Best Diving sites in Indonesia

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If you have dived in Indonesia before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

If you believe variety is the spice of life, you have come to the right place – stunning Indonesia, where you can gaze your eyes upon over 3000 different species of fish! Compare that with 1500 on the Great Barrier Reef and just 600 in the Red Sea, and here you have an amazing array of diversity and rich teeming reef life just waiting to be discovered.

To plan my trip I usually use this guide book as they have great maps and give a good overview of Indonesia with the best places not to be missed.

You also have the chance to spot graceful Manta Rays gliding through the water at many dive sites throughout the country as well as the mysterious Mola Mola in Bali. Reef sharks and big schools of pelagic fishes are also very common in various spots and the macro life is just as incredible with quite possibly some of the best muck diving spots in the world, such as Lembeh strait, Sulawesi.

The good thing is, you can dive just about anywhere in Indonesia! Check out this vid to get a small glimpse of this underwater paradise which may just inspire you to come and see the real thing!

Out of the water, if you are feeling ambitious you may want to experience an up-close encounter with the mysterious (and rare!) Komodo dragons in the Komodo National Park. There is plenty to explore in Indonesia, from the beautiful sparkling green rice terraces to the pristine white sandy beaches.

The coral, which is made up of over 600 species, is absolutely everywhere you go. In some places, part of the reef may have been heavily damaged by cyanide fishing and bomb fishing but places like Bunaken, Raja Ampat, Komodo and other spots in Bali feature unspoiled and outstanding hard and soft coral! These destinations are a must for underwater photography!

Beginners have the chance to learn scuba diving for very cheap in places like the Gili islands, Lombok.

Where to dive?

The best and main scuba diving destinations are:

  • Bali
  • Manado, Sulawesi
  • Komodo National Park, Flores
  • Raja Ampat, Papua
  • Wakatobi, Sulawesi
  • Pulau Weh, Sumatra
  • Gili Islands, Lombok

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Indonesia.

Photos Indonesia

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Best Dive Review

Muck Diving in Indonesia

Indonesia offers terrific muck diving opportunities. The macro photographers will be delighted to find all the rare famous species such as the mimic octopus, the ornate ghost pipefish, the flamboyant cuttlefish and the pygmy seashore. The best location for macro lovers is the Lembeh strait in North Sulawesi.

This is a real muck diving paradise. Many rare critters and nudibranchs can also be found North of Bali at dive sites such as Secret Bay, P.J. and Seraya Secret. Another upcoming new dive spot is Raja Ampat with the highest biodiversity on Earth! Underwater photographers are coming from all over the world to shoot new and very rare species there!

Wreck Diving

You will find many wrecks to dive in Indonesia. The most famous one is the world class dive site of the US Liberty Ship in Tulamben on the North East coast of Bali. This is among the best wreck diving in the world. You can also find some wrecks to explore in Papua from World War II.

diving indonesia

Photo Credit:

How to dive Indonesia?

Indonesia is very easy to dive. There are numerous dive centres in the touristy areas. However some diving places are much better to explore via Liveaboard like Komodo, the Celebes and Raja Ampat.

I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in Indonesia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.

Your safety is important so keep in mind that some dive centres do have lower safety standards than others so choose your dive operator carefully.

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Indonesia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Indonesia

It is possible to dive in Indonesia all year round. Although it is important to remember that the country is a very large country and weather conditions varies greatly from place to place so check the conditions in advance. The basic rule for many areas is:

  • Rainy season from November to March
  • Dry season from April to October.

For more specific weather information on an area, refer to the destination pages. For example, in Moluccas (Maluku), seasons are reversed. Bali has also it’s own weather patterns and is actually much less affected by monsoon.

As you can imagine the best time to go diving is during the dry season and the worst time during the rainy season when the visibility is usually not as good. However destinations like the Komodo islands are really exciting to dive during the monsoon because this is the Manta Season!

Liveaboards are running all year.

Scuba Diving conditions

Air temperature: 25°C to 35 °C depending on the location and the season

Average Water temperature: ranges from 26°C to 30°C year round, places like Nusa Penida, Komodo islands or Lembeh Strait can be much colder as low as 16°C!

Average Visibility: You can expect from 10m to 60m depending on the season and location.

Current: Depends a lot on tide and location, ranges from none to fierce

Snorkelling in Indonesia

Snorkellers need not worry – you can also see and experience all of the amazing marine life right off the shore in many spots in Indonesia. In most places it is possible to arrange a day trip to go snorkelling with local people or you can rent cheap snorkel gear for the day and explore yourself. Some of the great snorkelling locations include Amed, Bunaken, Tulamben and Padang Bai in Bali, Gili Islands for the numerous turtles, and Komodo for the amazing coral.

indonesia scuba diving resort

Photo Credit:

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Indonesia Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

Komodo Island

Diving in Komodo is all about action! It is BIG fishes land! With wonderful coral, it is just incredible diving all year round.

