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With 17,000 islands within its borders and the world’s richest marine biodiversity, Indonesia is one of the dream destinations of the diving world. One way to explore this area is by live-aboard with itineraries covering Bali, Komodo, the Banda Sea and Raja Ampat. Alternatively some of the premiere dive resorts of the world exist in the Sulawesi area of Indonesia. Rich in culture, history and nature, the Indonesia experience is as diverse as its diving.

For the diver, Indonesia offers a range of marine environments. Fringing reefs, sea mounts, walls, canyons, sea grass beds, white and black sand site beaches, and extraordinary critters in muck. Popular dives include thrilling current swept channels to protected lees, harboring thousands of fish. Komodo National Park, home to the famous Komodo dragon, was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. Sulawesi, north of Bali is also an area renowned for its diving. From Wakatobi in the south to the Lembeh Strait in the north, Sulawesi has earned a reputation for its epic diving while Raja Ampat is on the cutting edge of pristine dive regions being explored.

Indonesia Information

Diving in Indonesia

Straddling the Equator and stretching across 3,500 miles of Pacific Ocean from East to West, Indonesia is a country of more than 17,500 islands. Of those islands, 6,000 are inhabited. This area, east of Malaysia and west of Papua New Guinea, is it at the epicenter of our planet's marine biodiversity. From the “weird & wonderful” critters in Lembeh Strait to the graceful mantas and incredible coral gardens of Komodo, the diving in Indonesia is some of the best in the world. Few places on the planet are as varied and give you the opportunity to see more critters such as the amazing “wunderpus,” mimic octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, pigmy seahorses, harlequin shrimp, nudibranchs, ornate ghost pipefish, stargazers, devil fish, lacy scorpionfish and the endemic Banggai cardinalfish.

Indonesia has two main seasons: the dry and the rainy season. In most regions of Indonesia, the dry season falls between the months of May and November, while the rainy season is from December to April. Water temperatures vary depending on the dive location due to the many cold currents and upwellings caused by the convergence of wind and weather patterns from both the northern and southern hemispheres, and the deep oceanic currents of both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. However, expect a temperature range of about 73 to 84 degrees F.

Whether you want to dive reef slopes, drop offs, plateaus, caves, wrecks or try “muck diving” and look for unusual critters in the black sand, Indonesia has lots of different diving to offer. And just as varied as the diving, is the style of vacation… from upscale liveaboard to secluded beach resorts to dive-dedicated lodges, there is something for everyone.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

United States citizens require a passport and a visa to enter Indonesia. All passports must be valid for six months from date of entry. A visa is required by all nationalities. This can be obtained on arrival, for a stay of up to 30 days, provided the passport contains at least one unused visa page for the visa-on-arrival sticker which covers an entire passport page. A visa can also be purchased prior to arrival. A return ticket or documentation for onward travel, and proof of sufficient funds (US$1,000 or valid credit card), is essential.


There are no immunizations required by the Indonesian government. Please, check with your local health department or visit the web site of the Center for Disease Control at for a listing of immunizations recommended for travel to Indonesia.

Culture and Customs

The Indonesian culture originated from the farming activities of the indigenous people. It was influenced by the waves of traders from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Europe which brought along their religious teachings. Western influence arrived with the Portuguese, who came in search of spices in the early 16th century and later with the arrival of British and Dutch merchants. Hindu cultural heritage, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata epic poems, play an important role in Indonesian culture. Customs and traditions which have merged with religious teachings have brought about different ceremonies and festivities, which vary from area to area.

Electricity, Telephone and Internet Access

Electrical current is 120/230 volts, 50 Hz. A variety of plugs are in use including the European two-pin and UK-style three-pin, so bring an adaptor set and converter.

Telephone service is available in most tourist area hotels and resorts.

Hotels in the larger cities are equipped with Internet services and there are plenty of Internet cafes around Bali, but don’t expect much internet service in the remote islands.

Water Quality

Tap water in Indonesia is not fit for drinking, so only purchase bottled water from reputable sources.

Language & Currency

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, with over 300 dialects spoken. English is widely understood in tourist resorts.

The Rupiah is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, hotels and money changers in major tourist destinations; US dollars is the most accepted currency. Cash often yields a better exchange rate than travellers cheques, which are not always accepted. Cash (US dollars) for exchange must be bills dated no earlier than 2000, in immaculate condition with no tears or marks of any kind on the bill. Even the smallest tear or mark, will result in the rejection of your money by the bank. Most major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and stores, but may be subject to a 3-5% surcharge. ATMs are available in most larger towns.


