Diving in Tulamben
Tulamben is a quiet fishing village located on the northeast coast of Bali, Indonesia. The sea area of this village offers gentle diving conditions, which is suitable for any level of diver, and sites with rich and abundant marine life that even the most experienced divers will want to explore them again and again. Diving in Tulamben will get you to meet mola-mola sunfish, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks in the waters of Tulamben. Its location and biodiversity make Tulamben become one of the best dive sites around the world. Besides that, there is a natural USAT Liberty ship wreck in the area, which sank in 1963 when Gunung Agung erupted. The easy access to this wreck, which is also home to a group of bumphead parrot fish, makes diving in Tulamben an exceptional experience. Sea conditions are generally excellent and little affected by the current in the Tulamben region sites. The water temperature is often in the best condition around Bali, at a balmy 26-29ºC and the sun almost always shines.
Because it is located in the famous island of Bali, it is very easy to reach Tulamben. If you are going from Jakarta or any other major cities in Indonesia, there are several domestic airlines ready to pick you up to Bali. From South Bali or the Ngurah Rai International Airport of Denpasar, you can reach Tulamben Village in a 4-hour drive. After reaching Padang Bai, the road follows on into breathtaking landscapes filled with terraces of green rice paddy fields, amazing sea views, quiet Balinese villages and ancient temples. If you go there on your own, it would be best if you rent a car/van with a driver. The other alternative that you can take to reach Tulamben is by bus, but it will be a long and far journey. To accommodate your diving needs and guides while you are there, you may choose one of several diving center in the village.
There are three main diving sites in Tulamben, they are the famous USS Liberty shipwreck, Tulamben Wall, and the Tulamben House Reef. Just 30 meters from shore, there is the broken 120 meter long wreckage of this World War II cargo ship, the USS Liberty. The wreck is now completely covered in healthy coral growth, and the numerous structural holes provide endless opportunities for exploration. The most dominating species living here are soft corals such as crinoids, featherstars and hydroids. There are several fish species that made the wreck their home, such as sunfish, great barracuda, Napoleon fish and scribbled filefish. A dive site known by the name Tulamben Wall or “Drop-Off” is located south-east from the shipwreck at the end of the stony shoreline. The wall drops off to 60 meters, has large barrel sponges, and is characterized by 3 main spurs and an overhang at 18 metres. Here you can see small families of bumphead parrotfish, fairy basslets, pufferfish, hawkfish and damselfish. The ornate ghost pipefish and even comet fish are also can be found here by the shallow black ash sand. The Tulamben House Reef is located in front of the scuba resorts. It is an ideal student learning ground as it has shallow areas at 5 meters and a maximum depth of 25 meters. This reef hosts many of the common fish such as wrasses, snappers, parrotfish, butterfly fish, as well as more unusual frogfish, scorpionfish and nudibranchs.
Take a dive on the incredible US Liberty Wreck and witness the fantastic array of corals and marine life that have made the ship their home. Alternatively, enjoy a calm inspection of one of the area’s vibrant coral reefs and see just how varied the marine life on Bali can be. Diving in Bali, especially in Tulamben is a perfect experience for beginners, because you can find a number of sites which are suitable for training dives, fun dives and underwater photography. Spending several days in this location is not long enough as the marine life and outstanding diversity can keep you amused for several weeks.