Scuba Diving in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
The beautiful places to go for Manta diving in Bali are Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Aside from diving, those places are good for the snorkeling experience. The wave circulation in Nusa Penida is major. It is one of the impacts of its geographical location. However, the corals grow easily here because of the good circulation of cold water. In addition, it makes underwater life lives perfectly. All year round, Manta fish is diving in this area.
For scuba divers, a certain dive spot area of Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan is categorized as advanced. It is because of the strong waves and unexpected conditions that can change all of sudden.
Before deciding to go diving in Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan, it’s important to consider the weather conditions, water conditions, and level of skill required for diving in those locations.
Weather Conditions (Temperature)
The temperature in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan is varied. It depends on the season in different areas. From July to October, it usually drops to 16-19 degrees or 21 degrees (in Celcius). However, in other months it will be warm. Actually, it will mostly warm and sometimes can be thermocline. In addition, it can drop to 24 degrees with a thermocline.
Because of this temperature, all divers must have experience before. At least the capability to handle itself and bring comfort to the situation. Having good skills, certificates for diving, and being able to do negative back roll entries is the key. Especially when the Mola-Mola season. But no need to be worried. Of course, we want you to have a good experience with us. Come and try your luck!
Experienced or minimum Dive certification
Some of the diving spots require minimum experience and certification. For example Manta Dive Site in Bali. Even though some require experience, some are fine for beginners. We advise you not to force yourself above your capability to dive. Because the waves and underwater conditions sometimes can be unpredictable for beginners. Mola-Mola dive sites are one of the example. The wise to value your ability is one of the keys to enjoying scuba diving. Do not mess up your holiday by forcing the conditions that you are not ready to handle yet. Unless you want to waste your time and money. But we believe you won’t when you dive with us!
Open water dives for Mola-Mola Diving require you a minimum of 50-100 open water dives. It also requires experience in facing waves in any situation. Because sometimes the wind change, choppy waters, and big waves mostly in Manta Dive Sites.
To those who love snorkeling, Nusa Penida is suitable for you with a guided snorkeling activity.
For Manta Point, we can’t guarantee that you can jump in the water until we arrive at the sites. Due to swell conditions/wind and the topography on manta dive area is off cliff area and also the cleaning station is quite close to the rocks and cliffs. When the swell is big, it is impossible to do snorkeling. Manta Dive site in Bali is suitable for try scuba programs when weather permitting and in some dive site areas in Nusa Penida / Nusa Lembongan. Consult and inform us about your preference.
How to approach and take a picture with Mantas and Mola Mola?
It is forbidden to touch these two gentle giants. Please respect the ocean and its life. Diving and Snorkeling with the ocean hearts and minds.
You can’t chase them, the more you chase the more they will swim away from you. Never to try it, they swim so fast and even you see them swim gracefully and slow.
Prepare your underwater camera and set to autofocus, our suggestion is you may set the pre manual focus on 1 -1,5 meters, you may capture when they swim or just passing by not doing the cleaning position ( stationary), bubbles scared them away, find the good angle and see where it goes, keep calm, do not moving or finning too fast.
Diving with Mola Mola
When the Mola Mola is in its cleaning position (mouth facing up, all the banner fishes eat the parasite in its body) you can approach it very carefully, and please do not use the flash from your camera. And keep your distance also breathe slowly to control your bubbles. DO NOT TOUCH THEM!
When the Mantas are swimming gracefully in their cleaning station most of them just stay in the shallow water, then it makes it easier for the snorkelers as well to approach them and take shots.
Do not chase the Mantas, do not touch and scared them away, just swim or hover they will sometimes come to you, and just be ready with your pre-focus camera/videos.
Mola Mola and Manta Diving in Bali
- Location: off of Bali’s eastern coast, crossing the Badung Strait.
- From Sanur: 45 minutes on a speedboat
- Dive type: best suited for experienced divers – boat diving
- Visibility: 20-30 meters
- Average depth: 7- 40 meters
- Current: mild to strong – warm water to cold water in the season (July-Oct average water temperature drop to 19C)
- Entry: Speed Boat entry.
- Minimum dive license: Introductory dives and guided snorkeling are permitted ( some sites only). Minimum of Open Water Diver certified in some areas, Advanced Open Water is advisable and had experienced in the current dives.
Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan Dive Sites
- Crystal Bay
This Bali dive site is named after crystal visibility of 30-40 m+ on a good day. It’s known to be one of the most popular sites for viewing the Mola-Mola (Oceanic sunfish) from August to October. The shallows are covered with dense soft and hard corals, including at the steep drop-off, which starts at the rock in the middle of the bay. Aside from the Mola-mola, there’s a lot to see at this dive site, like reef fishes, turtles, sea snakes, reef sharks, nudibranchs, and corals.
- Manta Point
This is an all-year-round manta sighting location. It functions as a cleaning station and a regular sighting can reach 7-8 mantas in one dive. They can be detected on the surface even for Snorkelers. Aside from the mantas, you can see turtles, nurse sharks, bamboo sharks, and blue-spotted rays as the sea bottom are fairly sandy. It’s subjected to swells and suitable for all level divers.
- SD Point
SD Point is an abbreviation for ‘Sekolah Dasar’ or elementary school. It’s arguably the most diverse collection of corals and sponges in Bali. It’s less steep compared to Blue Corner, with larger corner heads. Currents drift divers have been reported to see Green and Hawksbill Turtles, Marble Rays, Sea Snakes, Octopus’, White Tip Sharks, amongst others.
The ‘jewel’ of Nusa Penida. A lining of schools after schools consisting of red tooth triggerfish, giant trevallies, and batfishes. Drop off reaches an impressive 190 meters, also the coral, sponges, and fish density are incredible. Pygmy seahorses are occasionally spotted by keen sighted divers. Larger pelagics are also seen such as the hammerhead sharks, mantas, and sunfish.
- Mangrove Point
Mangroves, with small bommies and table corals, are home to the small creatures. Often marble rays and larger species are found in deeper waters within the area, with the occasional sights of sharks.
Experienced or advanced diver only !
- Batu Nunggul
This small bay is located east of the main boat port from Bali, Batu Nunggul. Closer to the reef, you can see colorful nudibranchs, tropical reef fish, and pelagics like Manta and Eagle Rays in deep water. Currents intensity and direction change abruptly, hence a good boat captain is required for the trip.
- Blue Corner (Highlight)
Available for experienced divers only, due to the heavy currents. The dramatic topography drop reaches 50 meters to overhanging terraces, home to white tips and black marbled rays. This Bali dive spot is also a great location for mola-mola (Oceanic sunfish) sightings during its season, also visitors such as eagle rays, wobbegong sharks, tunas, and regular passing schools of snappers and jacks.
- Tugu Point
The seaside in from of the Tugu, or small shrine in Balinese, is the descending point to the colorful coral’s reef, boulder rocks, and swirling tropical reef fishes. Sunfish sightings at steep slopes have been reported, as the location is suitable as a cleaning station by Banner Fish.
- Gamat Bay
This bay can be a memorable site and located at the Toyapake Strait. Slopes can reach 50+ m. Being rich with marine life, Gamat is the spot you would examine rather than just explore. The area has plenty of bommies, overhangs, and small caves, enough to explore in a full dive.
- Batu Abah
The furthest and toughest dive site. The site faces the ocean and is subjected to huge swells. It’s a location for mola-mola (Oceanic sunfish), mantas, turtles, sharks, lobsters, and nudibranchs.
Note about Diving in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan :
- Due to specific requirements of underwater conditions and the environment. It’s strongly advisable to dive with a trusted dive center with credible local DMs and boat crew/captain.
- The temperature may vary. July-October, the water can range around 19-22 degrees Celcius, while during February, the water can reach 27-29 degrees Celcius. Please bring your own hood and gloves, we do not rent this due to variants of sizes. However, let us know if you need to rent a long 5mm wetsuit rental as an extra.
- Definitely, recommend you to bring your underwater camera or GoPro. You would want to record the magical experience of meeting the majestic Manta Ray and Mola Mola during your Bali Diving trip.
- Well check your preparation, equipment, and if you have any motion sickness you can have your seasick pills consumed after breakfast, the journey is sometimes quite choppy or rough, and the whole day will be spent on the boat.
Available Diver Courses:
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July, August to October for mola-mola (oceanic sunfish) viewing. Manta Rays come all year around.
itinerary for Scuba Diving in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
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