Just a short boat ride from Candidasa is the stunning island of Nusa Penida. This 200 square kilometer island has become more developed over the past few years and is now very popular with tourists looking for incredible views, pristine beaches, and a little bit of an escape from the rat race. However, divers have known about this sliver of heaven forever. With an abundance of dive sites to choose from, Nusa Penida is a must-do when diving around Bali.
How to Get to Nusa Penida
You can get to Nusa Penida with a local boat or fast ferry, but the best way to get there for diving is by arranging a day of diving with Gangga Divers when you stay at Lotus Bungalows Candidasa.
You should be able to dive at least twice in the day. Once before lunch and once after, but of course the dive instructors at Gangga Divers always judge the conditions and skill level of the divers when planning a day out to Nusa Penida.
Dive Sites around Nusa Penida
There are an incredible variety of dive sites around Nusa Penida. Most people are attracted to Manta Point first of all because of its famous Manta Ray cleaning station. Mantas can be seen at this site on the southwest side of the island all year round. If you dive here you should also keep an eye out for blue spotted rays, octopus and bamboo sharks.
You also may have heard of Crystal Bay. Named for its stunningly blue water, Crystal Bay is where you’ll find superb corals and a nice drop down over the sandy bottom. The relatively calm waters of this bay make it one of the better dives for less experienced divers.
Most notably, Crystal Bay is one of the best places to spot Mola Mola or Oceanic Sunfish in the season. Your best bet for seeing them is between July and October.
Toyapakeh is also a fantastic dive, but currents can change quickly here so it may not be suitable for beginners. However, this site has some of the best visibility in the area and an abundance of beautiful corals and marine life.
Sental and SD are brilliant drift dives you won’t want to miss. From the shallows where seaweed farmers work you’ll drift over huge puffer fish, sea turtles and reef sharks. As the water gets deeper larger pelagics start to appear. You may see rays and even Mola Mola in season.
For very experienced divers Blue Corner is an option as well. This is a drift dive over terraces sloping from 12 to over 30 metres. Packed with marine life, like marble rays, eagle rays and once in a while a Mola Mola or 2 in season, it is definitely worth asking your dive instructors at Gangga Divers about. They will judge on the day if the conditions are safe to dive.
Diving Safety at Nusa Penida
It’s very important to note that most dive sites around Nusa Penida can experience strong currents. Because of this it’s extremely important to listen to your dive instructors.
Ready to Dive Nusa Penida?
Are you ready for some exhilarating dives around Nusa Penida? What appeals to you about this area? We’d love to know in the comment box below.