Tulamben Diving in East Bali

Popular Shipwreck Dive Site in East Bali

Tulamben in East Bali has drawn avid divers from the world over to this spectacular underwater site, with the USAT Liberty cargo shipwreck as among its main attractions. The laidback and remote village of Tulamben is located in one of the farthest corners of the island, which features an arid overland terrain, much in contrast to the beautifully colourful reefs that await under the surface of the waves.

The US Army cargo ship met its fate back in the battles of 1942 when it was hit by a Japanese submarine torpedo some 19km southwest of the Lombok Strait. US and Dutch destroyers attempted to tow it to the old Singaraja seaport in North Bali, but failed. The ship then beached on the shores of Tulamben for salvaging. The volcanic eruption of Mount Agung two decades later pushed the wreck 25m out to sea, resting at a depth of 30m, and eventually becoming home to colourful coral colonies teeming with tropical fish.

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The waters around Tulamben alone have much to offer, with combinations of natural reef walls and muddy volcanic sand beds where octopuses and elusive pygmy seahorses will please both casual divers and underwater macrophotography enthusiasts. The site also sees the occasional migrations of mantas and sunfish, otherwise known as ‘mola-mola’, as well as common sightings of barracuda, sea turtles and dolphins (similar to those often sighted at Lovina in the north).

Getting to Tulamben via the common East Bali route is an approximate three-hour transfer from the main resort areas such as Kuta and Sanur in Bali’s south. Therefore, it is best enjoyed with an overnight stay at any of the well-established dive resorts in the area, such as the Mimpi Resort Tulamben and the Matahari Tulamben Resort Dive & Spa. Waters in Tulamben are fairly clear year round, however best conditions and visibility is between August and November.

Tulamben Dive Site

  • Location: Tulamben, Kubu, Karangasem, East Bali
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