Lying across the Badung Strait in the waters surrounding Nusa Penida is where you’ll find the best diving Bali has to offer. With strong ocean currents and deep, cool waters, diving here is an adrenaline filled experience that will entice dive enthusiasts who actively seek strong currents. Besides the temptation of a thrilling drift dive many divers visit Nusa Penida in search of the rare and prehistoric looking sunfish, the mola mola.
These odd looking creatures migrate from the deep oceanic waters towards Nusa Penida during the months from July through to October in order to cleanse themselves from parasites. Ocean sunfish can become so infested with skin parasites, they will often invite small fish or even birds to feast on the pesky critters. They may at times even breach the surface up to 10 feet (3 meters) in the air and land with a splash in an attempt to shake the parasites.
They often can be seen daily on dives during this period as they frequent the many cleaning stations along the reef. Crystal Bay is not only recognised as one of Bali’s best dive sites due its superb visibility but is also renowned for sightings of these giant fish. Located in the South West of Nusa Penida and bordered by a sandy ocean floor with towering walls of coral, this sheltered shallow bay provides the perfect conditions for diving. Those who feel like exploring the surrounding waters may find curious caves and magnificent coral gardens, along with a fascinating variety of marine life including patrolling reef sharks, docile turtles and camouflaged wobbegongs. With the bay being sheltered from strong currents this site is perfect for divers of all levels of experience, from the novice to the professional, including snorkelers.
Further south, along the rocky coastline of Nusa Penida is a site known for year round manta encounters. At Manta Point the plankton rich waters attract many manta rays and up to eight mantas can be seen on one dive. However, due to the strong surges diving at Manta Point is more for the experienced diver.
If you can peel your eyes away from the mola mola Nusa Penida also boasts some spectacular macro diving opportunities with fascinating creatures, including the pygmy seahorse, scorpionfish and frogfish that hide amongst the lush coral gardens.
Alternatively, call +27 (0) 11 467 4704 to find out more