If we are talking about diving in Tulamben, most often it is understood as dives to the sunken ship Liberty. But only true enthusiasts of this area know how many other interesting places there are in this region. And the sunken ship in Tulamben is not the only one.
Shall we go through the dive sites in this area?
The "Liberty" is a cargo ship that was 120 meters long and was built in 1918 in New Jersey, USA.
During World War II, it was requisitioned by the American army for transporting goods. This ship was armed with two guns: a large-caliber one at the bow and a small-caliber one at the stern.
During its last voyage on June 11, 1942, the ship was hit by two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine while passing through Lombok. The crew attempted to bring it to Singaraja.
However, the ship took on too much water and beached itself on the shores of Tulamben, where it could be offloaded. The "Liberty" remained on Tulamben Beach from 1942 to 1963. In 1963, an earthquake, triggered by the eruption of Mount Agung, caused the "Liberty" to slide into the ocean, resting at a depth of 30-40 meters from the shoreline.
All dive centers in Tulamben conduct shore dives to explore the shipwreck. The 120-meter-long ship lies at depths ranging from 5 to 28 meters.
Life thrives everywhere on the Liberty wreck. Here, you can find the humphead parrotfish, Australian trevally schools, Leaf scorpion fish, pygmy seahorses, giant barracuda, frogfish, groupers, jackfish, angelfish, blacktip, and whitetip reef sharks.
If you're very lucky, you may even encounter a hammerhead shark, eagle ray, or even a mola mola fish!
The wreck has been completely colonized by corals during its long years in the waters of Tulamben. Over time, the paint that was originally intended to protect the hull from marine life has peeled off, allowing it to become densely overgrown with plants. Colorful gorgonians have found a perfect place in the front part of the ship.
The ship lies on its starboard side, with the captain's bridge oriented vertically relative to the water surface. The bow faces west, and the stern faces east. The ship's wheel is still clearly visible. One of the cannons under the gun turret at the front of the ship is also preserved at a depth of about 28 meters.
This site is suitable for wreck diving, marine biology exploration, night diving, freediving, orientation, photography, and is also suitable for novice divers.
2. Coral Garden
This shallow water area is located in one of the richest and most biologically diverse regions in Tulamben.
There is a great chance to spot blacktip sharks here. The coral reef serves as a habitat for clownfish hiding in anemones, making it an ideal spot for underwater photography.
Natural and artificial corals can be found here. Just 30 meters from the shore, you can encounter leaf scorpion fish.
The site is situated 300 meters east of the Liberty wreck and is at a depth of 15 meters from the shore.
During the favorable seasons, you can find leaf scorpion fish, ribbon moray eels, clownfish, nudibranchs, various types of shrimp, as well as ghost pipefish and frogfish here.
You'll see anemones, and an artificial reef in the shape of a small plane was installed here over 15 years ago. This densely colonized reef attracts numerous small reef fish.
The average depth of the site is 10 meters with a maximum depth of 25 meters. However, blacktip sharks can be spotted even at depths of 5-10 meters!
This site is suitable for marine biology exploration, night diving, freediving, photography, beginner diving, and snorkeling.
Typically, the current is very weak, and visibility ranges from 10 to 30 meters.
3. Boga Wreck
The ship "Boga" was intentionally sunk in September 2012 to create an artificial reef, and indeed, more and more fish are congregating here. The wreck gradually sinks deeper down the slope each year. Initially, its maximum depth was only 30 meters.
It's suitable for staged photography as statues, cars, and other objects were also submerged along with the ship.
Access to the site is from the shore, 300 meters from the road leading to Kubu Monkey. Porters can assist in transporting equipment to the entry point.
Numerous fish have colonized the sunken ship. You can find moray eels, lionfish, schools of barracuda and trevally here. The batfish family has comfortably settled into the steel frames.
The ship is still well-preserved and has not yet been completely covered by corals.
The bow of the ship lies at 18 meters, and the stern at 36 meters.
This site is suitable for wreck diving and deep diving specializations.
It's excellent for divers with a 2nd level certification or Advanced certification, as well as for those looking to specialize in dives up to 40 meters deep.
