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What you should know
Fly straight to Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar). Most of the courses include pick up from your accommodation. Alternately, you may rent a private car transfer from the airport, it will take you on a 2-3 hours journey to reach there. Public transport is another alternative, it will get you to the east side (Diving Heaven) of Bali in 3 hours.
Yes, in order to get a diving certification. For leisure dives, unless you know the area well, it would be best to go with a guide who can show you the best spots!
Basic swimming skills are essential for this activity as it involves being underwater for a prolonged period of time!
the best time to go diving are during the transition months as the season changes. This would mean around April or October, when the seas are relatively calm and the winds are gentle
The differences are the types of diving courses(ranging in terms of difficulty) and dive locations!
There are serveral interesting things to do near the diving sites. Kusamba Salt Farm Village might be interesting to those who have always been curious about the local trades of sea salt harvesting. The hilltop location of Pura Silayukti Temple overlooks the main sandy length of Padangbai and Blue Lagoon Beach to the north, making it one of the best spots for sunsets and sunrises in Bali. Another temple to visit would be Pantai Padang Bai temple complex is known for its grand gate and white limestone bricks.
For those keen on winding down after the crazy adventures might want to check out Spiral Spa at Bloo Lagoon Eco Village, having treatments that range from hot stone massages to mani and pedicures.