Padang Bai - The Best Dive Base in Bali
You may not have considered Padang Bai as a potential, let alone the best, dive base in Bali. Guide books, scuba diving magazines and traveller websites unequivocally send flocks of divers towards mass tourism areas of Bali devoid of any dive sites, such as Nusa Dua, Kuta, Seminyak and Sanur; or dive areas that only offer local diving like Tulamben, Amed and Nusa Lembongan. Then again, these same sources also direct the travelling herds to dynamited reefs on the other side of the Lombok Strait: the infamous Gili Islands!
Padang Bai has so much more to offer than most dive bases on Bali and beyond. Read on to learn why the Geko Dive Team believes the East Bali village of Padangbai is the best dive base of the Indonesian resort island...
Time spent off the bus is time well spent
Padang Bai's geographical location places it at an ideal position to minimise commutes to all the best dive sites of East and North Bali. Legendary dive sites like Blue Corner, Crystal Bay and Manta Point in Nusa Penida, the USAT Liberty shipwreck and the Drop-Off or Seraya in Tulamben, along with Candidasa's Gili islands of Biaha, Tepekong and Mimpang are all within one hour, and often much less, travel time from Geko Dive's Padang Bai base.
Geko Dive Bali's boats moor just 20 meters away from the Padang Bai diving school. When staying at a Padang Bai accommodation, divers can just walk to Geko's dive centre, check their gear in front of the diveshop and jump on the boat waiting on the beach accross the road. No bus, no car, no hassle: diving has just become stress-free. This suffices to help you forget last year's traffic jammed dive safari/one week bus tour around the island!
|Padang Bai||5 minutes||Boat|
|Gili Mimpang||15 minutes||Boat|
|Gili Tepekong||15 minutes||Boat|
|Gili Biaha||25 minutes||Boat|
|Nusa Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan Islands|
|Nusa Lembongan||20 minutes||Boat|
|Nusa Penida North||25 minutes||Boat|
|Nusa Penida - Crystal||35 minutes||Boat|
|Nusa Penida - Manta Point||55 minutes||Boat|
|Gili Selang||1.5 hours||Boat|
Divers(ity) hit the dive town
With so many great Balinese dive sites within reach, any diver will keep him/herself amused for many diving days. Some of Bali's very best macro and muck dive sites await avid underwater photographers. Geko Dive Bali's favourites include Seraya and Melasti in North Karangasem Regency. Hardcore muck divers can't get enough of the Jetty. Such macro lovers may not realise that the Geko Dive Team has some secret dive sites in Padang Bai up their sleeves ripe with rare critters. Many a divers' top of the bucket list includes rhinopias or frogfish
Adrenalin seekers may prefer diving in currents with large fish. Manta rays, green turtles, reef sharks and pelagic fish are fairly easy to find. Try dive sites such as Penida's Manta Point and Gili Tepekong for big fish action in Bali. The Geko Dive Bali Team also recommends Padang Bai's Tanjung Sari, Shark Point and Ferry Channel for divers seeking thrill. Mola-mola sunfish also make their appearance in season at Gili Mimpang and Biaha close to Candidasa or Toyapakeh, Blue Corner and Crystal Bay not far from Nusa Lembongan.
Beginners will also enjoy the calm conditions that some Bali dive sites offer. Discover Scuba Diving introductory dive programs are taught in Padang Bai's Blue Lagoon, Jepun and White Sand Beach courses.Tulamben and its world-famous Liberty shipwreck can be included in PADI Open Water Diver Courses. Where else can you see sharks, turtles, a historic shipwreck and a wealth of macro within your first four dives?
Scuba Diving Padang Bai Dive Sites Photography Gallery
And then there was the people...
Most of the Geko Dive Bali Team crew members come from and live in Padang Bai. Like many Balinese, they enjoy a good joke, sharing tips about the best places to go and getting to know travellers.
The Geko Dive Bali Team just loves to meet new divers and spend quality time under water and at the surface. Return guests turned friends just keep on coming back. Some of these Geko family members even have plans to come and settle down in Padang Bai and make this great Bali dive base their permanent home. As some say, home is where the heart is!