Diving Nusa Penida is one of the best spots in the world to see the rare Mola Mola and the graceful Manta Rays! Big fish action with lots of sharks. Usually we enjoy a very good visibility and stunningly beautiful corals. Nusa Lembongan/Nusa Penida is known as a world-class diving destination. There are more than 20 identified dive sites around the island, the most notable including Crystal Bay, Manta Point, Mangrove, Toyapakeh, S.D. dive site.
We include all necessities and more into our price. Dive locations, trip duration, and extras can be fully customised to your preferences and diving skills.
From Sanur, we take a speed boat and reach the islands in about 45 min. The waters around Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan are usually quite cold due to cold water coming up from the very deep ocean floor. Sometimes it can go as low as 22°C! So, it is better to dive here with a 5 mm full wetsuit! The waters are also very clear and have some of the best visibility around Bali. These clear waters are due to strong and changing currents sweeping in the area.
The rich waters around the islands support no less than 247 species of corals and 562 species of fish. Diving Nusa Penida is also great for hard and soft coral with many gorgonian sea fans along the steep walls. Special attractions include the fabulous Mola Mola (Oceanic Sunfish) in season and very large Manta Rays all year round.
Mola Mola are migratory fish and are most common from June to October although sightings are reported all year round. The Mola Mola usually live very deep but during the dry season (June to October) they come up to shallow waters to be cleaned. The Sunfish are rarer than they are pretty – looking like a two-meter-long and one-ton-heavy lump of meat with fins, they are quite a sight!
The spectacular dive site is located Southeast of Nusa Penida. To get there it takes about an hour on a speedboat from Sanur. This area of the coastline comes with dramatic limestone cliffs that descend straight into the ocean. Sometimes the speedboat struggles a little against current to reach Manta Point. But once in the sheltered bay, the current are smooth. On occasion we experience a strong swell but nothing to worry about here. This is a fabulous site to practice your perfect buoyancy and underwater photography skills.
Once we jump in the water we encounter the manta cleaning station. This is a big rock at about 5 meters depth. The mantas are circling around the rock and are waiting to be cleaned. We regularly see 4 or 5 Manta Rays at a time. This is a magic moment when these gigantic and elegant creatures come out of the blue. Due to the shallow depth, it is as well a very good site to see the Mantas when Snorkeling.
The topopraphy of the dive site consists mainly of limestone rocks and sandy bottoms. We observe Blue spotted stingrays and marble rays regularly in the sand. Occasionally we sight Bamboo Sharks, Wobbegong Sharks and Nurse Sharks here. Other marine life includes the Octopus, Eagle Ray, and Turtles.
If you would like to experience Mantas up close and personal then this is the place. At Manta Bay the Mantas are attracted by the large quantities of plankton accumulated in the corners of the bay. The Manta Rays come here for their daily feed. They are normally smaller than in Manta Point, but If you’re lucky you may encounter one of the beautiful black Mantas or the inquisitive Bamboo shark. It is a shallow dive site, also very convenient for snorkeling. The Manta Rays swim close to the surface and their encounter is an incredible experience for divers and snorkelers.
As the name indicates, the visibility at Crystal Bay is usually spectacular, often better than 30 meters. Also, Crystal Bay is the top site for encountering the Oceanic Sunfish (Mola Mola), which can be seen from July to the beginning of November. The corals here are superb at around 15 and 20 meters and, apart from the sunfish, white tip reef sharks and eagle rays are among the top attractions. This is diving Nusa Penida at its best!
Crystal Bay also hosts a healthy reef, an interesting cave, golden sand, huge coral bommies and incredibly colourful shallows with hundreds of fish of all shapes and sizes.
The Oceanic Sunfish comes close to the reef in relatively shallow water in order to get cleaned by Bannerfish. Several Mola Molas can be seen together on occasion. They stay in the same spot for a long time if you don’t bother them. So please give them some space.
This dive site is located on the East side of Nusa Ceningan. The dive starts with a slope that later becomes a steep wall. It is a very nice wall drift dive and very different from others in the island.
The wall is covered by orange soft corals and sponges and the sea life is abundant here. There are plenty of shrimps, crabs & nudibranchs hiding in the cracks. We also regularly encounter large schools of red tooth triggerfish, sweetlips, banner fish and occasionally big pelagic fish hanging in the current.
The current may be strong at times and the water rather cold.
Mangrove dive site is also named Jack point or Sakenan. It is the large mangrove area between Lembongan and Ceningan. Island. It offers a healthy sloping coral reef with huge sponges, soft and fan corals. This spot is well known for the large variety and quantity of tropical reef fish – a real “aquarium”. We regularly spot the Emperor fish, Trigger fish, Sweet-lips, and shoals of colorful Anthias. Also, you will likely spot small creatures such as shrimps, pygmy seahorses, pipefish and clams. Sharks, turtles and many other kinds of large sea creatures can be seen as well. It is common to sight shoals of Mackerels, Snappers, Tuna and Barracudas which hover in the current. Mangrove is an amazing spot to learn or practice your current and drift diving specialty skills.
Toyapakeh means salt water in Indonesian. It is an amazing reef with interesting & healthy coral, nudibranchs as well as schools of tropical fish, turtles, reef sharks. If you are lucky you can encounter the Mola Mola here during the good season (July to October).
There is a constant & strong current that runs along the wall, towards the Toyapakeh Straight. So this site, even if hosting a prolific marine life is better appropriate for video than photography. The water temperature may reduce to as low as 20-24C°. So come prepared!
Diving Nusa Penida’s SD is situated in the north of Nusa Penida. The dive site begins at a very shallow reef plateau and is a drift dive. Sloping down to approx. 10 meters where it drops at a 45° angle down to extreme depths. Steep slopes alternate with steep walls here.
An amazing growth of hard and soft corals can be found including numerous whip corals and massive fields of branching corals. Large clouds of banner fish hover in the current above the corals. There is a multitude of smaller creatures hiding amongst the corals such as the orangutan crab and a huge collection of nudibranchs.
As usual in Nusa Penida, do not forget the blue, where you could see various pelagic fishes. Here, giant trevallies, white tip sharks, eagle rays, tuna, manta rays, mola mola and barracuda pass by regularly. Even a whale shark has been reported.
There is often a drift of up to 4 knots making this an exciting dive not for the faint hearted.
The Pura PED dive site is not far from S.D. dive site and it is a similar kind of dive. The slope here is a bit steeper. It is a nice easy drift along a coral plateau with beautiful coral and with a good chance to see pelagic fish as well as Manta Rays and the world famous Mola Mola during the season (June to October).