A captivating collection of islands, beaches, tangled jungles, coral reefs, green turtles and manta rays, Indonesia diving holidays feel like a no brainer. There’s Bali and its satellite islands – Menjangan to the west and the Gili Islands to the east – which are great choices if you’re new to scuba diving and wish to learn or ready to dive back in at expert level. Explore the ‘Liberty wreck’, which after being torpedoed and sunk in 1942, now lies on the seabed surrounded by breathtaking coral reef and marine life. In North Sulawesi you’ll be spoilt for choice in diving spots. From Bunaken National Park,
which boasts 70% of all fish species currently known in the Indo-Western Pacific, to the Lembeh Strait (considered to be one of the world’s best muck diving sites), feeling like you’re in a National Geographic documentary will be no tall ask here. Swim alongside lionfish, parrotfish, fascinating leaf fish, tiny pygmy seahorses and dugongs, or join pelagic manta rays and dolphins in Komodo, in the heart of the Sunda Islands. If you’re wanting to make waves on your diving bucket list, there's the incredible Raja Ampat, the remote archipelago in the West Papua province of eastern Indonesia. Topping wish lists for their pristine reefs and diverse marine life, dive holidays in Indonesia are a must destination for any budding scuba divers.
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Holly made excellent suggestions and creates the perfectly balanced trip that ticked all our boxes. The Concierge was very helpful throughout and the absolutel highlights were seeing monkeys and deer on Manjangan Island, and watching the sunset from the magnificent tower.
Utter the words Indonesia diving holidays and you’ll probably be greeted by wishful expressions and envious eyes. Indonesia is home to some of the best diving in the world – and doesn’t it know it. Start in Yogyakarta, where you’ll be given a whistlestop tour of Buddhist art and Indonesian cuisine at bustling street food markets or khaki lima, before heading underwater in Pemuteran. Hugging Bali’s northern coastline, it is the ideal destination for intrepid divers. Spot surgeon fish, scorpion fish and even sharks from rich coral slopes or stick to five metre macro sites if you prefer to stay closer to the surface.
Despite their name, Indonesia diving holidays don’t just have to be about diving. Swap sea legs for land legs atop Kawah Ijen, ride on horseback across Bali Barat National Park and speed across Ubud’s countryside in an authentic 1970s Volkswagen convertible. Take Tai Chi classes in east Bali and learn how to cook up a storm in Ubud. Swap diving for snorkelling on Gili Meno, the smallest, quietest and best-preserved of the three Gili Islands. Come up for air to enjoy fresh ayam taliwang (grilled chicken brushed with sambal) on its oyster-white sand and relax in luxury surf-facing eco-resorts.
If, however, you have one thing and one thing only on your mind – diving – then you couldn’t have picked a better place. Home to muck diving mecca Lembeh, wall diving haven Manado and manta ray and mola mola mad Nusa Penida, diving in Indonesia comes with plenty of options. Our favourites though? The ones that are hard to reach. Onboard luxury liveaboards, you’ll have your pick between Raja Ampat and its underwater kingdom and the more elusive Cenderawasih Bay. While it may not match neighbouring Raja Ampat in terms of mind-blowing biodiversity, we can’t help but love an underdog.