The Indonesian archipelago is an amazing testimony of a natural beauty, spread across the islands and presenting a great variety of landscapes. One of the most beautiful nature heritage is the marine life, with thousands of kilometres of coral reefs, with unique fish species (over 3 000) and coral species (over 600) and incredible marine flora. Being the second world's most bio-diverse country after Brazil and a part of the Coral Triangle of the world, diving in Indonesia is also affordable. Having that in mind, it comes as no surprise, that underwater sports and activities is a must do while in the archipelago.
We highly encourage you to explore this adventure, while interning in Indonesia or after completing your internship (there is always good to have some deserved vacations time, after all). Since the dive sites come in diverse types from coral, steep walls, deep water trenches, wrecks to underwater volcanic mountains, there is no space for boredom and everyone can find something according to own preferences. In terms of the best period (time and weather) to dive, it’s advisable to benefit from the dry season, between April and December. The same time, thanks to a favourable geolocation of the archipelago, it is possible to dive all year round!
And the most important question arises: where to go for the most memorable diving experience? As per DIVE Magazine vote, conducted among its readers, here you can find top voted destinations:
1. Pulau Weh (Sumatra island)
A part of the island has been declared as wildlife protection, since it is home to many rare species of the Indo-Pacific marine life. The interesting thing is the remoteness of this island, which makes diving in the open Banda Sea more fascinating and a bit more adventurous. The place is also bursting with a vibrant reef system, almost untouched.
2. Sangalaki (Kalimantan Island)
Located in the east of the island, this place is a top destination in Indonesia to dive with mantas. The best visibility can be reached during full moons and with a bit of luck, you can spot a group of over 20 mantas at a time. Once in there, it’s also recommendable to check fresh water jellyfish lakes for another unique underwater experience.
3. Bunaken Marine Park (Sulawesi Island)
This spot is famous for its truly transparent waters, with a great variety of marine life, just to mention around 70 different types of coral, five species of sea turtle, white tip and black tip reef sharks, the almost extinct dugongs, barracuda and saltwater crocodiles among the most spectacular ones. It’s also the place to try world-class wall diving.
4. Raja Ampat (Papua Island)
The ‘Four Kings’ archipelago of 1 500 small islands is the most well-known dive site in Indonesia! Going underwater is even described here as the Frontier Diving, where diving will take you over crystal clear seas, inhabited islands with the horizon stretch into infinity.
5. Komodo National Park (Flores Island)
This part of the archipelago has been designated a World Heritage Site in 19991 by UNESCO, with about 28 islands included. The northern regions of the park, filled with bright coral and cruising reef sharks, are generally warmer and clearer than the south, where visibility is a bit worse, but where the mantas live!
As you might suspect, the list goes on since the offer of great diving spots across Indonesia is much greater! Please treat is as a teaser and keep in mind that also around Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands you will be able to find decent diving spots with well-preserved marine life and impressive corals.
Whenever you go, it is good to remember to respect the nature with all its heritage and contribute to its active protection.
Interning in Indonesia is a great opportunity to get closer to an authentic local nature and explore its beauty, i.e. by trying a new diving experience!