Diving and Snorkeling in North West Bali – The Comprehensive Guide

Diving and Snorkeling in North West Bali – The Comprehensive Guide

North West Bali is not just another tropical destination; it’s a diver’s utopia. With its rich biodiversity, thriving coral reefs, unique dive sites, and top-notch dive facilities, North West Bali emerges as an unparalleled haven for both snorkelers and divers.

Dive Locations and Their Features

Indonesia’s underwater world holds a treasure trove of experiences that beckon diving enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. It’s a place where vibrant marine ecosystems pulsate beneath the surface, offering an intricate tapestry of life and beauty. From the well-protected confines of marine parks to the innovative landscapes of coral restoration projects, the dive sites in this tropical haven are a testament to the sheer diversity and splendor that nature has to offer.

Join us as we dive into the depths to explore the enchanting story of Menjangan Island, delve into the ingenious conservation efforts of Pemuteran, uncover the hidden treasures of Secret Bay, and uncover the historical marvels beneath the waves at Tulamben.

Menjangan Island

Why it’s special: Protected marine park, pristine coral gardens, wall diving.

Dive experience: From shallow snorkeling to deep wall dives, suitable for all levels.

Marine life: Home to reef sharks, eagle rays, nudibranchs, and more.


Why it’s special: Famous for the Bio-Rock project; a unique coral restoration effort.

Dive experience: Varied dive sites for beginners to professionals.

Marine life: Angelfish, frogfish, sea turtles, and many more.

Sumberkima Bay

Tucked away from the crowds, Sumberkima Bay offers a serene escape for divers of all levels. Its tranquil waters play host to vibrant coral gardens and a captivating array of marine life, from colorful reef inhabitants to elusive critters.

Diving into Sumberkima Bay reveals a world of suspended time, where you can witness the dance of underwater life amidst intricate coral formations. Whether you’re an avid photographer or a curious explorer, Sumberkima Bay, a true hidden gem, promises an unforgettable journey beneath the surface.

Secret Bay

Why it’s special: Perfect muck diving spot; a macro photographer’s paradise.

Dive experience: Requires experience due to unpredictable currents.

Marine life: Rare species like mimic octopus, stargazers, and seahorses.


Why it’s special: Home to the famous USAT Liberty wreck dive.

Dive experience: Suitable for intermediate and advanced divers.

Marine life: Black-tip sharks, barracudas, and the chance to spot a Mola-Mola.

What Makes Diving in North West Bali Exceptional?

Diving in North West Bali offers an extraordinary underwater experience that encompasses a range of captivating features:

Rich Biodiversity: The waters of North West Bali are teeming with life, boasting thousands of fish species and hundreds of coral varieties. This biodiversity creates a vibrant and mesmerizing aquatic ecosystem.

Pioneering Conservation Efforts: The region takes the lead in coral conservation and safeguarding marine ecosystems. Through innovative initiatives, North West Bali plays a crucial role in preserving its underwater treasures for generations to come.

Year-Round Diving: Thanks to its tropical climate, North West Bali offers year-round diving possibilities. The consistent weather allows divers to explore the underwater wonders regardless of the season.

Enriching Cultural Experience: Beyond its aquatic allure, North West Bali offers an immersive cultural journey. The influence of Balinese traditions and heritage adds a layer of enchantment to the overall diving experience.

Inclusive Accessibility: Catering to divers of all skill levels, North West Bali provides a diverse array of dive sites suitable for beginners, intermediates, and experts. This inclusivity ensures that everyone can partake in the underwater exploration.

Wreck Diving Adventures: One of the highlights is the unique chance for wreck diving, notably the renowned USAT Liberty wreck. Unveiling these historical sites offers not only an adventurous experience but also a direct encounter with captivating history!

Diverse Dive Experiences: The region offers an exceptional spectrum of dive encounters. From the intriguing world of muck diving to the awe-inspiring walls and thrilling drift dives, North West Bali provides a comprehensive range of underwater adventures.

Best Accommodations for Divers

The beautiful bays in North West Bali offer a world of endless delights to deep sea explorers. If you are passionate about diving, you probably want to ensure that you have the best experience possible. Diving in a new place is much smoother when you have local tips, a comfortable place to stay and fellow divers to share your journey with.

These are some of our favourite diver-friendly places to stay, for every budget. 

Reef Seen Divers: Reef Seen Divers is a dive centre with a deep commitment to conservation. They have affordable beachfront accommodation, perfect for divers and solo travellers. Their restaurant caters to hungry divers’ tummies, serving up sandwiches and snacks. There is also a turtle hatchery attached, where you can release a turtle in the sea during hatching season. You can also catch a glimpse of local kids practising traditional Balinese dance closeby on the weekend between 2:30 and 4 pm.

Kubuku Eco Dive Lodge: is a stunning tropical garden homestay in Pemuteran. Kubuku means ‘little home’ and the team here will make sure you feel right at home! With mountain and garden views, there are 17 comfy rooms of varying budgets nestled amidst the blooming foliage. You can spend your days lazing about under the guava, papaya, mango and banana trees, dine at their organic restaurant and choose from a range of dive packages to make your time in Pemuteran even more memorable!

Arjuna Homestay: A beautiful homestay in Pemuteran designed to offer you the best stay. With common areas where guests can mingle and swap travel stories to private spaces to soak in solitude, you can enjoy the best of both worlds! They have a restaurant that serves yummy food and a dive centre which will enable you to explore the waters of the Bay too! They offer a discount on direct bookings as well as dives so drop them an email and book your stay.

