Best Diving sites in Padang Bai

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If you have dived in Padang Bai before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

Scuba Diving in Padang Bai is one of the best around Bali. There are several very good diving sites just a few minutes away from the main beach. Most of them are perfect for beginners or for diving courses. But there are also more challenging diving sites with current and great chances to spot Reef Sharks, various Rays, Pelagic fishes and large schools of fishes!

It is a really sought after destination for macro lovers and underwater photographers! They will be delighted by wonderful night diving in the Blue Lagoon. They can find there leaf scorpion fish, ghost pipefish, pygmy sea horses, many rare nudibranchs, frogfish, the famous Spanish dancer and the very rare Cat Shark and Wobbegong sharks! And all that in shallow and calm water!

Padang Bai Diving Whitetip Reef Shark

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/noaaphotolib/5030076962/

Try to dive The Ferry Channel just 200 meters from the main beach and you will be amazed by the rich marine life! If you are lucky enough, this is also one of the places where you can spot the world famous Mola Mola, the oceanic sunfish!

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Padang Bai.

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Best Dive Review

From Padang bai you can also easily go diving to 3 small islands located further North: Mimpang, Gili Biaha, Gili Tepekong. Diving these islands is maybe the best diving in Bali for action, big fishes, sharks (Hammerhead Sharks!).

But be careful! Due to their position in the Lombok straight, these waters are subject to very strong and tricky up and down current which can sweep you to the open sea! So diving there is only for advanced divers with an experienced guide and good weather conditions.

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Padang Bai as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Top liveaboards in Padang Bai according to divers reviews

No liveaboard found

Scuba Diving conditions

Due to up swelling current, the water is sometimes a bit cold and it is better to dive at least with a 3 mm wet suit. The visibility is usually very good and ranges from 15 to 30 meters, one of the best around Bali.

Snorkelling in Padang Bai

Padang bai and especially around the corner at Blue lagoon offers a nice snorkelling spot! It is a great spot for good coral, a teeming reef life in shallow water and no current. The water is usually very clear and you can really experience some good snorkelling right from the beach.

As this is an easy spot, this place is popular for kids and family. You can also rent a small boat for a few hours from Padang Bai beach that will take you to the best Snorkelling spots in the area. They usually provide fins, mask and snorkel too. Enjoy ,-).

Blue Lagoon Snorkelling Padang Bai

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenubud/5035963866/

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Padang Bai, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Padang Bai Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

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Dive spots reviews in Padang Bai

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The Channel dive site is situated just in front of Padang Bai beach very close to the dive shops. It is reachable by boa...
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Tanjung Sari dive site is just a 3 min boat ride from Padangbai beach and the dive shops. It is located not far from Blu...
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Tanjung Jepun dive site is THE place in Bali to see blue spoted stingrays! It is also a great place for underwater macro...
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Bias Tugel dive site located in Padang Bai is a very nice coral plateau. It is quite shallow at only around 10 m deep. I...
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Blue Lagoon dive site is the most famous in Padang Bai. It is a perfect place for an easy fun dive, dive course or a nig...

Liveaboard Reviews in Padang Bai

No review found

20 dive logs in “Padang Bai

  1. I did 5 dives in Padang Bai with Water Worx dive center. The dive sites are really close from the shore, it takes only 5 min by small local boat.

    I had a good feeling with Water Worx, equipment was quite new and the dive master was really nice. The Channel is really a great spot but the current was strong. The Blue Lagoon is interesting and very relaxing with a good visibility. It is also great for snorkeling.

    I stayed in the Puri Rai hotel, really nice with 3 pools and a beautiful Balinese garden. There are also cheaper bungalows nearby.

    Julian , Padi Open Water Advanced.

