I would love to tell you guys a little bit about my diving experiences on Nusa Penida, Indonesia!
How to get there?
Nusa Penida is an island very close to Bali. Next to Nusa Penida are the small islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Cenigan which are connected by a beautiful small golden gate like bridge. To get there you fly to Denpasar (Bali) and from the beach of Denpasar fast ferries from different “companies” depart many times a day. There are diving operators on all three the islands. As small as the other islands are, they are quite busy. There are websites where you can buy the tickets. Finding the right company stand at the boulevard can be quite a hassle. It is a good advice to wear shorts and flip flops as you often have to walk through knee deep water to get to the ferry.
I’ve stayed at both the islands and they all have there charms. The two small islands are very lively and busier than Penida. Penida is less crowded and more unexplored. For both islands I can recommend to rent a scooter to get around and explore. Though, rent a scooter that is in good condition and especially has good breaks! The roads can be really, really steep and bad, so breaks are essential!
The diving operator I used both times is Blue Corner, they have locations at both islands and are well established, but there are probably more good operators to find.
Diving on Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida for diving is famous for two main things:
1. manta rays
– at manta point
2. Mola Mola
– all around the island.
– if you are in the right season.
I personally haven’t been to Manta point because the waves where to big both times. Most dive sites are around Nusa Penida with a few around Nusa Lembongan. The deep water currents that swirl around the island makes it attractive for pelagic fish, that often pass by in the blue. Examples that I have seen are: Thresher sharks, dogtooth tuna, giant trevalleys. But there is more if you are fortunate enough. If you are in season Mola Mola are also coming to the surface during cold up wellings. These gentle creatures are amazing to see and can be shy, so don’t approach them to aggressively. I would recommend to go to Crystal Bay which is a popular spot to see pelagic fish early in the morning as it can be quite busy over there.
Diving at Toyapakeh (translated as Salt water) is also a thing I would recommend. It starts as a kind of wall and ends in a reef, but it sometimes looks like you are diving in an aquarium. The currents around these islands (and generally in Indonesia) can be very strong, it is smart to have some experience when you go here. For Macro diving and abundant reefs there are though better places around.
If you want additional information, let me know!
– Wouter van den Acker