They say that over two thirds of the world is covered in water. This means that over two thirds of the world goes undiscovered by most people. Scuba diving courses can be very expensive, particularly in Europe, and this puts some people off. Luckily, if you are planning a trip to Asia then this isn’t the case.
After deciding that we wanted to do a PADI open water course, we began to look into possible locations. We considered Thailand and the Philippines but eventually decided that Indonesia (particularly Bali) offered us the kind of dives that we wanted to do. Next we began the painstaking job of trying to figure out where to do our PADI scuba diving course in Bali.
We researched almost all of the dive shops in Bali online (seriously, there are a lot more than you expect!). Eventually we were able to narrow it down to our top three. We considered price, quality of the course and the dive spots available with each centre. We then called around to each of the shops in our top three and decided that we would base our decision on which shop made us feel most comfortable.
Which Dive Centre?
After meeting Erna in Pro Dive Bali in Kuta,our minds were made up. Erna was extremely friendly with a huge smile on her face. We spoke to her about the instructors and their experience (this was extremely important for us because Shonagh couldn’t swim and had never dived before!). We were told that Putu would be our instructor. Putu has over 25 years of diving experience and has instructed in Australia and Indonesia. Erna also informed us that we would be the only ones on this course so we would get one on one tuition. We also discussed the itinerary for the PADI open water course.
How Long Does The Open Water Course Take To Complete?
The course takes approximately 3 full days to complete.
What To Expect On Your PADI Scuba Diving Course
Pro Dive Bali put together a course for us that really helped us to develop the necessary skills while also being able to enjoy scuba diving. Our itinerary was as follows:
- Early morning pickup from our hostel in Kuta and brought to the Pro Dive Bali training centre.
- Theory class: explaining the different terminology and explaining how the scuba diving equipment operates.
- Pool session to practice getting comfortable with the equipment and developing the skills needed to dive.
- De-briefing with advice on areas for improvement and a chance to clarify anything that you are uncertain of.
- Transport back to our hostel
- Early morning pickup in Kuta and transfer to Pro Dives centre in Tulamben. (approximately 3 hours drive from Kuta).
- Breakfast on arrival.
- Shown to our accommodation on site (double bed, ensuite), where we were left to relax for a few minutes.
- First open water scuba dive in the Coral Garden, practicing the skills that we learned while enjoying fish, coral and the underwater world!
- Quick debrief, lunch and relaxation time (for approximately 1 hour).
- Prepare gear and get ready for second dive at the Coral Garden.
- Shower, have a light snack and relax.
- Free time to do whatever you wish for the evening. The dive centre arranged transport to the next town for us, where we enjoyed a few cold beers.
- Early morning start for breakfast (We were given the choice to get up at 6am for an early morning dive or start later in the morning. We opted for the 6am start so that it would be quieter.)
- Don’t forget to bring your Go-Pro (Pro Dive might even allow you to use their underwater casing if you ask nicely)
- First dive of the Liberty shipwreck.
- Have lunch and discuss final areas for dive improvement.
- Second dive of the liberty shipwreck to a depth of 18 metres.
- Shower, lunch and check out of accommodation.
- Fill in your logbook and complete final details to receive your PADI open water course certification.
- Transport to wherever you need to go on the island of Bali.
When Can I Start The Course?
The Pro Dive Bali course starts on Monday and Thursday each week.
How Much Does The Course Cost?
After completing the PADI open water course, we were so impressed that we decided to write this article recommending Pro Dive Bali. Expect to pay around 4.5m rupiahs per person (€290).
What Is Included in The Price?
The price includes almost everything!
- All transfers. (If you aren’t returning to the south of Bali after your dives in Tulamben then maybe tip the driver some cash just to be nice!).
- All PADI open water course material.
- Certification fees to PADI.
- Four ocean dives.
- Pool session in swimming pool.
- Use of all dive equipment.
- Use of dive computer during your open water dive.
- One night stay in Pro Dive accommodation in Tulamben.
- Lunch and refreshments on your open water dives.
What isn’t Included?
- Dinner is at your own expense (A local Balinese dish in Tulamben will cost around €1! (The Pro Dive staff will steer you in the right direction).
Our Thoughts On Pro Dive Bali
Pro Dive Bali were incredibly professional. The class size was small, which gave us more one on one instruction. The instructor, Putu, was extremely patient and dedicated (He gave particular attention to Shonagh, knowing that she wasn’t fully comfortable in the water). The pace of instruction was ideal and Putu adjusted to each of our individual needs to ensure that we both progressed at a pace that made the course enjoyable. The dives themselves were also fantastic, particularly the Liberty shipwreck! Are you wondering where to do your PADI scuba diving course in Bali? If you want a top class dive centre, with instructors that you can trust, at an affordable price then Pro Dive Bali ticks all the boxes.
Shonagh is now a fully qualified PADI open water diver…and still can’t swim! If she can do it then you can too!
So that is the craic with the PADI open water course in Bali. If you have any questions then let us know in the comments below.
Spending some time in Indonesia and want to try something a little different? Check out our guide to Komodo Island