If you have thought of Indonesia in the past, chances are, your mind simply drifted to the Komodo dragons, surfing, volcanoes, or the sandy beaches. These things are symbolic of Indonesia. However, if you are a diving enthusiast, the numerous spots for diving in Indonesia should have been among the things you thought about.
Indonesia is made up of over 13,400 islands lying between Australia and Southeast Asia. The country is home to more than 15% of the world’s coral and 25% of the world’s fish species. Apart from hosting a wide variety of marine life, Indonesia has numerous wrecks lying on the sea bed.
Irrespective of whether you are just getting started with scuba diving or you have experience scuba diving with the sharks, Indonesia should be an ideal destination for you. This article will give you an idea of where to head after you pack your scuba gear package.
Top Indonesia Scuba Dive Spots You Need to Explore
1. Raja Ampat, Northwest Papua, Irian Jaya
Raja Ampat, which is often referred to as The Four Kings, is an archipelago of approximately 1500 small isles, shoals, and cays that surround the 4 main islands of Salawati, Waigeo, Batanta, and Misool. This Indonesia scuba dive spot has a massively diverse sea life.
The spot for diving in Indonesia features more than 1500 fish species and over 550 types of corals. When diving, you may spot different types of sharks, dugongs, manta rays, and seahorses.
If enjoy wreck diving, Raja Ampat features several wrecks that sank during world war II. One of the most accessible wrecks is the Cross Wreck. The Cross Wreck was a Japanese Navy Patrol boat that sank close to the shore. The wreck sits upright on the sea bed and has already become home to a wide range of marine life, including moray eels, lionfish, Napoleon wrasse, nudibranchs, and parrotfish.
If you carry your best diving camera, you should be able to photograph white and blacktip sharks at Cape Kri. At Cape Kri, you should also be able to see reef fish that swim around and turtles which cruise lazily on this site.
If you decide to dive at Sardine reef, you should be prepared to view a wide range of fish. Some of the fishes include surgeonfish, fusiliers, batfish, trevally, and rainbow runners. Apart from the fishes, this spot for diving in Indonesia features macro life. Some of the macro life you may spot include mantis shrimps, nudibranch, octopus, and the pygmy seahorses.
2. Wakatobi Islands, Southeast Sulawesi, Banda Sea
Wakatobi is designated a UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve. It is also located at the world’s epicenter of coral reef biodiversity. What this tells you is that if you would like to see some of the greatest diversity and variety of sea life, you should grab your best scuba tank and dive in this location.
Visibility in this spot for diving in Indonesia goes to a depth of 15 meters. The Indonesia scuba dive spot features only gentle currents. This makes it an ideal destination for you if you are still wondering how your first scuba dive will look like.
The Wakatobi Islands feature more than 900 marine species and more than 25 corals. The spot for diving in Indonesia is known for sightings of manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays.
The Indonesia scuba dive spot is generally not crowded. This makes it an ideal spot for people who like a quiet time under the water after putting on their freediving fins.
3. Komodo Island, East Nusa Tenggara
Komodo island is among the top-rated spots for diving in Indonesia. Rugged and wild, the Indonesia scuba dive spot is packed with the promise of adventure. Before heading to this destination, you should take your time to learn how to take pictures underwater. This will ensure that you capture a large number of sea animals.
The visibility is quite impressive. Good visibility ranges from 20 to 30 meters (66 to 100 feet). The water temperatures can be a little bit chilly, sometimes dipping below 25 degrees centigrade. Therefore, learning how to stay warm while scuba diving is an excellent idea.
If you have carried your best lens for underwater photography and you would like to picture some sharks, you should check out the northern part of the Komodo National Park. Apart from the sharks, Komodo features both macro life and other types of fishes.
Some of the fishes you may spot include frogfish, jacks, snappers, sweetlips, groupers, and some rays. Some of the macro life in this spot for diving in Indonesia include pygmy sea horses, nudibranch, and the Coleman shrimp.
4. Pulau Weh, Northwest Sumatra, Banda Aceh
Pulau Weh, a volcanic island, offers great “off-the-grid” diving. The spot for diving in Indonesia features great visibility. If you have your best scuba mask on you, you should be able to see all around underwater.
The spot for scuba diving in Indonesia features some currents. This makes it an ideal destination for you if you do enjoy drift diving.
This Indonesia scuba dive spot features amazing marine life. Some of the big pelagics you may come across include white tip reef sharks, horse-eye jacks, and giant trevallies. While exploring this diving spot, you may come across the mantis shrimp, scorpionfish, devils ray, tunas, and schools of barracudas.
The Pulau Weh diving spot does feature a 134 meters long wreck known as the Sophie Rickmers wreck. The wreck lies in the deep waters. The decks are approximately 45 meters below the surface while the wheelhouse is at 37 meters. The bow lies at over 55 meters beneath the surface.
The Sophie Rickmers wreck dive is recommended for experienced divers. Before deciding to explore the wreck, you must be familiar with all the scuba diving safety tips.
5. Bali Island, West Lombok
Also referred to as the “Island of the Gods”, Bali’s rich culture, stunning scenery, and diverse reefs make it an ideal destination. Apart from the diverse marine life present in the spot for diving in Indonesia, Bali also features an incredible wreck.
USAT (United States Army Transport) Liberty is one of the most famous dive sites in Bali. The USAT Liberty wreck was awaiting repairs on the shore when the lava from Mount Agung which was erupting at the time pushed her into the waters. The wreck lies on its side, starting at just about 5 meters and extending down to approximately 30 meters.
