Despite the explosion of tourism since the 1960's Bali still has at least 10 very attractive sites, each offering different skill levels. Only at Sanur and Nusa Dua do you have to be experienced. Always try to dive with others of the same skill level. It is not very satisfying for anyone when amateurs dive with experts, which can happen if it suits the needs of the dive operator. For more information about individual dive sites, you may please to contact your travel agent.
Padangbai, 90 km northwest of Sanur, is a favorite scuba spot where you can dive from the beach or a boat offshore. Dives are from three to 20 meters, and the current can be very strong. This underwater wonderland is populated by fish of every size, shape and color, including harmless reef sharks. Dive along the coast or take a boat to the spectacular reefs offshore or around Pulau Kambing. Ideal for the open water diver course, there are several isolated bays nearby with white beaches, numerous in-expensive accommodations and restaurants. When diving off the islands near the east coast in the Candidasa area, for example, the water can be very cold so you will need a wetsuit.
Balina Beach, a resort between Padangbai and Candidasa in east Bali, employs an impressive team of five professional dive guides, a dive master, and a PADI open water instructor. Rates start at Rp. 80.000 for two dives on Pulau Kambing, which has fascinating Blue Hole, large turtles, napoleon fish, pelagic tuna, and reef sharks between three and 40 meters. Tours are available in English, Dutch, or German.
Sambirenteng, a village on the northeast coast between Tulamben and Tejakula, is a new dive site about 100 km from Kuta. One of the best dive losmen on Bali, a long coral reef 15 meters from the hotel is terraced down to 35 meters. Since this entire area is under protection, the stock of fish is enormous.