Global Dive Lodges: Here you can stay in comfortable brick and wood bungalows. Your beds are made every day and covered in beautiful flowers. The beach is only a couple of minutes away on foot and the staff is super friendly. You can dive and snorkel to your heart’s content and can get really good discounts if you stay here. 

Kuda Laut Boutique Dive Resort: Kuda Laut Homestay is the best hideout for divers. They offer dive lessons for all levels, from beginner to underwater photographers. Naturally, a deep respect for nature comes hand in hand. Their four bungalows are set in a garden, just a few steps away from the beach. 

Mimpi Resort Menjangan: Situated near Menjangan Island, this dive-centric resort is an ideal base for underwater exploration.

Taman Sari Bali Resort & Spa:
Offering luxurious stays with tailor-made diving packages in Pemuteran, this resort promises both relaxation and adventure.

Amertha Bali Villas: Tailored for families, this resort offers dive packages, combining family leisure with underwater discovery.

Pondok Sari Beach Resort: For those on a budget, this beachfront resort conveniently located near popular dive sites provides comfortable lodging.

Prioritising Dive Safety and Regulations

Diving in North West Bali is an exceptional journey that merges biodiversity, conservation, culture, accessibility, and adventure. From thriving coral gardens to wreck diving explorations, this enchanting region promises a diving experience like no other. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or embarking on your first underwater venture, North West Bali invites you to discover its mesmerising depths while upholding the principles of safety and preservation.

Safety is paramount when exploring North West Bali’s underwater marvels. The region adheres to rigorous international safety standards and emphasises responsible diving practices. Following these guidelines ensures a secure and respectful interaction with the marine environment.

  • Respect marine life and coral.
  • Follow buoyancy control principles.
  • Dive within your certification level.
  • Always dive with a recognized dive center or guide.

North West Bali is a region that brings together all the elements that make for a remarkable snorkelling and diving destination. The marine life’s richness, the diversity of dive experiences, the focus on conservation, the cultural overlay, and a wide array of accommodations catering to all budgets create a destination unlike any other.

The allure of North West Bali’s underwater world is not just for seasoned divers but also for those who wish to take their first breaths underwater. Whether it’s the thrill of exploring a wreck, the awe of drifting along a coral wall, the excitement of spotting a rare macro creature, or the serenity of gliding through a colourful reef, North West Bali offers it all. It is a celebration of the ocean’s beauty, waiting to be explored and adored.

FAQ: Diving and Snorkeling in North West Bali

What’s the best time to dive in North West Bali?  

Thanks to its tropical climate, North West Bali offers year-round diving opportunities. However, for the best visibility and sea conditions, the months from April to October are ideal.

Is North West Bali suitable for beginner divers?  

Absolutely! North West Bali caters to all skill levels, offering dive sites perfect for beginners, intermediates, and expert divers.

What types of marine life can I expect to see?  

You can expect to see a diverse range of marine life, including reef sharks, eagle rays, nudibranchs, mimic octopus, stargazers, seahorses, and even the elusive Mola-Mola, depending on the dive site.

Are there PADI-certified dive schools in the region?  

Yes, North West Bali is home to several PADI-certified dive schools, ensuring international standards in training and safety.

Can I rent diving equipment locally?  

Many dive centers and resorts offer equipment rental. However, always inspect equipment for safety and hygiene before use.

Are there any conservation-oriented dive experiences?  

Absolutely! Pemuteran, for instance, is famous for the Bio-Rock project which focuses on coral restoration. You can dive and observe these efforts firsthand.

How safe is diving in North West Bali?  

Safety is a priority in North West Bali. Dive centers adhere to international standards, and it’s recommended to always dive with a recognized center or guide. Moreover, always respect marine guidelines, like maintaining buoyancy and not touching marine life.

What non-diving activities can be enjoyed in the region?  

Beyond its underwater treasures, North West Bali offers rich cultural experiences. You can witness traditional Balinese dances, explore local crafts, or enjoy the scenic landscapes.

Are there dive packages that include accommodation?  

Yes, several resorts, like Kubuku Eco Dive Lodge and Taman Sari Bali Resort & Spa, offer dive packages which include both diving experiences and comfortable accommodations.

Do I need specific dive insurance?  

While not always mandatory, it’s highly recommended to have dive insurance. It ensures coverage in the rare event of dive-related medical emergencies.

Are there any sites for muck diving and macro photography?  

Yes, Secret Bay is an ideal spot for muck diving and macro photography, hosting rare species perfect for detailed photographs.

Can I undertake dive courses in North West Bali?  

Certainly! Many dive centers in the region offer courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels, including specialized courses like underwater photography.

What is the USAT Liberty wreck?  

The USAT Liberty wreck in Tulamben is one of Bali’s most famous dive sites. It’s a sunken US Army cargo ship, providing an awe-inspiring wreck diving experience.

What should I pack for a diving trip to North West Bali?  

Apart from personal diving gear, consider packing reef-safe sunscreen, a rash guard or wetsuit, dive certification card, logbook, and underwater camera.

Are there any marine protected areas?  

Yes, Menjangan Island is a protected marine park, ensuring pristine diving conditions and abundant marine life.

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