Best Diving in Indonesia

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Indonesia is certainly the land of plenty when it comes to fish. ok_hand

Offering a greater variety in fish species than both the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea combined; it’s no wonder why it is rated as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. With over 3000 fish species as diverse as they are plentiful and at least an impressive 500 species of coral, divers are guaranteed a truly magnificent experience in Indonesia.

Ever heard of the mysterious Mola Mola? Otherwise known as the Oceanic Sunfish, this 1000kg wonder can be spotted in the rich and temperate waters of Bali. Divers are often spoilt for choice with regular sightings of magnificent Manta Rays, Reef Sharks and large schools of pelagics, not to mention world class macro-life. As if you needed any more convincing, Indonesia is also home to the undisputed best muck diving spot in the world, Lembeh strait in in North Sulawesi .

Indonesia offers enormous flexibility, with popular dive sites just about everywhere! This video will give you a ‘short and sweet’ view of what you’ve been missing out on.

If you’re into more than just diving, why not take a trip to Komodo National Park and encounter the exotic Komodo dragons, or spend some time soaking up the sun on the many sandy beaches?

For underwater photography enthusiasts, the unspoilt coral varieties will not fail to disappoint. Although some reefs may reflect damage from bomb and cyanide fishing, the majority of areas in Bunaken, Sumatra, Raja Ampat and many other places offer pure and untouched underwater beauty.

For those just starting out, Indonesia is the ideal location to learn to scuba dive without breaking the bank. Areas such as Lombok and the Gili Islands offer ideal conditions for beginners.

Most Popular Places to Dive in Indonesia

  • Raja Ampat
  • Lembeh Strait
  • Wakatobi
  • Bunaken
  • Komodo
  • Bali island
  • Gili Islands
  • Pulau Weh

Explore below more details about scuba diving in Indonesia.

Table of Content

Underwater Pictures of Indonesia

 

Dive Types Overviews

Critter Diving

Those who call Indonesia ‘macro diving paradise’ certainly have an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove their case. Divers have the opportunity to spot all sorts of rare and diverse creatures such as the ghost pipefish, the mimic octopus and the cuttlefish. Lembeh in North Sulawesi is world famous for macro underwater photography, as is the newly popular Raja Ampat which offers the richest marine biodiversity on Earth. Muck divers have also been known to frequent sites such as Secret Bay and Seraya Secret in the North of Bali to spot the weird and wonderful including nudibranchs and other rare critters.

Wreck Diving

Wreck diving is plentiful in Indonesia with the most famous wreck, the US Liberty Ship, found in Tulamben on the North East of Bali’s incredible coastline. The province of Papua even offers the chance to discover several World War II shipwrecks and planes.

Best Season to Dive in Indonesia

Now that you are excited to see the wonders of Indonesia for yourself, you need to decide on when to visit. The good news is that diving in Indonesia is possible throughout the year, however many would agree that diving during the dry season is best.

It’s best to check specific details for the different areas as weather does vary greatly across this large and mystifying land. Liveaboard diving holidays are available all year round.

April to October

In general, the dry season is from April to October and the rainy season is from November to March, however in Maluku (Moluccas) these seasons are reversed.

November to March

There is certainly something to be said for visiting during Indonesia’s rainy season, especially as this is the best time to spot Manta Rays around the Komodo islands. Bali is also a decent destination during the rainy months as it experiences its own weather patterns and is less affected by the monsoons.

Temperature and visibility

As always, diving conditions tend to vary from place to place and differ between the seasons, but divers can expect average water temperatures of 26°C to 30°C and air temperatures between 25°C and 35 °C.

Visibility is generally in the range of 10-60m and currents can vary from non-existent to very strong depending on the location and tide.

Dive Centre or Liveaboard?

Dive centres are plentiful in the popular tourist areas of Indonesia, making it easy to organize a dive. Note that the safety standards of some dive centres may differ from what you are used to, so it’s always best to select carefully.

Those in-the-know choose to explore the many pristine diving spots in areas such as Raja Ampat by liveaboard.

Travel tips

Feeling inspired and raring to go? Check out our Indonesia travel guide and start planning your next diving trip!

Dive Destination Reviews in Indonesia

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Raja Ampat is located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, an area synonymous with fantastic marine life and unmatched ...

