My favorite dive spot on Nusa Penida is called Toyapakeh. It is located on the North West corner of the island and takes its name from the village in front of which it is located. It is actually the only Muslim town on Nusa Penida and when you are there at the right time you can hear the muezzins call for prayer.
If you arrive at the site look at the surface of the sea if you see big flat parts where you are supposed to dive, wait or change dive sites, as this can mean that the currents are very strong, making it a very short dive. If the current goes North, which is the best way to dive the site, the ideal place to enter the water is in front of the big tree which you can see very easily in the dry season; in rainy season it doesn’t stand out as much because the surrounding area is green as well. In front of the tree the reef turns from a wall into a plateau. The coral is beautiful and full of life. If you are lucky you can spot the huge Moray Eel that is living around that area, I just saw his head once and it was huge. Be careful because there are many Scorpion Fish and Lion Fish residing in the area as well.
Mantis Shrimp are spotted very often and make sure you take a look in one of the Anemones to see if there is a shrimp or crab living in there, but be careful, some of the Anemone Fish are very protective of their anemone and will attack divers. They are clearly not a big threat to a diver but I have a big respect for their courage and usually move off so as not to stress them any further.
Be sure to keep an eye out in the blue in this area, Molas are spotted quite often in the season. Moving along the reef on the drop off from the plateau you will find a few coral bommies where Sweetlips like to hang out. Further on, there is a bit of a curve in the reef which is where most of the time a big school of Drummer Fish swims around.
Shortly after that the reef starts to change and soft coral starts to dominate the landscape. If you swim onto the plateau in this area you will end up under the pontoon that is stationed in the bay. This is a good place to treasure hunt, the most common “treasures” being forks and spoons and big sunhats.
Going back into the direction of the drop off the coral changes again, you glide over a bed of Staghorn coral. Keep an eye out for the Giant Trevally that live and eat in this area. If you at this point hear boat noises just look up, it is probably the glass bottom boat circling above you, it is quite an impressive sight, not so much the boat but the many fish that follow it. At this point it is getting time to start thinking about ending the dive, we don’t want to dive beyond the jetty. The current there can pick up a lot and the divers can get swept around the corner to SD which will make it difficult for the boat to spot you.
So I hope that you enjoyed the virtual tour of my favourite site on Nusa Penida and hopefully you come by to see it with your own eyes.