Destination Fact File
One of the most varied diving destinations in the world.
Generally accepted to be the world's best country for sea life, Indonesia has more marine diversity than anywhere on earth. Slap bang in the middle of the 'Coral Triangle' of diversity that extends from Australia to the Philippines and across to Borneo and into the South Pacific, this country is at the core of the ocean's heart, where the marine variety suggests life in the sea began. With 20% of the world's coral reefs, over 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species, deep water trenches, volcanic sea mounts, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life, Indonesia scuba diving is both excellent and inexpensive.
You can experience all the wondrous fish and other marine life in these nutrient-rich seas. From encounters with big pelagics around the cool waters of Komodo, cruising over pristine fields of coral in Raja Ampat, marvelling at the enormous volumes of fish in the Banda Islands, to photographing the outrageous critters of Sulawesi, diving in Indonesia is unforgettable.
There are packages to suit all needs including resort diving in Bali and Sulawesi where you can stay in comfort on the doorstep of world-class dive sites where marine biologists, photographers and pleasure divers come to marvel and the species numbers and variety.
For many, diving is best on one of the Indonesia liveaboards to Komodo and beyond, into the seemingly unchartered territory of Papau. These trips offer the chance to cruise over crystal seas from Bali to the legendary islands of Komodo and Rinca where the dragons of folklore roam. Beyond Komodo lies some of the most exhilarating frontier scuba diving there is, around the Banda Islands and Raja Ampat where there are few boats and only serious pleasure-seeking divers. Fantastic dives are virtually assured.
Bali's diverse dive sites offer an exceptional diving experience for all levels of divers experiencing protected shallow bays with exotic scorpionfish, octopus and nudibranchs to exciting drift diving in wild currents with sharks and manta rays. From Bali you can embark on one of the liveaboard trips Ultimate Diving offers to the Komodo National Park and East of Flores onboard the Komodo Dancer giving you the opportunity to explore the waters in and around the Flores Sea, vibrant local cultures, the Komodo Dragons and colourful coral reefs.
Lombok’s diving is around the many reefs, walls, drop-offs, plateaus and slopes reflecting a good cross section of what Indonesia has to offer. Here you will have the opportunity to see a fascinating variety of turtles, white tip reef sharks, cuttlefish, moray eels, angelfish, ghost pipefish, snappers, mantas, eagle rays and many more. The corals around the Gili Islands are good for diving and snorkelling activities and can be reached from shore. The three islands have spectacular white sandy beaches, sparkling blue waters and are encircled by beautiful coral reefs containing very rare blue coral and thousands of species of marine life.
Manado’s marine environment is the most varied, rich and incredible diving in the world. The seas are fringed by extensive coral reefs and surrounded by a very rich marine bio-diversity. The Bunaken National Marine Park is the main diving area in Manado and comprises of a group of five islands: Bunaken, Siladen, Nain, Montehage and Manado Tua. The islands in the park are distinctly different; in Bunaken you will have the opportunity to dive the deep and calm bay that shelters fertile coral formations. The fauna on this reef flat, edge and wall is extraordinary and large pelagics patrol along the steep walls.
The Lembeh Strait has decent coral meadows to the north but it is mostly famous for being one of the best muck diving destinations in the world peeling back layers of life to reveal shy critters such as the flamboyant cuttlefish, harlequin shrimp, mimic octopus and skeleton shrimps. The Lembeh Straits are 25 kilometres long with over 30 dive sites to choose from and its seabed is as diverse as the creatures which inhabit it.
Gangga Island is perfectly located at the conjunction of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans offering sensational diving where you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with diverse and remarkable marine life. The Bunaken National Marine Park is only 75 minutes away from Gangga Island and the 75,265 hectares of the protected park offers most of the species of coral fishes known to exist in Indonesia.
Siladen Island is another amazing island part of the Bunaken Manado Tua Marine Park offering steep wall diving and many opportunities to see pelagics like sharks, mackerels, tunas and turtles. The sites around Siladen’s south wall and Siladen Utara offer swift currents supporting giant coral trees and sponges and a variety of exquisite soft corals at the reef top. Small creatures are common here and you will have endless opportunities to encounter groupers, butterflyfish, stingrays, and spotted eagle rays.
Wakatobi is one of the newest and most exciting diving destinations in Indonesia. Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of species that can be found in an ecosystem. Wakatobi is located in an area that encompasses the highest coral reef biodiversity in the world. This destination has a spectacular house reef and several dozens of easily accessible dive sites offering incredible colour and natural splendour sightings. The resort packages include all boat dives and unlimited shore diving ensuring you get total diving freedom.