8173952562_93dfb13ed4_q_bali-diving

Lembeh Strait is probably the world’s best muck diving destination for underwater macro photographers!

Alor is home to magnificent scenery both above and below the water’s surface. Although currents can be strong, divers are ...

7152098637_3d48ca6c98_q_wakatobi-diving

There’s just no telling what amazing creatures you’ll find in the dive sites surrounding Wakatobi National Park – new species ...

16730901944_ccbc76f2e2_q_north-sulawesi-diving

Diving in North Sulawesi is an absolute must!

13875187084_71b100f81c_q_bunaken-diving

Bunaken is home to an incredible Marine National Park that offers pristine and well-protected dive sites. With masses of underwater ...

9268784736_5da681a2a7_q_candidasa-diving

Diving in Candisdasa is great.

5123431565_ef39db48fb_q_komodo-island-diving

Komodo National Park boasts the presence of the famous Komodo dragon and is easily one of the world’s top diving ...

Although internationally, it is not quite famous as a diving destination, it does have a good location based amongst the ...

12096166554_39164c2123_q_menjangan-island-diving

Diving in Menjangan Island is great.

15791135636_6d62525482_q_tulamben-diving

On the north east shores of Bali lies one of the most famous wreck sites in the world: the USS ...

The well-protected sites located in Horseshoe Bay off of Rinca Island are home to nutrient-dense currents and thus a wonderful ...

Although rarely visited, this island located on the southern side of Komodo provides some awesome diving options. The diving sites ...

Although fairly secluded and rather difficult to reach, Kalimantan is unlikely to disappoint even the most difficult-to-please diver. With excellent ...

14161996009_8e97d96dfe_q_padang-bai-diving

Great macro diving opportunities and a wonderful variety of fish life can be seen in Padang Bai, one of Bali’s ...

16109866806_933d00ced6_q_diving-in-bali

Bali is known for fantastic diving, and is also a good location to try if you’re searching for the highly ...

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The island of Nusa Penida offers spectacular scuba diving opportunitites as it is surrounded by strong, nutrient-dense currents and pristine ...

Situated towards the northwestern side of Sumatra; the space between this island and the reef encircled island of Pulau Rubiah ...

Amed is a well-kept secret with great opportunities for muck diving enthusiasts. Situated between Selang and Tulamben, the dive sites ...

5124029608_f8fc3ca953_q_gili-islands-diving

Magnificent diving all throughout the year can be found in the reefs surrounding the highly popular Gili Islands of Air, ...

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Diving in Pemutaran, Lovina is great.

Besides having vigorous volcanic activities, Java is also the most densely inhabited island in Indonesia. Krakatoa is located towards the ...

Sumbawa is a jagged island in Nusa Tenggara lying between Komodo and Lombok. It includes a lot of twisted and ...

Although the visibility around Sumatra is quite similar to the ones found in Indonesia; the rich marine life and its ...

Located towards the eastern side of Bali, Lombok offers diving options for divers of all levels. Gili Island is where ...

Some of the best muck diving opportunities can be found on Manado Bay’s iconic black sandy slopes. Critters such as ...

Liveaboard Reviews in Indonesia

The Waow Indonesia is a luxury sailing vessel delivering the ultimate liveaboard diving holiday.

The MSY Arenui is a luxury boutique liveaboard offering a five star service.

The Cheng Ho liveaboard is one the most luxury liveaboard sailing between Komodo and Flores.

The MSY DAMAI 1 is one of the best liveaboard sailing the Indonesian archipelago.

The M/V Seven Seas is one of the top luxury liveaboard sailing the Indonesian top diving destinations.

The MSY Aurora liveaboard is a traditional vessel featuring all the modern comfort.

The MV Ambai is a large liveaboard bringing divers to Komodo and Raja Ampat.

The MSV Amira Liveaboard offers fantastic adventures around Raja Ampat, Komodo, Alor and the Banda Sea.

The Blue Manta Liveaboard is a spacious ship designed to deliver a comfortable Indonesian diving experience.

The Calico Jack liveaboard is a new traditionally-built wooden Phinisi schooner sailing in Raja Ampat.

The MS Felicia liveaboard is a very good option for those looking to dive the Komodo archipelago on a budget.

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