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World | Diving Indonesia:

Indonesia overview


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Indonesia dive site map

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Scuba Diving in Indonesia

Water temperature:

This depends on your dive location because there are many cold currents and upwellings. However, expect a temperature range of about 23°C (73°F) to 29°C (84°F)


3mm shortie to 5mm wetsuit, dependent on the region you dive


10 - 40 metres (30 - 120 feet)

Type of diving:

Reef slopes, drop offs, plateaus, caves and wrecks

Marine life:

Sharks, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, morays, cuttlefish, octopus, scorpionfish, pipefish, leaf fish, angelfish etc. Over 3,500 species live in Indonesian waters, compared with 1,500 on the Great Barrier Reef and 600 in the Red Sea

When to go:

Avoid December and January because the heavy rainfall during these months will reduce visibility

How to get there:

From the UK - Flights into Indonesia depend on which region you are visiting. Stopovers are usually required, often in Singapore. Try British Airways or Singapore Airlines for more information

Indonesia is a vast collection of 17,508 islands that cover an area of nearly 2 million square kilometres. The coastline is therefore extensive, stretching for the best part of 55,000 km. Indonesia falls across the equator, meaning the climate is tropical and hot. It has distinct wet and dry seasons with the East Monsoon (June to September) bringing dry weather and the West Monsoon (December to March) bringing rain. Air temperatures rarely fall below 20 oC throughout the year. Much of the country borders with the Indian Ocean, whilst the rest lies on the Java, Timor, Banda and Aratura Seas. Only 6,000 of the islands are inhabited, and many of islands are remote, so tourists tend to visit just a handful of places.

Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country, with 85% of the population following the faith. There are many languages spoken, such as Sudanese, and regional dialects are abundant. In tourist areas however, English is widely spoken and Dutch and French are also common. From time to time Indonesia suffers from political instability, so if you are planning to visit it is advisable to check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before you book anything. It is probable that the area you intend to visit will remain unaffected, but it pays to check.

The underwater world around Indonesia is a diver’s paradise. Nearly a quarter of the world’s reefs are found in here and there are over 3,500 species living on them. The clarity of the water combined with the rich marine life makes this a photographer’s heaven, especially for those who enjoy taking macro shots. Unfortunately some areas have suffered from dynamite fishing and pollution, but making up for this are the large number of sites that remain pristine. Common destinations to visit for diving are, amongst others, Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi. Sulawesi on the northern side of Indonesia is home to some beautiful coral reefs. Also in the north, the Lembeh Strait is a good destination for macro photographers and Bunaken Island has some wonderful steep walls and caves. Bali is a must if you want to combine a diving holiday with exploring inland as well. It has fast drift dives with some big marine encounters in the south and classic reef dives in the north that are easily accessible and very good and there is a selection of wreck dives on offer. As well as being a diving destination, Bali has a good choice of accommodation on offer from budget to luxurious and is very well set up for tourists. It is a gateway to other regions of Indonesia and a starting point for many liveaboard trips. Indonesia provides the diver with ample choice to find a holiday tailor-made for you: luxury liveaboards, day diving from boats and many training Centers mean both advanced divers and beginners will find a holiday to suit them.

Above water the countryside is full of natural beauty, so you may want to trek through rainforest or explore national parks. There are many adventure activities on offer such as white water rafting for those who don’t want to spend all their time diving. Indonesia has a rich culture, often influenced by religion and folklore. Painting, sculpture and woodcarving are amongst many of the arts you will come across. Beyond Bali there is little nightlife as tourism is not widespread. Food has a Chinese feel to it and there are Chinese restaurants all over the country. Rice makes up a staple part of Indonesians diet, complemented with fish, coconuts, chillies and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

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