Madi’s Tour: An Underwater Adventure through Bali’s Best Dive Sites

July 9, 2023

Selamat datang, my friends! Welcome to “Madi’s Tour: An Underwater Adventure through Bali’s Best Dive Sites.” I am Madi, born and bred in the fishing village of Tianyar, right here on our beautiful island of Bali.

You see, our island is not just about lush rice terraces, magnificent temples, and warm smiles. No, Bali hides her best treasures underwater, and today, I am thrilled to guide you through these hidden spots. My childhood was spent under the watchful eyes of the folks at the North Bali Reef Conservation next door, and it was there that I learned the art of scuba diving. Now, I’ve dived all over Bali, showing off our wonders to people from around the world.

I’m inviting you to join me on an underwater journey to explore Bali’s best dive sites. With every dive, there’s a sense of wonder and excitement, just like the first time I dove under those waves. We will explore enchanting coral reefs, charming shipwrecks, and the magical world of muck diving sites.

Now, I might not have the most polished writing skills, but what I do have is a love for our oceans, a passion for protecting our marine areas, and a heart filled with stories from under the waves.

So, grab your gear, my friends! Together, let’s plunge into the depths of Bali’s seas on Madi’s Tour. It’s time for us to explore the underwater realm of Bali!

1st Stop: USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben Bay.

Welcome, my friends, to the first stop of our underwater adventure! Here we are, at the historic USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben Bay. Don’t be alarmed by the name – this spot is perfect for all you divers out there, be you a novice or a veteran.

Now, before we begin, make sure you’ve got your dive booties on. This volcanic pebble beach may be a bit rough underfoot, but trust me, the journey is all part of the fun. The adventure begins at the water’s edge, as the ship’s stern lies just 10 meters beneath the surface, stretching out to a depth of 20 meters along the hull.

Oh, my friends, there’s more to this site than meets the eye! The USAT Liberty Wreck isn’t just a home to marine life, but it’s also a witness to world history. Struck by a Japanese torpedo during WWII, the ship found its final resting place right here on Tulamben’s shore. But life, as it does, found a way, turning this wreck into a thriving ecosystem. As we dive, we’ll meet the resident big-eyed trevallies, unicorn fish, and many others. And for those of you with an eye for the smaller details, the macro-photography opportunities here are out of this world!

You might be wondering how I know so much about this place. Well, it’s all thanks to my training at the IDC Nusa Penida program back in 2019. It was a life-changing experience that took me to many breathtaking places, including this very wreck. So believe me when I tell you – this dive is something special.

So, are you ready to start exploring? For just IDR 700,000, you’ll be part of an unforgettable adventure here at the USAT Liberty Wreck. Let’s gear up, my friends. Our underwater journey awaits!

2nd Stop: The Amed Wall

This place, with its quaint fishing villages dotting the eastern coast of Bali, is our second stop. And I promise you, the peace that Amed carries is reflected beneath its waters too. The ocean here is as gentle as a lullaby, with visibility up to 25 meters, making it a diver’s paradise.

We will begin our dive at the Pyramids of Amed, an artificial reef that is a testament to the resilience of our local community. Created to support marine life, this spot hosts an array of exotic creatures. We might spot ghost pipefish, mimic octopuses, and even pygmy seahorses! Imagine, all these fascinating creatures making their homes amidst the pyramids.

Next, we’ll glide over to Jemeluk Reef and Wall. Here, the corals glow in colors so vivid they’ll leave you mesmerized. Inhabited by barracudas, blue-spotted stingrays, and countless macro critters, Jemeluk is truly a sight to behold. And keep an eye out for the shrimps and ghost pipefish around the wrecks. They’re as shy as they are beautiful.

This captivating adventure through Amed’s underwater world can be yours for IDR 900,000. This cost covers your dives, equipment, and even my charming company. So, come along! Let’s explore the wonders of Amed together!

3rd Stop: Ghost Bay in Amed

Hey, friends! Get ready for an unconventional dive as we head to Ghost Bay in Amed. This site, known for its muck diving, is a gem that holds wonders hidden amidst sand, rocks, and small artificial structures.

Starting our dive in shallow waters, let’s search for the tiny and elusive “shaun the sheep” nudibranch among the green leaves. The rocks here are like mini cities, bustling with marine life. From pipefish to the spooky stonefish, from the majestic lionfish to the stunningly strange scorpionfish, you never know what we might encounter!

Further down the sandy slope, if we are lucky, we might come across a peculiar frogfish or a gathering of Kuhl’s stingrays. There’s no rush, we have the whole day to admire and take pictures of these unique creatures.

Sometimes, we even spot white-tip reef sharks taking a snooze or a school of batfish casually cruising the waters. On a good day, we may even see Bumphead parrotfish munching on the corals!

