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The Finest Scuba Diving in Indonesia – All of the Prime Websites

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Indonesia is the nation with the most effective diving on this planet, that’s my experience touring diving and dealing as a dive teacher for years. The 17 000 islands making up this island nation gives spectacular diving it doesn’t matter what you’re keen on whereas diving; clear water, nonetheless water or robust currents and every little thing from the smallest bizarre critters to the world’s greatest fish and wonderful marine mammals. 

stingy nomads indonesia
Typica morning, going out for a dive in Indonesia.

The Finest Scuba Diving in Indonesia – The place to Go

Indonesia is populated by about 2500 fish species, that’s greater than double The Crimson Sea or the Nice Barrier Reef. For unbelievable biodiversity Raja Ampat is the place to go. This nation is a Mecca of muck diving, yow will discover the blue ring octopus, furry frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, pygmy sea-horse and plenty of different great creatures, the Lembeh strait is the place to go. Do dive in robust currents with huge pelagic species like tunas, sharks and faculties of huge manta rays go to Komodo Island.

Have a look at this text for the most effective things to do and locations to go in Indonesia.

manta komodo
Diving with manta rays on the gorgeous, colourful reefs of Komodo Island close to Flores.

Muck Diving in Indonesia

Muck diving is a sort of Macro diving, you don’t dive in mud or sewage, circumstances could be nice. Throughout muck diving you hunt for small, bizarre creatures that most individuals doesn’t even know exist! The Lembeh Strait is my favourite muck diving spot, see our Lembeh Dive Information, house to a number of the strangest and most uncommon marine animals in existence. Ambon Island and the north of Bali round Amed additionally has wonderful muck diving.

Drift Diving round Indonesia

Round Komodo there are some wonderful spots for drift diving with sharks, huge fish and manta rays. Diving in currents round Nusa Penida near Bali can also be high drift diving websites.

Diving Pulao Weh, Batee Tokong
Drift diving from Pulau Weh, Sumatra

Diving to discover the Biodiversity of Indonesia

Raja Ampat is among the most biodiverse locations to dive on this planet with actually every little thing, hundreds of species of coral and from the smallest alien critters to huge manta rays and whale sharks round these lovely islands in West Papua, Indonesia. Komodo Nationwide Park close to Flores and Wakatobi close to Sulawesi are additionally unbelievable.

Liveaboard Diving in Indonesia

With hundreds of islands unfold over a big space and a number of the greatest dive websites very distant, liveaboard diving in Indonesia is a implausible solution to discover distant reefs.

Why dive from a Liveaboard Boat in Indonesia?

  • Many distant spots are accessible from the closest island, however you can be at these dive websites first within the morning whereas tons of of divers are heading to the spots on sluggish boats, get within the water earlier than they arrive and scare the fish!
  • It’s superior to get up on the dive website and position into the water after breakfast!
  • Evening dives are sometimes solely doable at distant sights from liveaboard boats.
  • What could be higher than dwelling on a ship for a few days, waking up and  diving a number of the worlds greatest websites after breakfast after which all day…

Some Superior Liveaboard Boats in 2023!


Mid Vary


Dive Season in Indonesia

Indonesia can actually be dived all 12 months spherical because the island nation covers such an enormous space.

Finest Dive Seasons Round Indonesia

  • Gili Islands July-Aug, Dec-Jan
  • Wakatobi All 12 months, greatest diving March – Dec and July-Aug
  • Komodo All 12 months, Might/June and Sep/Oct greatest diving, Dec – Feb Manta season 
  • Raja Ampata Sep-Apr Manta season, Good viz Nov-March
  • Bali Finest diving Might – Nov, Mola Mola Aug-Oct
  • Ambon Nov – Might
  • Lembeh July – Aug
  • Banda Islands Mar-Apr, Sept-Dec
  • Pulau Weh Might – September
Kadidiri a village of Bajua people, the 'sea gypsies' of Indonesia, Togean Islands, Sulawesi.
Kadidiri a village of Bajua individuals, the ‘sea gypsies’ of Indonesia, Togean Islands, Sulawesi.

