As well as being one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, Indonesia is in fact one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations, with an incredible amount of unique and breathtaking diving spots.
Looking at its geography, Indonesia’s coastline stretches out from the Indian Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and makes it one of the longest coastlines in the world. As part of the Coral Triangle, Indonesia’s marine life is hugely diverse and offers a massive 20% of world’s coral reefs with over 600 species to see.
Not limited to an enormous array of coral there are also over 3000 fish species inhabiting the warm waters. The dives sites share this diversity, and there is something for all enthusiasts from exploring the coral to the trenches and steep ocean walls, leading to the volcanic caldera and ghostly shipwrecks. Just as important as the choice is the price, it’s actually incredibly affordable to dive in Indonesia.
Indonesia forms one point of the ‘Coral Triangle’ and contains 20% of the world’s coral reefs. This makes it an almost epicentre of worlds marine biodiversity.
Although ideally suited for an all year round trip, the seasons dictate the best times to dive, so plan to go during the dry season, which falls between April and December. Hotels are plentiful although booked up quickly, if you are choosing to extend your stay or if there is a larger group, rented accommodation is widely available. Visit sites such as rumahdijual.com/kelapa-gading/apartemen-kelapa-gading-square, to see precisely what is on offer in the location you are looking at, or even multiple locations.
The dives sites are plentiful, and there is lots of information available on them.
One of the most famous is just off the tip of Papua (Irian Jaya) that is Raja Ampat. An archipelago of 1,500 small islands, the diversity of marine life is overwhelming. Over 1200 fish species are inhabiting the warm waters, and a world record of 284 different types was noted on a single dive in Kofiau Island.
Raja Ampat is unique and stands head and shoulders over the rest of the world’s dive sites. Diving here offers crystal clear seas, as well as for as the marine life; you may even catch a glimpse of a whale shark or two.
Another top spot is the Togian Islands. Located North of Sulawesi, these islands hide some incredible secrets and wondrous dives. It is still relatively unexplored, giving the real feeling of discovering new and exciting places nestled among these 56 tiny islands.
The land may be home to the famous Komodo dragon, the world’s most giant lizard. But beneath the waves, diving at the Komodo islands is a popular destination for some of the world top divers. This is because the Komodo National Park reserve offers peaceful and picturesque reefs, masses of reef fishes and sharks, as well as ocean walls and trenches.
Bunaken Island, or you may know it by its local name of Pulau Bunaken, is not only rich with marine biodiversity, but it is also an utterly dazzling dive due to the water being so clear it is entirely transparent. This HD environment lends itself to a breathtaking dive, meeting such marine life as 70 different species of coral, five species of sea turtle, fish including white and black tip reef sharks, but most impressive could be the almost extinct dugongs, barracuda and even saltwater crocodiles!
Bali Islands are beautiful. Majestic volcanic views, green and luscious areas of vegetation and rice paddies, there is plenty to see from the shore. As well as attracting surfers from all over the world, it is also one of the most excellent places to dive. Scuba diving here offers deep caverns, bright coral ridges and famous shipwrecks dating back from WW2. There are many choices when it comes to where to dive, Nusa Penida, Lembongan islands, Tulamben and Candi Dasa all being divers favourites.
Bali’s equally beautiful sister island heralds its own attractions. Hammerhead sharks can be seen here as well as here a vast variety of other marine life. Lombok is a holiday haven, tranquil and beautiful yet its diving has real appeal for the more adventurous.
Bangka and Belitung Islands
Sitting on the side of Sumatra, Bangka and Belitung Islands has over 25 dive sites with waters teeming with fish and corals. There is even the possibility of drift diving as well as descending pinnacles and colossal granite mineral formations abounding with breathtaking corals.
Pulau Weh, Sumatra
Pulau Weh is known for its rich ecosystem and is almost hidden away in relation to its more famous distant sister Bali. A section of this archipelago is home to many rare species of wildlife that is therefore protected and has thus been recognised so by the Indonesian government. The reefs themselves are entirely overflowing with Indo-Pacific marine life, and the isolation of the location within the open Banda Sea makes the dives even more fascinating.
The islands of Wakatobi, comprising of Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomea and Binongki are yet another of Indonesia’s gifts to the world and the very pinnacle of diving opportunities. Wakatobi’s reefs are very well protected, and this has the positive impact of it brimming with diverse and healthy marine lives.
The diving, which is encouraged and well organised here, also brings much-needed funds to the local community, supporting local business as well as sustaining support for the marine park itself. This diving scene is relatively new in Indonesia, meaning that the place is still practically untouched, leading to a really unique experience. It would be advisable to go before it too is taken over by tourism.
These islands are, simply put, one of the best-kept secrets in Indonesia. Diving here introduces you to undiscovered secrets; the type only brought to light by getting into the water and exploring. This is because this little-known haven is bursting with healthy reefs of massive hard corals, marine wildlife of pelagics and reef fishes as well as sea fans and sea sponges.
Simply put, diving into Indonesian waters may have you falling overboard for the beautiful wildlife you may discover.