Nusa Penida - SCUBA Diving with Manta Rays and Mola Molas (Bali, Indonesia)

Are you a certified diver and planning a holiday to Bali? Plan a trip to Nusa Penida and dive with manta rays and mola molas! Nusa Penida is an island South-East of Bali. The most famous dive spots here are Manta Point and Crystal Bay.

Country Indonesia
Dive area name Bali, Nusa Penida / Manta Point
Dive center ‎Joe's Gone Diving
Famous for Manta rays and Mola Mola
Price Day trip with 2 guided dives $145,- including transport, lunch/snacks, towels, park fees and dive insurance.
$25,- full set equipment including dive computer
Hotel recommendation Bali Life Villas
Nusa Penida SCUBA Diving with Manta Rays and Mola Molas Bali Indonesia  Nusapenida

The dive sites

Manta Point is a cleaning station meaning Manta rays come here to get their body, teeth and gills cleaned by small fish like cleaner wrasse and parasitic copepods. Quite often manta points form around a rock formation at a shallow dept. Mantas circle around the rock as slowly and steady as possible to get the best 'cleaning'.

The manta rays around Nusa Penida are reef manta rays, they can get a wing span of 3 to 3,5 meter and eat plankton. Manta rays are identified by the pattern on their bellies.
Nusa Penida SCUBA Diving with Manta Rays and Mola Molas Bali Indonesia  Bali Nusa Penida 42
Dives around a manta point are not so 'active' in general, most of the time you will be lined in a circle around the cleaning station to watch the show. It is important NOT to enter the station itself (for a good picture) because you will disturb the cleaning and the mantas might swim away and you will spoil it for all the other divers. Be eco not ego!

Crystal Bay is a dive spot where you can see the Mola Molas, the Ocean Sunfish. A disk-like flat fish that eats jelly fish with an average diameter of about 3 meter. Although I have been diving many times during the Mola Mola season I have never been lucky enough to see one. The best time for spotting Mola Mola is from July to October. The deeper part of Crystal Bay can have very strong currents and down currents (pulling you to greater depths) so they are for experienced divers and have special procedures. Having that said, the dive site gives a good chance of seeing sharks, rays and schools of fish in the blue.

About the organization of ‎Joe's Gone Diving


Reef CREATURE Identification
Paul Human

Tropical Pacific
(South-East Asia
South Pacific
& Australia)
1600 Animals!

There are many dive centers on Bali itself as well as on Nusa Penida. Most dive center from Bali organize day trips to Nusa Penida, in general you can say the further the distance from the dive site the more expensive the trip because of the fuel. Sanur is probably the most accessible place on Bali with one hour rides by speedboat to Nusa Penida. If you want to combine 'cheaper' shore dives with a day trip to Nusa Penida you might want to consider staying in Padang Bai or Tulamben/Amed since the diving around Sanur is not so interesting.

Joe's Gone Diving on Bali is a dive center run by a lovely Dutch couple that offers a good price, service and dive equipment combination. As soon as you enter the dive center you will love the relaxed diving vibe and well organized set-up. After finishing the paperwork and a cup of coffee you can sort out a set of equipment. The equipment here is quite new / well maintained and there is a lot to choose from so you can have it your way. Long wetsuits are advised around Nusa Penida due to the currents. With a minivan you are dropped at one of the harbors of Sanur and when the crew has loaded the boat the journey begins.

We did three dives on one day, Crystal Bay, Manta Point and Jack Point. As mentioned above there where no Mola Molas at Crystal Bay - no strong currents either, but there where an amazing amount of Manta rays at Manta Point! The visibility was not so good, but we encountered about 30 mantas playing around on our way back to the boat from Manta Point! I will never forget this moment!!! Our last dive was at Jack Point with strong current, this was a drift dive so this is quite OK but there was some down current as well which made it challenging. We ran out of coral and air within 30 minutes... What can I say, this is nature.

Depending on the experience level of the group and local circumstances dive sites around Nusa Penida will be chosen. You do not need to dive currents and have challenging dives, talk about what you want / like with the staff when you book a trip. The boat and dive site briefings were great and the whole day went smoothly thanks to our enthusiastic dive guide and helpful boat crew. When we came back to the dive center there were cold beers!

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Joe's Gone Diving in Sanur.


Comparing dive destinations

Click here for more information about comparing dive destinations.

Bottom structure Reef structure Pelagic
(big stuff in the blue)
Big reef
(bigger stuff on the reef)
Macro
(small stuff on the reef)
Current
(stream)
Flat bottom with bumps/big rocks/pinnacles Hard corals tree-shape
(not moving)
Sharks Turtles Nudibranchs
(snails)
No current
Slope (going down slowly) Soft corals tree-shape
(moving)
Rays Eels/snakes Sea horses and pipe fish Small
(you can easily swim against it)
Wall
(steep but you see the bottom)
Table-/fan-shape Trevally/Jacks/Tuna Groupers Scorpion/frog fish Medium
(you can swim against it for a little while/higher air consumption)
Drop off
(steep and you can't see the bottom)
Anemones Barracudas Lobsters/crabs Octopus/squid Strong/reef hooks
(you cannot swim against it)
Blue
(no reference)
Sponges Sardines/herrings Puffers Shrimps Pumping/washing machine/OMG/hold your regulator
(superman)
* The transparent boxes are the things I have seen down below and / or are spotted on almost every dive in that area.
* The dark blue boxes are the 'things' that are unavailable - things I have not seen and/or that are uncommon in that area.
Click here for more information about comparing dive destinations.


Things you can see underwater

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Crystal Bay and Manta Point reef and marine life.

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Manta rays around Manta Point!



Nusa Penida SCUBA Diving with Manta Rays and Mola Molas Bali Indonesia  NusaPenidaBali

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Information about Bali

Find out where to stay, other things to do and the bars & restaurant recommendations in Bali below.

Selamat datang / Welcome to Bali!
The 10 must sees of Bali!
Sanur, a place to get comfortable and relax!
Tulamben & Amed, quiet black lava beaches and SCUBA diving!
Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali!
Umalas and the rice terraces!
Let me know if my dive information and tips are useful to you!
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Marlies
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"


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