Candi Dasa Diving

For adrenaline-filled dives with vertical walls, swim-throughs and caves, look no further than Candi Dasa. This exciting dive destination is packed with pelagic highlights including numerous shark species, plus colourful critters and even huge Mola mola.


Diving in Candi Dasa

Candi Dasa, a small village located on the eastern coastline of Bali, offers adrenaline-pumping dives in the Lombok Strait. The best dive sites in the area are found around the four tiny rocky islands of Gili Tepekong, Gili Biaha, Gili Mimpang, and Gili Selang. Accessed by a short boat ride from Candi Dasa, the islands offer stunning deep walls, swim-throughs, and caves for those who want to experience the true force of the ocean. Worth the risk, the cool waters have seen reef sharks, wobbegong sharks, cat sharks and hammerhead sharks all gliding in the current. In the right season, there is even the chance to see the incredible oceanic sunfish.

There are many experienced dive guides in the Candi Dasa dive resorts and dive centres ready to help you experience the enthralling dive sites. Due to the fierce currents, dive courses are more suited for sites at nearby Padang Bai however for experience divers these testing sites are sure to improve your buoyancy and trim!

Best time to dive

Candi Dasa diving is best during Bali’s transition between the wet and dry seasons. During these months, in April and October, the winds are generally weaker and the seas calm. In August through to October, the water is cooler inviting mola mola and hammerhead sharks to the dive sites near Candi Dasa.

Types of diving

The scuba diving in Candi Dasa showcases remarkable wall dives decorated with swim-throughs and caves at Gili Biaha and Tepekong dive sites. The rocky islands have a unique topography which you can admire as you pass swiftly in the current. Due to the location of the islands, almost every site is a drift dive with only a few sites giving you a chance to catch your breath and take time to appreciate the areas macro life. One of these more relaxing sites can be found on the southern side of Gili Selang.

What to see

Candi Dasa diving is famous for the many species of shark that patrol the nearby waters. The white-tip and black-tip reef sharks, as well as the rare wobbegong shark, the very rare catshark and hammerhead, have all been spotted by adventurous divers. When it is the right season, the giant oceanic sunfish drops by to leave you in awe at just how strange and wonderful life can be in the underwater world. When you get the chance to observe the coral, you’ll find it is very healthy and a host to an array of octopus, nudibranch and mantis shrimp.

Best places to dive

Gili Mimpang consists of four mini rock islands, located close to Candi Dasa village. You will dive all around the four mini islands, descending down onto a shallow slope that then forms into a beautiful coral wall. After this wall, there is another shallow slope, with rocks protecting you from the current, where you can search for macro critters. This dive site is one of the best to see mola mola and as very few divers visit the site, it’s a much more special experience.

At Gili Tepekong, you will drift along swim-throughs, reef slopes and vertical walls. One particular swim-through is 15-metres long and takes you to a stunning soft coral reef where you can find large schools of barracuda and resting sea turtles. The large rock formations create the perfect backdrop for underwater photographers. When you dive here you’re likely to encounter white-tip reef sharks, eagle rays, napoleon wrasse, trevallies, jackfish and giant tuna while making your way through canyons and caves.

Gili Biaha offers an exciting wall dive with a number of rock terraces where octopus, nudibranch, and mantis shrimp harbour.  At around 12-metres depth, there is a large cave where sharks shelter from the ripping currents. An opportunity for divers to shelter is found on the South of Gili Selang. Descending down into this peaceful site, you’ll find an untouched reef perfect for underwater photographers to bring their cameras without the fear of kicking into currents.