Dive sites Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongang offer some amazing diving. Their visibility is often good, and there is an abundant and healthy marine life population. It is also one of the few places in the world to see the Mola Mola or Sunfish. Between May and October, these deep-sea fish come closer to the surface here to be cleaned of parasites. Crystal Bay is the most popular site to see them. At Manta point, as the name implies, divers have a chance to see the giant Manta ray, stopping over at this cleaning station. Currents and conditions can be very tricky around this area, therefore diving here is only recommended for experienced divers. Thermoclines can decrease water temperature tremendously, and in water temperatures around 18 to 22 degrees Celsius (Crystal Bay for example), a 3mm wetsuit is nowhere near sufficient, even a 5mm only does the trick when wearing it with a hood.
By far the most popular Bali dive site is the USS Liberty wreck. This huge, 411ft long US army transport ship beached on the shore of Bali after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. It’s an easy-to-reach dive site with great conditions for beginners that attracts a wealth of marine life. Overgrown with Sea fans, soft corals and sponges, the Liberty wreck is now home to big-eyed Jacks, parrotfish and batfish. About 500 meters east of the wreck lies the Tulamben drop-off. Starting at only 5 meters deep, this wall drops to 60 meters and is covered in corals.
Amed has some great muck diving sites. The black sand along the coast of Tulamben and Amed contrasts beautifully with the colorful coral heads that often hide an array of interesting creatures. Keep your eyes open for the ghost pipefish, pigmy seahorse and rare mimic octopus.
Diving in northwest Bali can be very rewarding. The towns here are a lot less crowded, and there are some excellent dive sites nearby. The town of Pemuteran has a few good reefs around, including a nice house reef, where Mandarin fish do their mating dance just before sunset. Menjangan Island offers terrific wall diving. Conditions around the island are suitable for beginner divers. Menjangan is part of the Bali Barat National Park, which covers much of Bali’s western part. A highly recommended dive shop to dive this part of Bali is SeaRovers, which organizes dives to both these areas, as well as night diving and packages.