4. Tulamben Drop Off
This site is also known as the Tulamben Wall. It is characterized by weak currents and good visibility ranging from 10 to 30 meters.
It's one of the most popular sites in the area, with depths ranging from 3 to 80 meters. The wall was formed by a lava flow from Mount Agung during the 1963 eruption. Today, this surface is covered with a multitude of corals.
The site is easy to find and can be reached by boat or with a 5-minute swim from the shore.
Here, you can find blacktip reef sharks, dogtooth tuna, Leaf scorpion fish, pygmy seahorses, eagle rays, napoleons, giant parrotfish, numerous nudibranchs, and lionfish.
The wall is adorned with both hard and soft corals, and giant gorgonians loom over the abyss.
The top of the wall starts at 3-5 meters and descends to more than 80 meters.
This site is suitable for marine biology exploration, photography, deep diving, training dives, and night diving.
It is suitable for divers of all levels.
5. Seraya Secret - Macro
This is one of the most well-known sites in Bali for macro diving.
The site is accessible from the shore.
Here, you can find harlequin shrimps, frogfish, various types of shrimp, nudibranchs, leopard moray eels, and lionfish. Diving at this site at night is particularly interesting.
The landscape features black sandy bottoms with a few small rocks covered in sponges and corals.
The maximum depth of the site is 30 meters. To maximize your bottom time, try to stay above 22 meters. The site is characterized by weak currents and good visibility ranging from 10 to 30 meters.
It's great for macro diving, marine biology exploration, education, and photography.
The site is suitable for divers of all levels. The seafloor here consists of very fine particles, so it's crucial to control your movements and buoyancy well to avoid stirring up sand clouds and spoiling your photographs.
6. Kubu Monkey
This site is located in Kubu, and it takes about 2 minutes to swim to it from Kubu Beach. Here, you'll find a coral garden with sandy patches where blue spotted stingrays hide. Gorgonians house pygmy seahorses. Other inhabitants of the garden include frogfish, ghost pipefish, various species of crabs, and shrimp.
The site ranges in depth from 5 to 30 meters and is excellent for underwater photography. It is suitable for divers of all levels of experience.
As the name suggests, the main attraction of this site is the perpendicular canyon. You can descend along it from a depth of 6 to 24 meters, eventually reaching a coral wall that runs parallel to the shore.
You can also find a small cave about 30 meters to the west of the canyon. This is an excellent site with visibility ranging from 10 to 30 meters. You can even enjoy snorkeling over the canyon.
At the site, you can encounter sharks, eagle rays, porcelain crabs, pipefish, numerous nudibranchs, and humphead parrotfish.
The site is rich in hard corals and giant gorgonians with a diameter of over one and a half meters.
The site descends to 30 meters with an average depth of 15 meters in the western part. In the eastern part, there is a beautiful coral field, especially at depths ranging from 10 to 15 meters.
It is suitable for divers of all levels, and currents are typically weak or absent.
8. Batu Belah
This site is characterized by coral blocks on the sandy bottom, and its structure is different from other sites in Tulamben.
Diving is conducted from the shore, with entry to the east of the Balinese temple.
Here, you'll find many purple leaf scorpion fish, shrimp, barracuda, spotted eagle rays, green turtles, Javanese moray eels, and ribbon moray eels.
The average depth of the site is 15 meters, with a maximum depth of 25 meters. There are weak currents, and visibility typically ranges from 10 to 30 meters.
It's suitable for marine biology exploration, macro photography, photography, and research diving. It's accessible to divers of all levels of experience.
9. Batu Kelebit
The site features magnificent corals that extend to a depth of 60 meters, making it suitable for deep diving and technical diving. The average depth of the site is 25 meters, with visibility ranging from 10 to 30 meters.
To reach this site, you can take a boat from the Tulamben Drop-Off, and during high tide, you can also access it from the shore.
At the site, you can find Napoleon fish, eagle rays, reef sharks, schools of green humphead parrotfish, green turtles, and scorpion fish.
It's a splendid coral field that stretches from the west coast of the site to a small pebble beach.
Keep an eye on tides and currents as the site is exposed to marine currents.
It's suitable for marine biology exploration and deep diving in blue water.
This site is recommended for divers with a level of at least Advanced Open Water certification.