Introduction to Bali’s Scuba Diving

Introduction to Bali’s Scuba Diving

Bali is famous for its complex Hindu culture, colourful ceremonies, magnificent volcanic and coastal scenery as well as the artistic and welcoming nature of the Balinese people. With so much to do topside, surely there cannot be a more fascinating island on the planet!

Repeatedly drawing internationally-recognised underwater photographers and journalists from around the globe, Bali is the ideal destination for divers and non-divers, families, groups and individuals.

Bali is situated at the heart of the Indo-Pacific, the world’s richest marine biogeographic zone. The island therefore receives very plankton-rich waters and so contains a stunningly diverse underwater ecosystem as well as many totally different physical environments.


Bali’s dive sites offer great diversity: vertical walls and sand slopes; steel and wooden shipwrecks; limestone shorelines and black, volcanic outcrops; peaceful bays and ripping currents; deep, coral-covered ridges, shallow seagrass beds and big bommies, as well as both shore- and boat-diving.

Pelagics include year-round Manta rays, occasional Whalesharks and, from July to mid-November, Mola-Molas (the weird-but-wonderful Ocean sunfish).

There are over 2,000 species of reef fish in Bali’s waters, and then there are the eels, crabs, lobsters, turtles, starfish, shrimp, and nudibranchs … Mimic octopus and Wonderpus, Ambon scorpionfish, Rhinopias, Mandarinfish, Pyjama and Banggai cardinalfish, ghostpipefish, Pegasus seamoths and Flamboyant cuttlefish, and more.

The reefs contain profuse hard and soft corals, Gorgonian and other seafans, coral bushes, and sponges including some massive barrel sponges…

…. so why not come and discover the secret FOR YOURSELF!


Muck Diving & Macro Photography

Muck Diving & Macro Photography

‘Muck’ diving – it doesn’t sound very appealing does it, but it’s honestly fascinating!

For many people, the name Bali brings to mind rice terraces, gorgeous beaches, and ancient temples. For scuba divers, Bali is known to have some of the world’s best dive locations and for underwater photographers, Mucking Diving and Macro Photography! Bali’s muck diving sites are home to multitudes of rare, elusive, highly sought after, and amazing creatures!


So – What is muck diving? Muck refers to the sediment lying on the bottom. Muck Diving sites are often located in and around man-made structures such as jetties, the remains of wooden boats, and artificial reefs.
Muck Sites: have a muddy, silty, or sandy bottom; are devoid of coral, or with the remains of dead and broken coral; often have an accumulation of rubbish.

Macro Photography is taking photos of tiny critters, hence the happy combination of Muck Diving and Macro Photography in Bali.


Bali’s Muck Diving and Macro Photography Sites

Bali has a surprising array of world-class muck diving and macro photography sites.

Bali’s muck sites are in the north west, north, north east and east of the island. The sites range from black to brown to white sand. They may have rubble bottoms, areas of sea pens, hydroids and sea grasses, sunken broken jetties, small reefs, and/or huge boulders. Because these sites usually have a huge amount of debris in the water, they provide homes and shelter for those macro critters we all seek.

A selection of Bali’s most popular sites:
– NW Bali: Secret Bay/Gilimanuk, Bayu’s Place, and Pemuteran Biorock
– N Bali: The Puri Jati Area
– NE Bali: Tianyar, Tulamben River Bed, Seraya Slope, and Amed Ghost Bay
– E Bali: Jepun

Bali offers such a multitude of sites and subjects that no photographer will ever walk away disappointed. It doesn’t matter if you are into macro or wide-angle, are an amateur or a professional.

AquaMarine Diving – Bali also has some unpublicized Muck Diving Macro Photography sites we’d be delighted to show you. When you email us, please make sure you include your Macro Critters in Bali Wishlist (and maybe also let us know if there’s anything you’re really not interested in finding) so we can best advise you on suitable dive sites. AquaMarine boasts some of the best spotter guides in Bali. Our guides are much coveted dive companions for our regulars coming to visit Bali and looking for unusual or hard-to-find subjects.

Finally, I suggest you take a look at our ‘Write Your Own Dive Safari’ (WYOS). It was created specifically for macro photographers interested in muck diving in Bali.