Divers’ Delight in Tulamben, Bali
Tulamben delivered an outstanding SCUBA experience featuring an impressive wreck dive.
hot take: Tulamben was a delightful underwater experience, but not much else is going on in this sleepy part of Bali. (3.0 stars)
pro tip: Plan ahead (especially with flights) to maximize your time in the water.
Tulamben, located on Bali’s East coast, is far from the normal tourist zones of Bali. However, it has one unique attraction that draws divers from around the world to its relaxed shores…the Liberty Wreck. Torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942, the USAT Liberty was beached to prevent sinking; however, in 1963, a volcanic eruption pushed the ship off the beach and into the warm, shallow waters of the Indian Ocean. Over the last 5+ decades, an abundance of coral and the ocean life have flocked to the boat and the wreckage is now a popular dive site due to the relatively shallow waters.
Tulamben was our first chance in foreign waters to put our newly acquired SCUBA skills to work, so we decided to try our hand at dive resort living for a while. We stayed at an awesome little dive resort called Matahari Tulamben Resort, which came with unlimited dives during our stay (total price per dive worked out to about $20 each, which is a steal since it included all equipment and a private guide). In addition to the Liberty Wreck, there was a coral garden and wall dive that were truly top notch…though the popularity of these sites are such that they might soon get overcrowded.
Back on land, there was not a ton to do, but we did make the (van assisted) climb up to the temple at Pura Lempuyang Luhur. Famous for its gates that perfectly frame the volcano of Mount Agung, we arrived too late in the day and cloud cover had already set in. But we had some fun with it anyways.