7 Recommended Diving Spots in Indonesia


The beauty of Indonesian marine is one of the reasons why tourists, both domestic and foreign, come for diving. Indonesian seas have diverse species of organisms and corals that are so attractive to the divers. While you living in Indonesia, why don’t try these exotic diving spots?

  1. Karimunjawa, Central Java
    Karimunjawa is one of the most famous tourist destinations. It consists as 27 islands and located at Java Sea. It has breathtaking nature view with beautiful beaches and of course, diving spots. Karimunjawa has at least 30 diving spots with 5 to 40 meters depth and various streams. The colorful corals, more than 200 species of fishes and hawksbills are just few of fascinating views you can see in Karimunjawa underwater.
    How to get there: if you are from Jakarta, take a flight to Semarang. Go to Tanjung Mas harbor and you can take KMC Kartini to Karimunjawa. KMC Kartini sails to Karimunjawa every Saturday on 9am and Monday on 7am.Karimunjawa's Pistureque UnderwaterKarimunjawa’s Picturesque Underwater View
  2. Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi
    Wakatobi is a cluster of islands, consists of Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko islands. People dub Wakatobi as ‘underwater paradise’ for its picturesque underwater view and rich marine lives. There are more than 112 of coral species from 13 families, and 93 species of fish in this area. No wonder that UNESCO had established Wakatobi as World’s Biosphere Reserve for its well-protected nature. Diving here allows you to contribute towards local community and support for marine park.
    How to get there: from Jakarta, you can take a flight to Makassar. From Makassar you can continue the flight to Kendari or Bau Bau; or take a ferry ship to Wanci. If you fly to Kendari or Bau Bau, you can continue your trip using ferry to Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa and Tomia. If you take a ferry ship to Wanci, you can choose ferry ship or speed boat to take you to islands in Wakatobi.Colorful Corals in Wakatobi's UnderwaterColorful Corals in Wakatobi’s Underwater
  3. Bunaken, North Sulawesi
    If you are keen to explore more Sulawesi’s underwater, you can try Bunaken National Marine Park, North Sulawesi. Bunaken is one of the most popular diving spots among divers around the world. It is not only rich with marine lives, the water is so clear it is near transparent. There are around 20 diving spots, where you can see the magnificent underwater great walls which are also the food source for the fish species living there.
    How to get there: Sam Ratulangi airport of Manado is connected to big cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Balikpapan, and Makassar. If you want to go to Bunaken, from Manado you can go to Manado harbor or Marina Nusantara Diving Centre (NDC) and Marina Blue Banter. From Manado harbor, it takes around 30 minutes to arrive at Bunaken. You can also rent a boat to Bunaken from Pasar Bersehati or Marina at Manado.Unique Fish Species at BunakenUnique Fish Species at Bunaken
  4. Bali Islands
    Bali has been long known for one of the best places to surf and dive in Indonesia. In Bali, you can find plenty of spot diving options for all levels of experience. Scuba diving in Bali will give you deep drop-offs, steep banks, coral ridges and famous wrecks from the world war; all for affordable prices. Choices of dive spots here include Nusa Penida, Lembongan Islands, Tulamben and Candi Dasa.
    Beautiful Diving Spot in Tulamben, BaliBeautiful Diving Spot in Tulamben, Bali
  5. Derawan, East Kalimantan
    Derawan is an archipelago located in Berau regency, East Kalimantan. It has four main islands: Maratua, Derawan, Sangalaki, and Kakaban. Your vision will be indulged with beautiful white sands and sparkling blue water in this place. Derawan is home to more than 460 coral species, 870 fish species including pygmy seahorses and giant manta. In Kakaban, there is Kakaban Lake which is filled with rain water and seepage of seawater from soil pores, which makes it a distinctive endemic habitat. In this lake, you can swim with thousands of jellyfishes. Don’t worry, they won’t sting you!
    How to get there: the closest cities to Derawan are Berau and Tarakan. Fly to Tarakan is cheaper than to Berau; unfortunately, there is no regular boat or ship to Derawan. If you choose Tarakan, you can rent a boat (it will be cheaper if you rent it for a group more than 10 people). If you choose to fly to Berau, from Berau airport you can take a land trip to Tanjung Batu. From Tanjung Batu, you can take 45 minutes long trip to Derawan using speedboat.
    One of the Beautiful Corals You Can See in DerawanBeautiful Corals You Can See at Derawan’s Underwater
  6. Raja Ampat, Papua
    Now we move to the eastern part of Indonesia. Raja Ampat has undeniable natural view that will draw you to visit there again and again. It has more than 600 uninhabited islands which are home to 540 coral species, more than 1000 fish species and 700 species of mollusks. No wonder if it’s claimed as home of 75% world’s marine lives and makes it one of the best marine tourisms in the world. The fascinating underwater (and land) views will make you don’t want to leave this place.
    How to get there: you can choose air or sea travel to go to Raja Ampat, but air travel is recommended. Take a flight to Domine Eduard Osok at Sorong, Papua. From Sorong, you can take a ship to Raja Ampat. There is always sea trip to Raja Ampat every day at 2pm. You will arrive at Waisai harbor, where there are many hostels you can choose to stay.
    Breathtaking View in Raja Ampat's UnderwaterBreathtaking View in Raja Ampat’s Diving Spots
  7. Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara
    Komodo National Park has been famous among divers as one of the best diving spots in Indonesia. The rich marine lives and the glowing white sands at the beach will indulge traveler. The best diving locations in Komodo National Park are Pantai Merah, Batu Bolong, Tatawa Besar, Batu Tiga and Manta Point (if you want to see a group of manta). Not only mantas, you will see exotic clown fishes, reef sharks, sea turtles, and barracuda in these spots.
    How to get there: from Jakarta, you can take a flight to Bali. From Bali, continue the flight to Labuan Bajo airport. From Labuan Bajo you can continue your trip by renting a boat to Komodo National Park.
    Fishes, Corals, and Marine Lives in Komodo National Park's Diving SpotFishes, Corals, and Marine Lives at Komodo National Park’s Diving Spots

There are many ways for diving in Indonesia. You can choose liveaboard cruises in Indonesia if you want to see more than any land-based stay can offer. These tours can take you east from Bali to island of Komodo, or to West Papua and the Banda Sea. Other option is resort stays which are available in Sulawesi, Bali, Raja Ampat, and Derawan. Resorts will give you a base that is close to some of the finest dive sites in those locations.Indonesia’s tropical climate allows you to dive any time you want throughout the year. But, the best time for diving is during the dry season of April to December, when the water is clear and the rainfall is low.

Fauziah Listyo Ayunani

compiled by Fauziah Listyo Ayunani