When I want to see beautiful things in crystal clear water, my choice is to dive Indonesia. Hands down, the Indonesia islands are my favorite destination for a diving holiday.
To date, I’ve been diving in the following places in Indonesia:
- Bunaken National Park
- Komodo National Park
- Tulamben National Park
- Raja Ampat – (and how to get there)
- The Gili Islands
Indonesia is also where I learned to dive. Raja Ampat, Indonesia is one of the best places to dive in Indonesia and it’s also where I learned to take underwater pictures.
If you’re looking for a wonderful diving vacation, I highly recommend it with the following warning:
Once you dive there, you may not want to dive anywhere else!
If you’re like me though, being in the water is the most important part of diving. I just love the sound of silence, interrupted only by the bubbles from my regulator.
Here are some of my favorite Indonesian diving photos. I hope they inspire you to gather your gear, book a plane ticket, and either dive in Indonesia or anywhere else.
Table of Contents
Indonesia’s water is crystal clear
Seriously, in most diving areas in Indonesia, you can look into the water and, in many cases, see right to the bottom.
It’s that clear!
Indonesia is nudibranch heaven
In all my diving, I’ve never seen so many nudibranchs. A close second would be in the Sea of Cortez, but the nudibranch diversity in Indonesia is simply stunning!
Clown fish in Indonesia
If you’re a fan of Finding Nemo, you’re not going to have any problems finding him (or her) in Indonesia.
There are clownfish everywhere. You’ll see them!
Wobbegongs in Raja Ampat
One of the endemic species in Raja Ampat is the Wobbegong.
It’s a shark. It doesn’t look much like a shark, but a wobbegong is a shark. They just lay there. Waiting. For something to get too close.
Again with the Indonesian nudibranchs! When you go diving in Indonesia, they’re not hard to miss!
Schooling fish in Indonesia
Everywhere you dive in Indonesia, especially in Raja Ampat, you’ll see huge schools of fish.
Sometimes, the schools are so big that they block out the sun! And where there are schools of fish, big animals are sure to follow.
Dive Indonesia to see millions of fish
Seriously. There are millions and millions of fish in some of these schools. Often, you’ll see mobulas picking them off in a feeding frenzy!
Napoleon Wrasse’s in Indonesia
One of my favorite fish is the Napoleon Wrasse – sometimes called the humphead wrasse.
These large fish eat crustaceans, like crabs. Their mouths open very wide and it sometimes looks quite scary!
This one was about 5 feet long!
Pygmy seahorses in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is the only place in the world where you’ll find a pygmy seahorse. I don’t have a great eye for tiny stuff like this.
Fortunately, my friend Patrick does!
I found this marble ray through sheer luck! We were at the end of our dive. The divemaster told us to turn around.
But I wanted to see what was just over the edge of the reef wall.
This is what I found. It was worth the extra minute or two!
Epaulette sharks – only in Indonesia
One of my favorite sharks in the world is the Epaulette Shark – often referred to as a walking shark.
Because they literally walk on their fins! You only see them at night when they are hunting. And they are very sensitive to light.
Snap your picture quickly, then leave them alone.
Before I went diving in Indonesia, I’d only seen hermit crabs on beaches in Canada and the US.
In Indonesia, these hermit crabs were much larger and far more colorful than any I’ve seen before!
Indonesia is part of the Coral Triangle
The Coral Triangle includes the tropical waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
Here, you’ll find over 500 species of coral, including my favorite – bubble coral!
There are over 17,000 Indonesian islands
I often make fun of Halef, who is from Indonesia, by saying that an island counts in Indonesia if you can balance on it on one foot!
But it’s true! Indonesia has over 17,000 islands. And, along with that, hundreds of cultures and languages!
Being part of the coral triangle makes Indonesia’s diversity unmatched. It’s the most fantastic place I’ve ever had the pleasure of diving.
For underwater photographers, to dive Indonesia is to dive on some of the most photogenic sites on the planet.
So find a deal and go!
For More on Indonesia: When we travel, we use Lonely Planet. By buying a book at one of the Amazon.com links below, we get a small referral fee at no additional cost to you.
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Michael is originally from Canada but now resides in Atlanta, GA with his husband, Halef, who also writes here. He is a Couchsurfing expert. Michael has traveled to over 50 countries learning how to experience more for less as he travels.