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See more of the best (and worst!) locations for such items as visibility, coral quality, and marine sightings etc.

1:  Cape Town / False Ba...
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2:  Manado
in Indonesia
3:  Conception Bay
in Canada (east)
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in Fiji
5:  Queen Charlotte Stra...
in Canada (west)
6:  Koror
in Palau
7:  Bali
in Indonesia
8:  South Male Atoll
in Maldives
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in Canaries
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in Greece
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Rating: Ranked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviews95%
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Money: IDR
Bahasa Indonesia,
English, Dutch
Time Zone:
GMT +7 hours
Sun 08:30:19
Phone Code: +62
Muslim 88%,
Protestant 5%
Electricity: 127/230V
Indonesia Scuba Destination Info:
      Overall summary of Indonesia
Indonesia is the world's largest Archipelago with over 17,000 islands. To give a sense of scale, a map of Indonesia on top of Europe would stretch from Ireland to Iran, whilst on top of the US it covers California to Bermuda. There are eight major island groups in the archipelago: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes) and Irian Jaya (the western half of Papua New Guinea). Then there are the smaller islands in two main groups: the Molluccas and the lesser Sunda chain east of Bali. Bali is the final eighth island. Indonesia is a region of immense volcanic activity, with some 400 volcanoes, with at least 70 still active.

It is also a place of great differences and cultures. The primary religion can be different from island to island, and so too can the degree of Western influence. Well trodden destinations such as Bali and Java are easily accessible, but others such as Sulawesi and Sumatra are definately for the more adventurous tourist. It is important to remember when visiting more remote areas and make sure you respect the local customs.

Because of the volcanic activity near Komodo, the waters are very nutrient rich and this can make the diving stunning with fantastic corals. Big pelagics are not always around but there are some well known Manta sightings (near Derawan) or pods of Dolphins etc. In the past there has been a lot of coral damage through dynamite fishing. Various laws have been passed in both Indonesia and the Phillipines to try and control this and a lot of the reefs are protected by marine park status. However, it is well known that this practice still continues to a lesser degree than before. Make sure you research the location's coral damage before you go by looking at the reviews and graphs from past divers experience.

Even if there are not lots of sharks about, the region is most famous for it's 'Muck Diving' or small stuff. Again due to the high nutrients, there are a prolific number of species and intricate coral reef systems which make it a fantastic playground for the serious macro photographer. Pygmy sea horses, nudibranches, ghost pipe fish, frog fish etc. The best location for the coral growth is around Bunaken which is right next to Manado, whilst some of the best macro photography is in the Lembeh straits or the Kungkungan Bay area.

There seems to be a fair range in the quality of operations and resort facilities, as you would expect for an area less exposed to frequent travellers. Many trip reports highlight the same message, the diving was fantastic but the resort suffered in some area or other. Additionally, Indonesia is so vast and dispersed that getting to the location will not be a simple single flight! Therefore, make sure you research your intended destinations with care and look for unbiased feedback from other divers.
      How to get to Indonesia
      Top travel tips for Indonesia
Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi.
Famous for diving and snorkeling
      What's the diving like in Indonesia
Diving in Indonesia belongs to the best diving in the world, especially the diving around North Sulawesi. Along the North Sulawesi coast (Manado) you can do 'Muck' diving that is even better than in the famous Lembeh Strait with more corals and a bigger variety in dive sites. The diving around Bunaken Island and Siladen Island is mainly Wall diving with beautiful coral reefs (some reefs around Siladen are stunning) and lots and lots of fish.
      Best wreck dives in Indonesia
      Chance of big fish in Indonesia
      Coral quality in Indonesia
      Best time to dive in Indonesia
      What to take to Indonesia

Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in Indonesia:

Throughout the year, the sea is generally calm and beautiful. The reef ranges from 2 to 20 meters in depth. Many offshore reefs stick out, so the shallowest points is between 3 to 5 meters, depending on the tide and are only 5-10 minutes away by boa...
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Bunaken is a small island and getting there is easy although it is a long way to go from Europe. You have to fly to Manado, normally via Singapore, and the dive centre with which you are staying will normally pick you up at the airport. Boat transfer...
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Flores - Alor
Diving Alor is an area around the island of Alor and Pantar, and the islands inside the Pantar strait: Pura, Buaya, Ternate, Kumba. These are the prime diving areas. Alor is good for both beginners and advanced divers. There are cave and cavern ...
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Gilis Islands - Lombok
Gili island is great, No cars, motor bikes or even barking dogs, but the coral reef is not good - a lot of broken coral. The marine life is still perfect and I've found that South Lombok, Gilis, and East Lombok are better to dive then Gili Trawangan,...
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Derawan is one of the best places to dive here in East Kalimantan. There are a few islands surrounding it like Sangalaki, Maratua and Kakaban. Diving over here is really a 5 star experience. Among creatures that you will definitely encounter are Pygm...
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Kapoposang Island
Very isolated location with great accommodation on the island. Incredible variety in sea life. Amazingly clear water and an almost untouched natural ocean environment. As far as access, it is a private island and so the dive can only be arranged ...
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Komodo, is one of the worlds premier diving destinations. It is a listed world heritage area and national park, and marine park. Clear (30Meter+) warmer waters (Avg 27C) in the north favour hard coral reef formation and sightings for pelagic's and w...
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Kungkungan Bay
Kungkungan Bay is nestled on the North Sulawesi coast of Lembeh strait. Located on the sunrise side of the peninsula, the view is unsupassed and encompasses rugged Lembeh Island and the smaller Sarena Island. North Sulawesi enjoys a mild tropical cli...
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Manado is spectacular diving. The protected National Marine Park Bunaken is especially famous for its steep drop offs. The walls go down hundreds of meters and are covered with pristine, healty coral. Visibility varies from 15 to over 30 meters, and ...
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Sangihe Islands
Sangihe Islands is a wonderful region - full of truly virgin islands, friendly people and absolutely no other divers - yet! The diving is absolutely spectacular. Crystal clear waters with visibility up to 100 m, dive sites with wonderful and pristin...
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Thousand Islands, Jakarta
The 'Thousand Islands' region to the north of Jakarta holds several hundred (but not a thousand) small coral islands. Some have been designated as a marine park although this does not appear to be policed in any way. Some of the islands have been set...
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Togean Islands
The Togean Islands, a remote archipeligo in Tomini Bay, Central Sulawesi. The Togean Islands are reknowned for their outstanding beauty above and below the water. Islands with exquisite white sand beaches and sandstone cliffs cloaked in virgin rainfo...
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I had the extreme pleasure of visiting Wakatobi twice last year. Once in July and once in November/December. I'll return every chance I get. The reefs are 100% alive with hard and soft corals. Life, from the smallest of macro to the myriad colorf...
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