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

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Indonesia is the nation with the very best diving on the earth, I cannot think about that my thoughts will simply be modified. After touring around the globe as a everlasting nomad for eight years, doing a whole lot of diving and dealing as a dive teacher in a number of nations that is my favourite nation to return to. Indonesia is made up by greater than 17 000 islands, situated within the well-known coral triangle. Internet hosting about 25% of fish species and greater than 70% of coral species discovered on the planet Indonesia provides spectacular diving it doesn’t matter what you’re keen on whereas diving; clear water, nonetheless water or sturdy currents and every little thing from the smallest bizarre critters to the world’s largest fish and wonderful marine mammals. 

Are you a fish fundi – Indonesia has about 2500 fish species inhabiting it’s lovely reefs, that’s greater than double The Crimson Sea or the Nice Barrier Reef, don’t miss Raja Ampat!! Do you’re keen on discovering tiny, bizarre creatures that most individuals didn’t know exist? This nation is a Mecca of muc diving, the place your dive information will make it easier to to search out the blue ring octopus, furry frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, pygmy sea-horse and plenty of different wonderfull creatures hidden within the black volcanic sand, the Lembeh strait is the place to go. Or do you get pleasure from flying in sturdy currents with large pelagic species like tunas, sharks and faculties of huge manta rays? There are many sturdy currents flowing across the protected islands and coral reefs with hundreds of big creatures swimming right here within the crystal clear water, Komodo Island will certainly get your blood pumping. 

Indonesia has much more to supply than diving; the largest island nation on the earth is thought for lovely seashores, energetic volcanoes and an unimaginable biodiversity in its tropical jungles sheltering uncommon animals like orangutans and tigers and is the one nation on the earth the place komodo dragons dwell. Bali is nice, however there are a lot of extra incredible off the crushed observe locations and hidden little islands, have a look at this text for the very best things to do and locations to go in Indonesia.

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

Muck Diving in Indonesia

Muck diving is a kind of Macro diving, you don’t dive in mud or sewage, circumstances could be nice. Throughout muck diving you hunt for small, strange creatures that most individuals doesnt even know exist! The  title originates from the underside composition, darkish sediment usually silty, muddy or “mucky” setting, the visibility could be good simply don’t fire up the underside! The Lembeh Strait is my favourite muck diving spot, see our Lembeh Dive Information, the world has a repute as the very best muck diving on the earth being house to a number of the strangest and most uncommon marine animals in existence. Ambon Island and the north of Bali round Amed allso has wonderful muck diving.

Drift Diving round Indonesia

Throughout a drift dive you enter at one level and let the present carry you, the boat often follows the dive chief’s buoy or waits so that you can launch the floor marker buoy. The most effective websites have a wide range of marine animals to admire whereas flying within the present. Round Komodo there are some wonderful spots with sharks, large fish and manta rays. Diving in currents round Nusa Penida near Bali can be high drift diving websites.

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

Diving to discover the Biodiversity of Indonesia

I’ve already talked about the unimaginable biodiversity of Indonesia, Raja Ampat is high of the record right here with litteraly 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. In the case of wonderful marine life Indonesia has so most of the high spots on the earth like Komodo Nationwide Park close to Flores and Wakatobi close to Sulawesi.

Dive Season in Indonesia

Indonesia can actually be dived all 12 months spherical for the reason that island nation covers such a large space, about 4,500 nautical miles! There are good and dangerous seasons for the completely different islands making up Indonesia.

Finest Dive Seasons Round Indonesia

  • Gili Islands July-Aug, Dec-Jan
  • Wakatobi All 12 months, finest diving March – Dec and July-Aug
  • Komodo All 12 months, Could/June and Sep/Oct finest diving, Dec – Feb Manta season 
  • Raja Ampata Sep-Apr Manta season, Good viz Nov-March
  • Bali Finest diving Could – Nov, Mola Mola Aug-Oct
  • Ambon Nov – Could
  • Lembeh July – Aug
  • Banda Islands Mar-Apr, Sept-Dec
  • Pulau Weh Could – September

About Indonesia

Indonesia is a rustic in Southeast Asia and Oceania, unfold out within the Indian and Pacific oceans. The nation is made up of hundreds of islands, the principle islands are Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi, and New Guinea (Papua). Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation and it’s the world’s 4th most populous nation. Java is the world’s most populous island and is house to greater than half of the nation’s inhabitants.

