Your Next Scuba Diving Vacation in Indonesia

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Diving in Indonesia

Sipadan Kapalai Mabul Scuba Diving

These three islands probably contain the best dive sites in the whole of Malaysia. Sipadan is by far the best place to enjoy scuba diving; it is also not that easy to actually dive at because of the restricting rules that are in place (daily permit). Mabul is known worldwide for its amazing muck diving conditions. Kapalai is a small sand bank, not that great for diving, but here you can find a very exclusive resort built on stilts. Actually both Sipadan and Mabul earn their own spot in this list, but since you can’t visit one (Sipadan) without the other (Mabul) we just listed the whole cluster as one entry.

SCUBA DIVING IN INDONESIA

Both nature and culture are major components of Indonesian tourism. Indonesia’s natural heritage boasts a unique combination of a tropical climate, a vast archipelago of 17,508 islands – of which only 6,000 are inhabited, the third longest shoreline in the world (54,716 km) after Canada and the European Union. It is the world’s largest and most populous country inhabiting only islands. The beaches in Bali, diving sites in Bunaken, Mount Bromo in East Java, Lake Toba and various national parks in Sumatra are merely a few examples of popular scenic destinations. These natural attractions are complemented by a rich cultural heritage that reflects Indonesia’s dynamic history and ethnic diversity.

The diving is nothing short of outstanding. There’s exhilarating drift diving, extensive reef diving, fantastic night diving, unique muck diving and breathtaking steep walls. Tec divers probe the deep trenches and wreck divers love the many World War II relics. Still one of the few relatively undiscovered dive locations, Indonesia has something for divers of all levels.

Bali, one of the most popular places for learning to dive, is also a hot spot for giant sunfish encounters and has some stunning drop-offs. East of Bali is Komodo, where nutrient rich currents underpin a vibrant ecosystem and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Off Lombok, the Gili Islands are casual, beautiful and tranquil, with turtles, cuttle fish, octopus, lionfish and scorpion fish to delight new divers.

To the north, Sulawesi features fabulous diving at Wakatobi, Lembeh Strait, Bunaken and Manado. Wakatobi’s world-class drop-off is famed for its action and color, with everything from blue ringed octopus and ghost pipe fish to resident sea turtles cruising past soft corals and gorgonians. Lembeh is renowned for muck diving. With a sharp eye, you’ll find banded snake eels, pygmy seahorses, octopus, scorpion fish and literally hundreds of extraordinarily well-camouflaged critters. Almost anything could be hiding in the black sand.

Best known for its tigers and orangutans, Sumatra’s diving is also stellar. The best sites are found off the northwestern coast in the shelter of islands such Pulau Weh. The deep waters here are home to abundant marine life,ranging from giant pelagics to marvelous macro critters.

Diving in Indonesia

On the east coast of Kalimantan, a little south from the world famous Sipadan area, are more equally impressive, but less well-known islands & reefs. These difficult to reach dive sites are now beginning to open up to divers – and the intrepid travelers who make it this far will not be disappointed. Just like the Sipadan area, East Kalimantan has a lovely combination of big fish dives and critter dives. The area is most famous for its Manta Rays, which can congregate here in huge numbers. There is also a very unusual jellyfish lake dive.

The abundance of life in Java and Nusa Tenggara is due to the currents flowing through the straits between the islands. These waters are a frequent resting spot for sperm whales and their calves, orcas, dolphins and other mammals are spot here as well. The diving is excellent for both wide angle and macro lovers, nice drop offs, huge fans and sponges and some of the best muck in the country. The diving in the region is always unforgettable, but in this particular case we will go back home with some added memories in our hard disk: faces, expressions and a sense of envious that we will get after interacting with the remarkable friendly locals.

At the eastern end of the vast Indonesian archipelago lay the 1000+ islands of the Mollucas, now known as the province of Maluku. It was in this remote area, with its lush tropical climate and rich volcanic soil, that the exotic spices of cloves, mace & nutmeg originated. There are so many species of fish present in the Maluku region that specialists cannot give the exact total number. What is known is that there are more than 3000 species of fish and several hundred species of corals accounted for with the numbers still rising. Even the healthiest of Caribbean reefs has only 10 or 20 percent of the species diversity of a comparable reef in Maluku island.

