Tulamben is internationally renowned for its dive sites and is prized for its easy diving and amazing biodiversity. The USS Liberty shipwreck must be one of the easiest wrecks to access in the world, and underwater creatures ranging from the smallest crustaceans, ghost pipefish, and pygmy seahorse to the largest fish like sharks and mola-mola sunfish abound. Tulamben is a great place for beginners, with a number of sites which are suitable for training dives, fun dives and underwater photography. The most popular dive sites are described below:
USS Liberty Shipwreck
This is known as one of the easiest wrecks to dive in the world. The USS Liberty is a shore dive and lies just 30 meters from the beach. The shallowest part of the wreck is at only 3 meters, allowing even snorkelers to get a glimpse. The wreck bottoms out at 30 meters. Surgeonfish greet you on your entry, and groups of bumphead parrotfish are often spotted, as is great barracuda and many beautiful and colorful nudibranchs.
Tulamben Wall (Drop Off)
Tulamben Wall, also known as the Drop Off, is a good alternative site for your second dive after the USS Liberty. But it is more than that! Tulamben Wall has its own distinct characteristics making it equally interesting and beautiful to the Wreck. The Wall bottoms out at 60-70 meters, making it a favorite site among technical divers. As you peer below, you might see larger marine life like reef sharks and even hammerheads if you get really lucky. Along the wall, the colorful corals blend into a mosaic of beauty accented by colorful fish. The Drop Off also offers much to delight macro photographers!
Located right in front of Matahari Tulamben Resort, this patchy reef is home to a wide variety of sea critters. It is a great reef for underwater photographers. From the shallow safety stop you can see beautifully colored corals as well as many species of fish. Perfect for wide angle shots!.
In 2012 Suci made some projects in round about 15 m to attract more marine life in this depth. In February 2013 Matahari Tulamben Dive Center will continue to make more projects around that place. The area is already very popular for fishes, cleaners and a netmoray.
Starting to the north of Paradise Resort, the reef begins at a depth of only 3-4 meters. Here you can find an artificial reef project shaped as an airplane which dive guides refer to as Tulamben’s second wreck! Crustaceans and nudibranchs cover the area. It is an ideal spot for night dives as it is shallow and home to a variety of nightlife. Diving to the south, you will encounter a reef with patches of healthy and colorful soft and hard corals. If you want to see some Ribbon Eels, keep your eyes open! You should be able to spot a few among the corals.
Simply said, this site is heaven for underwater macro enthusiasts. Harlequin shrimp and seahorses abound. Many macro objects can be found here, including several types of rare nudibranchs, mimic octopus and beautiful crabs and shrimp. The site can be accessed by traditional boat (jukung) from Tulamben or by car (a five minute drive to the south).
About 15 minutes to the north by car from Tulamben, you will find this interesting and rarely-dived site. The coral reef is very healthy and home to many varieties of fishes. In 2003, one sea fan housed 8-10 pygmy seahorses.