The Greatest Scuba Diving in Indonesia – High Websites 2023


Indonesia is the nation with the perfect diving on this planet, that’s my expertise touring diving and dealing as a dive teacher for years. The 17 000 islands making up this island nation supply spectacular diving it doesn’t matter what you’re keen on whereas diving; clear water, nonetheless water, or robust currents and all the things from the smallest bizarre critters and uncommon species to the world’s greatest fish and superb marine mammals. The water temperature is sweet for diving throughout Indonesia. The principle islands are the simplest to achieve by direct flights, from there smaller home flights, ferries, and a brief boat experience are often the way in which to get to the perfect diving locations.

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

The Greatest Scuba Diving in Indonesia – The place to Go

Indonesia is populated by about 2500 fish species, which is greater than double The Purple Sea or the Nice Barrier Reef. For unbelievable biodiversity, Raja Ampat is among the greatest locations to go. This nation is a Mecca of muck diving, you could find the blue ring octopus, bushy frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, pygmy sea horse, and lots of different fantastic creatures, the Lembeh strait is the place to go. Do dive in robust currents with large pelagic species like tunas, sharks and faculties of huge manta rays go to Komodo Island. It is a bucket checklist vacation spot for scuba divers. Searching for an actual distant dive spot? The Banda Sea is among the final frontiers to discover. Together with the Banda Islands, Seram, Ambon, Wetar, Kai, and Aru Islands with steep drop-offs and large faculties of fish, the pelagic species, critters, and hammerhead sharks make a liveaboard journey to the Banda Sea very particular.

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 sort of Macro diving, you don’t dive in mud or sewage in shallow waters, the dive situations will be nice. Throughout muck diving, you hunt for small, bizarre, and fantastic creatures that most individuals don’t even know exist! The Lembeh Strait is my favourite muck diving spot, see our Lembeh Dive Information, dwelling to a number of the strangest and most uncommon marine animals in existence. Ambon Island and the north of Bali round Amed even have glorious muck diving.

Drift Diving round Indonesia

Round Komodo, there are some superb spots for drift diving with sharks, large fish, and manta rays. Diving in currents round Nusa Penida near Bali can also be prime drift diving websites. Drift diving is commonly extra suited to superior divers so verify together with your dive operator. 

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

Diving to discover the Biodiversity of Indonesia

Indonesia is within the coronary heart of the Coral Triangle, additionally referred to as the Amazon of the Seas, representing about three-quarters of the world’s coral species. Raja Ampat is among the most biodiverse locations to dive on this planet with actually all the things, hundreds of species of lovely corals and from the smallest alien critters to huge manta rays and whale sharks round these stunning islands in West Papua, Indonesia. Komodo Nationwide Park close to Flores and Wakatobi close to Sulawesi can also be unbelievable.

Liveaboard Diving in Indonesia

With hundreds of volcanic islands unfold over a big space and a number of the greatest dive websites being very distant, liveaboard diving in Indonesia is among the greatest methods to discover the coral gardens and 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 a whole bunch of divers are heading to the spots on gradual boats, get within the water earlier than they arrive and scare the fish!
  • It’s superior to get up on the dive website and roll into the water after breakfast!
  • Evening dives are sometimes solely attainable at distant sights from liveaboard boats.
  • What will be higher than dwelling on a ship for a few days, waking up and diving a number of the world’s greatest websites after breakfast after which all day…

Some Superior Liveaboard Boats in 2023!

Price range

Mid Vary

Luxurious

Dive Season in Indonesia

Indonesia can actually be dived all 12 months spherical for the reason that island nation covers such an enormous space. There are two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. In most of Indonesia, the moist season is from October to April, and the dry from Might to September. The most well-liked time to go to Indonesia is within the dry season, you’ll be able to dive all 12 months spherical. For the perfect situations and higher visibility plan to go within the appropriate season and you’ll all the time verify with an area dive operator when is a good time. 

Greatest Time to Dive 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 Greatest 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 folks, 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 one of many essential islands to the park is Flores Island.

 Diving round Komodo Island

  • Huge Faculties 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 greatest diving I’ve ever finished. To achieve Komodo Nationwide Park most journeys depart from Labuan Bajo on the Island of Flores. The park is a UNESCO world heritage website that 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. Take a look at some superb Liveaboard dive boats round Komodo.

