Located in Southeast Asia, just north of Australia and south of Malaysia, Indonesia is comprised of over 17 thousand islands. Each and every one of those remote islands being situated within the coral triangle, you can see why scuba diving Indonesia is so great.
Indonesia has world famous dive sites, that are known everywhere to scuba travelers, then it also has remote locations that not many people know of. The remote, unpublicized sites are many times even better than the famous.
From Sulawesi, Java, Borneo, Papua and many more, there are so many amazing dive sites, that you would spend a lifetime exploring them all. And thats just the known ones, who knows how many more could be discovered.
Many a diver would give their first born to have these creatures living in their own local dive haunts, instead of having to fly across the globe. But be it as it is, this makes a trip here a MUST.
Here are just a few critters you’ll see:
– A HUGE plethora of nudibranch species, including the ultra rare skeleton nudi or melibe colemani, pictured above, and many more.
– Mimick and wonderpus octopus. Lembeh is an awesome spot for these, but there are other good locations.
– Blue ring octopus
-Mola Mola. Normally around Bali but have been seen in other places like Alor.
– Flamboyant cuttle fish. The cutest of all cuttles
– Whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays pilot whales and even humpbacks during certain seasons.
– Ornate ghost pipefish, as well as robust ghost pipes.
– A huge variety of frogfish species. Cutest critters, or ugliest? Ever heard of the ultra rare psychedelic frog fish, only found on Ambon?
– Wobbegong and walking sharks. You are going to get plenty of these in Raja Ampat.
There are many many more incredible species you will run into, as well as huge numbers of common species and schools, and lets not forget the countless species of healthy corals.
How to get to Indonesia:
f you click on the dive location/city that you are interested above, you will find more specific information on how to get to those specific spots within Indonesia. There are many international flights to Indonesia, most of the time with a layover or two in major cities in-between.
Many times coming from the US, you will have layovers in places like Taipei, Hong Kong or Tokyo. From Europe you might have layovers in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
From Australia, many times flights are cheaper to Bali, then they are from other Australian cities! Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, but Bali is the unofficial hub, and where most flights will enter the country.
I’ve been to Indonesia many times, always flying directly into Bali. There are nearly as many domestic flights to the locations above from Bali as there are from Jakarta, with the exception of a few, that you will have to do a layover for.
Visa info for Americans:
Most visitors arriving in Bali get a 15 day entry on arrival for free, but you can ask for a 30 day at the airport as well. If you fly into Jakarta you will probably get the 30 day one.
It’s not as easy to extend your visa while you are in the country, but it can be done. Most expats find a mediator that takes care of it al for them. Some just fly out each month to Singapore or Malaysia, since its close and relatively cheap.
Best times to be visit:
It is either dry or wet season in Indonesia. In most regions, the dry season spans from May to September, with the rains falling between October and April. Wet season starts later in Eastern Indonesia, as the country is so spread out.
Although you can travel and dive Indonesia year round, choose the right season, depending on where you’re going. For west of Komodo, try for May to September. East of Komodo, try October to April.
Where to stay:
As for finding accommodations, it really depends on the specific location. Some locations like Bali and the Gilis have unlimited options, while others like Alor there are much fewer.
For each individual location you can click the guides above for information on where to stay at each place, but if you need to find a hotel at the best rate in Jakarta or somewhere not listed above, CLICK HERE
Our favorite location & recommendation:
It was very hard to choose just one favorite in Indonesia, but we will go with Raja Ampat. Seeing those crazy wobbegong sharks and then the walking sharks, made the whole trip! That said, we advise extending your trip, and combining locations. Imagine a Raja Ampat and Komodo dive trip in one!
More articles about Indonesia:
Here are all of our articles about scuba diving or travel in Indonesia. Click the links below! Want to write for us? Hit us up at Justin@artofscubadiving.com
- Scuba Destination Spotlight #2: Togean, Indonesia
- The Ultimate Guide to Scuba Diving Maumere, Indonesia
- Destination Spotlight: Scuba Diving Alor, Indonesia
- Scuba Diving Raja Ampat, Indonesia: A Comprehensive Guide
- The Ultimate Guide To Scuba Diving Gili Islands
- Blog 2: Intro to Tech Diving in Gili Trawangan
- Episode 18: Manta Rays in Komodo National Park, Indonesia
- WetTraveler Files: Raja Ampat, Indonesia
- Scuba Destination Spotlight #1: Bali, Indonesia
- Episode 17: Tech Diving Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
- Episode 16: Gili Meno, Indonesia
- Episode 15: The Diving around Gili Air\
- WetTraveler Files: Diving Selayar -An amazing dive spot in Sulawesi
- WetTraveler Files: Trip Of Wonders in Alor, Indonesia
- Scuba Diving Raja Ampat, Indonesia
- Episode 22: Scuba Diving Alor, Indonesia
- Episode 21: Getting to Indonesia
- Ultimate Guide to Scuba Diving Komodo, Indonesia
- WetTraveler Files: Diving Selayar
- WetTraveler Files: Trip Of Wonders in Alor, Indonesia
- Underwater Photo Essay: Togean Islands, Indonesia
- Underwater Photo Essay: Buton, Indonesia
- Underwater Photo Essay: The Banda Islands
- Scuba Diving Indonesia: The Top 20 Locations
Travel information about Indonesia
Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country which means “Indian islands”. It has a total area of 1,904,569 km2 (735,358 sq mi) and an estimated population of 261,115,456. Nature and culture are the major elements of Indonesian tourism. It is also the largest country in Southeast Asia. Ethnically it is highly diverse, with over 300 local languages. The people differ from rural hunter-gatherers to a modern urban elite. Discover Indonesia’s white-sand beaches and the nearly 100 volcanoes which are capable of erupting any time.
Capital city of Indonesia: Jakarta
Closest neighbors to Indonesia: Indonesia shares land borders with Malaysia on Borneo, Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea, and East Timor on the island of Timor. Indonesia shares maritime borders across narrow straits with Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Palau to the north, and with Australia to the south.
Best times to visit Indonesia: Best time to travel to Indonesia is between May and September where it’s sunny and dry. It’s also the ideal time if you have plans climbing the mountains of Bromo or Ijen.
How to get to Indonesia: There are no direct flights from UK and USA to Jakarta. You will have to stop at another Asian country like Hong Kong or Taipei.
Visa requirements for Indonesia: Visa is not required when traveling to Indonesia for 30 days, but beyond that number of days, you’ll have to apply for a visa because visits can’t be extended.
Currency of Indonesia: Indonesian Rupiah (Rp) (IDR) is the currency of Indonesia.
Official Language of Indonesia: Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia.
UNESCO World Heritage sites in Indonesia
There are 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia and 19 on their tentative list.
- Borobudur Temple Compounds (1991)
- Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (2012)
- Prambanan Temple Compounds (1991)
- Sangiran Early Man Site (1996)
- Komodo National Park (1991)
- Lorentz National Park (1999)
- Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (2004)
- Ujung Kulon National Park (1991)
Scuba diving safety tips
Keep these rules of thumb in mind whenever you are on or by the water:
- Think safety at all times. Planning reduces risk and gives you more worry-free fun.
- Bring the necessary equipment. It should be in good condition and easily accessible.
- Respect the sea and the weather. Only go out with your boat when it is safe.
- Follow the rules of the sea, and make sure you know what they are.
- Wear life jackets or other flotation devices.
- Make sure you are rested and sober. Do not drive a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Be considerate, and remember that safety, the environment, and the well-being of everybody is a common responsibility.