a pleasure-hunting monkey.
As the world’s largest archipelago country, with around 70 percent of its territory comprising of water, Indonesia is blessed with plenty of breathtaking underwater scenery. Many divers make their way to the country’s many islands to discover this beauty. For those not yet certified to dive, Indonesia is also a great destination to get a license.
If you’re making your way from the Capital, you can easily join dive courses in Jakarta mostly issued by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) or Scuba Schools International (SSI). Or, for a better recreational diving experience, head to the island of Bali where you’ll find many attractive dive sites.
I was lucky. I have Prue, an advanced diver friend, who always encouraged me to begin diving since years ago. Then she finally organized a-get-the-licence dive trip for me and other buddies to Tulamben, Bali, back in April 2014.
Tulamben, in the north-eastern part of Bali, around a 3-hour drive from Denpasar, is one of the island’s favorite diving spots. For beginners, the site is highly recommended because you can learn to dive there in any month of the year.
Diving in Tulamben is also cheaper than other spots in Bali because it can be accessed without having to rent a boat. Meanwhile, the under water view in Tulamben is very easy to see. Divers can simply swim around 10 meters from the beach to reach its beautiful underwater vista.
With clear visibility starting from 15 to 20 meters, you can expect to see many interesting species of fish such as the big-eye trevally, jack fish, gobies, sweetlips and lizardfish swimming very close to your face. This site offers varies underwater vista, from the historical piece to the natural biological things.
The USAT Liberty shipwreck, which has been there since 1942 after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, has attracted plenty of divers to explore the site and will also serve as a spectacular bonus for beginners learning to dive in Tulamben.
With coral growing on the ship’s 120-meter frame, and with it being home to some rich marine life including the schooling jack fish, barracuda, napoleon wrasse, humpback parrot fish, white and blacktip reef sharks, as well as pigmy seahorses, the site is the ultimate underwater playground.
Besides the shipwreck, the Coral Garden is another beautiful underwater playground in Tulamben. Here, you can enjoy the view of various types of hard and soft corals from 2-15 meters depth asides with the fishes, including Napoleon fish, pipefish, parrotfish, clownfish even the barracuda fish.
For those worried about their safety, Tulamben’s calm, smooth waters offer a safe place for your diving course. A number of medical support services are also available in the area.
The net price of an Open Water dive course in Tulamben starts from Rp 4.5 million (US$382.5) for a PADI certificate and Rp 4.3 million for a SSI certificate, which includes an open water diving course, certification and log book, pool and open water sessions, basic diving gear and tank rent.
I was taking the PADI Scuba Certification Diving Course program by Bali Dive Travel that based in Sanur, Bali with Made Suwena as my PADI instructure. So far, as I know, they offer the most affordable dive course on the island. Here to see their price list and dive trip packages.
Like an anniversary dive trip for my Diving License, I came back diving in Tulamben by the end of March with some friends from WWF and Reef Check Indonesia. Indeed, I am very lucky having them as my diving buddies.
Nothing changed much, besides at that time, we were a bit late to begin diving. We got the stronger currents that made us had to back to the shore and wait until the current got calmer. The USAT shipwreck still looks amazing as we went inside and exploring some parts of it. Me, I hit my personal diving record, diving to the 21 meters depth.
I wrote this post and originally published on The Jakarta Post Travel. Here’s the link.