

  • Menjangan Island also called Deer Island.
  • Bajul Bay, a great dive to do at daybreak.
  • Gilimannuk, the kingdom of antennae.
  • Jemeluk Bay in Amed
  • Lipah bay

You can also read more about Bali dive sites.

Do you like this program? Any question about scuba diving in Bali or in Indonesia ? Please do not hesitate to send us a message, it is also always a pleasure to chat with divers or future divers !