One of the most popular destinations for a Bali dive safari are Tulamben and Amed with Amed being the main base for divers who want to to dive the USS Liberty wreck at Tulamben.
Expect for the USS Liberty there is not much going on in Tulamben found about 30 km to the north of Amed. This is the reason many divers prefer to stay in Amed In Amed, you will find many accommodations that have an in-house dive center or work close with a specific dive operator in town making it simple to explore the dive sites in the area.
If you want to explore all the dive sites in the area and want to visit the famous water palace and Bali's most sacred temple, Besakih you should stay in the area for a few days. And while you are their stroll along the endless black sandy beaches, lined with the classic Balinese outrigger fishing boats.
How to Get to Amed?
Amed lies on the north-eastern side of Bali. The best way to get there would be to fly into Bali's airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport. The easiest way to get to Amed from the airport though is to hire your own transport with a driver. You can simply get into a taxi after you arrive and then take the 3-hour drive to Amed. If you're coming from the towns of Lovina or Candidasa, you can take a shuttle bus to Amed instead.
What are the 3 must-see dive site of Tulamben and Amed?
The shipwreck of the USAT Liberty
This US Army transport ship sank after it was torpedoed in 1942 by a Japanese submarine. It's found at around 30 meters deep and, over the years, beautiful corals took over the wreck.
You will see a variety of soft corals once you get down to the wreck, and many fish have found shelter within this new reef system. Don't be surprised if a few pelagic's pass through while you're exploring this historic wreck. If you have the chance and are in for a real scuba adventure, you should arrange a night dive on the wreck.
There are three sections to the Tulamben Wall.
- The drop-off
- Coral garden
- Shark point
Overhanging rocks and stunning corals are found in the drop-off, where a large variety of fish, from various angelfish to Duke fish and jack fish, can be found.
The coral garden
The coral garden is even prettier. It is a so-called flat reef starting at 3 meters (10 feet) and has a maximum depth of approximately 15 meters. The reef is decorated with hard and soft corals, tropical fish, and many blue-yellow ribbon moray eels. Divers often spot Blacktip reef sharks patrolling the outskirts of the coral garden reef.
Both drop-off and Coral Garden offer calm currents and because of the sloping reefs they're ideal to be explored by all levels of divers. At shark point, you can find black-tip and white-tip sharks at around 20-30 meters deep. When the currents are right, you even have the opportunity to catch glimpses of hammerhead and gray reef sharks.
Planning a scuba trip to Tulamben and Amed? Then download the ultimate scuba dive checklist just like 5000+ other divers already so you will not forget to bring anything.
The great thing about the scuba dive sites around Amed and Tulamben is the fact that you can get a peek at some of the world's most beautiful and elusive marine animals like the Mola Mola From extensive coral reefs to tiny creatures perfect for macro u/w photography to tropical fish whose beauty will leave you in awe, and sharks that will take your breath away.
When is The Best Time to visit Tulamben and Amed?
If you plan on diving in Tulamben, the best time of year to go is from April to July and October to November. Visibility is best at this time, peaking on good days at 120 ft or 40 meters.
Non diving activities in Amed
Free diving (Apnea) is becoming more and more popular, and there are at least 2 free diving schools with who you can learn how to free dive. Or go fishing for mackerel, barracuda or tuna with a local fisherman. This means you would have to get up early though, but afterwards you could enjoy a traditional Balinese massage on the beach.
After a few days in the area, you probably want to move forward to your next destination. A few good options are:
- Lovina beach in north Bali. Here you will find more beaches to relax
- Padang Bai where you will find more amazing dive site. This is also the place to where you will find the ferry to Lombok
- If you want to get back to the South of Bali you can best find a shuttle bus who will take you back in about 2,5
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.