Amed - Tulamben
Amed - Tulamben
Bali is situated just east of Java and west of Lombok and is one of the 17,000 islands of the Indonesian archipelago. It may be small in size but its prominence as a destination is huge, and rightfully so! Whether you are a “hardcore” or a “soft” diver, a nature or an art lover, traveling with a non-diver companion or with kids, there is something for everyone on the Island of the Gods.
Views over picturesque rice terraces, tranquil mountain lakes and a stunning coastline are breathtaking. Hindu temples dot the landscape, atmospheric ceremonies are organized almost daily, and the artistic swirl of Ubud is a counterpoint to misty treks amid the active volcanoes. All of this combined with the friendliness of the Balinese people, glorious weather and white, gray and black sand beaches make Bali one of the world’s most fascinating islands.
East Bali, Amed and Tulamben
Amed and Tulamben are located on the eastern tip of Bali and distant from one another by less than a 30 minutes car ride. The coastal strip between Amed and Tulamben is a succession of small villages and enchanting bays. The landscape is a series of headlands overlooking rocky and sandy beaches, lined with jukungs, the local outrigger fishing boats, in the shadow of Mount Agung, the tallest volcano on the island.
Held back until recently by bad roads and lack of power and communications, Amed and Tulamben are primarily known for the world-class diving (and snorkeling!) they offer. Far away from the more popular tourist destinations on the island, the area is ideal to experience the real Bali. The perfect location for those looking for a quiet place to relax, enjoy nature and discover the Balinese culture.
The ride from Denpasar airport to your resort takes about 3 hours.
Diving Amed and Tulamben
Amed-Tulamben’s 20+ dive sites range in depth from 3 to 40 meters. Diving is excellent year round, with the exception of January and February, where conditions can be poor. The visibility is usually between 10 and 30m, with an average of 20m. Dive sites are accessed from the shore or by boat. It takes between 5 and 30 minutes to reach dive spots.
Most dive sites are accessible to Padi Open Water divers (or equivalent), although a few spots are recommended to Advanced divers, because of their depth and occasional strong (and down) currents.
The area is world renowned primarily because of the famous USS Liberty wreck. With wonderful soft corals and a great variety of marine life, from ribbon eels and cleaner shrimps to barracudas and schooling jacks, the wreck clearly deserves its reputation! However, many spots around Amed and Tulamben are fantastic (and much less crowded than the Liberty…) and offer a great variety of world class diving experiences.
Stunning drop-offs are covered with impressive gorgonians (up to 3 meters high!), hard and soft corals, and are occasionally visited by pelagics, such as tunas, trevallies, black and white tip sharks and even sometimes eagle and manta rays. In the shallows, colorful coral gardens are teeming with life: multicolored reef fishes, leaf scorpion-fishes, blue-spotted stingrays, nudibranchs etc… Not to mention the few muck dives, which are truly exceptional and can rival those of Lembeh, with many rare and odd species, including all sorts of shrimps, frog-fishes, ghost pipe-fishes, cuttle-fishes, octopus etc…
If you are very lucky while on your dive boat, you might even spot whales and dolphins which occasionally patrol the area.
For detailed information about what we have seen while diving Amed and Tulamben, you can review our logbook.
Some of the Most Famous Dive Sites
The USS Liberty:
This famous 120 meters long WWII wreck is accessed from the beach. It is covered with soft corals and teeming with marine life: barracudas, groupers, shrimps, sometimes pygmy seahorses... On your way back to the shore, garden eels populate the sandy area and nudibranchs are seen on the rocky area. As it is usually pretty crowded, we recommend diving this site as early/late as possible in the morning/evening.
A shallow dive along a gentle black sand slope, Seraya is an exceptional site for muck diving. Rocky patches and artificial reefs form “mini ecosystems” where moray eels have their mouths cleaned, and where rare species such as Coleman and Harlequin shrimps, decorator, boxer and zebra crabs, ghost pipe-fishes, frog-fishes and mimic octopus can be seen. A real heaven for macro fans and underwater photographers.
Please note that, although our partners are all professional dive centers with strong commitments to dive safety and all affiliated to international diving organizations, some of their dive guides are not certified divemasters. Most of them are PADI Rescue Divers (or equivalent) with thousands of dives in Bali. This is due to two main reasons:
- the cost of a Divemaster certification compared to local salaries and standard of living,
- dive guides’ English is good to interact with guests, but not sufficient to fully understand instruction manuals, which are currently not printed in Indonesian
Puri Wirata Dive Center - Amed
Puri Wirata is the only PADI 5 Star Dive Resort in Amed. The dive center, which is run by Belgian management, is located right in the resort, less than a minute away from each accommodation. It operates a 9 meter long custom-built fiberglass boat powered by twin Suzuki 150hp engines. The boat features a nice sundeck and can comfortably accommodate 10 divers. Whether you dive from the shore or from the boat, all vehicles are fitted with medical oxygen and first aid kits. As another sign of Puri Wirata’s commitment to dive safety, all their guides are DAN insured, which is not so common! The maximum ratio of divers on a dive guide is 4.