In the north east of Indonesia is Irian Jaya, the western half of the island of New Guinea and now referred to as West Papua. For a very long time, few people had heard of them as almost no-one lives there and only visitors were scuba divers. In 2001, Australian scientist, Dr. Gerald Allen, took an expedition there and in a single one-hour dive, spotted 281 different species of fish and registered 950 species overall. There’s plenty of schooling fish, soft and hard corals, crustaceans, cephalopods, even a couple of small wrecks. There are several known manta ray feeding stations and the landscapes are spectacular, limestone pinnacles ringed by turquoise lagoons with birds everywhere.

The waters surrounding Sumatra cannot offer the stunning visibility found at other Indonesian dive sites however its prolific marine life and proximity to Singapore more than make up for it. Sumatra is more renowned for its tigers and orangutans, its volcanic lakes, and high mountain treks, and is relatively unknown as a diving destination. Its west coast faces the Indian Ocean, making for a slightly different distribution of species than elsewhere. The Indian Ocean also brings rough conditions, so the best diving is found in the shelter of smaller islands such as Pulau Weh on the northwestern coast. There are many undiscovered dive locations around Sumatra and a couple of well known ones where encounters with big pelagics are common.

The sprawling fingers of Sulawesi give this island over 6,000 km of coastline, against which laps warm water rich in marine life. The dramatic topography continues offshore, with abyssal trenches and sheer drop-offs right up against the shoreline. Once you’ve dived here – usually at Bunaken and Lembeh – you will understand the enthusiasm of frequent visitors, many of who claim that there is nowhere else on earth that offers such diverse and exciting underwater experiences. Given the enormous number and variety of dive sites so near to the shore, Sulawesi is quite possibly one of the best resort diving destinations in the world. There is a huge choice of highly affordable accommodations to stay in and only a few liveaboards.

Scuba Diving Indonesia – Sulawesi

Gorontalo | Manado | Lembeh | Bunaken | Gangga Island

SCUBA DIVING IN CELEBES SEA

Once called Celebes, Sulawesi was born of a violent collision between two islands three million years ago. As a result, much of it was thrust above 500 meters where, today, 17 active volcanoes still growl. The island’s extraordinary shape gives the forested 227,000 square kilometer land mass a massive 6,000-kilometer coastline. On top of that, it also boasts coastlines of more than 110 reefringed offshore islands.

In 1989, 75,265 hectares of underwater at the northern tip of the island were made a national marine reserve – the Taman Nasional Laut Bunaken-Manado Tua. The reserve, which is reached by a short boat ride from Manado City, has world-class diving. Steep and pristine walls are smothered with hard and soft coral, and are a dazzling show of fish life. Access to this astonishing marine wonderland has vastly improved with recently introduced non-stop international air connections.

Further north lie the Sangihe-Talaud Islands, dominated by the 1,827 meter Karangetang volcano with its sulphurous clouds. Diving in Sangihe-Talaud is so new, it brims with the unexpected and unknown. The best way to explore these waters is on board one of the live-aboard dive vessels operating trips to either Sangihe-Talaud or the Togian Islands.

The Togian Islands, located off the Eastern coast of Northern Sulawesi, represent every known type of coral within an unusually small area.

Taka Bone Rate in South Sulawesi is the third largest atoll in the world. As for the Tukang Besi islands, it is rumored that Jacques Cousteau once said that it held the finest diving in the world.

Diving in Indonesia

Manado Bunaken Scuba Diving

North Sulawesi is home to the beautiful steep coral reef walls of Bunaken National Marine Park, attracting divers of all levels due to its high levels of marine biodiversity, warm waters, clear visibility and its pristine walls covered in soft corals and sponges; home to barracuda, napoleon wrasse, moray eels and turtles.

Diving in Indonesia

Manado Lembeh Muck Scuba Diving

Lembeh Strait offers the best ‘macro aka muck diving’ on earth. For divers interested in the weird and wonderful, the Lembeh Strait is the jewel in the Asian crown. Attracting marine experts from around the world, Lembeh is home to a huge array of rare & unusual marine life with new species regularly discovered.

