SCUBA Seraya, Liberty Wreck, and Living Zen (or visiting it anyway).

Posted by on Jun 11, 2011

The next stop on our Bali/Komodo trip was SCUBA Seraya, located near the well-known dive area in East Bali, Tulamben. From the airport it took about three hours to drive there with the driver stopping a couple of times for us to photograph the scenery as we went. It really was a beautiful drive!
Rice Fields in East Bali

At Seraya we were greeting by the staff who hauled all our bags to our room; and us to the reception/dining area for a cold drink. We did the necessary paperwork and were shown to our room. After settling in and eating lunch we headed to the dive area where we tried on rental gear and helped our assigned dive guide, Wit, to set up our gear to our liking. For the rest of our stay we didn’t have to touch anything except our wetsuits, masks and snorkels, and cameras. The dive staff takes care of everything!

 

The resort is beautifully landscaped and the layout of the resort is really nice. The dining area is open to a large grassy area looking over the ocean. On the edge of the beach there are chaise lounges, and tables with chairs where you could eat or just sit and socialize and enjoy the ambiance. Our room, a Garden Maisonette, had an outside bathroom with a huge tub, and a shower. Plus we had a private gate from our bathroom right into the pool area. This made for easy pool use not having to go through our room to get to our bathroom to change after playing in the pool.
Looking at our room from the pool area.

We ate at Seraya for our entire stay. We thought of going in to Tulamben to eat but it was so pleasant at the resort and the food was good so we didn’t bother. Our first few days there was an underwater photography workshop being held. On their last night the uw photography workshop group had requested an Indonesian buffet and we were invited to join them. It was delicious and afterwards there was traditional dancing and the dive staff sang and danced (getting some of the guests dancing also). Even the owner’s little two-year-old daughter got up and danced…what a cutie!

On our second day we started diving! The diving at Seraya was all muck (macro) diving and Wit showed us some great small creatures. Tiny nudibranchs, shrimp, crabs, blue ribbon eels and more right on the home reef! We were concerned because we had heard about the rocky surf entry in Tulamben but at Seraya there is black sand beach and unless there is a very low tide it isn’t difficult at all to walk in and out of the water. They are very concerned about it though and a staff member is always on the lookout for exiting divers, coming out and helping you out and taking your camera. And we were told to be careful of the waves, but I have walked through worse surf getting in and out at the Breakwater or Wharf II in Monterey.
Unfortunately on our second dive day my lower back went out and I couldn’t dive. While Randy did his morning dive I had an hour massage and then soaked in a hot tub. I wished I had some bubble bath. J The next day I was a little better so we did two boat dives so I wouldn’t have to walk in and out with my gear on. The first dive was early in the morning to the famous Liberty Wreck and later we did another muck dive called Coral Garden. The Liberty Wreck was cool, mostly for the huge schooling fish at the shallow end of the wreck! I took a few pictures then followed Randy and Wit down the length of the wreck hoping to get to the end so I could turn around and get back to those fish. We did eventually make it back and Randy and I spent the rest of our time underwater photographing the school of fish. They were so beautiful, swirling around in the blue water. My favorite part of the dive!
Randy and the School of Fish!
 Everyone was very nice at Seraya, and I recommend the resort to anyone. Whether you want to do beach dives or boat dives or just lie in a chaise looking out over the ocean, this is the place. The diving is good and the atmosphere is wonderful; exotic, very mellow and kind of…Zen. I guess if you like to party and experience the night life this may not be the place for you as you would have to get a taxi or driver to take you to town. Of course, you could bring the party with you. 😉 As we’re not into partying every night when we’re diving it didn’t bother us at all. The owner, Patrick, was there with his family, and he made a point to come over and introduce himself and talk a bit which was really nice.
I wouldn’t hesitate to stay at SCUBA Seraya again, and certainly hope to next time we are in Bali!