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how much this one-of-a-kind dive experience costs. Well, for just IDR 800,000, you can experience the wonders of Ghost Bay, from the tiny nudibranch to the large parrotfish. So, put on your gear, and let’s dive into the unusual, yet incredibly beautiful world of muck diving!

4th Stop: Crystal Bay & Toyapakeh in Nusa Penida

Hold tight, my friends! We’re now heading to the dazzling waters around Nusa Penida. Just a short boat ride from Sanur or Padangbai and we’re in an entirely different world.

Our journey across the waves only takes around 30 to 45 minutes, and once we land, you’ll see why Nusa Penida is a dream come true for any diving enthusiast. From snorkeling spots that showcase dazzling arrays of fish, to deep diving in Penida where you can get up close with manta rays, this place is an underwater paradise.

Take a dive with me to Crystal Bay, where a stunning coral reef awaits, teeming with life and vibrant colors. It’s not uncommon to spot turtles going about their day amongst the corals. As we drift around, you’ll notice that every corner of the bay is just buzzing with life.

One of the unforgettable highlights here is Manta Point. You know, it’s not every day you get to see the majestic manta rays gliding effortlessly through the water. It’s a sight that’ll leave you awestruck, I promise.

Or let’s move to Toyapakeh, famous for its dramatic underwater cliffs and gardens of colorful corals. It’s an underwater scene straight out of a painting, with an array of tropical fish adding the perfect dash of color to the blues and greens of the water.

And for the thrill-seekers, there’s the exhilarating experience of night diving. When the sun sets, the ocean takes on a whole different persona. Nocturnal creatures like octopuses, crabs, and shrimps come out to play, adding a whole new dimension to diving in Bali.

The entire trip to Nusa Penida, including the boat ride and diving, costs around IDR 1,500,000. This is an adventure that you wouldn’t want to miss. Remember, as we dive, we are guests in the marine world, so let’s dive responsibly and preserve these marine ecosystems. After all, they are home to the spectacular marine species that leave us in awe every single time we dip our heads underwater.

5th Stop: Menjangan Island

Now, hold on tight as we speedboat our way to the serene Menjangan Island, nestled within the West Bali National Park. The journey from Sanur harbor takes around 30-40 minutes. And if you are coming from Diving in Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan, don’t worry! Nusa Penida dive center can arrange a boat transfer that will get you to Menjangan in about 1.5-2 hours.

As we land, you’ll notice the quiet charm of Menjangan. Unblemished by the touch of mass tourism, it’s a diver’s paradise. And it’s not just about the diving – the island’s untouched coral reefs and crystal clear waters make it a snorkeler’s dream as well.

With a splash, we’ll be exploring ‘The Wall’. Don’t let the name scare you. It’s a vertical coral wall, but it’s nothing short of a spectacular underwater canvas, bursting with colors from the coral formations.

Then, we’ll glide our way to Temple Point. This dive site is known for its lively reef and there’s always the chance to cross paths with a shark or two. But fear not, reef sharks are more afraid of us than we are of them.

For our snorkeling buddies, the Coral Garden is a real treat. With its colorful corals and bustling marine life, you’ll lose track of time swimming amongst the fish.

The typical cost of this journey to Menjangan, including the boat transfers and diving, is about IDR 1,750,000. It might seem steep, but trust me, the memories and experiences you’ll gain are priceless.

Our journey doesn’t end here, my friends. Stick around as I show you more of Bali’s hidden underwater gems. Get ready for more of Madi’s Tour!

Wrapping Up

So, my friends, we’ve come to the end of our underwater journey. From exploring the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, floating along the Amed Wall, marvelling at the muck life in Ghost Bay, to swimming with the giants in Nusa Penida and relishing the pristine beauty of Menjangan Island, we’ve seen some of the best dive sites Bali has to offer.

Every dive site, like the stories etched into the skin of an elder, has tales to tell. Our journey has been a whirlwind of colors, shapes, and lifeforms – each one more surprising than the last. We’ve shared smiles and laughs, discovered new friends in the form of sea creatures, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Remember, every dive we make is a promise to protect. Our love for the ocean comes with a responsibility to safeguard it. Let’s continue to practice responsible diving and do our part to preserve these marine protected areas.

Thank you for joining me, Madi, on this incredible underwater tour of Bali. The wonders we’ve witnessed, the adventures we’ve shared – these, my friends, are the treasures of Bali’s underwater realm. I hope that this journey has not just filled your dive logs, but also your hearts.

Until we meet again on another diving adventure, keep the ocean’s song in your hearts. And remember, the sea is not just our playground, it’s our home. We must treat it with love and respect. Dive safe and dive with a smile, my friends! For more Bali tours from your guide Madi head over to places to visit in Bali, till then, Selamat tinggal, and see you soon on the next Madi’s Tour!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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