Diving is a fun hobby that allows you to experience parts of the world that many are unfamiliar with. It also enables you to see lots of rare creatures, natural sites, and colorful corals.
Indonesia is a beautiful place to visit in Asia. In fact, it is the world’s largest island country. It has a really diverse range of animals, making it a great place to visit for animal lovers.
When visiting Indonesia, there are many stunning spots where you can dive. It is a very popular country for divers to visit.
If, however, you are unfamiliar with the country, you can miss some of the best places to dive in. As a result, you may miss out on getting the opportunity to witness some of the world’s rarest creatures.
As luck would have it, this list is here to navigate you through some of the best diving spots in Indonesia. It will also tell you how to prepare for your holiday, meaning that you will never be caught off guard.
If you love to experience amazing views as you drive around the country, this guide will be of extreme use to you. It is best to seriously plan your trip to maximize your ability to visit all of these beauty spots.
Komodo National Park
Komodo is a great site to go diving. Since 1991, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to the Komodo dragon, an endangered species of lizard, this national park is bustling with biodiverse wildlife. This tropical wildlife can be seen underwater.
With over one thousand species of fish, divers will be able to experience a variety of underwater life. There are also lots of different species of coral, creating a colorful and breathtaking experience. If you are lucky, you might even be able to spot a manta ray.
Tourists flock to this national park from across the world to experience this diving hotspot. Because of this, there are plenty of scuba diving sites on the island, including:
- Batu Bolong - though it is a challenging dive site, this is arguably the island’s most popular. This area has a diverse range of sea life, including sharks, rainbow runners, and dogtooth tuna.
This site is best for experienced divers only since its ripping currents can be dangerous to those with less experience.
- Lethuho Reef - this may be the best site to explore if you are hoping to see rare sea life. Some divers have been fortunate enough to see gray reef sharks and sea turtles in this location.
- Manta Point - with fairly moderate currents, this should be a safe spot to go for most divers. As its name suggests, this is home to the giant manta ray. Many divers have been able to see entire schools of manta rays.
Aside from this, there are plenty of other things to look out for, such as the mantis shrimp. Sadly, this is a more difficult location to get to for many tourists.
- Pantai Merah - this beautiful pink beach is a popular tourist attraction. This space is popular with both divers and snorkeling enthusiasts.
Pentai Merah is an excellent spot for macro photography, home to creatures such as the blue ribbon eel and crocodile fish. This is a great place to visit all year round.
Located on Ambon Island, this bay is home to some special wildlife, such as the ghost pipefish and the Ambon scorpionfish. The best time to visit this spot is between September and July since it will be monsoon season after this.
Since this bay is less well-known than other diving spots, its reefs are in great condition. This place is also suitable for experienced and novice divers alike.
This site is known for its muck diving, which occurs in sandy locations, where muck-critters can be found. Considered one of the best places in the world for muck diving, Ambon is full of macro critters.
This bay is also home to beautiful coral specimens. If muck diving is of interest to you, this is perhaps the spot for you in Indonesia.
Here are some more specific sites to check out:
- Rhino City - next to Laha, this Rhino City diving spot is an amazing place to explore. The rare Rhinopias scorpionfish can be found here.
- Laha - Laha is a slope roughly 12 meters long. Here you might be able to spot cuttlefish, lionfish and even octopus, this is a setting for exploring Indonesia’s vast range of ocean life.
Popular with liveaboards, boats that are designed for scuba divers, the Banda Sea is another must-see diving destination. However, because it is a more distant location, the Banda Sea can only be accessed by liveaboards.
Since it is a more remote and less crowded location, the Banda Sea is home to some really impressive aqua life. In terms of bigger fish, this includes dolphins, hammerhead sharks, turtles, and even some forms of whales, such as pilot and humpback.
In terms of macro life, the Banda Sea does not disappoint. Seahorses and mandarin fish can be spotted here. This area is also known to be populated by sea snakes.
If you are planning to visit here, the best time to go is probably between September and November. March to May might also be a good time. Some of the greatest diving spots in the Banda Sea include:
- Koon - the tide will naturally guide you through this wall dive site. You may experience barracudas and jacks to be found here.
You can also find the rare orangutan crab, which is a similar orange color to the primate it is named after. Here, there is a blend of corals.
- Manuk - this area is home to lots of sea snakes, including the Chinese sea snake. These snakes are highly curious and rarely attack humans. Manuk is a very remote destination in the Banda Sea.
As a result, liveaboards do not always visit it. Despite this, it is well worth visiting. It can be characterized by its volcanic sand.
- Pombo Boi - If you are fortunate enough, you might be able to spot dugongs and dolphins in Pombo Boi, though they are far from common. Other colorful varieties of aquatic life reside here, including shrimps, butterflyfish, and triggerfish.
This area is populated by sponges, as well as a variety of soft and hard corals. If you are a novice diver, this might be the right spot for you.
Easily the most popular and well-known destination in Indonesia, Bali offers plenty of good diving opportunities. As well as its diving, Bali offers lots of activities on dry land.
For example, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is popular with tourists. It also has plenty of beaches to relax at. This makes Bali an ideal holiday destination.
There are many different dive operators at Bali, giving you lots of choices. Bali has lots of exciting diving areas. For example:
- Nusa Penida - this spot gives you the chance to see the iconic but uncommon mola mola, as well as manta rays. The best window of opportunity to see the mola mola is between July and October. Crystal Bay is one of the foremost diving spots in Bali.
- USAT Liberty at Tulamben Bay - 100ft offshore of Bali, this shipwreck is a popular site. This US Army ship was torpedoed in 1942. Corals and tube sponges have since covered this ship.