  2. I have been diving in Padang Bai since 2005 and have lived there since August 2012. I have had around 200 dives, all of them with Geko Dive. I can’t recommend them highly enough, it is a small professionally run centre and their dive guides know the waters extremely well. I don’t know that I have a favourite dive site as I love them all but the Ferry channel can be a fantastic dive, wobbegong, pygmy seahorse and white tips and often turtles all on the same dive. Secret Saraya for macro and of course the Liberty wreck at Tulamben.
    Come and join us, you wont regret it

  3. A lot of nice places and animals! I recommend to stay at least 2 weeks to see all dive spots.

    Directly from Padangbai by boat:
    Bias Tugel (white sand beach)
    Ferry Channel
    Tanjun Sari (at the small temple)
    Trop Off / The wall
    Coral Garden / Blue Lagoon
    Jepun (small wreck there).

    Further more (a little bit out in the ocean, actually closer to Candidasa):
    Gili Mimpang and Tepekong
    Gili Biaha (Shark Cave und Biaha Slope)
    Nusa Penida (Manta Point)
    Nusa Lembongan …

    Don´t book trips to Tulamben if you stay in Padangbai, better got to Tulamben directly and stay there for some days (you save a lot of time and money also).

    If you want informations, just contact me:

    http://www.tauchen-bali.at (my private german language website about diving in Tulamben and Bali …)

    Manfred

  4. Padang Bai is a great base for diving off Bali. It possesses great local dive sites just a couple of minutes away by boat for macro and large fish, such as Bias Tugul/White Sand Beach, Ferry Channel or Jepun.
    On top of that, it is the best access port to reach most of the dive sites in the North and East of Bali. Gili Tepekong, Mimpang and Biaha are just 15 minutes away by boats. The furthest sites off Nusa Penida like Manta Point are less than one hour away be speedboat. Tulamben and Amed are accessible by car in one hour only.
    Most dive centres here are small operations that focus on customer service and diver satisfaction. They enable divers to dive in small groups in a relaxed atmosphere. This is a great place for a dive holiday.
    By Cedric Saveuse
    For
    Geko Dive

  5. Hi: I was dying to see the mantas so I went with a divecenter from Padangbai to Nusa Penida. We saw the mantas but you do not see them every time at Nusa Penida. An interesting feature: We saw no mantas at the manta point (rather boring if there are no mantas) but we saw them snorkling in a bay 5 – 10 min by boat closer to Padang Bai. We were able to spot the mantas from the boat. Once you see the mantas you can get close. They really don’t care about you.

    Crystal Bay at Nusa Pedida has wonderful corals and good visibility but be very aware of the current. As soon as you get out of the bay the current can take you down so strongly that your bubbels will go downwards, not up. Your BCD will be of no help then. In one year 10 divers have died here. The current are strongest at full moon.

    • Hi Lars,

      The Geko Dive Team is glad you had a great time snorkelling with manta rays from Padang Bai. We’re lucky to encounter mantas just 45 minutes from our dive base on the other side of the Badung Strait on 90% of the trips. Sometimes you can see 20 mantas for your entire dive engaging in interesting behaviour. Sometimes we need to dive there for 2 dives before we see any.

      • Hello,

        We are going to Bali next week and again next April. We only snorkel.
        Do you have trips that have 90% Manta sightings for us? We were in Komodo last year and saw many everyday, just snorkeling.
        Ive been to snorkel over at Nusa lembongan in Jan and saw nothing, no good coral nothing. We couldnt goto manta Point or anywhere near Nusa Penida because it was too dangerous.

        Please answer me honestly. We really want to see manta again.

        jen

        • Hi Jen,

          Yes. In April, we had mantas on every trip except one. We ran 20 successful trips out of 21.

          I’m not sure who you hired for snorkelling from Lembongan in January, but a good custom made dive speedboat could make it to Manta Point on every day that month.

          Seeing nothing in Penida just sounds to me that you were not guided by any good guide or dive outfit. Conditions can be difficult there, but there is always a sheltered area where you can snorkel.

          Do note that we need at least 4 full paying divers in order to run a trip to Manta Point. Please send me an email with your dates if you wish to check availability.

  6. Unlike the condition with strong currents in Candidasa or Nusa Penida, Padang Bai is quiet and beautiful sea with less damaged coral.

    Although diving here is not magnificent as sites with strong current or steep walls, you can see beatiful sealife here so comfortably.

