On our final morning in beautiful Pemtueran, we decided to take one last dive to the Underwater Temple Garden near Pemuteran, Bali. After a day trip to Menjangan Island, diving several reefs, snorkeling, and checking out a gigantic structure dropped to grow new coral, we were a little apprehensive that any of that could be topped. Let me assure you, the Underwater Temple Garden in Bali should not be missed. It will always be among my favorite dive sites. Had it not been for the simple fact that we dove Bio-wreck first, Underwater Temple Garden would have easily taken the top spot. This dive site is another conservation effort by our fantastic dive shop Reef Seen in restoring many of the reefs.
What makes this area of the world so special is that not only are the conservation efforts working, it’s creating some of the most unusual and beautiful underwater art imaginable. For me, there was a catch: the bottom of the dive goes to 30m, the deepest I’d ever been. The deeper I go – the more nervous I get. Just check out this photo of me getting in the water. Nervous already, and as graceful as ever.
There are two parts to this dive: the temple at 30m depth, and several statues at 15m depth. This means that even with only your Open Water certificate, you can still go on this dive, as long as you don’t go to the bottom. We sunk all the way to the ocean floor, and I made the mistake of looking up. The visibility was poor, I couldn’t see the surface and got nervous. My oxygen began quickly creeping down, and, to my dismay, I looked at my camera and the screen was completely concave. This was the dive where I finally pushed that camera to its limits. You see, it’s rated to 10m, and I had gone to 20m several times, but apparently 30m is a no go. RIP underwater camera. These compounding factors mean I have no photographic proof of this part of the dive. The second section at 15m made it all so worth it.
After slowly drifting by the plethora of Buddha statues, we came to what another diver rightly dubbed “the garden of daffodils”.
I finally started to relax, my oxygen consumption went way down, and we were able to spend about 45 minutes total underwater. Right before we began our ascent, I took this final shot of the dive. It’s my favorite yet, and a perfect way to end our wonderful time diving in Pemuteran, Bali.
We got back on the surface and rode the rest of the way to Pemuteran at the helm of the little dive boat.
Pemuteran was a perfect spot for diving, and we fell in love with our dive shop, Reef Seen. I’m passionate about conservation and the work they are doing pioneering the efforts in NW Bali is incredible. In May 2014, a new site called Garden of the Gods was just created in the area. It features human-sized Balinese style statues, and will be incredible. I can’t wait to get to Pemuteran to check it out, as well as see how far along the other efforts have come. If you make it this part of the world, do not miss the underwater temple garden!
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.
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