Komodo Island Diving Review


Wakatobi has some of the finest coral in the world, amazing biodiversity and one of the best places in the world for macro photography! On the right day, the visibility can be outstanding!

Wakatobi Diving Review

Raja Ampat

Richest Reef in the World, Amazing Biodiversity, Wonderful Coral, perfect place for underwater photography.

Raja Ampat Diving Review

Gili Islands, Lombok

Diving in Gili islands is great for swimming with Turtles! It can also be a great spot to take your next diving course as the dives here are relatively cheap.

Gili Islands, Lombok Diving Review

Lembeh Strait

Best Muck Diving in the World! One of the Best spot in the World for Macro Underwater Photography. Amazing Biodiversity!

Lembeh Strait Diving Review

Bunaken, Manado

Diving in Bunaken is just fantastic for wall Diving, Coral gardens, endless visibility, incredible biodiversity. Also staying on an isolated island is something really special to experience!

Bunaken, Manado Diving Review


One of the best Wreck Dives in the World!!! And the most easy for sure, 30m from the Shore and starts at 4m deep! Fantastic Marine life and great Coral!

Tulamben Diving Review

Pemutaran, Lovina

No current, Good visibility, unusual Marine Life and one of the BEST Diving sites around Bali for Muck Diving: Puri Jati (P.J.).

Pemutaran, Lovina Diving Review

Padang Bai

Night Diving, Underwater Macro Photography, Resident Whitetip Reef Sharks, Huge green Turtles, and crystal clear water! Also a great Snorkelling spot!

Padang Bai Diving Review

Menjangan Island

Menjangan Island is famous worldwide for Wall diving with small caverns to explore. The reef and Coral are also great. A very nice wooden wreck from the 19th century: Anker Wreck.

Menjangan Island Diving Review

Nusa Penida / Nusa Lembongan

One of the best spots in the world to see the rare Mola Mola and the graceful Manta Rays! Big fishes and action with lots of sharks. Very good Visibility and stunning Coral.

Nusa Penida / Nusa Lembongan Diving Review


It is all about action! Big pelagic fishes, hunting action in the current, and many Sharks! Regular seeing of Hammerhead Sharks and Mola Mola!

Candidasa Diving Review


Diving in Bali is incredible for BIG Fishes, Macro Diving, Drift Diving and Excellent Visibility!

Bali Diving Review


Magnificent coral, no current, relaxed and easy diving, possibilities for night diving, good place for underwater macro photography, and a great snorkelling spot.

Amed Diving Review

Liveaboard Reviews in Indonesia

MV Samambaia

MV Samambaia is a beautiful looking vessel from the fleet of Samambaia Liveaboards. Travelling the waters of Indonesia to the very best diving locations, she is designed … Continue reading

MV Samambaia Liveaboard Review


The WAOW is a 58 meter long full luxury liveaboard. All the suites are equipped with all the built-in comfort you can imagine. The WAOW also cruises around Raja Ampat Arc … Continue reading

WAOW Liveaboard Review

MSY Waow

Waow Charters are a Swiss company based in Indonesia. Originally founded by divers for divers, the sensational MSY Waow is the company’s titular flagship.   MSY Waow … Continue reading

MSY Waow Liveaboard Review

Dewi Nusantara

Having a trip on board Dewi Nusantara will give you the opportunity to discover how magical Raja Ampat is. Built in 2007, this 188 ft-long wooden schooner is the largest … Continue reading

Dewi Nusantara Liveaboard Review

MSY Damai 1

The MSY Damai 1 is a luxury diving liveaboard and one of the best in Indonesia. Only 10 guest are allowed on board to ensure maximum space and comfort for all, and plenty … Continue reading

MSY Damai 1 Liveaboard Review

The Seven Seas

The Seven Seas liveaboard is 45 meters long and can accommodate up to 16 divers. Hot water is available as well as AC. The Seve … Continue reading

The Seven Seas Liveaboard Review

MSY Damai 2

MSY Damai 2 is your ticket to Raja Ampat’s best dive sites. This 40m long Phinisi, built to a high standard which oozes luxury, will take you to Raja Ampat, the global ce … Continue reading

MSY Damai 2 Liveaboard Review

Cheng Ho

Cheng Ho is one of the most comfortable vessels for leisurely expeditions throughout Indonesia. This 49m-long Phinisi with a cruising speed of up to 8 knots, can accommod … Continue reading

Cheng Ho Liveaboard Review

MV Pindito

MV Pindito is the only liveaboard vessel operating and touring Raja Ampat for more than 2 decades. Because of that, the liveaboard crew is one of the best and most knowle … Continue reading

MV Pindito Liveaboard Review

MV Mermaid 1

The MV MERMAID 1 as well as the MV Mermaid 2 start their journey from the Benoa Harbor in Bali. The vessel measures in at 28 meters long. All the 7 cabins are equipped wi … Continue reading

MV Mermaid 1 Liveaboard Review

42 comments on “Indonesia

  1. Tulamben is great for beginners. It’s a fantatic experience to dive the US Liberty Wreck just off the beach. Good marine life including sharks. Tulamben is also not so expensive and easily accessible by road from South Bali.

    • I completely agree with you Tempo Dulu. I did my Open Water Advanced on the Liberty Wreck in Bali and it was amazing. This is I think one of the of top 3 best wreck dives in the World.

      • I dived on the Liberty wreck in December and it really was a fantastic experience. The wreck is easily accessible from the beach and on your way from the shore to the wreck you swim through fantastic eel garden. Marine life is really very good. I have not seen sharks, but saw one giant turtle, which looked amazing swimming among the ship debris.

        • DB : 22. Mai : Das Konzil von Nicaea war sicher keine kirchliche, sondern eine weltliche Zufummenkanst nach dem Sieg Konstantins im Osten. Ägypten mit …

    • Fröken!LÃ¥t mig göra det fullständigt klart att jag pÃ¥ inget sätt sympatiserar med din eller Svnergedemokratrieas människosyn. Ni värderar människor efter hudfärg och ursprung, det tycker jag är skrämmande.Däremot tycker jag inte att man för den skull ska förbjuda partiet. Man vinner nämligen inte debatten genom hindra nÃ¥gon att uttrycka sin Ã¥sikt utan genom kloka argument. Dessutom vore ju det lika odemokratiskt som Svenska FN-förbundet anser att Sverigedemokraterna är.

  2. Snorkellers head to Amed! Relaxing laidback beach, easy access, amazing underwater life. You can spend hours there!

  3. If you like to deep dive, Bunaken in Manado Sulawesi is good choice, since mostly dive spot in Bunaken is wall…

    I’m really satisfied to dive overthere, especially with the best dive center I’m doing with, is Larascasse Dive center.

  4. Mansinum Cross Wreck, Manokwari, Papua. The Cross wreck site is a 40m long Japanese patrol boat lying on sand bottom at 19m depth, just outside a large concrete cross standing on Pulau Mansinum, Manokwari, Papua. Various colorful hard & soft corals, crinoids, starfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, trumpetfish, yellow-back fusilier, and other reef fish were spotted. Visibility is good (over 10m). Sometimes the current is strong during the low tide.

  5. In late March my husband Stephen and I went on the MV Black Manta Komodo trip. We had dived Raja Amput the previous year and so our expectations were high. We were not disappointed. The liveaboard was comfortable and well managed but the diving was sublime. The crew did everything to make my life easier as jave has a previous back injury and have to be handed all the heavy gear in the water or on the dingy. The currents were a bit stronger than in RA. One day at a site called Manta Alley we saw eight huge manta rays swimming about and then the stopped and seemed to freeze in the water as the smaller fish cleaned them. One of those wonderous and humbling moments a diver relishes. Thoroughly Recommended.

    • Hi
      Thanks for that info.
      My wife and I had planned a trip to Palau next year, but overcrowded comments and Japanese and US divers have put us of.
      Being Brits living in NZ and now having dived over forty different countries we are into Nudi’s.
      Dived Uepi again in Sept so need something special and maybe a liveaboard is best option so thanks for your comments

  6. hey I’m going to Bali next week-end for diving. Any recommendations? :))
    my last dives were in the Mediterranean, in Turkey Kas, Kas (Kalkan), Cesme, Adrasan. Warm water and good visibility ;)

    • Hope you’ll enjoy diving in Bali. I visited there twice & did diving in Tulamben (USS liberty wreck), Padangbai & Nusa Dua. Not bad, & saw many fishes. You may contact my dive guide in Denpasar, Agus Sumanjaya (PADI instructor, mobile phone: (62)818362900, email:, &/or contact Baliku Holiday (mob. phone: (62)81999004554, I run Hotel Mangga in Manokwari, West Papua, where has excellent wreck dive sites. My hotel also has diving & tour service. If you’re interested to visit here, please feel free to contact Cheers!

  7. been to amed last week and stayed at Puri Wirata. Amed is good for beginner divers with diverse ecosystem, calm water, and its good for relaxing. It was a great escape! I recommend puri wirata for those planning to go to Amed, with great service, good food, clean rooms, very nice dive masters and equipments.

  8. Hi julian i dived bali last august to september last year with my wife christine and brother in law and sister in law ian kerry . we started of with a 10 day safari with blue seasons bali .,the trip was well organised and accomodation was great, we started in north and dived singaraja, menjangen kubu,amed and tulamben. once we finnished the safari we returned to sanur for a couple of days before heading of to padangbai to dive with a small outfit geko dive, whom i must say were a well organised outfit small and very freindly ,with geko we dived mimpang ,tepekong,crystal bay and of coarse manta point,we also did local sites as well .we will be returning this year for a lot longer trip and would like to highly recomend team geko cederic and liv and all the crew will welcome you all with open arms and make sure your trip will be a special adventure,well on that if you get there before us have a bintang for us Cheers

  9. Very pleased you enjoy the trip in Indonesia. Just come back to Indonesia, and find other beautiful places that you should visit and stay. Maybe could be a good recommendation for you to find another interesting destinations in Indonesia :)

  10. Just back from a week diving in Komodo National Park; the best sites we have ever visited. Batu Bolong, Manta Alley, Crystal Rock and Castle Rock were amazing for the profusion of species and the size of inhabitants, turtles, mantas, sharks, giant trevally, dog-tooth tuna, massive schools of sweetlip and coral that seems healthy and colourful. Strong currents, but if you are fairly experienced and choose a good dive company, it is the experience of a lifetime. We chose Divine Diving in Labuan Bajo and we thank them for a look into one of the world’s best sites. Planning to return in June/July.

  11. Hello,

    I will be in Jakarta for a weekend and was wondering if anyone could tell me what the best dive site is to squeeze in for one day.

    Thanks in advance for your help,


  12. Myself & a friend are going to Indonesia for 10 weeks. We are both Open Water but fairly experience (both > 50 dives) and have already dived Vietnam, Thailand, Barrier Reef & Egypt.

    When we were on the GBR some dive operators offered to let you live on the boat / free dives in return for helping with the cooking, cleaning for other paying customers etc. Does anyone know if a similar scheme exists in Indonesia?

    • Hi Adam!

      I actually don’t know of any dive operators, who does that. But we’ll let you know once we know of some operators who does that arrangement.

    • Hello Adam,

      Are you still here in Indonesia? If you want to find great dive sites, the place to go is Bali!

      I am also not aware of such services that you mention, however you should take note that here in Bali, Mola Mola season is just about to start ! It will be worth the trip! You have an option to go with dive safari, such as written here :

      It is really a pity if you have come so far to Indonesia, and never visit this place, and see sunfishes..

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  13. Just visited Amed, with my son and my wife, we dove everyday for two weeks, including Tulamben wreck, wall and coral wall, we dove the wall and pyramids at Jemeluk, Japanese wreck, To Nusa Penida, Mantas and of course the Mola Mola. We had a great time, we dove with Ecodive, based in Amed. A Canadian owner, John, extremely nice, professional person with absolutely the greatest and polite staff. I completed SSI Dive Guide and Divemaster with them, and have decided to return for DCS and Instructor. The diving was great, couldn’t keep my 14 year old son out of the water, he finished with over 30 dives in the two weeks, he dove mainly with the dive guide Ketut very pleasant, and my son absolutely loved diving with him, almost like a big brother. Great trip….. If in Amed check out Ecodive.

  14. Dived Islands round Komodo in July on Damai 11 Livaboard
    found the diving pretty good although we were restricted to certain areas due to supposed bad weather in the areas we would have liked to dive.
    The boat once great for space and just 9 divers was so expensive and we are sure we could have dived with another boat for a lot less and seen more.
    Would like to dive thearea again as parts were pretty cool.
    Maybe being just going for diving the super Over the top boat and price was wasted on us.
    We gave overall trip 6/10

  15. Indonesia Dangerously Beautiful! Definitely agree with you, Indonesia has many beautiful places to dive (dive spot) as you have mentioned before like in Weh Island (Sumatera), Bali Island, Gili’s Island (Lombok), Komodo Island, Bunaken (Celebes), Wakatobi (Celebes) and also Raja Ampat (Papua). Indonesia also has many other beautiful dive spots like Bangka Island, Banda Island, Alor (Mollucas), Derawan Archipelago (Borneo) and many more.