Indonesia spans three time zones. GMT +7 (West, including Java and Sumatra), GMT +8 (Central, including Bali, Sulawesi and Lombok), GMT +9 (East, including Irian Jaya). So that means, when it’s 6 pm on the East Coast of the United States, it is 6 am in Bali. Indonesia does not observe daylight saving time.

History, Art, and Culture

Indonesia is rich in art and culture which are intertwined with religion and age-old traditions from the time of early migrants with Western thoughts brought by Portuguese traders and Dutch colonists. You can’t think of Bali without visualizing the beautiful Balinese dancers, which are highly stylized in movement and costume. The performers are accompanied by a full "gamelan" orchestra comprising xylophones, drums, gongs, and in some cases string instruments and flutes.

Batik painting is also being produced in many areas of Indonesia, including Bali, where local designs are incorporated. Other provinces produce hand-woven cloths of gold and silver threads, silks or cottons with intricate designs. Paintings are numerous all over the country, both traditional and contemporary, woodcarvings for ornamentation and furniture, silverwork and engraving, filgree from South Sulawesi and Bali with different styles of clay, sandstone and wood sculptures.

Location and Size

The Republic of Indonesia is a nation of islands consisting of almost 18,000 islands in the South East Asian Archipelago. The name Indonesia is derived from the Greek words “indus” (India) and “nesos” (islands) and is the world's largest archipelagic nation. It is bordered by the nations of Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia and encompasses 741,096 sq miles.


Approx. 260 Million people (2016).

Dive primer
  • Water Temp: 80-82°
  • Visibility: 80-100'
  • Wetsuit: skin to 3mm
Best time to travel
  • Year-round
Favorite dive sites
  • Wakatobi House Reef
  • Raja Ampat
  • Sebayor Kecil, Komodo
  • Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi
Topside attractions
  • Komodo dragons
  • Spiritual Bali
    • Aruba
    • CDA-AUA|Aruba|
    • Bahamas
    • CDA-BS|Bahamas|
    • Barbados
    • CDA-BGI|Barbados|
    • Bonaire
    • CDA-BON|Bonaire|
    • British Virgin Islands
    • CDA-BVI|British Virgin Islands|
    • Cayman Islands
    • KY-CYM|Cayman Islands|
    • Curacao
    • CDA-CUR|Curacao|
    • Dominica
    • CDA-DOM|Dominica|
    • Grenada
    • CDA-GND|Grenada|
    • Guadeloupe Islands
    • CDA-PTP|Guadeloupe|
    • Puerto Rico
    • CDA-SJU|Puerto Rico|
    • Saba
    • CDA-SAB|Saba|
    • St. Eustatius
    • CDA-EUX|St. Eustatius|
    • St. Kitts & Nevis
    • CDA-SKB|St. Kitts & Nevis|
    • St. Lucia
    • CDA-SLU|St. Lucia|
    • St. Vincent & The Grenadines
    • CDA-SVD|St. Vincent & The Grenadines|
    • Tobago
    • CDA-TAB|Tobago|
    • Turks and Caicos
    • CDA-PLS|Turks and Caicos|
    • Baja
    • CDA-BAJ|Baja|
    • Cozumel
    • CDA-CZM|Cozumel|
    • Riviera Maya
    • CDA-RIV|Riviera Maya|
    • Belize
    • CDA-BEL|Belize|
    • Costa Rica
    • CDA-COS|Costa Rica|
    • Honduras
    • CDA-HON|Honduras|
    • Australia
    • CDA-AUS|Australia|
    • Fiji
    • CDA-FIJ|Fiji|
    • Galapagos
    • CDA-GAL|Galapagos|
    • Hawaii
    • CDA-HAW|Hawaii|
    • Micronesia
    • CDA-MIC|Micronesia|
    • Solomons
    • CDA-SOL|Solomons|
    • Tahiti
    • CDA-TAH|Tahiti|
    • Tonga
    • CDA-TON|Tonga|
    • Vanuatu
    • CDA-VAN|Vanuatu|
    • Indonesia
    • CDA-IND|Indonesia|
    • Malaysia
    • CDA-MAL|Malaysia|
    • Maldives
    • CDA-MAV|Maldives|
    • Papua New Guinea
    • CDA-PNG|Papua New Guinea|
    • Philippines
    • CDA-PHI|Philippines|
    • Thailand
    • CDA-THA|Thailand|
    • Great White Expeditions
    • CDA-GWE|Great White Expeditions|

Packages booked online are subject to availability. You will be contacted by a booking agent upon completion of your booking. Not responsible for errors in typesetting.