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!