Flores Island

Komodo Nationwide Park is a world heritage website and one of many new seven wonders of the world. The closest giant populated island to the park is Flores Island.

 Diving round Komodo Island

  • Massive Faculties of Manta Rays
  • Pelagic Fish; Canine Tooth Tunas, Big Trevally, Reef Sharks
  • Greater than 1,000 Species of Tropical Reef Fish

Diving in Komodo Nationwide Park in Indonesia, surrounded by huge Manta Rays, pelagic fish searching and hundreds of various colourful tropical fish continues to be a number of the greatest diving I’ve ever achieved. To succeed in Komodo Nationwide Park most journeys depart from Labuan Bajo on the Island of Flores. The park accommodates the three bigger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones.  For extra about touring to Flores and Komodo see our journey article Komodo island and Flores full information.

Attending to Komodo Dive Websites

Most diving is completed from Flores Island on day journeys or on liveaboard boats. 

Day by day flights depart to Labuanbajo in Flores from Bali (DPS) and Jakarta (CGK). You may also take a bus-ferry mixture from Lombok or Gili Trawangan, it’s a low cost choice, however is exhausting and in complete takes about 24 hours. Taking a three day boat journey is common finances choice taken by many backpackers. We focus on choices to get from Bali to Flores on this article.

Batu Bolong is our favourite dive website within the central a part of the park, diving right here is like floating in an ideal aquarium with giant Napoleon wrasse, huge inexperienced turtles, barracudas and a spectacular array of colourful marine life that stay on the gorgeous coral reef.

Manta Level is a spotlight diving Komodo, a shallow drift dive floating over a manta cleansing station, divers are sometimes surrounded by as much as 20 giant manta rays whereas hanging within the present witnessing the spectacle on the cleansing station.

The park has much more implausible diving to supply, Fort Rock and The Cauldron in North Komodo is extra unreal diving with loads of sharks, turtles and big large trevalleys and manta rays are typically discovered at these websites.

The Komodo dragons on Komodo and Rinca island are an added bonus to not miss and you may go to the islands on a diving day. 

A variety of fish an aquarium can never duplicate at Crystal Rock diving around Komodo Island
A wide range of fish an aquarium can by no means duplicate at Crystal Rock diving round Komodo Island

Sulawesi Island

The huge island Sulawesi is surounded by Borneo to the west,  the Philippines to the north and Flores to the south, you may simply think about the wonderful dive websites surounding Sulawesi!

The island is understood for spectacular coral reefs and a number of the world’s greatest dive websites at locations similar to Bunaken Nationwide Park, the Togian Islands, Wakatobi Nationwide Park and Lembeh Strait. To get to dive spots within the south similar to Wakatobi and Bira, fly to Makasar and make your approach from right here. To get to websites within the north similar to Bunaken and Lembeh, fly to Manado and proceed touring from right here.

Diving Lembeh Strait

  • Unreal Muck Diving
  • Mimic Octopus, Rhinopias, Mandarin fish, Pygmy seahorse, Blue ring octopus, a really lengthy record….

Lembeh strait is famend for the most effective muck diving on this planet. Lembeh is a small isle positioned to the north of Sulawesi Island. Between Sulawesi Island and Lembeh Island, runs a slim strait referred to as the Strait of Lembeh. Scuba diving on this strait you may see a number of the most unusual and spectacular creatures alive. See our Lembeh Strait Dive Information for my experience and proposals!

Giant Frog Fish
A Big Frog Fish diving at Lembeh Strait

Attending to Lembeh Strait

The closest huge metropolis is Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, catch a direct flight right here from Singapore or an area flight from Bali or Jakarta. From Manado take a taxi or public bus to Ruko Pateten Pier and take a ship to Lembeh.

