Nusa Penida Diving Trip

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Nusa Penida Diving Trip

If you’re an experienced scuba diver, there’s a high chance Indonesia in on your list. With places such as Komodo National Park, the Nusa Islands, the Gili Islands and Raja Ampat – there are several diving sites to consider.

As I just started diving this year, I won’t be covering all the diving destinations in Indonesia – I’m sharing about my own experience diving in Nusa Penida (just outside of Bali).

But first, you should know that if you’re planning to go on a diving trip in Nusa Penida, you can find more information on how to get there here or what to do on this beautiful island here.

In this post, you’ll find information to help you plan your diving trip to Nusa Penida including tips for finding your diving centre and the best dive sites around the island. I’ll also be sharing my experience diving in Nusa Penida as a beginner diver.

Planning Your Nusa Penida Diving Trip

Where to Dive in Bali?

When it comes to diving around Bali – there are a few options. Some people will dive around Amed, some others will head to the Nusa Islands and some others will go on a dive trip from Padang Bai.  You’ve probably heard about the manta rays by now – and I’m happy to tell you that you might be able to swim with these gorgeous sea creatures around Nusa Penida.

So – if you’ve been following so far, you might have noticed that I mentioned Nusa Islands – what do I mean by that? I’m referring to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. You can find plenty of diving opportunities around these two islands.

If you are limited on time, you might have to pick and choose one island to go to for your diving trip. If that’s the case, I’d suggest you keep reading and you can base your decision on the dive sites that seem more interesting to you. I won’t be talking too much about Lembongan – but I heard great things regarding diving. Although – when I made my own research, I found that diving around Nusa Penida was cheaper, so more tempting for me.

Overall Diving Conditions in Nusa Penida

Let’s talk about the currents.

The ocean can be unforgivable – and you should know that around Nusa Penida (and I’d say around many dive sites in Indonesia) – the currents are known to be strong and unpredictable. This can sound quite scary for beginner divers (like me).  It also means that most dives are drift dives – this basically means that you’ll start somewhere, drift with the current and will end somewhere else – the boat will then pick you up at the end of your dive.

A great tip would be to stay closer to the reef – this way you have less chance to drift away in the current.

Also – you should keep in mind that the water is known to be cold around there too – which means you’ll be wearing a warmer wetsuit. Don’t worry – dive centres have the right ones.

Usually, the visibility is quite good – depending on the dive sites and on the season too.

How to Pick Your Diving Centre in Nusa Penida

When I pick a diving centre, I always make sure to read the reviews. I was honestly quite nervous about diving in Nusa Penida for two main reasons.

  • The strong currents I had read about
  • My lack of experience as a scuba diver

After all, I only had 6 dives prior to this trip. Rationally, when you think about the fact that many beginners do their PADI there or even worst – their discovery scuba-dive – I thought they if they can do it – I can too.

Still – I visited two dive centres to feel the vibes and I picked one – more expensive – but I felt more comfortable with the staff. (Was it worth it to pay more? Mmm. Considering we got a hickup procedure-wise during my first dive – I’m not so sure.)

Best Nusa Penida Dive Sites

Manta Rays and Mola-Mola Seasons

Let’s talk manta rays and mola-mola and when it’s the best time to see them.

Regarding the manta rays , you can normally see them all year long. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll see them – after all – they are free animals – but it’s quite likely. You can normally ask the dive centre when was the last time they’ve seen them – it could give you a rough idea.

You could see them at these dive sites:

  • Manta Bay
  • Manta Point

Some dive centres call them Manta Point I-II. You should know that there are two main differences about these sites – one is a cleaning station and one is a feeding station. My dive centre said we were going to the cleaning station and they called it Manta Bay – but what do I know – when I look online, this one seems to be called Manta Point.

When it comes to the mola-mola , then it’s different. Your best bet would be between August and October – and again – there’s no guarantee here.

You could see them at these dive sites:

  • Crystal Bay
  • Gamat Bay
  • Toyapakeh
  • Ceningan Wall
  • Blue Corner

Here are other sites for drift dives :

  • Sental
  • Pura PED
  • SD
  • Malibu Point