East Bali's dive sites are amazingly diverse: sandy slopes, wrecks, drop-offs, volcanic outcrops, and coral ridges brimming with sea life are all easily accessible from Candidasa on the south coast or Amed in the north. Whether you're a wreck diver, underwater photographer, or a novice just getting their flippers wet, a few days in East Bali will get you everything you need.
Starting with the area's most in-demand diving destination - the wreck of the USAT Liberty in the waters off Tulamben - divers can venture out to the relatively easy waters around Amed and Padangbai, or test themselves around more challenging areas like Gili Tepekong and Gili Biaha.
You don't even have to get wet to see under the sea around Bali - a tourist submarine cruises around East Bali's Labuan Amuk, allowing guests to explore the area's rich undersea life while staying dry as a bone.
The sites listed here only scratch the surface of what's available in East Bali. To reach any of these diving spots - and for info on other sites - you can make arrangements with your resort's partner dive shop. Consult our lists of Candidasa, East Bali Resorts, Budget Candidasa, East Bali Hotels, and Amed Hotels and Resorts for more details.
Diving Season in East Bali
There are no fixed seasons for diving in Bali, although the rainy season from December to March may affect visibility in some areas, particularly the north coast.
Tulamben, for example, is best explored after the end of the rainy season, between April and November. Pelagic fishes like sharks and sunfish also visit these waters in the months between June and September.
Rough seas brought by monsoon winds affect diving conditions in Padangbai, Candidasa and Nusa Penida.
Diving at the USAT Liberty, Tulamben, East Bali
Tulamben on the north coast provides an easy, spectacular wreck site: the remains of the USAT Liberty, an American merchant ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese during World War II.
The crew managed to beach it on Tulamben, but the 1963 eruption of Gunung Agung smashed the Liberty amidships and pushed it from its position on the beach to its present location about 40 to 50 meters off the coast, about five to 30 meters under water.
The Liberty now houses a proliferation of sponges, coral, anemone and an amazing range of tropical fish. The deepest point is encrusted with sponges and corals. The point of the ship closest to the water is shallow enough to be seen by snorkelers.
Getting to the Liberty site is easy, once you get past the rocky beach. The locals have set up a porter system to help you with your equipment while you cross to the water; wear booties as you cross just to be safe.
- Location of USAT Liberty: 8°16'26.45"S, 115°35'34.09"E, Google Maps
Diving Around Amed, East Bali
The sleepy seaside village of Amed is a hotbed for coral, sea fans and sponges, together with an amazing array of marine life, including angelfish, sea turtles, garden eels, even reef sharks.
Amed caters to divers of all levels of experience, making this otherwise unremarkable part of Bali a major draw for undersea explorers. Timing is everything, though: divers are encouraged to go before 10am, before the current stirs up the black volcanic sand and turns everything into a murky mess. Visibility is also much better during the dry season.
Amed takes about two hours to get to from Candidasa; you can book accommodations at one of these Amed hotels and resorts to ensure an early start. The in-house diving centers at most of these resorts will be happy to take you to your choice of dive spots.
- Amed Wall: 8°20'12.8119"S 115°39'55.5977"E, Google Maps
- Lipah Bay: 8°20'55.70"S, 115°40'58.22"E, Google Maps
- Bunutan Wall: 8°20'39.36"S, 115°40'32.65"E, Google Maps
- Jemeluk: 8°20'12.38"S, 115°39'44.99"E, Google Maps
- Ghost Bay: 8°20'4.73"S, 115°39'14.59"E, Google Maps
For the diving scene on the southern coast of East Bali, proceed to the next page.