Batu Belah

This would be the last site before the vast Culik bay that separates the ‘Tulamben area’ sites from the Amed sites. The black lava rock here appears particularly volcanic and can be razor sharp (impossible to climb on so you should manage your air consumption in such a way that you can make it back to either one of the bays in case there is no dive boat following your progress). Erosion and wave action have shaped some of these rocks into weird looking formations, often with almost human complexions – a reincarnation of particularly nasty fellows, perhaps? There is a big cavern with bats in them, and various tidal pools. On top of an extruding cliff sits the beautiful Manik Kembar Temple. This Temple was erected because of a holy fresh water spring (air suci in Balinese) that emerges here from the sharp volcanic rock. The particularity of this spring is that it surfaces – below the water line. Only every four years or so, the low tides would be low enough that the spring is accessible; this is when a day and night long big ceremony would be held by local Hindus; a really special and colorful affair. Actually, there are many of these under water springs along the Tulamben coast, a phenomenon that started after the eruption of Gunung Agung when all surface water flows were extinct, and ‘rivers’ now run underground and would reemerge in the ocean, below the surface. This influx of mineral rich fresh water is also seen as a reason of the appearance of many mutants as well as new specimen of hard coral, unique to this area. This dive site is accessible by car, as a little, well-kept road leads to the temple, and a concrete stair will take you down to a little sandy bay where you enter the water; the reef starts immediately to your left; it has a good variety of healthy hard coral and extends to the next bay to the west about 400m distant. It forms a reef top about 50 to 80m wide, and drops to 15m and 20m at the most, where the slope turns to grey sand. Macro photographers are happy with the variety of their finds, especially in the sandy patches on the reef top, and the usual variety of reef fish is present in good numbers. Not many divers visit this site and you will probably have it all to yourself.

Diveable : Year round
Maximum depth : 20m
Current : None to mild
Level of experience : All