After cruising around Bali for a while, I caught a boat out to do some diving in Lembongan Island with a friend of mine. It’s only a 30-minute ride from mainland Bali. You can either catch a boat from Sanur or Bali Hai offers cruises to and from the island leaving from Benoa Harbor. While on the island I stayed and dived with Bali Hai Diving Adventures. They’re a PADI 5-star dive resort and have the best location on the island, right on Mushroom Beach.
Diving in Lembongan
There are 16 dive sites around Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Throughout the 3 days I was there, I dove 4 of them. My favorite was Crystal Bay because we saw the elusive Mola Mola. Unfortunately because of the cold water (16-18 celsius!), the camera lens fogged up for most of the dive. We also saw a few mantas that were about 3 meters long. This one was even swimming right at us!
My other favorite dive site on the island was Toyapakeh. The water was crystal clear and not too cold, so it made for some great pictures. There were sea turtles, huge puffer fish, lots of other colorful fish, and beautiful corals.
One of the most interesting things I saw while diving in Lembongan was a large sea snake eating an eel! I’m not sure how this is even possible, but the snake had it in its mouth.
Dive photos courtesy of Vagabond Virginia.
It was really enjoyable diving in Lembongan with Bali Hai. The dive masters were super friendly and knowledgable about what to expect at each dive site. This was helpful because some of the dive sites had some decently strong currents, so it was good to know that beforehand. Another thing to mention is that the rental gear was really high quality, unlike the gear I’ve gotten from a lot of other dive shops.
In addition to the diving in Lembongan, I also stayed at Bali Hai’s Hai Tide Resort. All of the Lumbungs are almost like tree houses and they offer either beach front or garden views. Each room has a balcony, air con, and an area underneath probably for massages. The best part about staying here was how close to the beach it is. It’s literally just steps away.
They also have two large pools on the property. There is the main pool by the restaurant and then another that was right by our Lumbung that nobody was using. It turned out to be almost like our own private pool most of the time!
The Hai Bar and Grill was also pretty good. It was nice to be able to have breakfast looking out over the ocean. It was also the only spot in Mushroom Beach where we could find pizza later at night, because sometimes you just need pizza.
Diving in Lembongan was pretty spectacular and it’s a quick trip if you’re traveling around Bali. There are a variety of dive sites and you could easily spend 3-4 days trying all the different ones. Bali Hai has packages starting at $390 for 2 nights at the resort and 4 fun dives, which includes all your gear rentals, a Bali Hai Cruise to and from the island, as well as breakfast and the lunch buffet.
Have you been diving in Lembongan? What were your favorite dive sites?
Disclosure: My stay and diving in Lembongan were provided by Bali Hai. However, as always, all opinions are my own.