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 3-day boat journey is the favored funds 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 massive Napoleon wrasse, large inexperienced turtles, barracudas, and a spectacular array of colourful marine life that stay on the attractive 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 massive manta rays whereas hanging within the present witnessing the spectacle on the cleansing station.

The park has much more improbable diving to supply, Citadel Rock and The Cauldron in North Komodo are extra unreal diving with loads of sharks, turtles, and large large trevallies and manta rays are generally discovered at these websites.

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
Quite a lot of fish an aquarium can by no means duplicate at Crystal Rock diving round Komodo Island

Sulawesi Island

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

The island is understood for spectacular coral reefs and a number of the world’s greatest 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 manner from right here. To get to websites within the north reminiscent of Bunaken and Lembeh, fly to Manado and proceed touring from right here. See right here for Liveaboard boats round Sulawesi. 

Diving Lembeh Strait

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

Lembeh Strait is famend for the perfect muck diving on this planet. Lembeh is a small island situated to the north of Sulawesi Island. Between Sulawesi Island and Lembeh Island, runs a slender strait referred to as the Strait of Lembeh. Scuba diving on this strait you’ll be able to see a number of the most original and spectacular creatures alive. See our Lembeh Strait Dive Information for my expertise and proposals! See right here for Liveaboard boats in Lembeh Strait

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 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 situated 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 finished. The island is actually an exquisite, 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 soppy and arduous corals. The drop affords glorious wall dives, control the reef for species reminiscent of mantis shrimp and variety of nudibranchs, go searching you within the blue for a lot of turtles, enormous 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 lively volcano
  • WWII B24 Bomber wreck
  • 314 species of corals,541 species of mollusk, 819 species of tropical fish

The Togean Islands is an archipelago of 56 islands and islets off the coast of Central Sulawesi. Take a look at our journey diving within the Togian Islands. The islands are identified for clear water, white sand, and rainforests. If you wish to discover an off-the-beaten-track paradise, the Togians is a spot to go, you’ll be able to 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 superb reef and number of marine life on this crystal clear nonetheless water, there are some very attention-grabbing issues to discover across the Togian Islands. Diving in a WWII B24 Bomber wreck was my first airplane wreck. Staying with native folks in a close-by Bajua ‘sea gypsy’ village was a really attention-grabbing expertise and swimming in a ‘Jellyfish lake’ was superb, 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 shouldn’t have an airport, the closest airports are Gorontalo within the north and Ampana within the south, from each airports you need to take some connecting flights to get onto worldwide flights. Getting from Ampana in Sulawesi to Kadidiri within the Togian Islands was an attention-grabbing mixture of ferries and boats that took about 2 days. See the favored Liveaboards across the Togian Islands

Diving Wakatobi Islands

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

Wakatobi Nationwide Park is a marine nationwide park located south of South East Sulawesi. Wakatobi is an acronym for the 4 essential 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 straightforward to get to. It’s a standard space for liveaboard diving.

Attending to Wakatobi

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.

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  Hen’s Head peninsula in addition to greater than 2000 islands surrounding islands. A lot 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
  • A big number of pelagics; e.g. sharks, tunas, kingfish and extra
  • Nice macro diving

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

Spectacular colourful reefs lined in arduous and delicate corals are dwelling to swarms of small fish reminiscent of damsels and fusiliers, greater reef fish reminiscent of batfish, surgeon fish and sweetlips, very massive species e.g. bump head 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 just 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, and nudibranchs solely to call just a few.

Attending to Raja Ampat

To get to Raja Ampat you need to first fly to Domine Eduard Osok Airport (SOQ) in Sorong, the most important 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 best flights to those airports are from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. 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 instances per week. It’s a mission to journey to the realm and Raja Ampat Liveaboards are the preferred solution to dive what’s by many seen as the perfect diving on this planet. See the highest Liveaboard boats diving round Raja Ampat

Bali

The spectacular Bali is legendary for its volcanic mountains, rice paddies, seashores, and coral reefs. By far essentially the most touristy of the 17 000 islands in Indonesia, Bali is well-known for good cause, it’s stunning. Bali is not only a preferred vacation spot, it has some world-class diving. There’s some good diving to be finished from the principle island, but additionally from the small surrounding island Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands. Apart from diving there’s improbable browsing round Uluwatu, procuring, partying, and seashore life within the vacationer hub Kuta and in the event you like meditation and yoga retreats Ubud is the place to go. Take a look at our Full Bali Diving Information, for all the things it’s essential know to plan a dive journey to his superb island.

