There are so many incredible dive sites in Bali, especially Pemuteran, such as Menjangan Island, the Underwater Temple Garden, Close Encounter, Middle Reef… and many others that we didn’t get to dive on this trip. But diving Bio-wreck was hands down my favorite. Not only did it boast an incredible array of aquatic species, it is also a phenomenal conservation effort.
I’m an animal lover, but frogs, fish, elephants and sea turtles have a special place in my heart (oh, and of course really adorable chocolate labs too). Unfortunately, sea turtles have evaded me. It’s probably better off, I’d suck up all my oxygen over the excitement and have a 10 minute dive. On this trip however, I was elated to see a frogfish for the first time.
Ain’t it cute? The fun didn’t stop there, next up was the second cuttlefish of the trip. I got super close to this one (damn that camera for not focusing properly!). It stayed hovering in place as our guide got closer and closer. Literally inches from its face, he motioned for me to come closer and as I did, it inked and swam away. Cuttlefish, you are dead to me.
On the way to the star of the show, we also passed a garden of eels. I gotta admit, these guys are weird. But it was fun to just sit and watch them poke their skinny heads out like little periscopes for a few minutes.
As if that wasn’t enough diversity in wildlife, our guide pointed out a stingray, who was clearly not happy with our presence, just as it lifted itself off the ocean floor and glided away. And, you guys, I’m not even to the dive site yet.
Even if we had not made it to the Biowreck, I think this still would have ranked among my favorite dive sites ever. But, there’s more.
Bio-wreck is part of a phenomenal conservation effort going on in NW Bali, where much of the coral and diversity in the area disappeared due to cyanide fishing. Corals are very slow growers, and many species actually build skeletons that provide a structure for new coral polyps to attach themselves to. So these man-made structures essentially provide a ready-made skeleton for new corals to attach themselves to.
The first structure was put down in 2005, and is a massive piece of steel shaped into a boat. Take a look at what 9 years can do.
Somehow it’s both impressive and worrisome. The Reef Gardeners of Pemuteran, a conservation group spearheaded by our wonderful dive shop Reef Seen, are doing some amazing work. It’s incredible the amount of corals that have made Biowreck their new home in the last 9 years. At the same time, I was taken aback that it took 9 years to get there, since often time coral is a slow growing species (average growth rate is 1-10 cm a year).
After floating leisurely passed the ship, thinking about how much I loved this day, we came across the largest single species of coral Bali has to be offer. This particular growth is thought to be over 1000 years old!
That’s still not all. In 2011 another structure was dropped on the other side of the dive site, a giant steel turtle.
Coral is beginning to form, and surely one day this will be an impressive site, hopefully overflowing with healthy corals and abundant sea life.
Accommodations near Pemuteran Bali
There aren’t many to choose from in Pemuteran, which is partly the beauty of this little sleepy beach village. Here were some of our favorites:
- Reef Seen – if you’re a diver, this place is perfect. Right on a beautiful stretch of beach, close to fabulous restaurants and budget friendly. They’re small, with only a few rooms, which is exactly what we were looking for.
- Taman Sari Beach Resort – this place is gorgeous, and right next to Reef Seen. We had several meals at their beautiful beach front restaurant that were fantastic.
- Taruna Homestay – small but plenty of amenities, and a swimming pool. Even though it’s not directly on the beach, the family atmosphere and price might make up for it.
- Matahari Beach Resort & Spa – a gorgeous luxury option with a restaurant, spa and pool that’s right on the beach.
- The Menjangan Resort – this resort is a little more off the beaten path for guests who might want more seclusion and relaxation. This beachfront resort has many amenities and an on site restaurant.
This post is part of a series on Diving Pemuteran, Bali, check out the others in the series: Menjangan Island, Bio-Wreck Conservation Project, as well as the reefs of Pemuteran.
If you make it to Pemuteran, don’t miss this dive!