The small fishing village of Tulamben lies
along this hot, dry coast, 10 km west of Culik, 23 km from
Tirtagangga, and 95 km from Denpasar. Due to its proximity
to some of the island's best diving, it has attracted snorkelers
and scuba divers from all over the world.
Tulamben Beach is peppered with black rocks that scald
your feet in the noonday sun. There's not much to do here
but dive, eat, read, sleep, and stroll down the village
street in the cool of the evening.
Tulamben is considered by many the premier dive spot on
Bali. The best months for diving are July and August, but
even in the rainy season the diving can be very satisfying.
The numerous dive operators in Kuta, Bali, and Lovina bring
large groups of enthusiasts here. Hardcore divers end up
staying for days. A large variety of big fish is accessible
right out in front of most accommodations. Many of the fish
are so tame, they'll eat bananas right out of your hand.
A sunken American Liberty ship, torpedoed by the Japanese
in 1942, is the big diving attraction. This eerie ghost
lies about a kilometer to the west of the main hotels, only
40-50 meters from the beach. Swim straight out from the
white toilet block on the beach 100 meters north of Ganda
Mayu Bungalows. It doesn't take much strength to reach it.
The broken steel ship stretches in two pieces for over
100 meters along a steep sandy slope, its length almost
parallel to shore. The top is only three meters below the
surface, the bottom about 30 meters down. Visibility is
12-15 meters, and the wreck is within easy snorkeling distance
from the shore. Large encrusted holes in the hull and deck
allow exploration of the interior of the wreck.
Plenty of soft corals, sponge, hydrozoas, and gorgonians.
It's estimated 400 species of reef fish inhabit the wreck,
as well as 100 species of surface organisms. A large coral
outcropping lies 100 meters away to the east, and in the
ocean off the eastern end of the beach is a great coral
wall with overhangs, big gorgonians, and basket sponges.
From Candidasa, reach Tulamben by 'bemo' via Amlapura and
from Singaraja (70 km to the west) by Isuzu van.