Tulamben Drop-Off



Submitted By:
Annabel Thomas at www.AquaMarineDiving.com

Submitter Comments:
This site is an old lava flow from Mount Agung, at the east side end of the Tulamben bay. The dive starts off on a steep sand slope with nudibranches, flounders, goby/shrimp sets. At 12m are sponges with many varieties of shrimp, leaf scorpion fish and crinoids, often with attendant ghost pipefish. Continuing round to the east, the slope develops into a reef with very impressive topography, becoming a vertical wall from 15m and descending to below 60m. Visibility is usually 15-20m (due to the amount of plankton in the water). The wall has profuse sponges, corals, black coral bushes, gorgonian fans - at 30m there is a sea fan that reaches 2m in width. You may see white tip and black tip reef sharks, napoleon wrasse, big bumphead parrotfish, some big filefish (including scrawled) and moray eel. Late afternoon is the time to see the wide variety of lionfish.

 From southern Bali (Kuta, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Denpasar) drive east via Gianyar town, Semarapura and Amlapura. From Amlapura head north to Culik. Tulamben is about 20 minutes from Culik. Resorts are situated on either side of the road in Tulamben. Those on the right run down to the beach. The drive takes about 3 hours.

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02/06/2005 Ed Kenney (Avg: 3.84 Review) - Stayed at the excellent economy hotel Paradise and dove with Aquamarine both years we were there. Had time to do a couple dozen solo shore dives stretching from the small coral garden right out front, through the River site, across and down the Drop-off and sometimes all the way to Alamanda. The Drop-off was partially smothered by the winter mudflow event in 2003 down the Agung volcano, but I still loved the exposed parts on top and the deeps down to 120. You can find anything here, from herds of Bumphead parrotfish to black-tip reef shark forays to lots of pygmy seahorses and especially, in 2003, hordes of lionfish in the afternoon. Perhaps the most impressive thing I've seen is turning off my night-time torch at 100 feet near the bottom of the spur closest to the hotels and watching the flashlight fish ascend the wall. Scorpion fish, the occasional frogfish, bumblebee shrimp, squat lobster, even ghost pipefish have been seen here by my sons and I. My favorite route is to start in the protected lee of the drop-off, especially during new moon tides, head down to the big seafan at the 30 meter corner, spend lots of time there and then come back via the river site all the way to the coral garden. If tides allow, my 2nd favorite route is to enter at the same spot, cross the wall at 60 and head right on to Alamanda, catching the tidal change back across the Drop-off reef top to the River site and if air remains, even back to the coral garden.

04/13/2004 Brian Cherniak (Avg: 3.88 Review) - The Drop off at Tulamben is very near the USS Liberty Wreck. You can see it from the entry point. While it is not the Liberty, it is still a nice dive. If it is really crowded at The Liberty Wreck, then diving here can be a good thing. Good macro Photography can be had here.

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Special thanks to Raymond Clark!
The rocky entry.
Submitted by Raymond Clark


Diver Averages for  Tulamben Drop-Off  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  5.00
Bottom Conditions:  4.00
Reef Conditions:  4.00
Animal Life:  4.00
Plant Life:  2.50
Facilities:  3.50
Solitude 4.50
Roads:  3.00
*Site Average:  3.86

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.50
Beginner Scuba:  3.50
Intermediate Scuba:  4.00
Advanced Scuba:  3.00
Night diving Scuba:  5.00

Number of reviews for this site: 2


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