The 5 Best Beginner Dive Sites around Amed

Blessed with clear visibility and a large variety of marine creatures: The area surrounding the little fishing village of Amed makes every divers heart beat go faster.
The north eastern coastline of Bali is packed with endless coral reefs. Dozens of bays string together forming Balis largest dive area. From Padang-Bay through Gili Selang up to Amed and Tulamben you could literally jump into the water and dive. This abundance of sites can be overwhelming, therefor we will share the 5 best dive sites for beginners with you.


1. USAT Liberty Shipwreck (Tulamben)

Depth: 5-35 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginner

The areas most famous dive site claimed its reputation for a reason. USAT Liberty was an American war vessel during the second world war. The ship got torpedoed by the Japanese towards the end of WW2 close to the Komodo Islands. Upon it’s sinking the ship got pulled to the island of Bali where allied forces beached the vessel on Tulambens shore. The Liberty remained stranded there for many years while being scavenged by the local community. The eruption of the massive volcano “Mt. Agung” in 1963 forced the vessel underwater where it lies up to this day. Over the years the wreck became a heavenly paradise for marine life. The whole ship is covered in different types of hard and soft corals. This coral city invites an astonishing variety of marine creatures to settle. Most famously known is a family of Humphead Parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) residing in the shipwreck at night, whilst grazing on the surrounding coral reefs during the day.

2. Pyramids (Amed, Tukatse)

Depth: 5-25 meters
Access: Shore/Boat
Level: Beginners to Advanced

This dive site in the heart of Amed is a pure gem. Along the large coral reef lie artificial coral constructions in the shape of pyramids. The reef itself ranges from a depth of 5 to 20 meters and is home to a variety of coral fish (Angle Fish, Butterfly Fish…). Alongside the reef on a depth of 18-25 meters about 20 large pyramids align them selves. Over the years the pyramids allowed plenty of corals to grow on them. With corals came a diversity of schooling fish (fusiliers, goat fish…). Additionally, every pyramid is home to a slightly different type of coral. Some of them are inhabited by large fan corals, others by table corals and some are home to a mix of different hard and soft coral species. This site can attract pelagic marine animals like hammerhead sharks, schools of barracudas and sometimes even whale sharks.

3. Amed Wall & Jemeluk Bay (Amed, Jemeluk)


Depth: 3-55 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginners, Advanced and Professional

The best place to learn diving in Amed. In the shallow areas of the bay, right off-shore, beginners can perfectly accomplish their Open Water Course. By venturing out towards the right side of the bay you will eventually reach the famously known “Amed Wall” – a beautiful wall dive site ranging from 10-45 meters. The wall is covered in all types of coral. You can find gigantic sponges, gorgeous fan corals and large table corals. On days of clear visibility you will be astonished by the beautiful landscape.

4. Drop Off (Tulamben)

Depth: 5-60 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginners, Advanced and Professional

Even though this dive site is dropping very deep, beginners can enjoy the feeling of flying along the shallower parts of the wall. The Tulamben Drop Off is quite different to the Wall in Amed. Different types of corals can be found. Also the marine life in this part of the coast varies from the one found in Amed. Just because the site is reaching very deep it doesn’t mean that the area from 5-18 meters has nothing to offer. A school of fusiliers is stationary living at the very beginning of the dive site. The Drop Off is also home to an abundance of macro marine life. Nudibranchs in all shapes and sizes can be encountered here. Don’t spread the word to loud but there have even been recent sightings of Whale Sharks right here!

5. Japanese Shipwreck (Amed)


Depth: 3-30 meters
Access: Shore
Level: Beginners

Among dive professionals in the area this site is known as a paradise for microscopic marine creatures. The wreck is considerably small and lies very shallow just in front the shore. Despite its small size it is home to dozens of nudibranchs, ghost pipefishes and coral fish. Beginners love this wreck as it is easily accessible and shallow. The reef surrounding the shipwreck is worth another whole dive itself. Pristine corals, thousands of different species of fish and the notoriously known “Pigmy Seahorse” can be found here. To find this very small seahorse you definitely need very good eyes or a dive buddy specialised in finding them!

Diving into Balinese Culture

Squeezed in between five locals on three tiny seats I am looking out of the bus windows, where Javas breathtaking landscape is passing by in front of my eyes. Volcanos shape the appearance of the one thousand kilometer long island and many of them are still active. Black smoke breaks the path out of the deep craters and remind me about my adventures of the past days.

The wheels of the airplane touched the ground with a loud zing. Two weeks ago i started my travels to Indonesia targeting mainly Balis underwater world. Chris, my 34 year old friend and dive buddy from Patagonia welcomed me with his huge smile on Denpasar’s airport. Together we set of to the sleepy village of Tulamben in the north east of Bali, where we planned to discover new underwater treasures. 


Read about my underwater experience of Tulamben in my Blog “Diving Tulamben, Bali”.

Chris left Tulamben after days of intense diving to make his way back to Thailand, I stayed and moved into the home of a balinese family.

On Bali, hospitality is capitalized.

Ketut, a local from Bali with a heart of gold would have wanted to adopt me as his son right away. Every morning I woke up to the delicious smell of a special balinese coffee called Luwak. His wife loved to cook the finest mouth-watering Indonesian dishes for me and his brother in law introduced me to Bali’s religion and the world of the many Gods.

An island with some hills

With over 3000 Meters of height juts the active volcano Agung over the north east of Bali. The mountain was already seen as a holy place for thousands of years. “Gunung Agung” as the locals call it or “giant mountain” stimulated the phantasy of the islands native inhabitants. They tried to explain the eruptions of the volcano by the power of the animistic gods living in it.
For a long time there were no modern religions on the island of Bali. Today, the island is dominated by Hinuds, Buddhists, Muslims and some few Christians. A remarkable feature of Balis Hinduism is the merge of Hinduism with the animistic believes of a distant past.

Wayan, Ketut’s brother in law is a an active Hindu, traveling to regularly to ceremonies in Tempels all over Bali. I had the great honor to join him and his family on one of his journeys. Dressed in a white sarong, a thin cloth which is wrapped around the waist and a kind of turban on my head we made our way to a new build Tempel at the foot of the infamous volcano Agung. Within a festive ceremony I got washed with holy water and got rice attached to my forehead, a symbol for wisdom.
The intimidating scenery of the Tempel, with an active volcano in the background had a strong impact on me and made me experience this moment with an unknown passion. I will never forget the feeling I had after the ceremony, because even if I am not belonging to any kind of religion I could strongly feel the spirituality which is so important to Balis people.

To be continued in “A celebration of Fire”