    However water temp in fall is quite cold, about 20degree in bottom, 5mm suit helps.

    • Hi Ryan,

      The Geko Dive Team is glad you had a great time diving in Padang Bai. The diversity of sites here is stunning with macro (Jetty, Drop-off), sharks (Ferry Channel, Tanjung Sari), turtles (Ferry Channel, White Sand Beach) and some great corals (Temple, White Sand Beach).

      The temperature can get chilly between July and October. However, this brings in some unexpected animals. In 2015, we were graced with minke whales, whale sharks and thresher sharks during these months…

  7. I had one day for diving in Bali in mid-January 2016. I did a search online about the possible sites. Most agents offered Tulamben, Padang Bai or Nusa Penida. 3 and a half hours drive for a day trip to Tulamben sounded too far for me so I crossed it out. For Nusa Penida it was off season for manta rays and mola molas so I decided to dive around Padang Bai expecting to have: clear blue water, plenty of sea life and easy, current-less dives. Or so I thought.
    I dived in Blue Lagoon, The Wall and Jepun.
    – “Blue lagoon”: Pretty disappointing site. Water was dirty (floating rubbish and dirt on the surface, murky underwater) hence visibility was pretty lower than expected (maximum 10m, even lower most of the time) and there were pretty strong wave-like currents. Sea life not much although you see here and there few interesting things. I know that water condition depends on the weather, currents etc but I expected more from BLUE lagoon.
    – “The wall”: was the best site. Nice environment, pretty interesting corrals and (small) sea life around it. There was a mild current but not too strong. Visibility was better than Blue Lagoon but again not great. This dive saved the day for me.
    – “Jepun”: pretty boring site. Mostly sandy (and hence murky) with some artificial grown reef/corrals. The only exception is a small wreck to explore and some (small) interesting sea life here and there.
    The most disappointing thing for me was that during the 3 dives I didn’t see anything bigger than maybe 30cm or so (the only exception being a moray eel that looked pretty big although hidden in it’s hole).
    After the dives and while discussing with the dive master he “confessed” that diving sites around Nusa Penida are far more interesting. Also he said that for visibility Tulamben is much better. I wonder why they don’t tell us these earlier.
    Thanks God diving was for me just a day off my duties and not the main point of my visit to Bali.
    I don’t want to be mean. I know diving satisfaction can’t be guaranteed, but overall I expected diving in Bali to be much better and exciting than that. Hence I write this review as an advice and warning to future fellow divers.

    • Hi Stephen,

      Sounds to me like you elected to dive Padang Bai with a shop from South Bali and a guide that does not know the sites well.

      It’s strange to me that you chose dive sites that are only good for macro when you wanted to see animals “bigger than 30cm”. I think you should try Padang Bai again and, if you do not like macro, go to sites that are reputed for pelagic like Shark Point / Tanjung Sari, Ferry Channel and White Sand Beach.

      I’m also surprised you say that mid-January is not manta season. We had tons of manta rays around this time. What happens is that most dive shops do not have the minimum number of divers needed to run a profitable trips. Dive shop owners will just tell you anything to get you diving with them at other places.

      It’s kind of obvious to me that you were ill-advised. I’m sorry that you did not enjoy great dives in Padang Bai, but you should really stick to reputable dive shops in the future…

  8. We did our PADI in Padangbai. The lovely team in OK Divers gives you the feeling of being part of a great diver family. Padangbai offers a big range of amazing dive spots and we saw sharks, mantas and thousand of fishes in our very first days of diving experiences. We did our open water and even came back to do our advanced license with this outstanding team in Padangbai.

  9. Hello, I am looking for advice regarding a beginner dive in Bali and/or Lombok. I am staying in Ubud, Seminyak, Jimbaran, and Medana Beach/Bay in Lombok. From my research I have learned that the best beginner diving within an hour or so travel of these places is Padang Bai and the Gilis off the coast of Lombok (Air, Meno and Trawangan). Can anyone confirm that this is true, and if so, please also confirm which place offers the better scuba diving – either Padang Bai or the Gilis. Thanks!

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