  16. just done my PADI certification last week at Tulamben. As a beginner i find the location is just perfect!. The beach located right in front of the hotel – Puri Madha which is just 20 meters away .. calm current .. really good ! for those who brings small kids .. you can leave them play at the pool while diving, they can see you before you descend ..

  17. I am an Advance OWD with 210 immersions, from Guayaquil, Ecuador
    I was diving for a week in Bali on April 2012, at the Crystal Divers Shop.
    They have a nice dive shop and accommodations with their own pool for classes and refreshment. They have fair prices and an excellent group of instructors and master divers.
    I was in the group of Amin, a local instructor that has the magic to find mola mola, mantarays, sharks and all kind of those peculiar species on the reefs of Bali.
    Pandang Bay is very nice to start with; Candidasa requires an Advanced OWD training; Nusa Penida/Lenbungam/ Manta Point is the best place, specially at Crystal Point; and finally Tulamben for all kind of divers that enjoy shore diving.
    With Crystal Divers you can do 2 or 3 dives a day, including night dives.

  18. Nice Post about diving in Indonesia, In this beautiful picture,the viewer will really try to have diving with that place.

  19. Ambon/’Global Dive Center’
    Originally Posted by hughrster View Post
    A dozen of us tried to visit Ambon last year with John Edward Sidjibat of Global Diving. Paid $1000 deposit, then could not get any response from him or Blue Rose. With only a week or so to go before flying out we had to divert to Manado – Bunaken – where we had some splendid diving.

    Our John eventually got back to us, and promised to refund the deposit. More foot dragging, then he promised 75% refund because his business was suffering from bad debts. This has now gone on for a year.

    Does anyone know about either Mr Sidjibat or Blue Rose? Do they really exist or is it a scam?

    Thanks in advance for any info.

    One reply from France:
    Yes I have had some mails with that Mr.John Sidjibat who was at some time uselessly taking care of Blue Rose Marketing. At the time he started to interfere into my relationships with Blue Rose i knew that was over. To put it simple, this guy is highly unreliable and a joke : his only use was to inflate the prices and intriduce more chaos into the organization, so that I was at one day waiting at Laha wharf for my diveboat that never came.

    I suggest you complain to the owner of Blue Rose, M.Augustinus Tanumiharjo. PM me if you want the mails.

    If anyone has more and better particulars, please post.

  20. Me and my wife did a few dives with Bali Scuba.. Did the wreck dive at tulamben , USS Liberty and also the Tulamben wall drop .. Simply amazing .. The wreck is still very intact and the visibility is good.. Really recommend all to check out this 2 dive spots .. The current is not that strong however the shore entry was a bit tough as we experience strong waves on that day. But other that that it was a great dive.. A lot of colorful fishes n sea snakes and if your lucky you will get to see a huge school of yellow fishes , prob in the hundreds.
    The next day we tried our luck with manta ray and mola mola but we were unlucky as the water was a bit to check out BaliScuba as they are great n wonderful guides..

  21. Have been to Pulau Weh 2 weeks ago (with Rupiah Titra Dive Centre). Lovely weather, nice people, great experience. Although the current there is a bit stronger than my other experience, but with the experienced dive guards (Isfan & Mun Nandar) there we saw variety of creatures, from micro to huge guys. Thanks to the great experience and im planning to visit there every year. :)

  22. Interesting posts. Indonesia is a maritime country with many islands and straits around him. This country certainly has a lot of spots for scuba diving. very interesting to know. because this activity is quite fun and thrilling. nice post. thanks.

  23. Hi, I wish to make a solo diving trip to Indonesia for 1 week or so. But am on a real tight budget. I have dived in Pulau Weh which is real value for money.

    Was wondering if there’s any cheap & good dive centers (or LOB) in Indonesia that you can recommend? Lombok?

    FYI the likes of Raja Ampat or anywhere in Sulawesi is currently WAY OUT of budget for me.

    Thanking you in advance !


  24. Hello,
    I’m a fairly new diver (25 dives) trying to decide between going to Palau and Sulawesi in May.
    Do you have any advice?
    Thank you

  25. Hi,

    Trying to plan a dive trip in Indonesia in March second half this year. I’d have about 8 days, could you please recommend a few dive sites for (very excited) beginners? Thanks!

  26. I am going on a live aboard departing Sarong on December 6. I am very confused as far as flights and timing are concerned. I can leave from JFK, I just need to be in Sarong on December 6. I know there are many routes, I am looking for the most expedient and economical routes. Although I am carrying my dive equipment so those airlines that do not have 20kg. limits are preferred. Can you suggest any travel agencies that could be of help?

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