Nusa Penida and the neighbouring island of Lembongan offers some of Baliâ€™s finest diving. It is a large island located in the southeast of Bali, across the Badung Strait. With its adjacent deep water trenches, the main attraction at Nusa Penida is the common encounters with the curious and otherwise very rare oceanic sunfish, or Mola Mola, that come close to the reef to visit cleaner stations. Currents are often strong as the islands lie right in the path of the Indonesian Throughflow. The Lombok Strait separates the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok, it is the second most important strait through which water is exchanged between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The best times to dive are when the tides peak at slack and high, when water movement is the least.
This popular dive site is located on the islands northwest shore in the Ceningan Channel. It is partially protected from the current and can offer good visibility and healthy coral. Plenty of schooling fish can be seen along with a couple of sea snakes on occasion. Quicksilver has a mooring here which often gets crowded with snorkelling daytrippers. The reef slopes down to around 25-30 meters with bommies and overhangs to explore.
SD, Ped and Sental
These sites are also extremely popular for their steep walls and prolific marine life. Drift diving along the steep sloped coral encrusted wall with sponges, hard and soft corals, gorgonians and myriad reef fish is awesome. Larger pelagics such as barracuda, tuna and jacks often put in an appearance here.
The dive site is small and often tricky to dive if currents are strong but it is one of the better places to see sharks. Also big dogtooth tuna, rainbow runners and mackerel to be found at this spot.
Batu Abah and Manta Point
The exposed rocks to the south of Nusa Penida are diveable but donâ€™t offer as much reef life as other sites. To the southwest of the island is Manta Point which has a dramatic backdrop of limestone cliffs that descend straight into the ocean. Swell and surge can be huge here so caution is needed, the water is also noticeably cooler. Not much in the way of reef but the main attractions are the mantas that often come here to feed.
Crystal Bay and Gamat Bay
Around the north side of Crystal Bay is a cave that opens up to the surface and is inhabited by bats. The sheltered lagoon has a nice sandy beach. The reef on the outer areas offers some good coral formations but again currents can be strong. Gamat Bay is a little further north back towards Toyapakeh, it has some sheltered spots which offer a relaxing alternative to drift diving. The rich area of the slope is around 10 to 20 meters where coral bommies and all manner of reef fish can be seen along side some macro critters.