Crystal Bay Dive Site

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5/5
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Amazing fishes & life!
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Medium current
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Am I dreaming?! 30m+!
Level Advanced Divers
Dive depth Normal diving depth, 10-25m

Crystal Bay is a very good dive site in Bali but reserved to experienced divers as the current can be quite strong and downward. It is THE place to look for the famous Mola Mola in Nusa Penida (oceanic sunfish) during the season (August to October). The coral is also very beautiful around 15 to 20 m but to have a chance to find the mola mola you will have to go down deeper around 30 m. Always be careful of the downward current!

Who to dive with? Dive centers operating at Crystal Bay include: Blue Season Bali

This location is a Reef. Location based around one or many Rocks.

You can dive Crystal Bay all year long. Access: from the Shore. See the map of Crystal Bay on the right for the exact location.

Crystal Bay Crystal Bay is a very good dive site in Bali but reserved to experienced divers as the current can b... Julien 5

Fishes you may spot while diving Crystal Bay

  • Eagle Ray Eagle Ray
  • Frogfish Frogfish
  • Grouper Grouper
  • Leopard Shark Leopard Shark
  • Mola Mola Mola Mola
  • Nudibranch Nudibranch
  • Octopus Octopus
  • Scorpion Fish Scorpion Fish
  • Whitetip Shark Whitetip Shark

... and more fishes & sea life, Bamboo Shark, Bluefin Trevallie, Leafscorpionfish, Manta, Spiny Devilfish

Photos

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The Blue Corner dive site in Nusa Penida is THE place to drift dive in Bali! The current can be very strong and for this...
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This excellent dive site situated in Nusa Penida is great for marine life. It consists of a slope with nice coral and no...
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S.D. Point is nice and easy drift dive in Nusa Penida over a coral plateau around 12 to 18 m deep. The coral on this div...
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Pura red dive site in Nusa Lembongan is not far from S.D. point dive site and it is pretty much the same kind of dive. I...
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Toya Pakeh dive site around Nusa Penida is a nice reef with interesting coral and nudibranch as well as schools of fishe...

Diving centers in Nusa Penida / Nusa Lembongan

10 dive logs in “Crystal Bay

  1. Crystal Bay is one of Bali’s most famous dive sites. It is also the one where most accidents occur.

    There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that strong and unpredictable currents hit this dive site. Currents can change without warning. A reef that felt safe a minute before can become a diver’s nightmare with raging down currents that cannot be fought against. You definitely do no want to venture too far away from the reef. It is not rare to see divers hanging onto anything they can get their hands off, with grave detrimental effects to the corals and wildlife…

    The second reason is that herds of divers eager to see the mola-mola flock to this dive site, especially in August and September. Many of those divers should not be diving along the wall and should stay well within the sheltered confines of the bay, as they do not have the necessary experience to be here. Divers often get surprised by the change of current and sometimes drop well beyond recreational depth limits or find themselves unable to ascend to shallower water.

    This dive site should only be dived in small groups (4 divers is an absolute maximum) with dive guides that have hundreds of dives of experience at this particular dive site. Divers who are not Advanced Open water or above with some experience in currents should also accept dive centers’ recommendations and understand that they need more experience before they can access the wall that borders the deep channel beyond the bay.

    That being said, it is a great dive site. The bay itself has got stunning corals with large bommies and much soft corals. Divers usually start inside the bay and head out along a small island towards Nusa Lembongan. The wall there has also got some great corals full of macro.

    However, the main attraction here is the mola-mola. It is a great place to see it since the oceanic sunfish comes close to the reef in relatively shallow water in order to get cleaned by bannerfish. Several mola-molas can sometimes be seen together. Please give them some room if you are lucky to see them. You will ultimately be the ones to benefit from this since the molas stay in the same spot for a long time if you don’t bother them.

    IMHO, Crystal Bay is not the best place to see the mola since the number of divers means that quality encounters are not as frequent as on other dive sites, such as PED, Sental, Toyapakeh, Blue Corner or Gili Mimpang/Tepekong.

    Many pelagics beside the mola-mola can be spotted here. Dogtooth tunas, large trevalies, leopard sharks, mantas and even dolphins have been spotted here playing in the currents. Keep an eye in the blue when looking at the great critters on the reef…

    This dive site can be dived with operators from Padang Bai, Sanur and Nusa Lembongan.

    By Cedric Saveuse

  2. We did we did 6 dives in Crystal bay 2 years ago, we are all experienced divers, with dives logged from 300 dives to 3500 dives… in search of the Mola Mola, we were pretty unlucky and it wasnt til our last dive we actually saw a Mola Mola, we swum out to the wall, saw the Mola Mola & got a down & hang on signal from our dive guide – we had an extreme down current experience that was absolutley terrifying, emerging safely from the water with bleeding hands from hanging on to the poor reef. It was the first time that I can recall ever getting out of the water and all the divers sitting on the boat not saying a word. counting our blessings there were still 5 of us. Even our guide was silent. I’ve logged over 1000 dives and I would never go back to crystal bay – its nice when its good, but if its bad its very bad and I dont need to see something so badly I risk my life. very sad to hear about the deaths of experienced divers there last year. RIP.

