Drift Diving in Lembongan: the Best Scuba Dive Experience in Bali!

In the heart of Indonesia’s archipelago, set among the waters of the greater Sunda islands, surrounded by Bali on the west and Nusa Penida on the east, lies the tiny volcanic island of Nusa Lembongan.

Nusa Lembongan, compared to its neighbouring islands, is way wilder and less crowded, as most tourists rushing through Bali just with the intention of knocking-off places from their bucket lists, normally don’t have enough time to add a stop to visit this tiny corner of paradise. Maybe that’s also for the best 😉

Even by managing to fly under the radar of mass tourism, with its beautiful beaches, vibrant marine life, and volcanic landscape, Lembongan has become an A-list location for adventure seekers and diving enthusiasts.

Today we will talk about one of the most thrilling activities you can do on this tiny island: drift diving! Never heard of it? Today not only I will explain you what it is, but trust me, I will also make you fall in love with it ;D

If you love the rush of adrenaline, this is the activity for you!

Get ready to join in on this epic journey with me as we uncover the exhilaration and beauty of drift diving in Lembongan.

Let’s go!

drift diving in lembogan, bali - ultimate scuba diving guide

“Don’t Swim against the Currents,

but simply Follow the Flow,

while exploring the underwater wonders

with the guidance of knowledgeable local divers!



Drift diving is a type of Scuba Diving where the diver is not actively swimming but it’s instead transported by the water movement caused by the tide and the ocean currents. It’s an adrenaline-filled experience that allows you to enjoy the underwater marvels while being rocked by the sea flow.

In this article I will try to describe you at the best of my capability how awesome this activity is, but of course nothing beats the thrill of trying it first person!

On a side note, it’s also important to underline that “drift diving” cannot be improvised alone, as ocean currents might be dangerous, and thus it is important to always follow the guide of expert divers knowing the local currents and sea bottom. Personally I can recommend this Lembongan dive center, a passionate and professional diving team I had the chance to meet on our way through Bali and the nearby islands.

Said that, it’s time to start the adventure!

Setting Sail with Passionate Local Guides

setting sail in nusa lembongan, bali, drift diving

At the beginning of the journey I have to admit I was nervous. I tried scuba diving before, but never heard of “drift diving” and the idea of being brought around by currents was filling me both with adrenaline but also making me slightly worried.

As I stepped onto the boat that would take us to our first dive site though, I was greeted by a friendly group of experienced local guides who shared the same unwavering passion for the ocean.

Their genuine enthusiasm was contagious, instantly putting me at ease. I could feel their years of experience navigating Lembongan’s currents and intimate knowledge of the dive sites and that filled me with confidence and excitement for the adventure that awaited.


The Dance of Currents: Embracing the Unknown

seabed underworld in bali - scuba diving drift in bali

Once arrived to the first diving spot, with the guidance of the local guides I equipped my scuba gear and splashed in the water.

After with the group we made our way to the depths, and there I could feel the invisible hands of the current start to carry us, leading us through Lembongan’s underwater playground. From the first moment, inside of me I had a feeling that it was great fun!

Drift diving is a graceful dance, where divers surrender to the rhythm of the ocean, becoming one with the ebb and flow.

It’s strange, and at the beginning, not being in total control of my body made me kind of nervous. Personally, I am less scared of skydiving compared to scuba diving, but I love the adrenaline rush and challenging myself, so there I was! Looking at our guides joking around and making everything fun and interesting, made soon my worries go away! 🙂

Effortlessly gliding along, the currents carried us over the mountain and trenches of its coral gardens that reflected an array of colors, and past intricate rock formations that seemed to defy gravity.

By drift diving, you cover much more distance compared to normal scuba diving and thus you explore much more seafloor!

Each dive site revealed a new chapter in this underwater narrative, unveiling a new realm of marine life and remarkable underwater ecosystems I could have never imagined! It was a journey where time moved in motion, and the wonders of the ocean unfolded before our eyes, painting a picture of high speed beauty.

The Marine Biodiversity in Lembongan is just WOW!

marine creatures in bali lembongan - diving scuba center

Lembongan’s drift diving offered me the privilege of witnessing some of my most inspiring encounters with marine biodiversity ever.

Schools of vibrant tropical fish swirled around us, their shimmering scales reflecting the sunlight.

Friendly turtles effortlessly swam through the currents, seemingly unfazed by our presence, as if inviting us to join their underwater kingdom.

The sight of a giant manta ray soaring above, its wings spanning wide, left me breathless and humbled.

It was these encounters, while drifting with the currents, that etched priceless memories in my mind and fueled my passion for the underwater world of Lembongan. I was just mesmerized. 

Combining an activity that makes me feel present and alive (scuba diving), with one that shoots adrenaline down my spine (being lead by the currents) and the natural marvels of the surroundings (the Lembongan Biodiversity) spiked in my brain an uplifting emotion that I felt will be hard-wired in my memory forever! 🙂


The Currents provide Food Source for the Marine Creatures

manta ray in bali - scuba diving - drift diving center - my experience

Lembongan’s drift diving revealed to us an exuberant amount of marine life, unrivaled in its diversity.

