I've been able to dive the entire length of the channel between Penida and Ceningan, north end to sound end, during falling tide. Due to the velocity of these currents, these are not typically good places to try macro-photography.
Upwelling from the deep waters south of Bali keep the visibility in these areas good, but they can form thermoclines with temperatures dropping down to a chilly 22 C. If you notice that most of the fish are staying above a certain depth, expect colder waters just below them.
Pelagics are the main attraction here. Sharks are common and big mantas are frequently sighted in season. The most unusual pelagic to visit Nusa Penida ( Late July - Early October) is the Mola Mola or ocean sunfish Expect your air consumption to jump when you see one of these giants. The best chances of seeing the mola mola are 2 days after either a full or new moon, as the upwelling due to currents is the greatest and the cold waters are nearer the surface.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, SD Point
With a strong current flow in the area, generally there are many Anthias around, sometimes big fishes like Giant Trevally, Sharks and if you are lucky, the Sunfish (the season for Sunfish is between July to September). Visibility is around 20m and more. Temperatures are usually 26 to 29C but may drop to around 20C, so please be prepared. This place is suitable for divers who seek a higher adventure. The dive site is stretch along the north coast of Penida Island . The soft and hard corals are among the best in Bali . Generally 2 to 3 dives will cover the area (depending on how strong the current is).
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Sampalan
The site is located on the north side of Lembongan; the marine life is similar to SD Point with some high lights of underwater structure that is quite different. Some undertow is quite common and thermoclines are present in deeper water. Some slopes are full of soft coral with reef fish hovering to get nutrients from the rich water.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Blue Corner
The site offers a sloping reef with a terrace at 20 to 30m. The current here is usually stronger than at other places (it may reach 3 to 4 knots). This is one of the best places to see Sunfish. Normally when the condition is right, we can dive here. The marine life is similar to SD Point but not as rich.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Toyapakeh
This is a very nice spot as it is protected from swell and current. Although the current is sometimes strong, usually it is negotiable. Many Blue trigger fishes at some point and near the Pontoon, there are usually many Giant Trevally and Sharks are quite common. The reef reaches down to around 40m and is very healthy. The shallow area is excellent for snorkeling. The water is crystal clear with a visibility up to 30m. Some encounters with big pelagic fish are common.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Lembongan Bay
The site is located in a protected area with water sports and pontoons. The site is shallow, 5 to 10m deep and offers varieties of soft and hard corals. The coral is rich and healthy with many varieties of reef fish. It is a good place for beginner divers to experience a slight current and also for training. It is also good for snorkeling.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Malibu Point
Malibu Point is considered one of the nicest sites in the island (besides SD and Toyapakeh). It's slightly wilder than Toyapakeh with great schools of jacks, rainbow runner, tuna, reef sharks and stingrays. There are quite many sharks, and also Stingrays. Visibility is generally very good, at least 20m. There are also some big table corals around.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Gamat Bay
It's not far from Toyapakeh. The water is always clear, and the reef is a steep, rugged slope leading into the bay. In fact, Gamat is the only good site on Penida that does not always require a drift dive. You need your observation skill to see the macro things which lay beneath the surface. It is full of small caves and crevices and the variety of reef fish and invertebrates here are exceptional.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Crystal Bay
Experience the underwater cave system starting at around 10m of water and end up inside an opening in the bat cave. The location is situated in a very nice white sandy beach lagoon. The current could be tricky with a dropoff starting at around 20m. The underwater structure is excellent with some variation of coral and coral and swim throughs. When the current is not strong, snorklers can enjoy the underwater scenery from the bay. Underwater navigation skills are required to navigate around the rocks or better just let our Instructor navigate for you. Fish life is very rich and occasionally Sunfish and Nurse Sharks hide under the corals.
Nusa Penida/Nusa Lembongan Area, Manta Point
Usually there are 3 to 4 Mantas cruising the site. The profile is a slope down to 50m. There are not many corals, just limestone rocks. Other than Mantas, there are also tuna, mackerel and other pelagics. The swell is usually quite strong.
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