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.

Attending to and round Indonesia

The three important worldwide airports are in Java – Jakarta (CGK), Bali – Denpasar (DPS) and Sulawesi – Manado (MDS). There are lots of worldwide flights from Singapore and Malaysia – Kualalumpur (KHL). Flying is certainly the simplest option to get round Indonesia, the opposite choice is a mixture of ferries and buses. Native ferries are sluggish and a few have verry restricted amenities. I’ve traveled round Indonesia with loads of native ferries. It was actually low cost, however not comfy and you must test the newest schedule since some ferry routes run solely as soon as per week.

Flores

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

 Diving round Komodo

  • Massive Colleges of Manta Rays
  • Pelagic Fish; Canine Tooth Tunas, Large 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 finest diving I’ve ever completed. To achieve 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. 

Attending to Komodo Dive Websites

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

Every day flights depart to Labuanbajo in Flores from Bali (DPS) and Jakarta (CGK). It’s also possible to 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 widespread price range choice taken by many backpackers. I’ve completed this earlier than, it’s a tremendous journey with plenty of snorkeling and anchoring at lovely little islands. We focus on choices to get from Bali to Flores on this article.

The diving round these islands are spectacular, I’ve seen such a large number of animals right here; pelagic species like dogtooth tunas and barracudas, a large number of reef fish species and even good muck diving, seeing my first blue ring octopuss! Many go to Komodo Nationwide Park to dive on Manta Level, 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 incredible diving to supply, Fortress Rock and The Cauldron in North Komodo is extra unreal diving with loads of sharks, turtles and large big trevalleys and manta rays are typically discovered at these websites. Batu Bolong our favourite dive within the central a part of the park, is an experience to not miss, diving right here is like floating in an ideal aquarium with giant Napoleon wrasse, large inexperienced turtles, barracudas and a spectacular array of colourful marine life that dwell on the attractive coral reef. The Komodo dragons on Komodo and Rinca island are an added bonus to not miss and you’ll 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

The large island Sulawesi is surounded by Borneo to the west,  the Philippines to the north and Flores to the south, you’ll be able to simply think about the wonderful dive websites surounding Sulawesi!

The island is thought for spectacular coral reefs and a number of the world’s finest dive websites at locations reminiscent of Bunaken Nationwide Park, the Togian Islands, Wakatobi Nationwide Park and Lembeh Strait. To get to dive spots within the south reminiscent of Wakatobi and Bira, fly to Makasar and make your means from right here. To get to websites within the north reminiscent of 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 very best muck diving on the earth. Lembeh is a small isle situated to the north of Sulawesi Island. Between Sulawesi Island and Lembeh Island, runs a slender strait known as the Strait of Lembeh. Scuba diving on this strait you’ll be able to see a number of the most unusual and spectacular creatures alive. See our Lembeh Strait Dive Information for my experience and recomendations!

Giant Frog Fish
A Large Frog Fish diving at Lembeh Strait

Attending to Lembeh Strait

The closest large metropolis is Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, catch a direct flight right here from Singapore or a neighborhood 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 situated north of Sulawesi with crystal clear water and spectacular coral partitions providing nice blue water diving and a number of the finest snorkeling I’ve ever completed. The island is actually 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 coated by a tremendous variety of soppy and laborious corals. The drop provides wonderful wall dives, regulate the reef for species reminiscent of mantis shrimp and a variety of nudibranches, go searching you within the blue for a lot of turtles, big Napoleon wrasse and enormous pelagics; sharks, tunas and faculties of barracuda. Diving round Bunaken you’ll be able to 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. 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’ll be able to ony 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, referred to as the calmest bay on earth. Aside 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 the earth the place jellyfish misplaced the flexibility to sting over hundreds of thousands of years of geographic isolation. 

Attending to The Togian Islands

The Togeans don’t have an airport, the closest airports are Gorontalo within the north and Ampana within the south, from each airports you must 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.

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.

