Diving in Bali - Amed
Scuba diving in Amed is very easy and a relaxing experience.
Apart from being a quiet and relaxed village, Amed is the common name for a 14 km long stretch of fishing villages on the center of Bali’s east coast. Amed is located about 80 kilometers from Denpasar city, which makes for approximately a 2 hours drive from Sanur.
Most of the dive sites are accessible from the shore or by a very short boat trip in typical Balinese boat called jukung. The sea doesn’t have the big waves as on the west coast. There is no current (or very light at the most), the good visibility ranges from 15 to 25 meters and the temperature is about 26°C.
There are beautiful, bright, colorful fish and all sorts of rich marine life to discover.
So it is an excellent place for courses and introductions to diving such as the Discovery Scuba Dive or Open Water Course. As you’ll find colorful marine life and coral very close to the shore, it makes Snorkeling a good alternative to scuba diving. Off the many beaches, in the beautiful bays around Amed, the reefs are sometimes right below the water and often 1 to 4 meters deep.
Amed is as well a perfect place for Underwater Macro Photography and Muck Diving. Due to its proximity to the Mount Agung volcano, the sand is black and it makes a really great and unusual contrast with the colorful coral and critters. You have great chance to spot the rare Ghost Pipefish, Pygmy Seahorse, and the (very rare) and fascinating Mimic Octopus. Some of the preferred dive sites for photography are Jemeluk and the Japanese Wreck.
The Pyramids / Ghost bay
The pyramids, also called Ghost bay, are artificial reefs at 20 meters which have been created by the local community twenty years ago after the passage of El Nino. The reef is packed with life and there is a good chance of spotting ghost pipefish, mimic octopuses, pygmy seahorses, stone fish and razor fish.
Many of these structures have become cleaning stations for passing fish such as snappers, sweetlips and surgeons. A natural Coral reef from 5m to 18m borders the area.
Some current may occur depending on the tides but it remains an easy dive and a wonderful place for underwater photography. The visibility is not so good but it’s no problem to enjoy the weird little creatures living there.
JEMELUK / AMED REEF
The protected bay offers easy snorkeling, beach diving as well as a beautiful coral garden.
Located at the left side of the bay, Amed Reef will take approximately 10 minutes to reach by Jukung.
This small coral reef lies in depths ranging from 12-22m. You will find many different kinds of sponges and gorgonians, and marine life includes everything from gobies and shrimp, to schools of barracuda and blue spotted rays. If you go little bit deeper to 30 meters you will see some sleeping white tip sharks on the sandy bottom.
Should there be any current, which is usually very rare and flows to the south, this will make for a relaxing drift dive.
JEMELUK WALL / DROP OFF
The JEMELUK Wall dive site is located on the right of the bay, it takes about a 5 minute boat ride (Jukung) to get there from Amed beach. The wall is very beautiful with nice coral and beautiful gorgonians.
It’s a dive in clear & warm water along a steep drop off (80m), where you will be astonished by the abundance of fish life from macro size to bigger ones. Once you pass the wall you will find a deep slope which is rich in corals. If you turn right towards sandy shallower water, you will see huge gorgonian fans and deep red barrel sponges as well as scorpion fish, nudibranchs and other macro critters. Great care is needed to ensure that the current does not carry you in to the fans, particularly when taking photographs.
It’s truly a beautiful spot to watch the hundreds of colorful anthias surging
BUNUTAN is located at a 10 minutes boat ride from the main beach on Amed/Jemeluk.
It’s a beautiful dive site with gorgeous and healthy reef.
The dive starts with a gentle sandy slope that drops you down at 12 meters to an impressively large numbers of graceful Garden Eels. With good clarity and sunlight they look absolutely breathtaking.
Continuing the steeper slope and probably drifting, you will find huge sponges, blue spotted stingrays, beautiful pink gorgonians, morays, giant barracudas, pygmy seahorses, unbelievable quantities of reef fish and, frequently, black tip reef shark.
The macro sea life is also abundant: Nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses and other macro critters.
Water temperature is normally around 28°C but the up currents can drop the water temperature. Visibility is usually good (18-25m) although sometimes the thermoclines makes the water blurry.
Japanese Ship Wreck
At around 7 km further along the coast from Jemeluk, this small Japanese steel freighter wreck lies in very shallow water (6-12m) in a quiet little black sand bay called Banyuning. This is also a wonderful snorkeling site.
The wreck is encrusted with gorgonians, sponges and black coral bushes that attract a variety of reef fishes to its shelter. Bommies at 10 meters on the reef slopes are covered with gorgeous bushy Gorgonians and soft corals, good numbers of reef fishes.
In the bay, this sloped sandy bottom is a good place to see unusual animals, like Shrimps, Ghost pipefish, Dragonet fish, Demon stingers, Sand Diver fish, Gobies, Devil scorpion and others. The wreck offers a great location for photographers.
The reef then runs away down the slope out of the bay to over 30 meters deep. Out of the bay, the Lombok strait flow may push you into the blue, so be careful.
The silty bottom and the shallow depth of the wreck mean that choppy seas will quickly degrade the underwater visibility, especially when the wind blows from South East.
Gili Selang is the most easterly point of Bali and sits on the very edge of the Lombok Strait. That’s why the dive site has been named rather appropriately “The Express”. The more exposed areas can have up, down and swirling currents.
Considerable care needs to be exercised in the area, that’s why this site should be restricted to the very experienced diver. Please stay close to your dive master who understands the environment.
The site itself is a fairly steep slope that is covered with small rounded volcanic rocks and boulders.You’ll find some of Bali’s healthiest coral, turtles, bump head parrotfish, giant trevally, whitetip reefs sharks and if you are lucky, hammerhead sharks.
On the North of the island, an interesting and rich sand slope has some stands of hard branching corals and occasional bommies, the deeper areas of the slope are more protected and therefore home to sea fans, soft corals, barrel sponges and coral bushes. As you follow the reef downwards, the sand slope becomes a wall and there starts the tricky current that may carry you out of the bay.
On the South of the Island, the reef (Waterloo) becomes steeper but is far calmer, provided you do not sweep towards east. The coral growth in this area is very rich in both hard and soft coral with big Boomies and some huge Acropora table coral. This is a good place for macro photography.