Diving from Bali

There’s a wide range of nice diving to be finished from Bali, the principle island, and the small islands situated pretty shut by. Nusa Penida in Nusa Lembongan is commonly dived from Bali as a day journey or you’ll be able to keep on these islands. The Gili Islands are 3 small islands nearer to Lombok than Bali, however they’re fast and straightforward to achieve from Bali. There’s good diving across the Gilis with heat water, sea turtles, moray eels, and a wide range of different marine species. The Gili islands are too removed from Bali for doing day dives, you need to dive the websites from one of many Gili Islands or from Lombok.

Wreck Diving – The USAT Liberty – this huge wreck might be essentially the most well-known wreck dive in Indonesia. It’s a shore dive ranging from solely 4m deep and descending to over 30m at its deepest finish. The attractive wreck is 120m lengthy and you’ll see faculties of massive bump-head 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 superb critters. Dive guides take you from the seashore to do among the finest wreck dives in Indonesia.

Muck Diving round Bali – within the north of Bali there are many websites with black volcanic sand providing some improbable muck dives with critters like frogfish, dragonettes, rhinopias, ghost pipefish, flying gurnards, nudibranchs, mimic octopus, blue ring octopus and extra. Many of those websites are shore dives and will 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. 

See the prime Liveaboard Boats from Bali.

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 essentially the most outstanding massive 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’s some improbable diving round Nusa Penida, the highlights are the unbelievable cleansing station at Manta Level and swimming with mola mola at Crystal Bay.  Mola 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 will be dived as a day journey 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 Penida, spectacular cliffs, pristine seashores, bat caves, temples, and waterfalls, we loved staying right here for a few days diving. See our detailed Information to Diving 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 standard with many operators with nice amenities on Gili Trawangan. Diving is sweet, however not world-class, it’s nonetheless a improbable 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 celebration island with a vibrant nightlife, many dive retailers, and loads of nice locations to eat. It is extremely standard with backpackers and is the preferred and developed of the three islands. It’s a excellent place 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 amazing stability of actions, eating places, some bars, nice diving, and peace and quiet. Alya did her open water, superior, and freediving course on Gili Air, she beloved the island vibe, dwelling on the seashore, studying and figuring out all people on the island after every 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

Sumatra, a big Indonesian island west of Java and near Malaysia, the island is understood for its tropical landscapes, wildlife, volcanoes, and a number of the greatest browsing on this planet across the  Mentawai Island chain. Sumatra just isn’t a widely known diving vacation spot, with many of the diving being targeted across the small island of 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
  • Large number of fish

Pulau Weh is a small lively volcanic island to the northwest of Sumatra and is a part of the Bandah Ache province. The encircling reefs supply some nice ‘off the overwhelmed monitor’ diving. We’ve heard tales about unbelievable marine life within the space. Our private expertise was that the diving is nice, however not comparable with the perfect of Indonesia; reminiscent of Komodo Nationwide Park or Lembeh Strait. Good diving with stunning 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 completed as a decompression dive just for skilled divers, dive faculties require a minimal of superior open water and rescue with 100 dives plus. See our Pulau Weh Dive Information.

East Kalimantan (Borneo Indonesia)

Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo is a really distant island area in Southeast Asia with few dive centres and sees comparatively few diving guests. With wholesome reefs, massive faculties of fish, good situations, and clear waters the Derawan Archipelago off the east coast of Kalimantan is a good place to go to. Among the hottest dive websites will be discovered on the Maratua Atoll, dwelling to spiraling faculties of barracuda, sharks, bump head parrot fish, eagle rays, and hammerhead sharks, Sangalaki with a number of manta ray cleansing stations, and Kakaban with 4 species of non-stinging jellyfish.

Pack for a Dive Journey

For any dive journey I all the time pack my very own masks, dive laptop, digital camera and a few small issues. The Mares Good is a really properly priced laptop that I’m very proud of.

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

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

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

SMB+REEL | RASH VEST | BUFF | KEY CHAIN O-RING KIT | ANTI-FOG | SURF HAT | POLARIZED FISHING SUNGLASSES | WATERPROOF DIVE LOGBOOK

Happening a dive journey? – Dive Journey Packing Listing+Ideas

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