By speaking with our guides, they explained us that the currents provide both oxygen and food for many species, and that’s why this underwater highways attract hundreds of creatures both big and small.

Vibrant nudibranchs cling the coral walls, showcasing a multitude of colors. Camouflaged octopuses skillfully hid among the rocks. Delicate seahorses clung to sea fans. Everything is in balance, and the ecosystem floods with life! Exploring the underwater world of Lembongan felt like diving into a living mosaic, each dive site presenting a new piece to its puzzle.


Navigating the Drift is Intuitive and Fun!

What is drift diving and why you should do it

If you’re wondering how easy it is to drift dive, well… Drift diving requires a balance of skill and intuition, but it’s easier than what you might think! 

Guided by well-experienced local guides, we learned the art of navigating the currents in few minutes. Once you understand the way the current flow, it’s pretty straightforward: just keep in mind that you can never swim backward, it would be just a waste of energy; so plan your flow carefully 🙂

Our guides, like underwater choreographers,  anticipated the flow for us, guiding us effortlessly through narrow channels and past stunning drop-offs.

Their hand signals pointed out hidden spectacles, ensuring that no encounters were missed. With their guidance, I was able to fully immerse myself in the drift diving experience, embracing the excitement, and embracing the unknown. 

After about two hours of exploration, it was time to go back to our boat and return to the starting point! While taking off my scuba diving equipment, between me and myself I was just re-living what I just lived and thinking that this was truly one of the most adventurous experiences of my life!


Few Words About Conservation: A Local Perspective

marine conservation in bali - the ultimate experience

The local guides in Lembongan are more than just experts in the art of drift diving—they are advocates for marine conservation. As we surfaced, each local deep diver shared their knowledge and passion for preserving the tropical ecosystems of their beloved island.

Through their stories, I learned about the fragility of Lembongan’s marine life and the ongoing efforts to protect it.

These passionate guides enlightened me about the importance of responsible diving practices.

They emphasized the significance of avoiding contact with the delicate coral reefs, and to respect the marine inhabitants.

By following their lead, we not only ensured our own safety but also contributed to the preservation of this underwater paradise. Moreover, the local guides actively engage in conservation initiatives, working hand in hand with organizations and communities to safeguard Lembongan’s marine environment such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

They participate in reef clean-ups, removing debris and waste that can harm marine life. They also promote sustainable tourism practices, encouraging visitors to appreciate the beauty of the ocean without leaving a negative impact.

It was inspiring to witness their dedication and unwavering commitment to preserving Lembongan’s underwater wonders. Their intimate connection to the ocean and their deep understanding of its fragility made them invaluable ambassadors for marine conservation.

Through their passion and education, they instilled in me a sense of responsibility to protect and preserve these precious ecosystems. Beyond the thrill of drift diving, my journey in Lembongan was enhanced by the local guides’ stories and anecdotes, which enriched the experience even more!

Their deep-rooted connection to the island’s culture and traditions added a connective layer to the entire experience.

They shared tales of mythical sea creatures, local legends, and the rich history that shaped Lembongan into the paradise it is today. This cultural experience, added to the exhilaration of drift diving, created a truly immersive and unforgettable adventure.



Drift Diving in Lembongan is THE activity to do in Bali!

lembongan island in bali

Here we are at the end of this article! 🙂

In this post, I explained you what is drift diving and I narrated you my personal experience in the waters of Nusa Lembongan, near Bali.

The thrill of riding the currents, the incredible encounters with marine life, and the invaluable insights shared by these dedicated individuals left an indelible mark on me as a person; and I cannot stress it enough how much I recommend such an activity to anyone visiting Bali!

I understand it is something not for everyone: it requires a bit of experience in Scuba Diving, confidence in your local guides and a bit of healthy craziness in letting yourself getting carried away by the flow! If you find the courage to take the plunge though, I can assure you that it will be an experience worth more than a thousand words!

In conclusion, Lembongan’s drift diving offers not only an adrenaline filled adventure but also an opportunity to connect with the wonders of the underwater world. If you’re in Bali and you’re looking for something epic, this is an experience of a lifetime! 😀

As always, if you liked the article, if you have doubts,  if you need more information or you’d like to simply exchange few perspectives, please write me in the comments below and I’ll be happy to get in touch! 😀

Last but not least, if you would like to know more about the wonderful island of Bali, be sure to check out my Bali: The Ultimate Full Guide or any of the articles below 🙂

Discover Bali:

  1. The Top 10 Most Beautiful Places you Need to Visit in Bali
  2.  Bali: Hotspots Map and How to Move Around
  3.  Bali: How Much it Costs and How to Plan your Budget
  4.  Bali: What to Pack for your Trip
  5.  Bali: 5 Life-Saving Tips
  6.  Our Romantic Experience in a Balinese Luxury Villa

Thanks for reading,

and as always, see you in the next article! 🙂


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