From Bali to Raja Ampat: A Look at Scuba Diving in Indonesia
by Jorge Mezcua on Feb 14, 2023
The diving in Indonesia is undoubtedly the most complete and exciting that can be practiced in the whole world. This archipelago of more than 13,500 tropical islands occupies a large part of the Coral Triangle, the world's epicenter of marine biodiversity. This country alone contains 20% of the world's coral reefs!
Perhaps Indonesia is the least known of the most popular diving destinations, such as Maldives, the Philippines or the Red Sea. But its more than 3,000 species of fish and 600 species of coral will change your mind. Add huge gardens loaded with corals of all kinds, vertiginous walls where you can dive with pelagics or underwater volcanic mountains. In addition, in Indonesia we find the strangest creatures of the ocean, the best muck diving and spectacular wrecks from World War II and an endless variety of macro life. Indonesian diving sites can only be described as excellent.
To wishlist of diver's dreams we must add a great variety and quality of both diving resorts and liveaboards in Indonesia. And more than 500 top quality dive sites. Indonesia is an endless marine encyclopedia that no diver can miss visiting at least once in their life. Whether by liveaboard or diving from the resort, these islands are a must-see destination for any diver.
Located on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Indonesia has more kilometers of coastline than any other country in the world. Banda Sea, Sulawesi, Komodo, Bali or Raja Ampat offer some of the best diving opportunities. But its also excellent destinations for adventure, nature or cultural holidays.
The conditions for diving are exceptional, with visibility between 25 and 30 meters on average (which can reach 50 during the dry season), very warm water between 26 and 27 degrees throughout the year and an air temperature average 29 to 31 degrees centigrade. If these conditions are good for diving, they are even better for marine life bloom. Its reefs are loaded with corals of great health, huge pelagic species such as sunfish, whale sharks or dolphins, lots of reef sharks and extraordinary species like scorpion fish or different species of cephalopods. And, of corse, the most beautiful and small reef fish species.
Sunfish in Bali. Image by Kriss Sieniawski Photography
Top diving areas in Indonesia
The richness of the Bali seabed and its beautiful underwater landscapes make this diving destination one of the most exciting in the world. Among the main attractions of diving in Bali are the huge sunfish, larger than anywhere in the world, and its manta rays, which visit this part of the world in search of food-laden waters. You will not be able to leave Bali without visiting one of the best wrecks in the world, the USAT Liberty in Tulamben, or marveling at the most colorful creatures, its healthy and crowded reefs, or the smile of one of the friendliest people you can find in your diving trips. Keep reading about diving in Bali >>
The Lembeh Strait is synonymous with muck diving. Dark, muddy bottoms, where you can see the strangest creatures that inhabit the ocean. Beings that seem to have come from another planet to a part of the world where underwater camouflage plays a star role. Great diversity and quantity of frog and scorpion fish, seahorses of all sizes and colors, ghost pipe fish, mime octopus, blue-ringed octopus or huge nudibranchs. Indonesia is an area of the planet visited every year by the best underwater photographers in the world and that has become a dark dream for any marine biologist. Keep reading about diving in the Lembeh Strait >>>
Komodo is known throughout the world solely for its dragons. Except for divers. We, lovers of the big blue know that Komodo has one of the largest and most diverse national marine parks in the world. This island is bathed by crystal clear waters protected from commercial fishing that give it world-class diving. From pelagic species that leave you speechless to the rarest “critters” in the ocean. Sea turtles, harlequin sweet lips, mime octopuses, large wrasse, porcelain crabs, manta rays, spotted rays, coral shrimp… Komodo is definitely much more than its dragons. Keep reading about the wonders of Komodo >>>
The more than 1,500 islets that make up the Raja Ampat National Maritime Park is one of the richest in biodiversity in the world, a compendium of marine life that can be found in the Coral Triangle. 600 species of coral, more than 1,000 species of fish or 700 mollusks make this area an incomparable diving experience. Keep reading about Diving in Raja Ampat >>>
Alor is a great unknown in diving not only in Indonesia, but throughout the world. It has an outstanding biodiversity both because of its location in the Coral Triangle and because of the respect for its waters that both local authorities and fishermen have for the treasures they keep underwater.
Although it is more appreciated for the extraordinary macro life and muck diving dives it has, Alor is also a good place for diving with pelagics, mainly sunfish, sharks, mantas or turtles. Keep reading more about diving in Alor >>