The vast Indonesian archipelago is an integral part of the incredibly rich Coral Triangle, an area that is generally considered to be the global epicenter of marine species diversity, and without doubt the country has some of the best diving in the world – but also some of the most challenging…
The area’s marine biodiversity is simply stunning and is characterized by more than 600 species of coral and 3000 species of reef fish. To put those numbers into perspective – the Red Sea has around 200 coral species & 1000 fish species and the Caribbean 50 & 900 respectively.
Map of the Coral Triangle – Courtesy of the Nature Conservancy
For more information on the Coral Triangle check out the Nature Conservancy’s dedicated site.
To gain an understanding of the incredible marine bio-diversity of Indonesia, and some of the challenges associated with diving there, a basic awareness of the phenomenal flow of water through the archipelago called the Indonesian Throughflow, is essential.
Diving Indonesia: Scuba Diving Overview – Main Locations
Simply stated, there are a lot of places to dive in Indonesia, as would be expected in a nation that comprises over 17,000 islands… So to try and quantify and describe them all would be a daunting (but enjoyable) task, so I have tried to simplify this by breaking the country down in to the most popular areas that I have visited.
I started with Bali, the island of the gods and tourist mecca that has some remarkably good diving, and it’s next door neighbor to the east the island of Lombok. To the north is North Sulawesi and the incredible diving around Bunaken, then the “far north” of the remote island of Halmahera.
As soon as I get time the Lembeh Strait, which has probably the very best critter diving in the world, is next – followed by the beautiful Banda Islands in the remote Banda Sea.
Map of the Indonesian Archipelago
Next Page: The Indonesian Throughflow
Go To: Diving Bali