Diving in Indonesia

Gangga Island Scuba Diving

The small island of Gangga offers a unique opportunity to dive some of the finest Indo Pacific dive sites. Located at the conjunction of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with more than 30 world class diving locations, the island offers a wonderful variety of marine life. It is perfectly situated to access both the North Sulawesi coast and other islands like Lihaga, Tindila, Talisei and Bangka

Ideal for Viewing : Grey reef shark, reef manta ray, bronze whaler shark, pygmy seahorse, dugong

Excellent For : Resort diving holidays, Shark diving, Manta rays, Reef diving

Ideal for viewing : pygmy seahorse, giant frogfish, mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, coconut octopus

Excellent for : Resort based diving holidays, Learn to dive, Muck diving, Underwater photography

Ideal for viewing : Muck Diving, wall diving, reef life and health and visibility

Excellent for : Resort based diving holidays, Learn to dive, Muck diving, Underwater photography

Scuba Diving Indonesia – Jakarta & Nusa Tenggara

Bali | Komodo | Alor | Flores | Gangga Island | Savu Sea National Marine Park

SCUBA DIVING IN JAVA SEA

With more than 17,508 islands, Indonesia presents ample diving opportunities. With 20% of the world’s coral reefs, over 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species, deep water trenches, volcanic sea mounts, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life, scuba diving in Indonesia is both excellent and inexpensive. Bunaken National Marine Park, at the northern tip of Sulawesi, claims to have seven times more genera of coral than Hawaii, and has more than 70% of all the known fish species of the Indo-Western Pacific. According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Moreover, there are over 3,500 species living in Indonesian waters, including sharks, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, morays, cuttlefish, octopus and scorpionfish, compared to 1,500 on the Great Barrier Reef and 600 in the Red Sea. Tulamben Bay in Bali boasts the wreck of the 120 metres (390 ft) U.S. Army commissioned transport vessel, the Liberty. Other popular dive sites on Bali are at Candidasa and Menjangan. Across the Badung Strait from Bali, there are several popular dive sites on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Lombok’s three Gilis (Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan) are popular as is Bangka.

Diving in Indonesia

Manado Bunaken Scuba Diving

North Sulawesi is home to the beautiful steep coral reef walls of Bunaken National Marine Park, attracting divers of all levels due to its high levels of marine biodiversity, warm waters, clear visibility and its pristine walls covered in soft corals and sponges; home to barracuda, napoleon wrasse, moray eels and turtles.

Diving in Indonesia

Manado Lembeh Muck Scuba Diving

Lembeh Strait offers the best ‘macro aka muck diving’ on earth. For divers interested in the weird and wonderful, the Lembeh Strait is the jewel in the Asian crown. Attracting marine experts from around the world, Lembeh is home to a huge array of rare & unusual marine life with new species regularly discovered.

Diving in Indonesia

Gangga Island Scuba Diving

The small island of Gangga offers a unique opportunity to dive some of the finest Indo Pacific dive sites. Located at the conjunction of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with more than 30 world class diving locations, the island offers a wonderful variety of marine life. It is perfectly situated to access both the North Sulawesi coast and other islands like Lihaga, Tindila, Talisei and Bangka

Ideal for Viewing : Grey reef shark, reef manta ray, bronze whaler shark, pygmy seahorse, dugong

Excellent For : Resort diving holidays, Shark diving, Manta rays, Reef diving

Ideal for viewing : pygmy seahorse, giant frogfish, mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, coconut octopus

Excellent for : Resort based diving holidays, Learn to dive, Muck diving, Underwater photography

Ideal for viewing : Muck Diving, wall diving, reef life and health and visibility

Excellent for : Resort based diving holidays, Learn to dive, Muck diving, Underwater photography

Diving in Indonesia

Mataking Island Scuba Diving

Mataking Island is a honeymooners paradise located right on the Malaysian/Phillipine border. Mataking is a picture-perfect deserted island–so much so that the creators of the television show Survivor decided to film the first season here! With white-sand beaches that stretch the full length of the island, palm tress that house coconut crabs, and dive sites that will suite both macro and pelagic lovers alike, Mataking has it all!

Diving in Indonesia

Pom Pom Island Scuba Diving

The marine biodiversity of Pom Pom Island is amazing with many rare and uncommon species. The region is part of the coral triangle which has 500 plus coral species. A recent study by UMS, WWF, Sabah Parks and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands in the nearby Tun Sakaran Marine Park found a world record of 43 species of mushroom corals and suggested that the region may have the worlds highest marine biodiversity.

Diving in Indonesia

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park  Scuba Diving

Right opposite of the city of Kota Kinabalu in western Sabah (Borneo) lies the wonderful Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TAR Marine Park). This area contains numerous dive sites that are definitely worth a visit. Dive schools mainly operate from out of Kota Kinabalu, though there are also a few that are located on the islands. Similar to Perhentian Island this is a great place to start diving by doing a 4 day PADI course as the dive conditions are optimal for beginners.

