After traveling halfway around the world, head to your home for the first week–Pemuteran, a quaint Indonesian fishing village. Explore the underwater treasures of the northern dive sites, participating in your first ever muck dive, an amazing opportunity to spot some rare and hard to find sea creatures like frogfish and scorpion fish. Then, jump right into your certification earning by beginning the Advanced Open Water, Rescue and EFR coursework. Take a break to partner with Project AWARE and conduct a Dive Against Debris, an underwater trash cleanup that helps collect data on the types of trash plaguing our oceans. Feeling refreshed and confident after our first dives and rewarding service work, we head east, stopping along the way to hike to a picturesque remote waterfall.
Embark on an underwater exploration with the fishing village of Amed as your new home base. You’ll stay in bungalows on the black volcanic beach and do both boat and shore dives through the temperate waters. Experience an exhilarating dawn dive as well as dives through walls, pinnacles, muck and even the USAT Liberty, one of the most famous wreck dives in the world. Continue to work towards your Rescue and EFR certifications, getting one step closer to becoming certified Rescue divers! From there, you’ll venture to Seraya and Coral Garden to spot dozens of unique sea creatures you can’t find anywhere else around the globe. Head south along the Bali coast and visit your final diving spots of Bali, just off shore Nusa Penida, where you’ll scour the ocean for sea creatures. Test your luck, venturing out to sites where you may spy a manta ray or the elusive mola mola (sunfish). Along the way, look out for pygmy seahorses, porcelain crabs and dozens of other species.
Here’s where you’ll pack up the dive gear and head to Ubud, the cultural and spiritual center of Bali. In Ubud, you’ll explore temples and terraced rice fields, taste delectable cuisine, experience Balinese dancing, take in a sunset over Mr. Batur, make your own batik, step inside a royal palace, visit the Monkey Forest and learn to cook Balinese food. You’ll also witness first-hand the unforgettable Kecak Fire and Trance Dance, a performance inspired by ancient religious rituals.
Refreshed and eager to get back in the water and complete the Rescue course, take a high-speed ferry to Gili Air, the smallest of Indonesia’s three Gili Islands. Off the beaten path, you’ll find plenty of white sand beaches but no roads or cars, the perfect spot for hunkering down to perform your final scenarios and become certified PADI Rescue Divers! Embark on two or three dives a day, including a night dive and participate in an all-island scavenger hunt. Practice stand-up paddle boarding, yoga and meditation and meet with Gili Island elders to learn about the life and history of the islands, its strong community ties and a culture that revolves around fishing the surrounding seas.
Dive even deeper into the waters of Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan during a two-day freediving class. You’ll take off from at least seven different sites with chances to spot dozens of marine species, including leopard sharks, pygmy seahorses and ribbon eels. Help build an artificial reef system as a service project and earn your Freediver Level 1 certification by learning kicking, equalization and breathing techniques, as well as freediving up to 18 meters. Join your group in a community service project and spend your final night watching the sun drop into the Bali Sea, reflecting together on your experiences during the trip.