Diving in Indonesia is a must for lovers of the underwater world. Indonesia, with its over 17,000 islands, can boast of having the greatest marine biodiversity on the planet.
The dry season and the best for diving in Indonesia goes from April to October. In November, the monsoon rains usually begin and last until March, so the visibility is worse.
1. Diving in Komodo
This national park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991, is not only known for being the habitat of the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, but also for its incredible seabed. Besides beautiful reefs, this area is famous because you can see huge mantas, reef sharks, giant napoleons, and turtles, among many other species. Diving in Komodo is possible for both experienced and novice divers, however, you will enjoy it much more if you have experience diving in areas with strong currents. Manta Point is wonderful, but if you can go to the north of Komodo, to points like Cauldron or Crystal Rock, you will stay speechless.
Both the life-on-board cruises and the boats that depart daily to visit the different dive sites of Komodo depart from Labuan Bajo. The town is not very idyllic, but we promise it is worth it.
Best time to dive in Komodo: May to November. As of the end of October, the visibility worsens.
2. Diving in Raja Ampat
Getting it is not easy or cheap, but if we had to choose the best place to dive in Indonesia, that would be Raja Ampat. This archipelago, made up of over 1,500 islands and islets, is surrounded by the most diverse waters on the planet. It can boast of having 75% of all known coral and fish species. To get to know both the surface and the seabed of “The Four Kings” (Raja Ampat’s translation), it is best to embark on a life-on-board cruise. On those days, it will not be unusual for you to see a lot of turtles, stingrays, the exceedingly rare carpet shark, reef sharks, tuna, many macro species, and all kinds of corals.
Best time to dive in Raja Ampat: September to April. Between May and July, there are usually a couple of weeks in which we see huge oceanic mantas.
3. Diving in Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan
Other diving paradises in Indonesia are to the south of Bali, in the so-called “Nusas”. Since they are awfully close to each other, you can safely base in one and go diving at dive sites in the other. The schools of both islands choose which dives they do according to the state of the sea and the requests of their clients.
In Las Nusas you will find coral gardens perfect for beginners, but the most interesting thing is that throughout the year you can see the huge mantas with great ease. In addition, from mid-July to October there are frequent sightings of the exceedingly rare sunfish, which are usually found on the shores of Nusa Penida.
Best time to dive in Las Nusas: all year round, although best from November to May.
4. Diving in Gili Islands
In the Gili Islands, there are plenty of diving schools and centers, as it is an ideal place for those who have never dived or are beginners. Although the biodiversity cannot compare to other points on this list, it will not be uncommon for you to see eagle rays, reef sharks, and turtles, among other species. There are no strong currents, and the coral is beautiful, so it is a perfect place for a few days of relaxation and tank.
Best time to dive in the Gili Islands: April to October.
5. Diving in Weh Island
Although not widely known, the small island of Weh Island is a diving paradise in Indonesia. Located north of Sumatra, at a point where the Pacific and the Indian Ocean meet, on its seabed you will find nudibranchs or leaf fish, but also sharks, turtles, eagle rays, and barracudas, among other species. It is a good place to dive in Indonesia for both beginners and more experienced divers. There are highly protected dive sites, where you will find bottoms with hard and soft corals, but also others where currents are not rare and, therefore, more technical hook dives made.
The island’s infrastructure is not yet well developed, but it has what it takes for you to enjoy an incredible beach and diving vacation. They concentrate most of the schools on Gapang beach, but we recommend that you look for accommodation in Iboih. There you can find incredible bungalows with sea views for less than €10 a night.
Best time to dive in Weh Island: April to November approximately.