Looking out from the coast of Candidasa you’ll see 2 small islands jutting out of the sea. These are Gili Mimpang and Gili Tepekong, two of the best dive sites in East Bali. About 4 kilometers further east is Gili Biaha, a crescent-shaped island also beloved by divers. Gangga Divers at Lotus Bungalows Candidasa will take you to all three of these dive sites, but before you go we’re going to whet your appetite for what you might find there.
Gili Mimpang is also called Batu Tiga, or 3 rocks in Indonesian, as it actually consists of 3 large rock formations and 6 smaller ones. This site is the closest to Candidasa, taking around 10 minutes by boat.
This is one of the best sites in the area to dive with sharks, mainly whitetip reef sharks, but also wobbegong sharks and sometimes even rare coral cat sharks. Sharks are often found deep down near the islands at around 25+ metres, so you will need to be certified to dive to that depth.
Gili Mimpang is also one of the places Gangga Divers may visit to look for oceanic sunfish, or mola mola between August and October.
With walls, and reef to explore and with around 30 metres visibility year round, Gili Mimpang is an awesome dive site. Just keep an eye on the currents and listen to your dive guide, as the currents can be quite strong even for advanced divers.
Gili Tepekong is the largest island in Amuk Bay and has 2 interesting dive sites to visit, but they definitely aren’t for beginners. Advanced divers should have at least a PADI Open Water or PADI Advanced Diver certification with an additional 10-logged dives to dive at Gili Tepekong.
Both Blue Hole and Canyon have some tough currents, (The Canyon is sometimes called ‘The Toilet’) but are worth the effort for the sight of the white and black tip reef sharks that frequent the reef here. There is also a good chance of seeing large schools of sweetlips, jacks and grouper that come to feed in the rich waters.
Gangga Divers will only visit this site if the conditions are completely safe. If your dive guides recommend that you wait for conditions to calm at Gili Tepekong it is for your own good, so please take their advice.
This island around 4 kilometres from Gili Tepekong has two very good dive sites, Shark Cave and Biaha Slope.
Encircling Gili Biaha is a beautiful steep drop-off reef, which turns into a slope to the north of the island. This reef is covered with hard and soft corals and you’re likely to see Mayer’s butterflyfish, moray eels, cuttlefish, Napoleon wrasse, snapper, batfish, trigger fish, nudibranchs, coral snakes, scorpion fish, octopus, puffer fish, and more at this beautiful reef.
One of the most exciting dives in the area is Shark Cave. You can swim right into this cave or blow hole where whitetip reef sharks often rest. This is your opportunity to get up close and take pictures if you are into underwater photography. In the cave you’ll also find lion fish, lobsters and other smaller critters living in the crevices of the rocks.
This dive is definitely only for experienced divers and Gangga Divers will only take you there if the conditions are safe as the currents can be strong in this area.
A Divers Delight Off of Candidasa
You don’t have to go far from Candidasa’s coastline to get into some incredible diving. Just 10-15 minutes will have you in the rich waters around these 3 small islands where there is plenty of beautiful marine life. Would you like to experience the thrill of diving at these Bali dive sites? Tell us what it is about them that attracts you in the comment box below