Where is Tulamben Tulamben is located on the north-east coast of Bali, approximately 110 kilometres from the capital Denpasar. It is also 110 years behind the troubles of Bali's south! There are no night clubs, no girly-bars, no overcrowded resorts and no endless streets of market stalls. But there is fantastic coral reef and 'muck' diving, a quiet village atmosphere, a shipwreck just metres from the shore, a breathtaking panoramic view of a Volcano, some beautiful coastal scenery and a great sampling of the rich marine life Indonesia is renown for. Given time enough around Tulamben, you will find almost every fish, crustacean, coral, nudibranch, sponge or hydroid that you will find in any ID book from Indonesia.
Getting to Tulamben From the resorts of the south coast (Kuta, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur) or from the Airport it is approximately a 3 hour trip by car. From Ubud it is a two hour trip or from Candi Dasa 1 hour. We can help arrange a driver to pick you up from anywhere on Bali for private transfer to Tulamben in a late model air-conditioned vehicle .
The journey encompasses a wide range of scenery, including the busy streets of outer Denpasar, then the open highway to Kusamba with glimpses of rural Bali and the mountains in the distance, followed by meandering roads through foothills, small villages, and then close to your destination is a winding road through some of Bali's most picturesque rice fields and mountain ranges that opens-up to the arid coastline near Tulamben. Most drivers will happily stop en-route for snacks, drinks or for photo opportunities.
Shopping There are so many shops in the south of Bali, that any shopping for clothes, art works, wood carvings, jewellery etc. is best done before or after your trip to Tulamben. It is not really feasible to do any serious shopping on a day trip from Tulamben. However drivers can be booked for a full day from your pick-up at the Airport and then guide you personally to any shopping that you request, followed by transfer to Tulamben. Alternatively, you could leave Tulamben early and shop before departing on a late afternoon or evening departure from Bali. Tulamben has a shop next to the supermarket where you can buy clothes plus some souvenirs, prices are very reasonable . Snack foods and drinks are also available in Tulamben.
Dive Equipment Advice We advise any serious diver visiting Tulamben to at least bring their own BCD, Regulator, Wetsuit, Mask & Fins where possible. It is not always possible to rent dive equipment that fits as well as your own. If you are able to, then bring all of your own equipment.
Clothing to Bring Tulamben's climate is generally drier than most of Bali, it is generally sunny and hot (30ºC+). Clothing is light and very casual, most people wear shorts, T shirts, sarongs, skirts, sandals etc. during the day. In the middle of the dry season (July-September) the evenings can be a little breezy and slightly cool (22ºC) so ladies often find a long-sleeved blouse or cardigan handy. Hats and sunscreen are a must for people not accustomed to continuous sunshine, sunburn can (and does) ruin a dive trip.
Following are lists of items for divers to bring and not to bring to Tulamben:
Dive Boots with soles - The entry's at most dive sites are pebbles and very unstable to walk on - these are an absolute must!!!Full foot fins that don't require boots are an absolute no-no! It is almost imposssible to walk on the beach. But with a tank on your back you just cannot walk bare-foot into a dive site.... no matter how much of a super-hero you may think you are!
Local Currency in CASH (Indonesian Rupiah) - There are now three ATM's in Tulamben, but these can often be out of cash in busy periods. If you don't bring cash you can look forward to a one hour journey to the next nearest ATM.... if it is working! Plus a one hour return journey!
If you are coming from the airport – ask your driver to stop at a money changer along the way. Do not change larger amounts of cash at the airport banks, their rates are much lower than outside of the airport.
Alcohol - There is very little alcohol for sale in Tulamben other than local beer (Bintang), which if you drink beer is quite palatable and cheap and some Bali produced wines, but don't expect to find your favorite Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. There are some odd imported spirits available in the local supermarket, but it isn't cheap!
Indonesia's power system is 220V - the same as Australia & Europe. USA is 110V so visitors from the USA will need a Power Adaptor.Indonesian plugs are the parallel two-pin round variety and you can buy adaptors to suit most plugs locally in Tulamben.
Insect Repellant - a good roll-on repellant is best for fair skinned people, and some are available locally. Mosquito’s are not a big problem here – but they do tend to be attracted to some people.Mosquito coils that can be burnt in your room are always available locally and most hotels provide them.
Underwater Torches - for night diving or on deeper dives to aid camera focusing. The substrate here is mostly black volcanic sand or dark rock and it can be dark at depths late in the day. We can help you with purchase of an LED Focus Light, see our U/W Photo Accessories page for details.
'AAA' - 'AA' -'C' - 'D' Cell Batteries are available in Tulamben, If you need spare camera-specific batteries, get them before leaving the south. You can buy them in CarreFour Supermarket and some camera stores in Kuta/Sanur/Denpasar.
Anti-Diarrhea Medication - 'Bali Belly' strikes many people on their first trip, it isn't an illness, so much as an adaptation to some food bacteria's your system is not accustomed to. A heavy course of Charcoal tablets (available in Tulamben and named Norit) and absistance from eating usually helps. As a last resort take some Imodium or Lomotil to stop the 'runs'. Best to bring your own supplies of these, as it can strike in the middle of the night!
Hat / Sunglasses & Sunscreen - It is sunny most days in Tulamben, and people from cooler climates get burnt easily. Some dive sites necessitate a short boat journey - without any shade.
Travel Insurance - Insure all of your photo equipment, laptops and dive gear. No responsibility can be taken by your hotel for valuables left in your room. Theft here is very uncommon.... but don't rely on that.
DAN Insurance Policy - A good decompression chamber facility is now in operation in Denpasar, but we don't rely on it. It is a 3 hour drive away, necessitating a drive through mountains (lower atmospheric pressure) So dive well within your limits, drink lots of water (and less alcohol) and have full DAN/Travel evacuation insurance.
Dive Qualification Card or evidence of your dive qualification. Needed for your dive centre to check before you can dive.
NO NEED to Bring:
Snack Foods/Fruit - Many snack type foods are available locally - potato chips, chocolate, peanuts fresh fruits etc. are all available in small shops in the village.
Basic First Aid Supplies - Band-aids, antiseptic creams/liquids, headache tablets, cold/flu tablets are all available in local shops.
Clothing is available in a few local shops at bargain prices - T Shirts, shorts, sarongs, etc. Check-out the clothing and souvenir range in the newly expanded Tulamben General Store right in the middle of town.
Beer - is readily available and cheap.
Decide YOURSELF on the Following:
Dive Equipment - Rental BC's, Regs fins, masks and wetsuits are available, most are good quality & well maintained. Water temps are at their lowest in July/August (approx 26ºC) and Hire suits are generally shorties (short arms and legs) 3mm - so if you normally conduct long dives it can be a little cool. The rest of the year water temps are 28º to 30ºC and shorties are fine. But in saying this we personally dive in 3mm steamer (full-length) for comfort year-round.
Payment to your hotel & dive centre:
If your hotel or dive centre requires payment in USD$, then take note that US$ notes must be undamaged - unmarked, late issue notes. Banks in Bali will not accept any damaged, marked or US$ notes older than the year 2000.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us we check e-mails every day.
Mount Agung viewed from Tulamben - Photo Copyright: Jeff Mullins