Indonesia – Incredible diverse coral reefs full of life
Overview of diving in Indonesia
Situated in the heart of the coral triangle, Indonesia is home 25% of the worlds species of fish and 72% of species of coral. With year round warm water, great visibility and thousands of islands to explore, diving in Indonesia should be on everyone’s bucket list. Indonesia is well known for it’s coral reefs and those found at Raja Ampat are some of the most pristine in the world. It is also has fantastic muck diving destinations such as Lembeh and Ambon Bay. Finally if you want to see big stuff such as manta rays and the elusive sunfish then Komodo, Nusa Penida and of course Raja Ampat are some of the best places to dive.
Best dive sites and locations in Indonesia
The coral reefs at Raja Ampat are among the most vibrant, diverse and beautiful in the world. Full of everything you could wish to see on a dive, from tiny nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses, to vast schools of barracuda and jacks and even graceful manta rays and sharks. Dive sites range from pinnacles that rise up out of the seafloor to sloping reefs and also wall dives.
Famous for it’s Komodo dragons, the waters around Komodo are also full of exciting life. Superb coral reefs, manta rays and sharks and large schools of fish are common sightings during dives.
USAT Liberty wreck, Bali
This wreck from WWII lies just off the beach of Tulamben in Bali. It has turned into a superb artificial reef, with both small and large species found among the wreckage. The wreck has some great swim throughs and parts of it are even shallow enough for snorkelers to enjoy.
Manta Point, Nusa Penida
This cleaning station on the south coast of Nusa Penida offers a great chance of spotting reef manta rays. The manta rays will hang around in the shallows while the small cleaner fish get to work eating the parasites that have grown on their bodies.
Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida
Another great dive site on Nusa Penida which is one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive sunfish (mola mola) which come up from the deep to be cleaned. A great white shark has even been spotted here during one dive! The dive site is swept by viscous currents and so should only be dived by experienced divers.
If you love muck diving then the Lembah Strait is certainly a place you should visit. It’s black sandy seabed are home to a wonderful array of small macro critters which make perfect photography subjects. Nudibranchs, frogfish, pygmy cuttlefish, ribbon eels and blue ringed octopus are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can expect to find.
Dive reports from Indonesia
Dive site reports and useful information from our scuba diving and freediving trips to Indonesia.
Bali hosts one of the most accessible wreck dives in the world in the USAT Liberty, which is situated meters from the shore. The coastal town of Amed is popular with divers and freedivers, offering muck, wreck and wall diving. Dive centers on the south coast offer diving day trips to the popular island of Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida offers the chance to spot the elusive sunfish (mola mola). Manta Point on Nusa Pendia offers almost guarantees manta ray sightings. The coral reefs on the northern coast are certainly worth diving too
Raja Ampat is one of the last remaining untouched paradises both above an below the water. The stunning bustling coral reefs host a huge diversity of marine life, from nudibranchs to large schools of fish to big pelagic species . Those who make the effort to visit Raja Ampat will most certainly be rewarded.
The Gili Islands combine nightlife with a busy diving scene, and have a large resident turtle populations. There is a huge choice of dive centers on Gili Trawangan, with a few freediving centers too.
How to get to Indonesia
Indoneisa has over 600 airports making it easy to get to and fly around the country. Most of the larger islands have intentional airports and direct flights arrive from many countries in Asia, the Middle East and America.
Capital City International Airport Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK)
Best time to dive Indonesia
Indonesia is blessed with year round warm water that ranges from 27° C to 30°. The driest months are from June through to September when air temperatures are slightly cooler. These drier months will coincide with when the visibility will be best due to less surface run off into the oceans.
The waters of Indonesia are warmed enough to be dived in just a rash vest, or a 3mm wetsuit would be recommended for those who get cold easily.
Water Temperature 27° to 30°C
Visibility 10m to 30m+
Useful information when traveling to Indonesia
Time Zone UTC + 6 hours
Currency Indonesian Rupiah (Rp)
Electricity 230 V
Plug Socket C, F
Language Indonesian. English is spoken by most people also.
Calling Code +62
Our dive trips to Indonesia
We have been fortunate enough to visit Indonesia twice, and immediately fell in love with the diving Indonesia has to offer. Our first visit was in 2016 when we visited Bali and the Gili Islands near Lombok. The trip was so good that we returned to Indonesia in 2017, first to meet up with some friends on Bali and the Gili islands and secondly to do a week long liveaboard at Raja Ampat.
You can read more about our trips and the dive sites we visited in the dive reports above