Scuba Diving in Indonesia
Strewn with fractious volcanoes marking the edge of a tectonic
plate, the arc is lyrically dubbed the "Ring of Fire." This area
is traced by rugged islands blanketed with tropical flora.
canopies where the jungle still reigns rice fields of jade and
(gold where into the seas, encircling islands with rainbow-hued
coral reefs where a myriad of marine creatures plays.
No one knows exactly how many islands there are in Indonesia, but
with over 17,000 of them, its total coastlines sweep a staggering
80,000 kilometers, and its territorial waters claim 3.1 million
square kilometers of sea. These are seas that hold some 15% of the
world's coral reefs.
They bloom in blue
waters, awaiting a diver's discovery.
The waters of Indonesia offer the last vestiges of untapped
tropical diving left on our planet. Here, islands are still
revealed and stolen by the sea, seeded by the geological activity
that cuts a great 5,000-kilometer area from mainland Southeast
Asia to New Guinea.
Surprisingly, formal dive operations have only existed in
Indonesia for the past ten years, in spite of a seafaring history
that reads like an intricate fairy tale - woven of the fates of
global empires across the ages. In its wake, Indonesia has been
blessed with Cultural and religious diversity as varied as the
physical landscape of the nation.
Depending on aptitude and attitude there is diving to suit all
desires. Land-based resort diving in gentle waters ideal for
novices; offshore sites for the privilege of depths less known;
luxury live-aboards for those after the adrenaline high of waters
remote and pristine.
There is no better place than Bali for an introduction to
Indonesia's underwater wonderland. And no harder place to decide
between time on land or under water. In the traditional tourist
stronghold of the Kuta/Nusa Dua/Sanur triangle, divers have a reef
at their doorstep. It is a moderate drop; an undemanding dive made
thrilling by a surprising range of fish.
There is more at Nusa Pendita, 1.5 hours away by boat. Upwellings
mean good visibility, bracing waters and challenging currents.
Abundant and varied hard corals hug drop-offs and steep slopes
rife with sweetlips, mantas and sharks. Lucky divers may glimpse
the bizarre and rare oceanic sunfish and hawksbill turtles.
But the best of Bali's waters lie beyond the tourist triangle.
Discover Titan triggerfish and bluespotted stingrays in Padang
Bai's mixed reef; coral walls of an underwater canyon at Candi
Dasa; a kaleidoscope of fish at Cemeluk's coastal reef; friendly
fish at Tulamben's picturesque Liberty Wreck and craggy reef walls
blanketed by soft coral in Menjangan's mind-snapping clear waters.
Hard-core divers can escape the established dive zones with a
hired boat. A long ride north brings them to the Kangean islands,
to a world of coral knolls rising from sandy beds.
Other adventure and
recreation activities in Indonesia: