Photo: The cliffs of Penida.

Diving around Nusa Penida

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Nusa Penida is very well regarded for its diving, with Crystal Bay, Manta Point and SD Point being the best known of its spots, but the vast majority of divers visit from either Nusa Lembongan or Bali where you’ll find a wider variety of dive operators to work with.

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Manta Point is known for, well, manta rays but as was very clearly explained to us, there is nothing else here to see — so if the manta rays are out of town there is no point getting in the water. Note you don’t need to dive to see the mantas — we saw one here while just snorkelling.

Crowd pleasing Crystal Bay is famous for its sunfish (mola molas) a massive, unusual looking fish that can weigh up to 1,000 kilos. They spend a lot of time at considerable depth — anything from 200 to 600 metres but they come to shallower depths to have reef fish clean them of parasites. Crystal Bay is one of the few places in the world where this happens predictably and you’re odds on to see them in August and September every year ... no guarantees!

If you have just learned to dive, the waters off Penida are known for their strong currents and a number of divers have died here. Bali, especially Tulamben and Amed are far more suited to beginner divers.

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