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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.

Emerald 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:


►Scuba Diving
►Adventure Cruises and Sailing


►River Rafting



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