Technical and Admin Information
- rental equipment: Aqualung regulators, Seaquest BCDs, and Nemo wetsuits
- 12 liter aluminum tanks (international cylinder valves – a couple of adaptors are available, however, it is very much appreciated if you can bring your own), tanks, weights and weight belts are provided
- night dives possible every night, torches can be rented
- Nitrox (EAN 31) available and FREE!
- logbook - dive certification card
- medical clearance for scuba diving from a physician, issued within the last 12 months
- evidence of repatriation insurance
Recommended diving equipment and documents: 3 or 5mm wetsuits and torch, dive computer, safety sausage, magnifying glass, insurance covering dive-related injuries (DAN or equivalent)
The closest hyperbaric chamber is located in Denpasar, all dives are within no-decompression limits.
Other Activities and the Kid's Corner
A typical day for a diver in Amed-Tulamben goes as follows:
- two dives, from 8:30 AM till 1:00 PM
- optional dives in the afternoon or at night
Baby sitting service can be arranged.
Apart from sunbathing and lounging around the pools, the area of Amed-Tulamben offers interesting activities for non-divers and kids, including:
- Trekking on Mount Agung: for early birds, one of Bali’s best trekking adventures. From the summit (3,142 m), views over the island are breathtaking!
- Amlapura: hire a bicycle and visit this former Dutch colonial town, with some beautiful palaces and lush water gardens
- Tirtaganga: discover its famous Royal Bathing Pools and wonderful rise fields in the surroundings
- Besakih to Lake Batur: located on the slopes of Mount Agung, Besakih is known as the “Mother Temple” in Bali and features the biggest Hindu temple on the island. Lake Batur is Bali’s widest lake and lies down in the feet of Mount Batur and Mount Abang.
- Ubud: 2 hours away from Amed, Ubud and its surroundings is a place for art, nature and culture lovers, with scenic rice fields, small villages, art and craft communities, ancient temples, palaces, rivers…
- Massage at the resort's spa
- Whitewater rafting on the Telaga Waja river
Puri Wirata Dive Resort and Spa
The oceanfront Puri Wirata resort is located in Bunutan, one of the small villages that make up the stretch of coast known as Amed. The resort, which is built on a hill facing the sea, with direct access on a nice (rocky) beach, features 30 accommodations of various sizes, 2 swimming pools, an open-air restaurant and a spa. All accommodations boast King Size beds, mosquito nets, A/C, fan, hot showers, a mini bar, a safe, a TV, and a nice balcony or terrace overlooking the ocean. Towels are provided and rooms are services daily. Wi-Fi internet connection is available for free throughout the resort.
The 13 Deluxe and Superior rooms have twin or double beds and connecting doors to easily accommodate families. The 2 Bungalows feature a larger bathroom with shower and bathtub and a private balcony.
Villa Superior and Villa Master Bedrooms belong to stand-alone villas. They feature large terraces, flat screen TVs and DVD/Stereo sets. Master Bedrooms also boast a living & dining room and a fully equipped kitchen. These rooms can be connected for family use, and can be rented as a whole or individually.
The restaurant, which overlooks the sea, serves a mix of Balinese, Indonesian and Western dishes usually “a la carte” and occasionally buffet style. Half-board / full-board options are not available, but costs are very reasonable (around EUR 6 for a lunch, and EUR 8/10 for a dinner - excluding drinks).
Required and Recommended Equipment and Documents
In addition to your documents related to your repatriation insurance (and for divers: your logbook, dive certification card and a medical clearance for scuba diving), you will need:
- your passport, which must be valid for a minimum of six months beyond intended date of entry into Indonesia
- a visa, which for nationals of most countries can be purchased on arrival. Please make sure you have one entire blank page for the placement of your visa (we made the mistake and paid the price...).
At the time of research (you may double-check with your local Indonesian Embassy for updates to the visa policy):
- nationals of the following countries and territories were eligible for a "Visa Free" facility for a visit of up to 30 days: Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Morocco, Chile and Peru.
- nationals of the following countries and territories could obtain a “Visa On Arrival” processed at the gate of entry following the payment of a USD 25 (for a 30 day visa): Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, People's Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Surinam, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America.
Citizens of countries not included on the above lists must apply for a visa overseas before arriving in Indonesia.
The visa on arrival facility will only be available at the following international airports: Medan, Pekanbaru, Padang, Soekarno-Hatta (Jakarta), Halim Perdana Kusuma (Jakarta), Surabaya, Denpasar (Bali), Manado, Yogyakarta, Solo, Mataram (Lombok), Balikpapan, Makassar, Kupang.
We also recommend you bring with you:
- sun cream
- mosquito repellent
How to get there / Flight information
You will need to land on Bali’s international airport, which is located in Denpasar, where our local partner will be waiting for you. From there, it takes approximately 3 hours to reach your resort.
