From world-famous Tulamben, south through Amed and down to the village at Padangbai, Bali's best known dive sites run along the island's east coast. Sitting on the edge of the deep water Lombok Channel, location of the Wallace Line, the coastal reefs are fed by the sweeping currents that link the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean and by the rich volcanic nutrients that leach into the water from Bali's volcanic soil.
Dive sites that can be accessed from deep-water Padangbai are hidden gems. Just to the north, Blue Lagoon was where the first ever Rhinopias eschmeryi was seen in Bali. Offshore are the islands of Tepekong and Gili Biaha. These rocky pinnacles are washed by currents, which can make the dives rather lively, but the things you will see are incredible – from gangs of whitetip sharks huddling in a cave to iridescent nudbranchs mating and laying eggs. The variety of diving is remarkable.
The cluster of small villages along this stretch of coast are collectively referred to as Amed. Some of the offshore dive sites are quite unexpected. The tiny wooden fishing boat know as the Japanese Wreck is promoted as a critter site but the wreck is thick with fan corals. A little further along the coast on a flat plateau is Pyramids, an area of stacked cement blocks that have created a fascinating artifical reef.