Bali’s most popular dive site, the USS Liberty shipwreck is known to divers around the world as one of the easiest large wrecks to access. It lies just off the shore of Tulamben, near Amed, at a maximum depth of around 100 feet (30 meters). Marine life from turtles to flashing clams are common on the wreck.
While Tulamben and Amed are the nearest towns to the site, dive schools run USS Liberty day trips from Sanur, Ubud, and all over south Bali, most offering door-to-door transfers. The Liberty wreck is suitable for both advanced and open-water qualified divers. Great visibility for most of the year means it’s also a popular location for Discover Scuba Dive experiences, enabling would-be divers to experience the underwater world without committing to a multi-day course. As the top of the wreck lies just a few feet below the surface of the water, USS Liberty snorkel trips are also a popular choice.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The USS Liberty wreck is a bucket-list dive for scuba divers visiting Bali.
- Bali dive packages typically include all dive gear, with the exception of a computer.
- The USS Liberty site is just one of many dive sites around Amed and Tulamben. Many divers choose to spend several days in the area.
- The Liberty shipwreck is a shore dive with limited current, making it popular with beginner divers.
How to Get There
The USS Liberty wreck lies just off the shore of Tulamben in east Bali, around three hours’ drive from Kuta. While many tourists stay either in Tulamben or nearby Amed to dive the wreck and the area’s other fascinating dive sites, those who are short on time will find it easiest to book a day trip from south Bali rather than explore the area in full.
When to Get There
It’s possible to dive the Liberty year-round, but between roughly December and March, the peak of the rainy season can mean plastic garbage in the water and reduced visibility. Throughout the year, the site gets very, very crowded, particularly at shallower depths. To beat the crowds, dive early, and dive deep.
The History of the USS Liberty Wreck
The USAT (United States Army Transport) Liberty was a US cargo ship during World War I. During World War II, the USS Liberty was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942 while en route from Australia to defend the Philippines. She was beached on Bali’s east coast so that her cargo could be salvaged, but slipped into the ocean during the eruption of Mt. Agung in the 1960s.