Yes, Bali attracts a lot of tourists but we know all the best
places to avoid the crowds and ensure you get beneath the skin of
this Indonesian gem.
From a diving perspective, it is often overlooked in favour of
other Indonesian dive spots, but Bali has a lot going for it. The
diving in Bali is predominantly found in the far east of the island
around Tulamben which offers excellent marine life and wreck
diving. It would be wrong to claim that the dive sites around Bali
are in the same league as the diving in somewhere like Sulawesi but
when you combine the world-class hotels and land-based activities
that are on offer, you are on to a winner. The fact that this is
also one of the few places in the world that you are virtually
guaranteed sightings of the Giant Mola Mola (Sunfish) at the right
time of year is an added incentive to come.
Just 40 miles east of Bali and reached by a two-hour boat trip
or a short flight is the island of Lombok. Here you can enjoy all
kinds of watersports including excellent snorkelling and diving on
the coral reefs of the nearby Gili Islands. The diving in Lombok is
laid back and gentle and a great place to learn. Other activities
include visits to the ruins of old royal water palaces and
excursions to Mt Rinjani - Indonesia's second highest volcano -
from whose slopes there are fantastic views. Lombok is very much a
destination on the up. At present it is still far less developed
than its more famous neighbour but for how long?