Scuba Diving in Padang Bai and Candi Dada are some of the best around Bali. The coral landscape is impressive and due to the strong currents at times, you can often find pelagic fish here such as sharks and, in the right season, mola mola.
From Padang bai you can also easily go diving to 3 small islands located further North: Mimpang, Tepekong, Biaha. Currents can be tricky (up and down currents meeting horizontal currents) but on other days can be as calm as a mill-pond.
For the macro lovers and underwater photographers out there they will be delighted by magical night diving. Leaf scorpion fish, ghost pipefish, pygmy sea horses and many rare nudibranchs can be seen.
While the diving at Padangbai tends to be easy (sometimes used for Open Water courses and popular with snorkellers), experienced divers and photographers also thoroughly enjoy the site. Visibility throughout the year is 15-20m, there is sometimes a little surge and a mild current but the bay is fairly protected.
Due to conditions though, these sites need to be treated with care and respect. The currents coming from the Lombok Strait create unpredictable water movements that can result in a washing machine effect. Please ask your dive guides when they recommend diving outside of Padangbai.
A 1 hr to 1hr 20 min bus ride from South Bali will get you to Padangbai. When you have arrived at the destination, a boat will be needed in order to explore the dive sites.