WEST MALAYSIA

Scuba Diving Vacation Holiday Packages

Scuba Diving Indonesia – Jakarta & Nusa Tenggara

Bali | Komodo | Alor | Flores | Gangga Island | Savu Sea National Marine Park

SCUBA DIVING IN JAVA SEA

SCUBA DIVING PACKAGES AVAILABLE

With more than 17,508 islands, Indonesia presents ample diving opportunities. With 20% of the world’s coral reefs, over 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species, deep water trenches, volcanic sea mounts, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life, scuba diving in Indonesia is both excellent and inexpensive. Bunaken National Marine Park, at the northern tip of Sulawesi, claims to have seven times more genera of coral than Hawaii, and has more than 70% of all the known fish species of the Indo-Western Pacific. According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Moreover, there are over 3,500 species living in Indonesian waters, including sharks, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, morays, cuttlefish, octopus and scorpionfish, compared to 1,500 on the Great Barrier Reef and 600 in the Red Sea. Tulamben Bay in Bali boasts the wreck of the 120 metres (390 ft) U.S. Army commissioned transport vessel, the Liberty. Other popular dive sites on Bali are at Candidasa and Menjangan. Across the Badung Strait from Bali, there are several popular dive sites on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Lombok’s three Gilis (Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan) are popular as is Bangka.

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Bali – Mola and Manta

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Savu Sea National Marine Park

dive travel scuba diving divers holiday vacations destinations indonesia manado lembeh north sulawesi

Lombok & Gili Islands

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Komodo Alor Flores

Scuba Diving Indonesia – Jayapura | Sumatra | Kalimantan

Raja Ampat | Cendrawasih Bay | Banda Islands | Ambon | Sangalaki | Maratua | Derawan | Weh Island

SCUBA DIVING IN BANDA SEA, NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN & ANDAMAN SEA

SCUBA DIVING PACKAGES AVAILABLE

Banda Islands is set in the heart of Indonesia in a splendid isolation, which have a rich and important history. She is blessed with some of the finest scuba diving in the country. The remoteness of the islands in the wide open Banda Sea, and the low levels of human population, have meant less fishing pressures, and a vibrant, natural and healthy reef system. The results of this is that you can expect reefs bursting with life, huge seafans and sponges, some monumental hard corals, and more fish than your mask can cope with.

While big fish and pelagics might be the most obvious draw card for divers at the Banda Islands, its true value is in the extraordinary variety and sheer volume of fish life, both in terms of large and small marine life. Two of the creatures worthy of special mention here that characterise diving in the Banda Sea are the preponderance of dogtooth tuna and mobula rays.

And to the northwest of the Indonesian archipelago lies the Pacific Ocean where some of the best dive sites such as Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, which is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the 4 main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. Simply put, Raja Ampat is the bees knees in the world of scuba diving. If you don’t enjoy your dives here, you may as well sell your equipment! According to the Conservation International Rapid Assessment Bulletin and their more recent 2006 scientific surveys, the marine life diversity in West Papua is considerably greater than all other areas sampled in the coral triangle of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. It is quite simply the cream of the crop in world diving!

And moving to the other side of Indonesia where Sumatra lies, we have Pulau Weh facing the Andaman Seas. Pulau Weh, Indonesia offers world class diving due to it’s location of where the Andaman Sea meets the Indian Ocean. This remote paradise and new frontier is visited by few divers and is off the beaten path. The Indonesian Government has helped preserve Pulau Weh by declaring two areas a marine park, Pulau Weh Marine Park and Iboih Marine Park. The variety of the area is abundant; Jacks, Trevallies, Snapper, Sweetlips, Grouper, Frogfish, Leaf Fish, Dog Tooth Tuna, Turtles, Black Tip Sharks, Eagle Rays, Grey Reef Sharks, Caverns, Wrecks and more.

Banda Islands

Banda Islands

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Ambon Muck Diving

cendrawesih bay

Wakatobi Resort & Liveaboard

cendrawesih bay

Pulau Weh Sumatra

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Raja Ampat

cendrawesih bay

Cendrawasih Bay

cendrawesih bay

Sangalaki Maratua Derawan

cendrawesih bay

Sangalaki Maratua Derawan

Indonesia Tourism Facts

Discover-informationThe Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising 13,466 large and small tropical islands fringed with white sandy beaches, many still uninhabited and a number even still unnamed. Straddling the equator, situated between the continents of Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, it is as wide as the United States from San Francisco to New York, equaling the distance between London and Moscow.

Scuba Diving Holidays in Indonesia.

Promotion Video Wonderful Indonesia edition 2012 Long version (5 minutes)
Released by Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia.