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Indonesia is one of the world’s most incredible dive destinations. With coral reefs that are weathering climate change better than most others, abundant marine life, shipwrecks, and fantastic pelagics, travelers come from all over the world to dive in this amazing country. 

One of the biggest selling points of diving in Indonesia is the staggering diversity of the region. With more than 17,000 islands, you have your choice of thousands of beautiful dive sites. 

Liveaboard in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, dive in indonesia

There are dive sites suited to all levels, so regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a serial diver, Indonesia offers plenty of diving opportunities for you. 

We’ve had the chance to try Indonesia diving in many parts of the country and can certainly confirm that Indonesia offers some of the best diving in the world. 


Here are our favourite places to dive in Indonesia to help you find the best dive site in this vast diving destination. 


Best Places to Dive in Indonesia

Komodo National Park

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: Open Water
Water Temperature: 25-30 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 30 m
Visibility: Excellent
Currents: Strong
Access Point: Labuan Bajo, Flores

Located off the coast of the island of Flores, Komodo National Park is one of the most impressive nature reserves in the world. On land, you’ll see the famous komodo dragons in the flesh, while underneath the surface, you’ll see a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes in Komodo National Park.

dive in indonesia

Compared to other Indonesia dive sites, Komodo National Park boasts great visibility, so you’ll have high chances of seeing all the sea life Komodo is so famous for. 

This is one of the best places to dive in Indonesia if you want to see large creatures, such as manta rays, turtles, and sharks. There is also a great abundance of tiny creatures that you can see on macro dives. In general, diving here is a bit more advanced due to strong currents, but there are some dive sites that are perfectly suitable for beginners.

Best Dive Sites in Komodo National Park

Some of the best dive sites in Komodo include 

  • Manta Alley– situated between rocky outcrops, this is is the best place in Komodo National Park to see Manta Rays
  • Batu Bolong– this coral garden is teeming with large fish species, sharks, and other marine life but strong currents exist on the outskirts of this dive site so you must remain in the safety zone. 
  • Cannibal Rock– considered a macro diving highlight in the Komodo Islands
  • Golden Passage located in the channel that separates Gili Lawa Darat and Komodo Island, this scuba diving site is known for its bright coral sea garden.
  • Cauldron this pristine reef has a strong current that makes it an adventurous dive, but one where you might spot pygmy seahorses.
Batu Balong, Komodo National Park, dive in indonesia
Batu Balong, Komodo National Park

Where to Stay in Komodo

  • Eco Tree O’tel: If you prefer to stay on land, you’ll have to base yourself in Labuan Bajo and the Eco Tree O’tel is a great option. The staff here are accommodating and are known for having in-depth knowledge of the best diving in the area. The rooms are attractive, equipped with comfortable beds, en suite bathrooms. 
  • Liveaboard Boat: If you want to spend more time in the water and travel to further away dive sites, we highly recommend staying on a liveaboard. There are over 70 liveaboard options to choose from in Komodo ranging widely in price, length of stay and amenities. 

Diving in Komodo National Park, dive in indonesia

READ NEXT: Diving in Komodo National Park, Indonesia: Our Liveaboard Experience

Raja Ampat

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: Advanced Open Water
Water Temperature: 28 – 30 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 35m
Visibility: Excellent
Currents: Strong
Access Point: Sorong, West Papua (via Sulawesi)

Raja Ampat is considered by many to be THE BEST scuba diving spot in Indonesia. In Western Papua, you’ll find this massive chain of islands that are full of dense jungles and surrounded by some of the most pristine ocean water in the world. Located right in the middle of the coral triangle, Raja Ampat is one place you should not miss while you’re scuba diving Indonesia.

dive in indonesia

Because it is so remote and expensive, Raja Ampat doesn’t see as many tourists as other destinations in Indonesia. The reefs here are very healthy and are teeming with life. There are also some cool World War II shipwrecks that are popular with history buffs. 

Raja Ampat is a marine protected area, meaning fishing is extremely restricted and the health of the seas is closely monitored. Most people who scuba dive here opt to explore the region on a liveaboard boat in order to cover as many dive sites as possible, however, it is also possible to stay on land at one of the diving resorts as well. 

Best Dive Sites in Raja Ampat

Some of our favourite dive sites in Raja Ampat include the following: 

  • One Tree IslandLocated in Missol, this Indonesia diving site is known for the large shoals of silversides which grace the waters from October to February
  • The Passage this shallow Raja Ampat dive site is located in a saltwater river and is home to diverse marine species including sharks, crocodiles, and macro marine life. 
  • Melissa’s Garden considered one of the best dives sites in Raja Ampat, Melissa’s Garden hosts intensely coloured corals and a huge variety of species.
  • Cape Kri this is one of the best Indonesia dive sites for its diversity of species. It holds the world record for the most species referenced in a single dive.

dive in indonesia

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Where to Stay in Raja Ampat

  • Papua Paradise Eco Resort: The resort sits on the beautiful island of Birie, where the flora and fauna are incredible above and below the water. Not only does this resort have an excellent scuba diving shop on site, but it is also one of the most beautiful and luxurious properties in all of Raja Ampat. 
  • Liveaboard: There are more than 60 liveaboards in Raja Ampat, offering a range of itineraries, trip lengths and comfort levels. Due to long distances, liveaboards that last 5-7 days can only visit one region in Raja Ampat and those 14 days and more can allow you to dive in two or more areas. 

READ NEXT: In-Depth Guide to Raja Ampat Diving in West Papua, Indonesia

Lembeh Strait

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: Open Water
Water Temperature: 24 – 30 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 25m (most are less than 15 m)
Visibility: Low (but this means more critters!)
Currents: Weak
Access Point: Bitung, North Sulawesi

The Lembeh Strait is another one of the best places to dive in Indonesia, but not for the reasons most would expect. There are very few corals here and a complete lack of larger marine life. What they do have, however, are microscopic creatures, like nudibranchs,  that live on the seafloor and in a number of nearby wrecks. 

Exploring and diving in Lembeh straight, dive in indonesia
Overlooking Lembeh Strait

These fish and small organisms seem like they are from another planet, and dedicated divers make the journey here to swim with them and photograph them up close. 

This kind of diving is called muck diving and the Lembeh Strait is one of the most famous places for it in the world. This unique diving is exactly what makes Lembeh Strait known for some of the best diving in Indonesia.

Best Dive Sites in Lembeh Strait

  • Nudi Falls Considered one of the best night diving sites in the world. It’s known for its sightings of the blue-ringed octopus, cuttlefish, pygmy seahorse, and colourful nudibranchs
  • Angel’s Window Pygmy seahorse and ghost pipefish hide within the sea fans at this diving spot in Indonesia. You may also spot bigger species like schools of Pelagic fish
  • Mawali Wreck this wreck of a World War 2 Japanese Freighter is 90 metres long

Where to Stay in Lembeh Strait

There are two options for staying close to Lembeh Strait. One is to stay on the mainland near the town of Bitung and the other one is to stay on Lembeh Island. 

dive in indonesia

Lembeh Island offers more accommodation options but is a bit more remote, so during our visit, we opted to stay on the mainland. 

  • Cocotinos: We stayed at Cocotinos, a boutique dive resort with an ideal location for diving in Lembeh Strait. The resort has a restaurant on-site, a pool, a garden, and a shared lounge and offers scuba diving lessons and certifications. Rooms are not luxurious but comfortable enough and offer all the necessary amenities. 
  • Lembeh Resort: This lodge is located on Lembeg island and has made great strides implementing eco-friendly technology, reducing plastic consumption, and supporting the community through education and employment. Each room has a bungalow with a sea or garden view and there is a restaurant and scuba diving center on-site.

Bangka Archipelago

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: Open water
Water Temperature: 27 – 30 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 40 m
Visibility: Moderate – excellent
Currents: Weak – moderate
Access Point: Manado, North Sulawesi

If you are looking for a more remote and practically untouched spot for diving in Indonesia, then head to the Bangka Archipelago in Northern Sulawesi. This group of islands includes Bangka, Kinabohutan, Gangga, Talisei and Tindila and offers over 30 dive sites known for healthy reefs and plenty of marine life.

Gangga Island, North Sulawesi, dive in indonesia
Gangga Island, North Sulawesi

Best Dive Sites in Bangka Archipelago: 

  • North Talisei Pinnacles – a beautiful dive site covered with soft corals, sea fans, and feather stars known for plenty of nudibranchs and many colourful fish.
  • Lihaga Island – home to the famous mandarin fish
  • Tanjung Husi – located off the west coast of Bangka Island, this drift dive site is known for frequent sightings of giant frogfish, blue-ribbon eels as well as many other unique creatures. Plus a good chance of spotting white tip reef sharks. 
  • Plane Wreck – the wreck of a World War II B-21 bomber plane rests on the sandy bottom with lots of small critters nearby. 

Where to Stay on Bangka Archipelago

Accommodation options within easy reach of Bangka Archipelago are available on Bangka and Gangga Islands. It is also possible to stay on the mainland near the town of Likupang. 

Gangga Island Resort & Spa. dive in indonesia
Gangga Island Resort & Spa. View from above
  • During our visit, we stayed at the Gangga Island Resort & Spa, home to the 5 Star PADI dive centre, Gangga Divers. The resort offers beautiful air-conditioned bungalows with double beds and a verandah. There is a restaurant on-site and a spa providing you with the ultimate one-stop-shop for a great diving holiday. 
  • Blue Bay Divers: This resort takes environmental protection seriously. They have a number of environmental protection projects in place and do without air conditioning and running water. They use a traditional Indonesian “mandi” in the bathrooms instead. Blue Bay Divers has an onsite dive center, an incredible location, a restaurant, and their bungalows are built in traditional Sulawesi style on the beach.

READ NEXT: Diving in North Sulawesi: Gangga Island, Bangka Island, & Lembeh Strait

Bunaken Islands

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: Open water or advanced
Water Temperature: 27 – 29 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 50m
Visibility: Excellent
Currents: Moderate – strong
Access Point: Manado, North Sulawesi

The Bunaken National Marine Park is made up of three main islands: Bunaken, Manado Tua, and Mantehage islands. The park is just to the southwest of Bangka Island in North Sulawesi and is world renown for excellent diving. 

dive in indonesia, Bunaken Island photo by Matt Kieffer, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattkieffer/5287357191/
Bunaken Island. Photo by Matt Kieffer via Flickr CC.

Bunaken Islands are known for microscopic marine life as well as some larger animals like reef sharks, rays, and tuna. The area is also well known for wall dives and many gently sloping reefs.

Mangrove forests can be found near the shores and add to the biodiversity of this region. This area used to be full of fishing villages and the local charm can still be felt around the dive centres.

Best Dive Sites in Bunaken Island

  • Turtle City – a vertical wall that turns into a steep coral covered slope with many hiding places for turtles of all sizes.
  • Fukui – perfect site for introductory dives featuring a colourful reef top, huge gardens of cabbage corals, big barrel sponges. Known for rays, turtles, as well as a plethora of other marine life. 
  • Ron’s Point – known for an abundance of blue tangs (aka Dory from Finding Nemo) and napoleon wrasse. It also offers a good chance to spot dugongs. 

Where to Stay on Bunaken Islands

You can dive on Bunaken Islands while staying at the Gangga Island Resort & Spa on Gangga Island or stay in Manado. Alternatively, you can stay at one of the resorts on the Bunaken Islands. 

  • Kuda Laut Boutique Dive Resort: Located on Siladen Island, this resort offers accommodation in spacious cottages and villas built with attention to detail and style. The majority of staff at the resort are from the local village and the resort was built environmentally friendly way with minimal impact on the flora and fauna of the island.
  • Froggies Divers Bunaken: located a few steps from Liang Beach and Pangalisang Beach, this all-inclusive dive resort offers comfortable accommodation in beautiful bungalows equipped with AC and private showers. 

Bali

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: Open Water
Water Temperature: 27 – 30 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 30m
Visibility: Good – Excellent
Currents: Moderate (depending on location)
Access Point: Denpasar, Bali

Bsali is a big island and features a number of different places that are great for diving. One of the most popular is Manta Point off of Nusa Penida, which is one of the best places to see manta rays in the entire country, as well as the comical Mola Mola ocean sunfish that visits the area during the right season. This dive site offers some of the best diving in Bali and is the reason why many divers decide to try scuba diving in Indonesia. 

Guide to Diving in Bali, dive in indonesia
Manta ray sighing while diving in Bali

There are over 40 dive sites scattered around Bali and the nearby islands. A number of dive sites can be found along the East Coast as well as in the Northwest part of the island. Nusa Penida and the surrounding small islands are particularly famous for rich marine life and colourful corals. 

Bali is also a great place to learn scuba diving since most of the dive sites are appropriate for beginners and currents tend to be moderate. 

Best Dive Sites in Bali

  • Manta Point – the dive site is known for cold waters but offers unforgettable encounters with manta rays, blue-spotted rays as well as octopuses.
  • Toyapakeh – popular drift dive site around Nusa Penida with a steep sloping reef face, beautiful hard and soft corals and an abundance of fish life. 
  • Liberty Wreck – a World War II ship that lies close to the shore with accessibility for both advanced and open water divers. Fish here are very accustomed to divers and tend to be rather curious and friendly. 

READ NEXT: Guide to Diving in Bali & 10 Best Dive Sites in Bali You Don’t Want to Miss

Where to Stay in Bali 

If you are coming to Bali with the sole purpose of diving, we recommend skipping the major tourist hubs of Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud and Canggu and basing yourself closer to port. 

  • Lotus Bunalows: Located in Candidasa, far away from other tourist attractions, Lotus Bungalows offers a peaceful escape ideal for any scuba diver. Accommodation is in bungalows, each with elegant furnishings, a Balinese-style open-air bathroom with hot and cold water, and private verandas. The on-site dive centre prides itself in a well run diving operation and offers daily dive trips to all of Bali’s best dive sites. 
  • Hotel Uyah Amed: Affiliated with the Amed Eco Dive Center, Hotel Uyah Amed is a family-run hotel with a strong environmental policy that can be seen in the construction of the hotel and its day to day operations. The hotel is located in a remote part of Bali on Amed Beach, has an onsite restaurant and bungalows of varying sizes for rent.

READ NEXT: Where to Stay in Bali: Guide to Neighbourhoods and Responsible Hotels in Bali

Gili Islands

When to Go: Year-round
Certification Level: All levels
Water Temperature: 28 °C
Depth of Dive Sites: Up to 25m
Visibility: Excellent
Currents: Weak – moderate
Access Point: Gili Trawangan, Lombok

The Islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air are some of the best places to dive in Indonesia. It’s particularly an excellent place for beginners due to mild currents and crystal clear waters

Guide to the Best Things to do in Gili Islands, dive in indonesia
Gili Trawangan view from above

Many first time divers choose the Gili Islands to do their Open Water Certification for this reason. With dive sites with names like Turtle Heaven and Shark Point, you’ll be sure to see plenty of curious swimmers on your dives, and tons of marine life. 

In addition, you can dive or snorkel at the famous underwater statues or visit a sea turtle sanctuary on Gili Meno.

Best Dive Sites in Gili Islands

  • Andy’s Reef/Shark Pointthis dive site is suitable for all levels of divers and is known for its diversity of marine life. Sharks, turtles, stingrays, and snappers can all be spotted in its waters.
  • Turtle Point located just off of Gilli Trawangan, you’ll not only be likely to spot green sea turtles but also clownfish and octopus.
  • Gili Air Wall known for its colourful soft corals, tropical fish, and macro species.

Where to Stay in Gili Islands

  • Villa Almarik: Whether you’re looking to dive, snorkel, or just relax on the white sand beaches, you’ll find yourself feeling at home at Villa Almarik on Gili Trawangan. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, set in a lush tropical garden. The hotel is only a short walk from numerous restaurants and bars. It also has an on-site restaurant known for the best pizza in town. 
  • Lutwala Dive & Bungalows: Located on Gili Trawangan, Lutwala Dive & Bungalows is built on an ethos of zero waste and supports many environmental initiatives around the island. They are located on the beach, offer spacious bungalows, and have a restaurant, bar, pool, and Indonesia diving center on-site.

Best Time To Dive in Indonesia

Although Indonesia diving is possible at any time of year, the best time to dive in this region is during the dry season, which ranges from April to October, when visibility is the best. 

The rainy season does have its advantages, however. Between November and March, the crowds will be thinner and, depending on the specific location, you may have a better chance at spotting marine life such as manta rays.

Guide to Diving in Bali, dive in indonesia

Indonesia is one of the best dive sites in the world. It’s not an exaggeration. There is so much to see underwater. From brightly coloured coral reefs and fascinating macro life to huge pelagics and rainbow coloured marine life. You could dive at each dive site for years at a time and still not see it all. 

We highly suggest diving in this region, as scuba diving in Indonesia rarely disappoints.

Have you ever been diving in Indonesia? What are your favourite destinations? 

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