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Best snorkelling/Diving in Indo?

  • Animal_lover

    Joined Travelfish
    1st October, 2010
    Posts: 10

    Where would you guys recommend for underwater fun? Gillis look good but are there any other spots worth a dip? Particularly thinking around central/east Java or Bali/Lombok.

    Dreaming of turtles, though Jaws is just about to start on TV which might put me off...

    #1 Posted: 4/2/2013 - 15:05

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  • somtam2000

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    Gilis are good, also west Bali - particularly Menjangan Island near Pemuteran , is excellent -- can't help on the other spots sorry.

    #2 Posted: 5/2/2013 - 20:44

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
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    Around Komodo or Rinca Islands if you want to travel that far. Alternatively there is also good snorkeling off of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, both of which are accessible from Bali.

    #3 Posted: 5/2/2013 - 20:51

  • Animal_lover

    Joined Travelfish
    1st October, 2010
    Posts: 10

    Thanks Guys :0)

    #4 Posted: 6/2/2013 - 03:48

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1331
    Total reviews: 61

    I thought Menjangan was above average for SE Asia. The Gilis are pretty good - some of the best stuff can be accessed from the budget glass-bottom 3 island trips which leave from all islands and do snorkelling in a number of places - saw some nice turtles on the Meno Banks on one of these trips.

    I understand if you are prepared to head further east in Indo diving and snorkelling gets a whole lot better. Haven't had the chance personally except for a few snorkels off northern Sumbaya which were nothing to write home to mum about.

    #5 Posted: 7/2/2013 - 00:23

  • Animal_lover

    Joined Travelfish
    1st October, 2010
    Posts: 10

    Thanks Tezza, Menjangan is now firmly on the list! Looks fairly easy to get to from the java ferry (fingers crossed anyway) :0) assume you stayed on the mainland rather than the island? Did you venture much into the National Park?

    #6 Posted: 7/2/2013 - 01:56

  • bascanvas

    Joined Travelfish
    18th September, 2011
    Posts: 14

    Menjangan, Seraya secrets and the Liberty wreck at 6am before the crowds and during sunrise is magical. Some of the best diving around. Also Komodo and if you are up to it Bunaken NP and Lembeh strait on North Sulawesi. Bit out of the way but easily reached bij plane to Manado. And worth the trip.

    #7 Posted: 7/2/2013 - 02:35

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1331
    Total reviews: 61

    It's not a great distance from Gilimanuk where the Java ferries land to Pemuteran which has the most accommodation. The north coast road is busy and would almost certainly have buses heading across to Singaraja and probably smaller public bemos to towns in between.
    I don't think it is possible for tourists to stay on the island. There are a few places to stay around Labuan Lalan, the small departure harbour for the island which is abt 15-20 km west of Pemuteran. A really good choice in Pemuteran which is a nice town with okay snorkeling and diving off the beach.

    I was time-short and didn't have a chance to do a National Park trek.

    #8 Posted: 9/2/2013 - 18:57

  • kitajimaland

    Joined Travelfish
    28th January, 2013
    Posts: 3

    How about Kanawa island near Komodo National Park......

    #9 Posted: 12/2/2013 - 21:01

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 1331
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    Yeah, one I forgot. I've snorkelled off Kanawa - was quite impressed. While not world class I'd consider it very close to Menjangan. Nice little island to stay on too and you are only a few minutes from the fringing reef.

    #10 Posted: 13/2/2013 - 01:19

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  • tyler

    Joined Travelfish
    7th December, 2010
    Location Canada
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    Can definitely recommend Menjangan. You probably won't stay on the beach with a small budget though!

    #11 Posted: 13/2/2013 - 22:02

  • pociteh

    Joined Travelfish
    17th February, 2013
    Posts: 4

    How about Karimun Jawa? It can be reached from Jepara or Semarang (both in Central Java) by speedboat. I haven't been there myself, but I've heard good reviews of it.


    #12 Posted: 17/2/2013 - 02:28

  • Laszlo

    Joined Travelfish
    30th January, 2013
    Posts: 6

    I haven't been to Karimunjawa myself, but according to a well-traveled Indonesian friend it is only good by Javan standards, eg nothing special compared to places further east.
    As Komodo NP has already been mentioned, I think Red Beach on the island of Komodo itself is also pretty good.

    Other "bests", further out, include the Raja Ampat Islands, Banda Islands, Bunaken Marine Park, Alor, Sangalaki Islands.
    All these would be quite a trip from Bali, with Bunaken being the easiest to reach and Raja Ampat the most spectacular (and expensive).

    #13 Posted: 18/2/2013 - 20:48

  • aqua_addict

    Joined Travelfish
    28th February, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Outside of Raja Empat or Komodo, i would advise to go East Bali, around Candidasa. Here you find the best dive sites of Bali within maximum 1 hour traveling.

    As "experienced" Bali Diver is East Bali for me the "hidden pearl of Bali."

    Dive sites like Tulamben (also snorkeling), Seraya, Amed, Candidasa (Gili Mimpang, Gili Tepekong) the dive sites around Padang Bai (also snorkeling), Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan are one of the best Bali has to offer.

    Also with the variety of hotels and restaurants in Candidasa you can always find something which fits your wishes.

    #14 Posted: 28/2/2013 - 00:22

  • wisnu

    Joined Travelfish
    8th March, 2013
    Posts: 5

    For turtles - go to Derawan or Lombok, plenty there.
    If you are more snorkeler, you can also consider Tanjung Karang beach, Donggala Palu - the house reef strech more than a km. Not the best dive site for Indoneisan standard, but the place is quite relaxing.
    From Donggala you can have a day trip to Marantale or Parigi - beautiful reef, huge sponges and cristal clear water; the vis. more than 40 m when we visited on July 2011. But if you're into big fish, you'll be dissapointed with Marantale. For shark lovers, you must dive Pasi kawe and north atol, dozens will be circling around you.

    #15 Posted: 8/3/2013 - 11:17

  • tuanwalter

    Joined Travelfish
    24th March, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Hi Animal_lover,

    My favourite islands are Alor and Pantar. Viz is fantastic there. I've been there 3 times already and am going again this July/August.

    For dive operators, getting there and away, accommodation ... check out


    All 4 dive operators have a good reputation. If you snorkel and do not dive, they will usually take you along on the dive boat. Some of the dive sites are good snorkelling sites as well.

    Furthermore, snorkelling is good along the drop off in Alor Besar Village, where the water is shallow and calm, and off the small beaches on Kepa Island, where there is a bit of a current. On the latter, (as a snorkeller) you sometimes see blacktip reef sharks - they get pretty close to the shore - and turtles.

    All the best,

    Walter, Austria

    #16 Posted: 24/3/2013 - 06:30

  • afron

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    I strongly recommend Alor.

    #17 Posted: 3/8/2013 - 21:50

  • holoholoman-

    Joined Travelfish
    10th August, 2013
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    I was just in Derawan and Maratua off of East Kalimantan and the marine life in this area is amazing. I highly recommend the Celebes Sea for diving. Lots of people going up to Sipadan in Sabah, Malaysia, but the islands off of East Kalimantan have a lot less traffic. There are tons of turtles near the village of Payung Payung on Maratua Island. Also, the diving off of Maratua is excellent. There are manta rays that gather around Sangalaki Island and the snorkeling with the stingless jellyfish on Kakaban Island was fun. The coral in this area is still in excellent condition, so I think this is the time to visit this area.

    #18 Posted: 10/8/2013 - 23:35

  • cbg0927

    Joined Travelfish
    30th July, 2013
    Location United States
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    Can anyone recommend a particular valuable place to get PADI open water certified? I'm on somewhat of a budget, so obviously heading to Raja Ambat would be out of the question.

    A few places I'm looking at so far:

    Nusa Lembongan
    Either of the three Gilies off of Lombok

    Would welcome any suggestions!

    #19 Posted: 2/7/2014 - 05:46

  • mooball

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    Location Australia
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    Pulau Weh is a good spot. It's off Aceh in the northern part of Sumatra. Not sure what the prices are around the place, but from memory Pulau was about 250 euro.

    #20 Posted: 10/7/2014 - 22:20

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