Tulamben - Diving the Famous Liberty Wreck on Bali (Indonesia)
The Liberty Wreck, or the USAT Liberty, is probably one of the most visited wrecks in the world. It is beautifully overgrown with marine life, easy accessible (shore dive) and laying at shallow depth! And... there is more in Tulamben...
Tulamben is a very small town, more like a strip of houses, shops, restaurants and diving centers and resorts. There is not really a boardwalk or 'boulevard' by the beach but several paths and resorts give access to parts of the scenic black lava rock beach.
Since this is a really popular dive area you will see people crossing the street in dive gear, locals carrying scuba sets (men on their scooter or shoulders, women on their heads!) and divers getting in and out of the water almost constantly. It is quite hard to take a photo of the coastline without divers on it. No wonder the restaurants and bars have recognizable names as well; Safety Stop Restaurant, Drop Off Bar and many more. One of those places you can call a divers paradise for sure.
|Dive area name||Tulamben, North-East Bali|
|Dive center||Tulamben Wreck Divers|
|Famous for||Liberty Wreck and Macro|
|Price||Single guides shore dive about $32,- including tank, weights, mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, booties, porters fees and dive tax.
BCD + regulator rental +$10,-
|Hotel recommendation||Tulamben Wreck Divers Resort & Restaurant|
The dive sitesMost dive sites around Tulamben are close to and reached from the shore. Depending on the tide the rocks can be quite big and slippery so hold on to your buddy or use one of the lines to get in and out of the water.
The Liberty Wreck, or the USAT Liberty, is probably one of the most visited wrecks in the world since it is beautifully overgrown with marine life, easy accessible and laying partly at shallow depth. Wreck diving has something magical, especially if you can not see the wreck from the surface. You just navigate or follow your guide and suddenly a big dark shadow changes into the contours of a ship, airplane or car.
It is impressive to dive around a wreck to discover all the parts that are still intact or recognizable like the steering wheel, engine room or just old lamps on a ship.
There are different ways to dive Liberty Wreck, depending on your experience and certification level. Be careful not to touch anything when you swim through some parts or when there is current. Those wounds can take a long time to heal, you might damage the wreck or disturb the marine life on it.
TIP: Early morning and night dives are considered really good at the USAT Liberty!
Two other popular dive sites in Tulamben are Coral Garden and Drop Off which are an almost flat slope of corals and a wall where you can not see the bottom (+40 meters deep). This gives a really nice variety of dive sites in Tulamben!
Comparing dive destinations
|Bottom structure||Reef structure||Pelagic
(big stuff in the blue)
(bigger stuff on the reef)
(small stuff on the reef)
|Flat bottom with bumps/big rocks/pinnacles||Hard corals tree-shape
|Slope (going down slowly)||Soft corals tree-shape
|Rays||Eels/snakes||Sea horses and pipe fish||Small
(you can easily swim against it)
(steep but you see the bottom)
(you can swim against it for a little while/higher air consumption)
(steep and you can't see the bottom)
(you cannot swim against it)
|Sponges||Sardines/herrings||Puffers||Shrimps||Pumping/washing machine/OMG/hold your regulator
* 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.
About the organization of Tulamben Wreck DiversWe decided to dive with Tulamben Wreck Divers after checking prices, the organization of the dives and the state of the equipment of some dive centers. Diving with Tulamben Wreck Divers was also ideal since we already booked accommodation with them, easy and comfortable!
What I really liked about Tulamben Wreck Divers was that we could dive at our own pace at our own time (afternoon) and this is not easy for a dive center / guide to organize since there are more divers. You can also dive around Amed with them, which is about 20 minutes driving from Tulamben. Make sure to agree on the total price and avoid hidden costs, as described on the page about Amed.
Things you can see underwater
Diving around Tulamben
Information about BaliFor the more experienced divers there is another great dive area reachable from Sanur: Nusa Penida and Manta Point.
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!
Have you been diving in Bali before? What is your favourite dive site?
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Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
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