The wreck has already managed to attract a wide variety of marine life. If you decide to navigate the wreck after wearing your best dry suit, you should be able to come across pygmy seahorses, turtles, barracuda, nudibranchs, critters, and stingrays.
Bali does feature an Underwater Temple. Also known as Taman Pura or Temple Garden, the Underwater Temple is an artificial reef that is designed to mimic the appearance of the traditional Balinese temple. While exploring this site, you should be able to see sunken statues of Ganesha and Buddha. This Indonesia scuba dive spot should allow you to learn Balinese spiritualism.
6. Lombok Islands, West Nusa Tenggara
With pristine white sandy beaches, towering volcanoes, and rugged cliffs, Lombok is an ideal destination for both divers and travelers. If you are preparing for a dive holiday, this Indonesia scuba dive spot should be on the list of the sites you intend to visit.
The Magnet, which is located in Belongas Bay, is the most popular dive site in Lombok. The site attracts numerous pelagics and fishes. While continuing your underwater navigation in this spot for diving in Indonesia, you may come across, barracuda, reef shark, hammerheads, trevally, and eagle rays.
Another ideal diving spot in Lombok is The Lighthouse. After wearing your best dive gloves and diving in this spot, you will be able to enjoy observing diverse marine life and incredible topography. While exploring the canyons, slopes, and rocky plateau, you will come across white tip reef sharks, rainbow runners, mackerel, fusiliers, glassfish, and schools of sweetlips.
7. Bunaken Islands, North Sulawesi
The Bunaken Marine Park was among the first marine parks in Indonesia. It includes Bunaken, Siladen, Mantehage, Nain Island, and Manado Tua. This spot for scuba diving in Indonesia features staggering coral walls and outstanding marine biodiversity.
If you decide to pack your scuba safety gear package and head to Bunaken islands, one of the dive sites you should not miss is the Muka Kampung. This dive site combines a sandy slope, a wall, and a steep drop-off. It is located just in front of Bunaken Village. While exploring this dive site, you should be able to spot schools of butterflyfish, bottom-dwelling stingrays, passing eagle rays, and small critters.
Sachiko’s Point is another ideal dive site on Bunaken island. The site offers a wide range of gorgonian sea fans and a wide variety of both soft and hard corals. Armed with your best rebreather, you should be able to spot passing pelagics, including groupers, turtles, white tip reef sharks, barracuda, and tunas.
8. Togian Islands, Central Sulawesi
The Togian Islands are still largely unexploited. Their charm extends far beyond the impressive dive sites. The spot for diving in Indonesia features clean sandy beaches, peaceful tranquility, blue skies, and sparkling seas.
The area has a great array of reefs, numerous fish species, and a stunning underwater topography. While diving in Togian islands, you are likely to spot reef sharks, numerous crabs, parrotfish, and even shrimps.
Apart from the amazing sea life, the Togian Islands do feature a B-24 Liberator. The bomber lies at a depth of approximately 16 meters to 22 meters. The plane went down back in 1945 after being attacked by the Japanese planes while headed to Ujung Pandang. The wreck hosts numerous shrimps, nudibranchs, jackfish, and lionfish.
The average water temperature in the Togian Islands is approximately 28 degrees centigrade. While wearing your best dive hood may be a good idea, you shouldn’t worry about getting too cold.
9. Banda Island, Maluku
This Indonesia scuba dive spot is quite remote. The spot for diving in Indonesia is filled with healthy corals, reef wildlife, sea fans, and sponges. While the diving spot is generally calm, strong currents are often observed in the site. This makes the diving spot more ideal for intermediate to advanced scuba divers.
Some of the most popular dive spots in Banda Island include Gunung Api and Batu Wali. Gunung Api is a small volcanic island where the reef system was destroyed by hot molten lava. This diving spot allows you to view a developing reef.
Batu wali is a marine protected area. If you do decide to pack your best dive boots and head to this site, you should be able to witness numerous fish species and stunning coral reefs. Batu Wali is actually a spawning area for the grouper. Irrespective of when you visit, you should be able to spot plenty of fish.
10. Lembeh Island, North Sulawesi
Lembeh Island, which is often referred to as The Twilight Zone and The Critter Capital of the World, features a diverse variety of marine life. The island’s muck diving spots feature some of the most bizarre-looking marine creatures. The spot for diving in Indonesia is what one can call a macro photographer’s heaven.
One of the most popular diving spots in Lembeh Island is Nudi Falls. After familiarizing yourself with the scuba diving etiquette, you should consider visiting this Indonesia scuba dive spot. The site features scorpionfish, anemones, seahorses, Banggai cardinalfish, frogfish, nudibranchs, and gorgonian fans.
If you are looking for an ideal muck diving site, you should consider starting your dive at Teluk Kembahu. The dive starts at approximately 5 meters and slopes to around 100 feet (30 meters). Patches of rope sponges and bommies attract various sea life to the slope, including frogfish, cuttlefish, mimic octopus, ribbon eels, and stingrays.
The Police Pier, which takes its name from a nearby police station, is also an ideal dive site. The highlights of diving in this spot include painted frogfish, harlequin shrimp, ghost pipefish, Banggai cardinalfish, and the spotted barramundi cod.
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Indonesia has some of the most popular scuba diving spots. Seasoned and beginning scuba divers do not go to Indonesia just for marine life. The country also features some of the best wreck diving spots.
The Indonesia scuba dive spots outlined in this article guarantee you an incredible adventure. If you are just getting started with scuba diving, staying away from dive spots that often have strong currents is a good idea. Strong currents can make scuba diving dangerous for less experienced scuba divers.
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- Indonesia’s Best Diving Spots, Whatsnewjakarta.com