Another great diving spot in Indonesia. I heard a lot about Nusa Lembongan diving so I decided to stop on this beautiful island near Bali and take some dives here. Diving is really great here. It offers nice dive sites where you have great chances to see Manta Rays and the famous and rare Mola Mola (Oceanic Sunfish).
How to get there
The only realistic way to reach Nusa Lembongan is by boat either from Bali or from Lombok/Gili Trawangan. From Bali, most of the scheduled fast boat services leave from Sanur Beach at the end of Jalan Hangtuah, and usually involve getting your feet wet at boarding. There are lot of companies providing boat service during whole day. There is also daily service from Gili Trawangan and Lombok to Nusa Lembongan. The boat leaves Lombok (Senggigi) at 12:45am, picking up at Gili Trawangan at 13:15, and arrives in Lembongan around 16:00.
When to go
The best time to go is from April to November. To spot Mola Mola the best period is from August to October. I was there at the beginning of the May and the weather was perfect and the island was still not crowdy so on land as under the water which is normal during peak season.
Prices / Accommodation
Nusa Lembongan is more expensive than other dive sites in Indonesia (due to Bali snowball effect). The prices starts on 30 USD per dive down to 25 USD if you do 5 and more dives. I chose go diving with Dive Concepts just because of the reasonable price. Other dive centers on the island are even more expensive. Around dive center there are plenty of accommodation possibilities. We stayed in bungalow (fan) with small terrace for 8 USD / night.
Nusa Lembongan Diving and Dive Sites
One of the most famous dive sites around Bali is Manta Point where numerous manta rays come all year round to enjoy the cleaning station. Just boat ride itself to this dive site is very impressive and if you are lucky as we were you can spot dolphins jumping next to the boat 🙂 Seeing Manta Rays there is not always a 100% guarantee but they are there almost every day so you have a good chance of spotting them. Also some dive companies offer money back if you do not see the Manta Rays. Diving Manta Point is quite easy and shallow (max depth 15 m) and suitable for all divers. This site is very popular and often crowded so try to get there early in the morning to avoid the crowd. Moreover the conditions are better in the morning, after the sea could become choppy and visibility less good. If the Manta Rays are not there it can be a boring dive. That day i was lucky to dive with more then 10 Mantas unfortunately the visibility was not very good as you can see in video. But still it was an amazing experience.
The best place to see the Mola Mola is the dive site Crystal Bay. However the current can be strong and tricky and it is not always possible to dive there. But the same we can say about Manta Point.
Here are some of the best dive sites in Nusa Lembongan:
CRYSTAL BAY – located on the south west of Nusa Penida, this site is a bay with rocky island in the middle. Inside the bay is sheltered from the currents, with a colorful reef sloping down to the white sandy bottom. The rocky island has steep drop offs to the south and west and an amazing shelf in the north covered with soft corals in the shallows. Outside the bay the currents bring nutrient rich waters are a favorite site for Mola Mola and other pelagics. Crystal Bay is a good training site too.
MANTA POINT (Nusa Penida) – a manta cleaning station, with frequent sightings of mantas, often larger in size than at Secret Manta. Another good spot for snorkeling. There is not much in the way of coral here, with mainly limestone rocks and sandy bottoms. Blue spotted stingrays and marble rays can be found in the sand. Occasional sightings of bamboo, wobbygong and nurse sharks.
BLUE CORNER – steep slope with overhangs and outcroppings. There are lots of different shrimps and crabs hiding in the crevices. Regularly seen are schools of spotted eagle rays, big marble rays, reef sharks, schools of snappers and jacks, and if you are lucky the Mola Mola!
TOYA PAKEH – Excellent coral cover and variety. The site covers a large shallow area, with the reef plateau at different depth levels. The shallow part of the reef has numerous species of invertebrates. Regularly sighted are nudibranch, ribbon eels, scorpion fish, octopus, puffers, moray eels, mantis shrimp and the hairy squat lobster. Big marble rays, giant trevally and barracuda are also frequently spotted.
ENGINE REEF – as there’s a chance of seeing anything and everything here! The dive starts by swimming over the reef crest to a vertical wall plunging down to the deep depths of the Toyapakeh channel. Mid-way through the dive the topography changes to a series of terraces, canyons, overhangs and rocky pinnacles.
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