Indonesia diving: You can’t say you’ve dived Asia until you’ve been underneath the surface in this archipelago. Forming one corner of the ‘Coral Triangle’, Indonesia’s 17,000 magnificent islands with it’s rich marine diversity is slap bang in the center when it comes the some of the best diving in Asia.
Situated at what it sometimes referred to as the core of the ocean’s heart, Indonesia sits on the western edge of the Pacific Rim which witnesses a lot of seismic activity and is called the “Ring of Fire”. The seismic activity in the region causes the pressure and heat responsible for nutrient rich warm equatorial currents, that make Indonesia a hot bed of marine bio-diversity and home to 20% of the world’s coral reefs. It’s no wonder that Indonesia features in the world’s best scuba destinations, unfortunately it’s the least known of them- A forgotten divers paradise!
Indonesia has the longest coastline of any country in the world extending over 80’000 kilometers and of it’s thousands of Islands, most are uninhabited. It’s near impossible to savor all of Indonesia’s diving on one trip, but even a glimpse of the unsurpassable diving and you’ll be returning here for sure. While it’s hard to summarize all the diving this country has to offer in one post, here’s a start at discovering more about this coral triangle diving paradise.
This visually stunning destination is just as beautiful above water as it is below. Boasting of 50,000 sq km, with hundreds of islands and an astounding diversity of habitats. Diving at Raja Ampat can translate to some wildly diverse diving experiences, from pelagic drift dives to magic muck dives and clear water mangroves with corals growing right next to them! There are some areas where technicolor soft corals and sea fans dominate, while others display amazing diverse hard corals. From seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs to drop offs and caves you can dive it all. Even liveaboard diving here only just scratches the surface of the dives dives here with the potential of many more undiscovered.
The reputation dragon land is far more popular than Komodo’s unsung underwater treasures. But besides being able to say you visited just the legendary Island of myths, you can experience some spectacular diving here. Komodo in terms of diving spells world-class reefs with a kaleidoscope of colour and life, pinnacles and walls, steep drop-offs and current-swept points, manta rays and maybe even dolphins and dugongs! We feel that even though the lizards may have famed the island, the diving here truly the stuff of legends!
Located between the better known destinations of Raja Ampat and Komodo is fine diving destination that deserves a lot more credit to its name. With opportunity to dive with large pelagics and tiny mandarin fish, or at current swept fish-filled sites and healthy coral covered slopes and walls, the Banda Islandas are definitely Indonesia’s best kept diving secret.
One of the more popular dive regions of Indonesia, the diving possibilities around Sulawesi island are virtually limitless with 6,000 miles of coastline. Manado alone will keep most ardent divers happy with the world-famous Bunaken National Marine Park off the north east tip of Sulawesi which is often quoted among the world’s top ten dive destinations. Many inspirational underwater photos have been taken here, full of curious looking creatures. It’s like diving in a Cousteau documentary.
Then there’s the remote Wakatobi with some of the broadest biodiversity in the entire Pacific Ocean. Filled with reef sharks, pilot whales, mobula rays, black blotched stingrays, barracudas, humphead parrotfish and even the occasional orca. Obscure species include ghost pipefish, bobtail squid, Napoleon snake eel and warty frogfish to name a few. The Bangka and Sangihe islands to the north are another marvel of Sulawesi’s diving. Colorful soft corals pinnacles, sloping reefs and a Drowned Village compliment the steep walls of Bunaken.
From pygmy sea horses the size of your little fingernail, incredible macro opportunities of capturing ghost pipefish, colorful mandarinfish or the native Ambon scorpionfish to enormous schools of fusiliers, thousands of redtooth triggerfish, different species of whales and dolphins as well as the ever popular Manta and the unusual Mola mola sunfish, there’s no such thing as nothing to see on a dive in Indonesia!