Diving Wakatobi

  • World Well-known Macro Diving
  • Dive websites with highest coral reef biodiversity on the earth
  • 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 important 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 finest 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 straightforward to get to. It’s a widespread space for liveaboard diving. 

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 important harbor is situated. There are day by 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 situated on the japanese fringe of the hundreds of islands comprising Indonesia. The province of West Papua is made up of two peninsulas, the Bomberai and  Fowl’s Head peninsula in addition to greater than 2000 islands surounding islands. A lot of the diving in West Papua happends within the Raja Ampat and Triton Bay areas.

Diving Raja Ampat

  • Most biodiverse diving on the earth
  • 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 Fowl’s Head Peninsula in West Papua. These islands located in the midst of the Coral Triangle are referred to 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 coated in laborious and tender corals is house to swarms of small fish reminiscent of damsels and fusiliers, larger reef fish reminiscent of 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 concerning the large stuff it’s a tremendous dive spot for macro lovers, there are frogfish, pipefish, blue-ringed octopus, pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs solely to call a couple of.

Attending to Raja Ampat

To get to Raja Ampat you must first fly to Domine Eduard Osok Airport (SOQ) in Sorong, the biggest metropolis of the Indonesian province of West Papua. There aren’t any worldwide flights, so that you first must fly to Jakarta, Makasar or Manado. The best 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, pace boat or fly, all of those depart a number of occasions per week.

Bali

The spectacular Bali is known 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 holliday spot, it has some world class diving. There may be some good diving to be completed from the principle island, but additionally from the small surrounding island Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands. Aside from diving there may be incredible browsing round Uluwatu, purchasing, partying and seashore life within the vacationer hub Kuta and should you like meditation and yoga retreats Ubud is the place to go.

Diving from Bali

  • Nice wreck diving USAT Liberty
  • World class macro diving on black sand

There may be a wide range of nice diving to be completed from Bali, the principle island and the small islands situated pretty closeby. Nusa Penida en Nusa Lembongan is commonly dived from Bali as day journeys or you’ll be able to keep on these islands. The Gili Islands are three small islands nearer to Lombok than Bali, however they’re fast and simple to succeed in from Bali. There may be good diving across the Gilis, however not day dives from Bali, you must 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 decending to over 30m at its deepest finish. The attractive wreck is 120m lengthy and you’ll 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 incredible 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 reminiscent of Seraya and Secret Bay. Among 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 likely one of the most well-known locations on the earth to dive with mola mola (the oceanic sunfish) and manta rays. The dive websites to swim with two of probably the most exceptional giant creatures within the ocean are across the small close by islands Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan separated from Bali on the east aspect by The Bandung Strait. There may be some incredible diving round Nusa Penida, the highlights are the unimaginable cleansing station at Manta Level and swimming with mola mola at Crystal BayMola mola, generally referred to as the oceanic sunfish is the heaviest identified bony fish on the earth weighing as much as 1,000 kg! Nusa Penida could be dived as a daytrip from Padang Bai in Bali. It’s nonetheless 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 palmtrees, crystal clear water and colourful coral reefs.

Diving across the Gili Islands could be very widespread with many operators with nice amenities on Gili Trawangan. The diving is good, however not world class, it’s nonetheless a incredible place to do a dive course. The visibility is nice 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 outlets and loads of nice locations to eat. It is extremely widespread with backpackers and is the preferred and developed of the three islands. It’s a great spot to satisfy 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 incredible stability 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, residing on the seashore, studying and realizing all people 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 may 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

Sumatra, a big Indonesian island west of Java and near Malaysia, the island is thought for its tropical landscapes, wildlife, volcanoes and a few of  the very best browsing on the earth across the  Mentawai Island chain. Sumatra isn’t a well-known diving vacation spot, with many of the diving being focussed 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
  • Lovely Reefs
  • Large 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 encompassing reefs supply some nice ‘off the crushed observe’ diving. We’ve got heard tales about unimaginable marine life within the space. Our private experience was that the diving is nice, however not comparable with the very best of Indonesia; reminiscent of Komodo Nationwide Park or Lembeh Strait. Good diving with lovely reefs, pelagics reminiscent of trevallies, barracudas and reef sharks, we noticed huge faculties of small fish and good macro life reminiscent of 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 finished 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.

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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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