Diving Bunaken

  • Spectacular Wall Dives
  • 400 species of coral 
  • Greater than 2000 species of fish

Bunaken Island is positioned north of Sulawesi with crystal clear water and spectacular coral partitions providing nice blue water diving and a number of the greatest snorkeling I’ve ever achieved. The island is really lovely, tropical jungle surrounded by mangroves working into the ocean. Bunaken Marine Park was one of many first marine protected areas in Indonesia established within the early nineties. Steep partitions drop into the deep lined by a tremendous variety of sentimental and arduous corals. The drop gives wonderful wall dives, regulate the reef for species similar to mantis shrimp and a variety of nudibranches, go searching you within the blue for a lot of turtles, enormous Napoleon wrasse and huge pelagics; sharks, tunas and faculties of barracuda. Diving round Bunaken you may see 400 species of coral and greater than 2000 species of fish. 

To get to Bunaken fly to Manado and take a ship from Manado Harbor to Bunaken.

Dive the Togian Islands

  • Dive on Una-Una, an energetic volcano
  • WWII B24 Bomber wreck
  • 314 species of corals,541 species of mollusc, 819 species of tropical fish

The Togean Islands is an archipelago  of 56 islands and islets off the coast of Central Sulawesi. Try our journey diving the Togian Islands. The islands are identified for clear water, white sand and rain forests. If you wish to discover an off the crushed observe paradise, the Togians is a spot to go, you may solely get right here by boat and it took me a few days of journey to make it right here. The water is crystal clear diving in Tomini bay, generally known as the calmest bay on earth. Apart from the wonderful reef and number of marine life on this crystal clear nonetheless water, there are some very fascinating things to discover across the Togian Islands. Diving on a WWII B24 Bomber wreck was my first airplane wreck. Staying with native individuals in a close-by Bajua ‘sea gypsy’ village was a really fascinating experience and swimming in a ‘Jellyfish lake’ was wonderful, one in every of a handful of locations on this planet the place jellyfish misplaced the flexibility to sting over hundreds of thousands of years of geographic isolation. 

Attending to The Togian Islands

The Togeans would not have an airport, the closest airports are Gorontalo within the north and Ampana within the south, from each airports it’s important to take some connecting flights to get onto worldwide flights. Getting from Ampana in Sulawesi to Kadidiri within the Togian Islands was an fascinating mixture of ferries and boats that took about 2 days.

Diving Wakatobi

  • World Well-known Macro Diving
  • Dive websites with highest coral reef biodiversity on this planet
  • Spectacular Wall Dives
  • Unreal biodiversity Turtles, sea snakes, nudibranches, mantis shrimp

Wakatobi Nationwide Park is a marine nationwide park located south of South East Sulawesi. Wakatobi is an acronym of the 4 foremost Tukangbesi Islands: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. With crystal clear water ranging between 26 and 30C Wakatobi is well-known for a number of the world’s greatest macro diving with unreal critters to be discovered on a number of the healthiest coral reefs on the planet. Wakatobi could be very distant and never simple to get to. It’s a common space for liveaboard diving. 

A big coconut crab at Kadidiri, the Togean Islands. They climb trees and grow up to 4kg 1m!
A coconut crab at our place on Kadidiri island one in every of The Togian Islands, Sulawesi.

Attending to Wakatobi

Most individuals arrive on the capital city of Wanci on the principle island Wangi-Wangi Island since that is the place the airport and foremost harbor is positioned. There are every day flights to Wanci from Kendari, the capital of Southeast Sulawesi. There are a handful of ferries per week making the journey from Kendari to Wanci. 

West Papua

West Papua is positioned on the jap fringe of the hundreds of islands comprising Indonesia. The province of West Papua is made up of two peninsulas, the Bomberai and  Chicken’s Head peninsula in addition to greater than 2000 islands surrounding islands. Many of the diving in West Papua occurs within the Raja Ampat and Triton Bay areas.

Diving Raja Ampat

  • Most biodiverse diving on this planet
  • 1427 reef fishes
  • over 600 coral species (75% of the world’s coral species)
  • Whale sharks
  • Manta rays
  • Massive number of pelagics; e.g. sharks, tunas, king fish and extra
  • Nice macro diving

The Raja Ampat Islands comprising tons of of jungle-covered islands are an archipelago off the northwest tip of Chicken’s Head Peninsula in West Papua. These islands located in the midst of the Coral Triangle are generally known as probably the most marine bio-diverse place on earth and the highest bucket record spot that many dive vacationers dream of. 