  3. We lost our 16year old son while snorkeling at Crystal Bay in May 2012. We were on a family surfing holiday but on this day the swell was very small. We were approached by a man on the beach who offerd to take us to Crystal Bay to snorkel. We had no idea that this place was so dangerous and that numerous accidents had occurred there until reading this website. Had we known, we would never ever have put our children or ourselves at risk and gone there. We will never know 100% what happened to our son on this horrific day. He was out of our sight for only a few minutes, we were not worried as he was a strong swimmer and would often snorkel and spearfish with friends back at home. He was bought to the surface by two divers and within a minute of pulling him up and onto the boat, he bled out (pulmonary Barro trauma). Whether he took compressed air from these divers we will never know, or whether the undercurrent pulled him down beyond his depths.
    Please be aware of diving in Indonesia, there doesn’t seem to be any regulations

  4. Pingback: Crystal Bay - Nusa Penida - Wonderful Bali

  5. Wow I’m so shocked to read these stories about Crystal Bay!

    I dived Crystal Bay as part of my Open Water course. I remember this dive because we experienced a lot of current and I found it very challenging. When I told my cousin, an experienced diver, she was quite shocked that I went there as a novice.

    I’ve never been back so I couldn’t say whether it was a good day or a bad day for the conditions, but it was certainly the most memorable dive!

    • I am shocked to read all this. i went there today and fotunately i am still alive, the current was not that strong today. i only have 22 dives before (all in the last 2 months). the dive center told us that if the conditions are bad we won’t go. We got lucky and saw a mola mola that was getting cleaned so we could not ask for a better show as he stayed there for more than 5 minutes. our dive master warned us about the down current and was always asking us to stay near the reef. after the dive i learned that we were actually at 26 m depth which i am not supposed to go to (i did not have a dive computed so i dont really pay attention to depth).next time i ll look up the dive sites before i go diving.

  6. Wow! Thanks all for sharing your stories! Indeed Crystal Bay can be a very challenging site at times, but this dive site is a lottery… you never know. The best advice is to trust the locals, if they say it’s safe to go, they know it is. The opposite applies… if you’re told by an experienced local not to dive there on a certain day, you should take the advice!

    Oh and Ana… congrats on spotting a Mola Mola!!! It’s a once in a lifetime kind of experience isn’t it ? :)

    Safe Bubbles Divezoners!

  7. I just dived at Crystal Bay yesterday. The water is really cold but the current was okay, and visibility is not really that good, a maximum of 10 meters. We saw one Mola just finished being cleaned at 31.5 meters depth near the wall. We stayed close to the wall to avoid the down current that sometimes happen. My DM told me emphatically to stay behind him and maintain reaching distance to a nearby rock or wall. After 10 minutes at 31 meters depth my dive comp beeped and we went back to shallow waters, between 15 to 9 meters deep. The current here is shifting and rather strong, but they are side current. As long as you dive upwards, you are safe. The shallow waters have colorfull corrals and I saw a lot of pieces of soft corrals that were broken and drifted with the current, I don’t know how they were broken. Surgeon fish, clown fish, parrot fish, angel fish and butterfly fish are those I saw on shallow waters. The water in shallow water was not as cold and so much clearer than the Wall. A lot of big corrals looking like hills and cathedrals in these area.

    Indeed, this is not a spot for beginners. I’ve logged around 60 dives before Stiva from Penida Dive Center allows me to dive here. I really recommend using Stiva from Penida Dive Center as your DM.

  8. I have a very similar story to most others here. I was taken here as an inexperienced diver (less than 10 dives under my belt and going for my AOW), and we had insanely strong currents that easily could have killed us. Our guide had 3 of us students who barely knew what we were doing flying along the reef. My brother and I were separated from the guide after the third student was struggling, we couldn’t even see our guide at one point. My brother crashed into a rock that was jutting out on the wall but fortunately was okay. We tried to swim against the current until we caught up with the guide, and then did a safety stop before heading to the surface. Almost at the surface, we had an awful downwelling that quickly pushed us to 67 feet under water. We inflated BCDs and kicked as hard as we could until we eventually surfaced….very lucky that one of us didn’t get swept away and that we were able to surface. In hindsight, I cannot believe the dive company took us here when:
    1. We had very little experience as divers and zero experience with currents
    2. The dive briefing did not cover how strong the current can be here and how to exit if downwelling happens…all we were told was to enjoy the ride.
    3. Just 8 months earlier, 2 people died from this dive and 5 others went missing and were found alive 3 days later.

    And again, they took us here as very inexperienced divers.

    After this experience, I would highly suggest that anybody do their homework about dive sites they’d like to visit and avoid this site unless they are experienced divers. I will never dive with that company again and will likely never dive at Crystal Bay again.

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