The Indonesian archipelago has more than 17,000 islands spread throughout the country with another world of underwater wonders waiting to be explored and crucial to be conserved. Here are some dive sites with underwater scenery you should check out!
1. Bunaken Marine National Park
Bunaken Marine National Park is one of the most beautiful marine park in the world, famous for its beautiful coral formation. This marine park is home to more than 3000 species such as the lolosi yellow tail fish (Lutjanus kasmira), fish gusumi horse (hippocampus and horses), goropa (ephinephelus spilotoceps), white oci (seriola rivoliana) and many others as well have a diversity of endemic aquatic species such as dolphins, dugong, and also beautiful ornamental fishes.
2. Wakatobi National Park
Since 2005, Wakatobi has been listed as a tentative World Heritage Site. Located right in the heart of the Asia-Pacific Coral Triangle, in the province of South East Sulawesi, the Wakatobi Islands offer crystal clear pristine waters and a rich bio-diverse underwater life, a true paradise for divers. Wakatobi alone is said to have 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species from a total of 850 of world’s collection.
In addition to diving and snorkeling, you can also enjoy the attractions of dolphins with Dolphin Watching or see panoramic sunrise and sunset at Hoga, one of the best panoramic view of sunset and sunrise. An expanse of deep blue sea. White sands. Crystal clear water. Pristine coral reefs. Stunning underwater scenery. These are the images that define the richness and the beauty of the Wakatobi Islands in Southeast Sulawesi, which have become a new paradise for sea lovers and divers.
More info, visit www.wakatobi.com
3. Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat Islands is one of the 10 best diving waters around the world.Raja Ampat Islands are in the triangle coral reefs of the world, so not surprisingly, this region is rich with coral reefs and fish species are unique and rare. Raja Ampat, like an unpolished gem, and once to this place, forever, you will never forget its beauty. Of the hundreds of species of coral reef, seven species of which are new findings to science, and has never been found in other areas.
4. Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park has some of the most exhilarating scuba diving in Indonesia. It’s a region swept by strong currents and cold upswellings, created by the convergence of the warmer Flores Sea and the cooler Selat Sumba (Sumba Strait) – conditions that create rich plankton soup and an astonishing diversity of marine life. Mantas and whales are drawn here to feed on the plankton during their migration from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, while dolphins are also common in the waters between Komodo and Flores.
5. Liberty Wreck, Bali
The 120m long wreck rests on a 90 degree angle with the deck facing the open sea and used to be an American supply ship. Anchored off the coast of Lombok, the ship was hit by a Japanese torpedo during World War II, and sent 30 meter off the coast and sinking into the black sand after a Gunung Agung Volcano eruption. This wreck dive offers not only the chance to get a fascinating glimpse into history, but also to meet a variety of invertebrates, angelfish and glowing flashlight fish that live in the wreck.
6. Banda Islands
A cluster of ten beautiful islands that lies at the south-east side of Ambon, with a total area of 55 sq km. The three main islands are Pulau Neira, where the only town Bandaneira and airport is located, the bigger Pulau Banda Besar, and Pulau Gunung Api or the volcano island. There are nearly 50 extraordinary dive sites around the islands, including Selamon, near the northern tip of Pulau Banda Besar where you can see stunning sponges and oral in clear water, just 50 meters off shore, and Sambayang around Pulau Gunung Api where you can find tabletop coral and brightly colored fish, acessible by boat from Bandaneira. Best time for diving: October and March.
7. Pulau Rubiah (Pulau Weh)
A little island north of Banda Aceh with magnificent palm-fringed beaches and great diving and snorkelling spots. The main city of the island is Sabang (popularly known as the most western city in Indonesia) and the two main beaches are Gapang, and Iboih, located about 20 km north-west of Sabang. From Iboih, you can reach Pulau Rubiah, a densely forested island 100 m offshore that is surrounded by spectacular coral reefs known as the Sea Garden.
8. Gili Islands, Lombok
The gilis, which consist of Gili Air, Gili Trawangan, and Gili Meno have long been a favourite for daytrippers of all diving and snorkeling levels. Not only beautiful corals, anemones, and the beautiful fishes such as the clown fish that life among them, you can also find turtles and even manta rays. All the dive spots are within a short boat ride from Gili Air and Gili Trawangan.