Spectacular colourful reefs lined in arduous and gentle corals is house to swarms of small fish similar to damsels and fusiliers, larger reef fish similar to batfish, surgeon fish and sweetlips, very giant species e.g. bumphead parrot fish and napoleon wrasse and pelagic species together with faculties of tuna, trevally, barracudas and mackerel. Between these spectacular reefs teeming with fish you additionally discover the world’s largest fish, the whale shark and majestic mantas gliding over the reefs. Raja Ampat isn’t solely in regards to the huge stuff it’s a tremendous dive spot for macro lovers, there are frogfish, pipefish, blue-ringed octopus, pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs solely to call just a few.

Attending to Raja Ampat

To get to Raja Ampat it’s important to first fly to Domine Eduard Osok Airport (SOQ) in Sorong, the biggest metropolis of the Indonesian province of West Papua. There are not any worldwide flights, so that you first must fly to Jakarta, Makasar or Manado. The simplest flights to those airports are from Singapore or Kuala Lumphur. Flying Bali – Makasar – Sorong is a well-liked route. 

To get from Sorong to the Dampier Strait islands of northern Raja Ampat, go to Wasai on the island of Waigeo the capital of the Raja Ampat regency by public ferry, velocity boat or fly, all of those depart a number of instances per week.


The spectacular Bali is legendary for its volcanic mountains, rice paddies, seashores and coral reefs. By far probably the most touristy of the 17 000 islands in Indonesia, Bali is well-known for good reason, it’s lovely. Bali isn’t just a preferred vacation spot, it has some world class diving. There may be some good diving to be achieved from the principle island, but in addition from the small surrounding island Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands. Apart from diving there’s implausible browsing round Uluwatu, procuring, partying and seashore life within the vacationer hub Kuta and if you happen to like meditation and yoga retreats Ubud is the place to go. Try our Full Bali Diving Information, for every little thing you want to know to plan a dive journey to his wonderful island.

Diving from Bali

There may be a wide range of nice diving to be achieved from Bali, the principle island and the small islands positioned pretty shut by. Nusa Penida en Nusa Lembongan is commonly dived from Bali as day journeys or you may keep on these islands. The Gili Islands are three small islands nearer to Lombok than Bali, however they’re fast and simple to achieve from Bali. There may be good diving across the Gilis, however not day dives from Bali, it’s important to dive the websites from one of many Gili Islands or from Lombok.

Wreck Diving – The USAT Liberty – this huge wreck might be probably the most well-known wreck dive in Indonesia. It’s a shore dive ranging from solely 4m deep descending to over 30m at its deepest finish. The gorgeous wreck is 120m lengthy and you may see faculties of huge bumphead parrotfish, barracuda, turtles, stingrays and even some good muck diving across the wreck on the black sand with pygmy seahorses on followers, quite a few species of nudibranch and different wonderful  critters.

Muck Diving round Bali – within the north of Bali there are many websites with black volcanic sand providing some implausible muck diving with critters like frog fish, dragonettes, rhinopias, ghost pipefish, flying gurnards, nudibranches, mimic octopus, blue ring octopus and extra. Many of those websites are shore dives and could be reached by automobile similar to Seraya and Secret Bay. A number of the dive websites in Padang Bay are a brief boat drive away. Amed within the north of Bali has some world class muck diving and good drift dives. 

Diving Nusa Penida

  • Manta cleansing station
  • Mola mola sunfish
  • Glorious drift diving

Mola Mola and Manta Rays – Bali is among the most well-known locations on this planet to dive with mola mola (the oceanic sunfish) and manta rays. The dive websites to swim with two of probably the most outstanding giant creatures within the ocean are across the small close by islands Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan separated from Bali on the east facet by The Bandung Strait. There may be some implausible diving round Nusa Penida, the highlights are the unbelievable cleansing station at Manta Level and swimming with mola mola at Crystal BayMola mola, generally generally known as the oceanic sunfish is the heaviest identified bony fish on this planet weighing as much as 1,000 kg! Nusa Penida could be dived as a daytrip from Padang Bai in Bali. It’s nevertheless cheaper to dive round Nusa Penida from the island itself than from Bali and there’s a lot to discover round Nusa Pendida, spectacular cliffs, pristine seashores, bat caves, temples and waterfalls, we loved staying right here for a few days diving. See our detailed Information to Dive round Nusa Penida.

manta nusa penida stingy nomads
Swimming with Manta Rays round Nusa Penida, Bali

The Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are a gaggle of three tiny islands; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air close to the coast of northwest Lombok Island. The Gili Islands are well-known for sandy seashores with palm bushes, crystal clear water and colourful coral reefs.