It has also become home to a number of different species of fish, such as batfish and angelfish.
Because it is fairly shallow, this ship is easy to access even if you are not a very experienced diver. If you enjoy American history, this fascinating shipwreck will definitely be of interest to you.
- Amed Bay - this spot is united for macro and muck diving. Because it is close to a volcano, the sand in this area is black. In this interesting area, the bright colors of the sea life contrast with the darkness of the sand.
For divers, Raja Ampat’s waters will be a haven. It is known for its abundance of fish and coral species. Somewhere between 70% and 75% of the world’s known coral species reside in this area, making it a must-see for coral enthusiasts.
Many consider it a place that every diver should visit at least once. The diving period in this spot is all year round, meaning that you can easily fit this spot into your schedule.
Among the finest places to dive around the Raja Ampat area are:
- Cendarawasih Bay - heavily wind-sheltered, Cendarawish Bay is less intense than other dive sites. This area is known for its whale shark sightings. The biggest shark species, whale sharks are incredibly safe to be around.
- Kaimana Regency - this small town offers plenty of liveaboard packages.
- Triton Bay - this bay is situated in the Kaimana Regency and is part of the Bird’s Head Seascape. Again, whale shark encounters can occur in Triton Bay. Sadly, the water in this area tends to be less clear and, therefore, visibility is decreased.
Last but not least, Derawan is another excellent choice to go diving in Indonesia. There is lots of diversity among the creatures here, including jellyfish, whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles.
This area tends to be good for diving year-round, though manta ray sightings are more common in some periods than others.
Unfortunately, there are fewer liveaboard options here than there are in other places. Despite this, there are still many options to explore. In this collection of islands, these are some of the best spots to go diving:
- Kakaban - home to the jellyfish lake, this is a thrilling spot to go diving. Here, the jellyfish are non-stinging, meaning that it is perfectly safe for you to dive through.
- Sangalaki - all year round, this is a popular spot for turtles and manta rays. If you adore either of these creatures, this will be an optimal location for you.
- Maratua - with its wall dives, Martua tends to house barracudas and surgeonfish among its many inhabitants.
Other Areas Of Interest
A small island located in eastern Indonesia, Sumba Island is a wonderful place to travel around. Renowned for its stunning locations, Sumba island offers lots of gorgeous beaches, including Walakiri Beach and Watu Bela Beach. If you enjoy tropical beaches, then this might be the best place for you.
This island also features the Waimarang Waterfall, a stunning waterfall with crystal clear water. This waterfall is approximately a 20 or 30-minute walk away from a car park, making it quite easy to visit.
This walk is filled with nice views, making it a worthwhile part of your adventure. You may need to pay for parking, so remember to bring some cash with you. If you are already in Indonesia, you might as well check out this beautiful location.
How To Prepare
Before you go diving, it is highly recommended that you research the area thoroughly. Some dangers might arise from traveling to any area that you are unfamiliar with. This is particularly true underwater.
It is especially important to check in which season it is best to travel to each location. It is suggested that you try to avoid traveling during the monsoon period, as the harsh rain will likely make conditions much worse.
Please consider the weather conditions before you book your holiday. Additionally, some sea creatures are more likely to be seen at certain periods than others. This is an essential consideration if you are hoping to see a particular animal.
It is also worth considering how skilled you are as a diver. While some diving spots are okay for less experienced divers, others will only be safe for those with lots of training and experience.
It is worth listening to expert advice. There is no point in risking your safety merely to visit a diving spot that is above your skill level.
You also need to prepare by making sure you have the right equipment. This will include flippers, snorkels, and a diving suit. If you are going scuba diving, a tank and scuba regulator will also be required.
Ensure that all your equipment is top quality and that it works before you go diving. Additionally, create a list of all the items you need for diving so that you do not accidentally forget to pack something.
If you can afford it, it is sometimes a good idea to bring spare equipment, especially if it is quite old.
It is also a good idea to plan out your journey before you visit Indonesia. While all of the places listed on this extensive list are worth visiting, you will likely be unable to check all of them out.
Furthermore, not every single diving spot is mentioned here, meaning you may miss out on some enjoyable places. Prepare an itinerary so that you can attend all the places that you really want to visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Go Scuba Diving In Indonesia?
Yes, you certainly can. In fact, scuba diving is very popular among tourists in Indonesia because of its rich marine life. Home to lots of different creatures and corals, Indonesia is an excellent place to go diving. Its clear water means that it is ideal for seeing unique sea life.
How Much Does It Cost To Go Diving?
All the equipment you need to go diving really adds up in price. A full set of equipment is likely to cost you at least $1,000 and could easily increase up to $2,000 depending on what equipment you purchase.
Scuba diving courses can also be priced at a few hundred dollars. Overall, diving can be a very expensive hobby. If you enjoy it, diving can certainly be worth it though.
If you are keen to photograph your underwater explorations, underwater cameras can also be bought. Again, these can be rather costly and will likely cost at least $500. However, if this form of photography interests you then it is worth investing in.
Is Bali A Good Place For Diving?
Bali has some truly exquisite places to go diving. With clear waters and diverse sea life, Bali offers great diving spots. Of course, as this list shows, there are plenty of other places in Indonesia that are worth checking out if you are an avid diver.
Where Is The Best Place To Go Diving In Indonesia?
The answer to this question will rely on what elements of diving you are most interested in. For example, if there is a sea creature that you particularly desire to see, then you are better off choosing that spot.
All of the places on this list are good options. However, the ones that you will prefer will depend heavily on your personal preferences.
To find the place that is best for you, it is advised that you carefully read through this guide and do some independent research before traveling.