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Diving the Coastal Waters of Bali  

by on Sunday, 11 February 2007One Comment | 6,059 views

The beauty of Bali is not only limited to the land, but also extends to the underwater world that surrounds the island. Visiting diving enthusiasts have the opportunity to experience some impressive sites that promise a rich diversity of marine life and widespread coral reef in conditions that are enhanced by temperate waters and clear visibility.

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Every diver travelling to Bali, regardless of knowledge or underwater proficiency, is advised to book with a reputable dive operator. Packages can be combined to include the rental of equipment, transportation, insurance and refreshments. Trained guides must accompany divers into unfamiliar waters and a backup team should be on standby at all times. International safety regulations prohibit anyone to dive without recognized certification.

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Bali’s most popular dive destinations include Amed and Tulamben on the islands eastern coast in an area that lies in the shadow of the volcanic Mount Agung. The relatively calm offshore waters at Amed can be accessed via the black sand beach or by hiring a local fisherman to take you out in a traditional boat. Amed is an underwater playground for different species of tropical ‘aquarium’ fish. Sponges and fan corals mark a wall that resembles some sort of natural monument. Hundreds of tiny fish emerge from their hiding spots in a network of nooks and weave themselves in artistic patterns whenever divers come near.

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Tulamben is a little further up the coast and is considered Bali’s most reputable dive spot. It is famous for a sunken American cargo ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese during WWII. The wreck is crusted with corals and offers the perfect adventure for new divers. Enormous schools of Big Eye Trevally that swim in breathtaking formations make Tulamben a particularly memorable dive site.

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On the western tip of Bali there is a national park where a conscious effort is being made to conserve the natural environment which is home to indigenous species of flora and fauna. The small uninhabited island of Menjangan is just off the coastline here and is a major draw card for enthusiastic divers simply due to its isolation. This underwater paradise is blessed with extraordinary clear visibility to observe unspoiled coral, caves and an abundance of fish.

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Divers with limited time to spare during their holiday break can try the more conveniently located dive points around Sanur and Nusa Dua. Although these spots are not the best that Bali has to offer, there are plenty of colourful coral formations, sponges and minute fish to be seen at depths of only 10 metres. Alternatively, Bali’s territorial islands of Penida, Ceningan and Lembongan are all accessible by charter boat and offer at least 15 fascinating dive sites. The marine life surrounding these islands offers inspiring glimpses of turtles, sharks and mantra ray. Experienced divers will especially enjoy the challenging conditions of some of these sites where the currents are strong and the water is distinctly chilly.

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Diving anywhere around Bali is generally better during the dry season of April to October. Visiting divers are urged to take care and help preserve the underwater environment for future generations to enjoy its tranquil beauty. This includes refraining from dropping boat anchors in the reef, wise rubbish disposal and resisting the urge to collect shell or coral souvenirs.

Editor’s Note:
For Bali diving booking please visit baliwww.com/diving/

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