Diving across the Gili Islands could be very common with many operators with nice services on Gili Trawangan. The diving is good, however not world class, it’s nevertheless a implausible place to do a dive course. The visibility is sweet and the water is heat. There are some good reefs with loads of turtles, I even noticed an enormous napoleon wrasse and a few reef sharks on one in every of my dives.

Swimming with turtles around Gili Trawangan
Swimming with turtles round Gili Trawangan.

Gili Trawangan (“Gili T”) is named the get together island with a vibrant nightlife, many dive retailers and loads of nice locations to eat. It is rather common with backpackers and is the most well-liked and developed of the three islands. It’s a great spot to fulfill different vacationers. I’m a dive teacher myself and I beloved hanging out on the nice dive facilities on the island. Gili Air  is a tropical paradise, it’s a extra chilled island with an important steadiness of actions, eating places, some bars, nice diving and peace and quiet. Alya did her openwater, superior and freediving course on Gili Air, she beloved the island vibe, dwelling on the seashore, studying and realizing everyone on the island after per week or two. Gili Meno is named the ‘honeymoon island’ it’s the least developed, not touristy in any respect and nice if you wish to escape different vacationers.

Attending to the Gili Islands

Attending to the Gilli Islands – you will get to Gili Air or Gili Trawangan by quick boat from Padang Bai in Bali, the journey takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.


Sumatra, a big Indonesian island west of Java and near Malaysia, the island is understood for its tropical landscapes, wildlife, volcanoes and a few of  the most effective browsing on this planet across the  Mentawai Island chain. Sumatra isn’t a well-known diving vacation spot, with many of the diving being targeted across the small island Pulau Weh.

Diving Pulao Weh
Honeycomb Morey Eel, The Canyon, Diving Pulao Weh

Diving from Pulau Weh

  • Glorious drift diving
  • Deep wreck dive on The Sophie Rickmers
  • Stunning Reefs
  • Huge number of fish

Pulau Weh is a small energetic volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra and is a part of the Bandah Ache province. The encircling reefs supply some nice ‘off the crushed observe’ diving. We’ve got heard tales about unbelievable marine life within the space. Our private experience was that the diving is sweet, however not comparable with the most effective of Indonesia; similar to Komodo Nationwide Park or Lembeh Strait. Good diving with lovely reefs, pelagics similar to trevallies, barracudas and reef sharks, we noticed huge faculties of small fish and good macro life similar to Leafy scorpion fish, Mantis shrimp and Boxer banded shrimps. The Sophie Rickmers is a 134m lengthy wreck, scuttled in a sheltered bay. This wreck lies in deep water between 37m and 55m and is completed as a decompression dive just for skilled divers, dive faculties require a minimal superior open water and rescue  with 100 dives plus. See our Pulau Weh Dive Information.

For any dive journey I all the time pack my very own masks, dive laptop, digicam and a few small things. The Mares Good is a really nicely priced laptop that I’m very pleased with.

Alya and I each dive with Mares Star liquid pores and skin masks, tremendous comfy, low quantity nice for diving and free diving.

Canon G7x digicam together with an ikelite housing is a really good digicam that changed the previous Canon G sequence, wonderful images with out carrying an enormous rig. The Go Professional Hero 11 is a tremendous little motion cam, I really like the video footage I handle with this little digicam.

Listed below are some small things price packing, Sipadan is drift diving I by no means dive with out my SMB on such dives!


Occurring a dive journey? – Dive Journey Packing Checklist+Suggestions

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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