Bali is primarily known as an exotic holiday destination with beautiful beaches, interesting culture and stunning nature. It is easy to get to and has substantially increased in popularity in the past couple of years. It is still often disregarded as a dive destination, however. As a real cool dive location needs to be remote, right.
One of the Richest Coral Reefs in the World
For years we have been to Indonesia for our diving holidays; Sulawesi, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), you name it. Indonesia’s marine life and reefs are one of the richest in the world and quite affordable once you are there. About 6 years ago we decided to take the plunge and try Bali as well. A decision we have never regretted. The combination of the diversity underwater and the interesting culture above water, make this a top destination. Now, many holidays and dives later, we even have our own dive center here.
But what makes Bali so special. Recently, I read in a Dutch book of the WWF that the coral triangle starts at Bali. “The Coral Triangle is the absolute top of all coral reefs in the world. Nowhere in the world is the diversity greater than in this relatively unknown area between Bali, the Philippines and the Solomon islands.” A statement I can only agree with as Bali has something to offer for each type of diver. For the novice diver and the more adventurous diver, the diver who likes to look at the small marine life and the diver who enjoys the big stuff.
Diving with Manta Rays: a Breathtaking Experience
One of the highlights of diving on Bali is without a doubt a dive site called Manta Point. Manta Point is located near Nusa Penida – an island just off the coast of Bali with a wealth of dive spots. During this dive you just hover in the water at about 5 meters depth. Swimming around is not necessary as all the action happens around one main rock. It will vary each time, but you can encounter groups of 8-10 manta rays here. The rock functions as a cleaning station and the manta rays circle around this area, often in beautiful formations. A breathtaking experience. At times, the manta rays come so close you could touch them.
My most impressive dive here, took place about a year ago. After having marveled at the manta rays for a significant amount of time, together with my husband and another diver, we decided it was time to call it a day. By that time, we were the only divers left. When we swam back to the boat, away from the rock, we were followed by a group of 7 manta rays. In formation, they circled around the three of us at a distance of less than a meter. It felt like some kind of goodbye. It absolutely took my breath away and for me personally, one of my best dives ever. And Manta Point is just one of the many dive sites on Bali. There are over 100 dive spots, so you will never be bored.
An Ideal Combination of Diving, Culture and Beaches
As Bali not only offers stunning marine life, but also culture, beautiful nature and beaches, it is an ideal holiday destination for anyone who wants to do more than just diving. Couples who don’t both dive can both enjoy themselves here. Or if you are looking to do just a few dives and relax on the beach, Bali is the perfect location for you. So my advice to all divers: don’t ignore Bali when planning your next dive holiday as you will miss out on one of the top dive destinations in the world.