At the time of research, we found direct flights operated from the following cities: Shanghai (on Thursdays and Sundays), Seoul, Perth, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and Bangkok.
Health and Safety
Bali is not a malaria-endemic area. The only vaccine required by international regulations is yellow fever. Proof of vaccination will only be required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone within the six days prior to entering Southeast Asia. Travelers to Southeast Asia should be up to date with vaccinations against polio, tetanus and diphtheria. You may also consider a hepatitis A shot.
Full medical insurance, including medical evacuation outside of your country of residence, is mandatory. We also recommend scuba divers to ensure their personal insurance covers dive related injuries. Should you consider becoming a member of DAN Asia-Pacific, please click here
Bali is generally considered a safe destination. However, there has in recent years been an increase of petty crimes, like pick-pocketing, etc... Therefore, the general rule of not showing off your wealth is advisable and usual travel precautions apply, such as restraining your urge to go wandering around seedy areas alone late at night and not leaving valuables or important documents unattended.
History and Culture
Bali has been populated since early prehistoric times. Around 2,000 BC, the island was inhabited by Austronesian peoples who migrated originally from Taiwan. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, and Oceania. They were strongly influenced by Chinese, Indian and particularly Hindu cultures. Not much is known of a period that started in the 1st century, and the earliest records are stone inscriptions dating from 914 AD. Rice was being grown under a complex irrigation system, and some traditions still in existence today can be traced back to these times. Bali and Hindu Java then underwent several episodes of conquering each other. When the Majapahit Empire on eastern Java declined, at the end of the 15th century, most of its intelligentsia moved to Bali, including the priest Nirartha, who is credited with introducing many of the complexities of the Balinese religion. Artists, dancers, musicians and actors also fled to Bali.
In 1597, a group of Dutch explorers were the first Europeans to set foot in Bali, where prosperity and artistic activity were at a peak. As the Batavian colonial domination expanded across the Indonesian archipelago in the 19th century, the Dutch increased their political and economic control over Bali. After several assaults at the beginning of the 1900’s, the Dutch governors managed the administration of the island, but local control over religion and culture remained intact. Dutch rule over Bali was never as well established as in other parts of Indonesia and was short-lived, as Indonesia fell to the Japanese during WWII. Following Japan's surrender, the Dutch promptly returned to the island to reinstate their pre-war colonial administration and established Bali as one of the 13 districts of the newly-proclaimed State of East Indonesia. When the Netherlands recognized Indonesian independence on 29 December 1949, Bali became part of United States of Indonesia, which in 1950 became the Republic of Indonesia.
The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed thousands, created economic havoc and forced many Balinese refugees to relocate to other parts of Indonesia. Then, Bali saw conflicts between supporters of the traditional caste system, and those rejecting these values. An attempted coup in Jakarta was put down by forces led by General Suharto and the army became the dominant power. Suharto was able to maneuver Sukarno out of the presidency and relations with western countries were reestablished. In the early 1970’s, the tourism boom started and helped pay for improvements in roads, telecommunications, education and health. Though tourism has had some adverse environmental and social effects, Bali’s unique culture has proved to be remarkably resilient. Beginning in the 1990's there has been vocal public opposition to some controversial tourist developments, which indicates that Balinese people will play a more active role in the development of their island.
Country Facts and Practical Information
- Climate: equatorial, with the wet season from November to March, and the dry season from April to October. Temperatures rarely drop below 25C (78F), with usual day temperature at around 28C (82F). Cyclones and typhoons are absent in Indonesia.
- Population: the 2000 census indicated a total population of 240 million people, including 3.1 million in the province of Bali
- Language: in addition to Bahasa Indonesia, the official language in Indonesia, people in Bali speak Balinese, a Malayo-Polynesian language also spoken in northern Nusa Penida, western Lombok and eastern Java. Most Balinese people also speak English.
- Religions: the 2000 census indicated that 86% of the Indonesian population label themselves Muslim (primarily Sunnis), 9% Christian, 2% Hindu, and 3.4% "other or unspecified". One of the most fascinating facets of Bali is the influence of Hinduism (over 90% of the population adhere to Balinese Hinduism) on the island’s culture: there are temples in every village, offerings being made at every corner and ceremonies organized almost daily!
- Electricity: electric current is 220-240 V, 50 Hz, and uses the common European two round pins plugs and the two parallel flat pins with ground pin plugs.
- Time difference: GMT +8 hours (excluding daylight saving time considerations)
- Telephone: international access codes 001 and 008, country code 62. Mobile phones can be used in the resort with roaming for international customers. Local prepaid SIM-Cards can also be purchased.
- Internet: it can be accessed from the resort
- Currency: the official currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
- ATM & cash: the nearest ATM machine is located 30 minutes away from Amed. Credit cards are accepted in our partnering resort.