When many people think of Indonesia the beaches of Bali come to mind, with images of crystal-clear waters and sparkling shores. Indonesia’s reputation as a beautiful beach destination is well-deserved. However, the archipelago’s biodiversity offers ample opportunities for more than just soaking in the sun all day. Indonesia is considered a megadiverse country, meaning that it harbors a high number of the Earth’s flora and fauna. It’s a part of the Coral Triangle, a region of the Pacific and Indian Oceans that hosts most of the world’s coral species. One of the best ways to see the natural wonders of Indonesia is to head underwater. Scuba diving is a perfect way to see the ocean life up-close, and because the tropical waters stay warm year-round, this activity is an option any time of year.
For travelers heading to the popular tourist destination, Bali has some good diving spots. Some of the other Indonesian islands are better known for diving opportunities, but Bali has its own advantages. The waters of the area are great for spotting manta rays and hosts beautiful coral reefs. Nusa Penida, an island in Southeast Bali, has beautiful dive spots and is especially good for manta ray sightings. In the northern part of the province, Menjangan Island offers clear waters and great visibility. There are also some interesting ship wreckage spots to explore in Bali’s waters, including the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, where you can spot sunfish, barracuda, stingrays, and a variety of other sea life.
Komodo National Park is a great spot for observing sea life. Located in the Lesser Sundra islands, the park is home to the Komodo dragon, and was founded to protect the large reptile from extinction. Other terrestrial faunae in the park are scant, but the waters surrounding it more than make up for it. Divers can encounter large and small sea life in the area. It is well-known for hosting manta rays, sea turtles, several shark species, pygmy seahorses, pipefish, and the blue-ringed octopus. It also a prime area for whale-watching and spotting dolphins.
Another great location for diving is Wakatobi National Park, which consists of several islands in Southeast Sulawesi. Arguably the best place in the world for viewing spectacular coral colors and schooling fish, it is home to more than 700 coral reef species and nearly 1000 fish species. Wakatobi resort is a luxury diving resort that combines five-star comforts with some of the best scuba diving in the area.
Scuba diving in Indonesia is a dream for seasoned divers, but there are options for divers with little or no experience. There are diving companies throughout the Indonesian islands, and many offer classes and shallow expeditions for first-time divers. They also have guided expeditions for divers of all levels. While diving is possible all throughout the year, Indonesian islands are spread out over a large area, and weather conditions can vary greatly from one spot to another. Before you go, find out about the typical rainfall for your destination since a trip during the wet season can potentially affect visibility.