Scuba diving in Candidasa.
Amuk bay offers some of the best dive sites in Bali.
It has three volcanic islands with numerous dive sites and a Jetty. The islands offer some challenging dives for experienced divers, from deep walls, swim-throughs, and shark caves to stunning coral reefs. It is the perfect place to see big fish like reef sharks and mola mola, and also lots of tropical fish and turtles. On the other hand, the Jetty is an easy muck dive, perfect for macro lovers, where you can see the strangest creatures underwater, such as many different species of ghost pipefish, seahorse, and frogfish. All the dive sites in Candidasa area can be reached in a few minutes by boat.
Dive Candidasa: Gili Biaha
Gili Biaha is a small islet located just in from of the famous white sand beach.
This lava formation island emerges from the depths of the Indic Ocean all the way up to the surface.
Highlights are the shark cave and its walls that go deeper than 80 meters. At the famous shark cave, white tip reef sharks have found their home. It is a very nice place to have a very close encounter with them. Also remarkable are huge lobsters, lantern fish, frogfish, and a great variety of nudibranchs. To top, occasionally during the season, we can spot oceanic sunfish.
But, we have to carefully plan this dive because currents and swells can be strong, especially around the new moon and full moon.
A very special feeling while diving in the cave is the big pressure from the swell. You will feel it in your regulator and in your ears. For this reason, inside the cave divers must constantly equalize their ears.
The best moment of the dive is when you are inside the cave looking at the blue. If you are lucky you can see the silhouette of the sharks swimming in the cave. It is an image you won’t ever forget.
Diving Candidasa. Gili Tepekong
Gili Tepekong is the biggest of the three islands in Candidasa. Its unique topography makes it one of our favorite spots in the area.
Here we can enjoy three different dive sites that are reserved for advanced divers: the canyon, the blue hole, and the shark nursery.
The blue hole is a tunnel located at the southern tip of the island. It starts at 16 meters and ends up at 28 meters opening to the blue. Just at the end of the blue hole starts a very deep wall and a huge platform that continues gradually descending deeper than 80 meters.
From here we usually head north, following the reef where we can see big boulders with a great biodiversity of marine life.
Like all the dive sites at the islands of Candidasa, it needs to be very well planned. At the tip of the island is the place where the currents from the deep ocean split and can trigger up currents, down currents, and mixed currents, which divers usually called the washing machine.
Highlights of the northern part of Gili Tepekong are the big boulders creating a unique topography. It is so much fun to dive in the middle of them and do the swim-throughs. No doubt the highlight is the shark nursery. Baby sharks love to swim protected in between the boulders.
We continue our dive along the most protected eastern side of the island. Here grows a healthy reef that gradually drops deeper than 60 meters. Here we can find many hard corals forming bommies with large gorgonians. Likewise, fish life is very good. For example, you can see schooling sweet lips, batfish, fusiliers, jacks, cuttlefish, clownfish, and turtles. Also, large table corals give shelter to baby sharks.
The canyon is one of the most exciting and also challenging dives in Amuk Bay! It has a reputation for fierce currents, so it is reserved for experienced divers only.
Diving Candidasa. The canyon is located on the west-southern tip of the island. We usually start the dive in the protected wall on the west side of the island. From there we head south until we arrive at the canyon. It starts at 20 meters depth and it goes deeper than 60 meters. Its underwater topography consists mainly of black basaltic rocks and boulders. If you swim further on the blue, you arrive at the secret island. It is an underwater pinnacle in the middle of the blue, full of life.
Because of existing strong currents, coral growth is scarce. As a result, is only big gorgonians growing. Visibility can be very good, but water temperature drops in the dry season to as low as 20 degrees in the deepest part.
This is a dive that we carefully plan and only under perfect conditions. We are sure it will be the one, you won’t forget for a long time.
Diving Candidasa. Gili Mimpang
Gili Mimpang is a small archipelago of four big rocks. We usually start the dive at the Northside of the middle rock dropping straight to around 18 meters. Here we encounter a sloping reef. Full of hard and soft corals with many bommies and teaming with fish life. Usually current will carry us along that reef to the West.
On the way, we have the chance to spot white and blacktip sharks, schools of jacks, sweet lips, and many more different species of marine life. The shallow part of the reef on the southern side of the islands is just magical with a great variety of life. Examples are reef fish, clownfish, turtles, crustaceans and hard coral bommies, gorgonians, and also large barrel sponges. At this dive site, we usually enjoy very good visibility and in the season we have a chance to spot mola-molas.
Like all the dive sites in the area, Gili Mimpang may also present strong currents. Therefore, this dive site is only suitable for advanced divers.
Diving Candidasa – Jetty
This 300 meters long jetty, was completed in 2009. But actually, because of differences in international standards, it has never been used. Consequently has become home to the impressive biodiversity of strange creatures. In truth is a paradise for macro lovers.
In fact, the pillars of this jetty are fully covered with corals and also sea fans. Here, you can find a variety of crabs and also tiny prawns. On the other hand, on the sandy bottom, you can see a great variety of life. For example, many frogfish, pipefish, anemone fish, and snakes are buried in the sand. Also eels, stonefish, rhinopias, blue-ringed octopus, and countless sea slugs.
The topography is a sandy bottom and depth between 3 and 16 meters. No doubt is the highlight muck dive in Candidasa.
The Jetty usually presents no current to moderate, as a result, this dive is easy and suitable for all levels.
Dive Bali Candidasa: Watch this video, of a normal day diving at Gili Biaha.
Video credit: Ludovic Amevor
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