Unless you are already a big fan of the activity, it might not occur to you that Bali is considered one of the best scuba diving areas in the region. Travel and Leisure Magazine recently published an article on the World’s 10 Best Diving Spots, and 2 of the 10 are in Indonesia. Neither of those two are Bali specifically, but Bali has some things that the other islands mentioned don’t have – it’s very easy to reach and has a legendary tourist infrastructure where many things are weirdly cheap in spite of the quality you get.
This is among the reasons why Bali has a few dozen scuba diving companies that are set up for all skill levels, from the absolute beginner to the lifelong expert looking to combine some diving with an unforgettable trip to an island paradise.
Casual diving or getting PADI certified
As you may know, you can scuba dive under supervision as you are learning, but once you want to join proper trips and be responsible for yourself, you need to be PADI certified. Many of the scuba outfits in Bali will take beginners on one or two-day trips just to get their feet wet in the sport, and some of those even count toward eventual PADI certification, but you can also sign up for a full PADI program and be certified in as few as 3 days.
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I recently spoke to Simon of Bali Scuba – a well regarded company in business since 2000 – and he said the most important consideration for beginners coming to Bali to learn diving is to first find an authorized PADI dive center and then decide whether to take the whole course there, or to study the theory online first.
His company is located in Sanur, which puts participants on the eastern edge of the island, where the best diving in the region can be had, and away from the distracting Kuta Beach madness. Bali Scuba has a choice of 1-day programs starting at US$110 for everything, as well as 2-day or longer training programs or general diving safaris. They don’t book your travel arrangements, but they do everything else once you arrive here, so you can concentrate on enjoying yourself and the experience, instead of worrying about finding bottled water and a place to eat.
Becoming a PADI instructor
If you are considering even a one-day scuba course just for fun, it might be a bit more comforting to know that not only are your instructors qualified to teach PADI certificate programs, they are also qualified to teach PADI instructors. Simon added “From small acorns do great oaks grow. If your first dive gets you hooked, Bali Scuba offer courses all the way from beginner up to PADI Instructor, plus internship options those with more time.”