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Scuba Diving Indonesia

including Komodo, Raja Ampat, Lembeh, Wakatobi, Papua

Diving Indonesia articles, reviews, and reports from Undercurrent

Diving Indonesia Overview

Diving Indonesia is now on or near the top of most serious diver's wish-list -- it has become the hottest dive destination on the planet, thanks to superlative and varied diving.Good airfares and inexpensive food and hotels make it reachable for many Americans who can afford at least two weeks time. When diving in Indonesia, many avail themselves of Bali's culture: fantastic (especially go inland) and even the diving is good there (but even better elsewhere) and inexpensive. Bali-based liveaboards regularly visit the excellent diving near and around Komodo Island and stage land visits with the famed Komodo dragons. The Lembeh Straits are renowned for muck diving. Perhaps no more diverse marine life exists anywhere than that around the Raja Ampat islands, offshore Irian Jaya (West Papua), which shares the same landmass as Papua New Guinea. Liveaboards abound in Raja Ampat (most based in Sorong) and now there's a choice of land-based dive resorts there. Check with the State Department before travel, but nearly all Indonesia diving is far from terrorist targets.

Indonesia Seasonal Dive Planner

The thousands of Indonesian islands are spread out over mainly an equatorial tropical climate, but the season for diving Indonesia is as complex as everything else about this diverse amalgam of a country. Your diving Indonesia experience will probably be enhanced if you plan around the wet monsoon season, generally December through the middle of March, in many areas; though Raja Ampat diving is generally better and more popular then due to calmer seas. The dry monsoon of southeast winds curtails the diving in Flores during July and August. The Moluccas, however, have their wet monsoons the reverse of everyone else, in July and August, and diving should be avoided then. Depending on your specific destination, April-May and September are the best all-round months to dive Indonesia (with the exception of Raja Ampat as noted).

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Liveaboard Adventures Specializing in liveaboards and dive travel around the world. We have been on the boats ourselves so we know each destination personally. Kasawari Lembeh Resort A boutique lifestyle dive resort for those looking for luxury and personalized, safe and hassle-free diving.  

Diving Indonesia Feature Articles and Reader Reports

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Indonesia Dive Reviews

from our Instant Reader Reports
 
Dive Operation Resort Name Area Reporter Dive Date
Kasawari Lembeh Review [same] Lembeh Strait Rickie Sterne/Chrisanda Butto 2014/03
Mermaid Liveaboards Review Mermaid 1 Raja Ampat Harvey S. Cohen 2014/03
Raja4Divers Review [same] Raja Ampat Michael N. Hofman 2013/12
Dive Damai Review [same] Komodo Islands Garry Gough 2013/12
Wakatobi Dive Resort Review [same] Wakatobi Arthur Burke Jr 2013/12
All Reader Reports on Scuba Diving Indonesia
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All Availble to Undercurrent Online Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated

Diving Indonesia Articles - Land Based

Two Deaths at One of Indonesia’s Most Dangerous Dive Sites, 3/14
This Dive Resort is Taking a Stand This Dive Resort is Taking a Stand -- Publicly Available, its no-take zone initiative is setting a global standard, 1/14
Seeking More Exotic Diving?, how about Russia, the Sardine Run, or an underwater cemetery?, 10/13
Bikini Atoll, Hawaii, Raja Ampat…, and one reader’s Hurricane Sandy dive trip, 11/12
Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, Indonesia, not all the great diving here is only by liveaboard, 9/12
British Virgin Islands, Utila, Raja Ampat, serious inflator problems, credit card ripoffs, 5/12
Australia, Grand Cayman, Philippines . . ., and when it’s really the best time to dive in Raja Ampat, 11/11
Gangga Resort, Manado, Indonesia, reefs, muck and luxury living, 1/11

Available to the Public
The Coral is Fine at Wakatobi, But Elsewhere..., 10/10
Saipan, Statia, Lake Malawi, Key Largo..., reports from the back of beyond from “undercover” readers, 7/10
Thailand Violence Affects Lembeh, 6/10
Caribbean, Hawaii, Indonesia, Red Sea…, hidden travel charges, Hawaiian fish, and a good Caribbean site, 8/09
Indonesia, St. Lucia, Vietnam, Hawaii . . ., blah Caribbean and Nam dives, great ones with sharks and seals, 6/09
A Different Experience at Wakatobi Resort, 8/07
A Second Opinion of Kungkungan Bay Resort, 6/07
Kungkungan Bay Resort, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, a letdown on Lembeh Strait, 3/07
New Lodges around Lembeh, 3/07
Infection Warning, 2/07
Lembeh Resort, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, the best critter diving in the world?, 9/04
North Sulawesi, Indonesia, diving by land and sea, 8/04
Sipadan Dive Operators Evicted, 7/04
Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia, is this the world’s best diving?, 9/03
The Dragons, 2/03
Wakatobi in the Tukang Besis, Because it’s there, and because Jacques liked it, 10/97
Looking over the Edge, Backpacker diving in Lombok, Indonesia, 3/97
Kungkungan Bay Resort, 6/96
Derawan Dive Resort, 6/96
Return of the Cehili, 2/95

Diving Indonesia Articles - Liveaboards

Baja California, Fiji, Montserrat, pesky politics and squirrely harbormasters, 4/14
Maldives, Hawaii, Indonesia . . ., some dive operators who need to change their rules, 11/13
WAOW, Indonesia, fiery volcanoes, dangerous dragons and colorful diving, 7/13
Why Some Indonesia Liveaboards Don’t Take Credit Cards Why Some Indonesia Liveaboards Don’t Take Credit Cards -- Publicly Available, 6/13
Reef Fish of the East Indies, and the recent controversy caused by a photo of the authors, 10/12
Problems with the Siren Fleet, divers must evacuate two liveaboards in less than six months, 7/12
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Goes Down in Flames Raja Ampat Liveaboard Goes Down in Flames -- Publicly Available, 2/12
Arenui, Komodo Island, Indonesia Arenui, Komodo Island, Indonesia -- Publicly Available, here there be dragons - - and fish big and tiny, 11/11
The Komodo Dragons, 11/11
Two Reads on Raja Ampat, 11/11
Thumbs Down: Wakatobi’s Bad Behavior, and thumbs up for the Aggressor’s honorable behavior, 9/11
The Raja Ampat Explained The Raja Ampat Explained -- Publicly Available, what you must know before you go, 8/11
Curacao, Fiji, Papua, Maui . . ., dive sites where you can expect the unexpected, 4/11
S/V Mandarin Siren, Raja Ampat, Indonesia S/V Mandarin Siren, Raja Ampat, Indonesia -- Publicly Available, and a starter with Bali’s AquaMarine Diving, 3/11
The Raja Ampat Debate The Raja Ampat Debate -- Publicly Available, 3/11

Available to the Public
Why You Need Undercurrent, we really give you the truth about “undiscovered” dive sites: Florida, Borneo, Grand Cayman …, 10/10
Dive Kararu and the Seahorse Break Ties, Exchange Words, Offer Deals, 8/10
Archipelago Adventurer II, Indonesia, Raja Ampat: where one feels like a king, 6/10
At Indonesia’s Triton Bay, the Locals Are Restless, 6/10
Diving Raja Ampat, 1/10
What? On a Liveaboard With No Passport?, 9/09
Cheng Ho, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, the diving is great, but the boat needs work, 6/08
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Update, 6/08
Indonesian Liveaboard Update, what boats are coming, going, disappointing and enchanting, 10/07
The Pelagian, Wakatobi, Indonesia, mediocre food and few fish aren’t worth the high price, 8/07
SMY Ondina, Raja Ampat, West Papua, the center of the diving universe, 7/07
Other Raja Ampat Liveaboards, 7/07
What Happened to Larry Smith's Liveaboard?, 6/07
North Sulawesi Aggressor, Sulawesi Sea, Indonesia, mucking about for critters, 2/07
Pelagian Alert, 8/05
The Next “Best Destination in the World?”, and a few not worth visiting, 8/05
Komodo Liveaboards, Indonesia, can it get any better?, 2/03
Chasing the Dragons of Komodo, Aboard the Sea Contacts I from Bali to Komodo, 9/99
At the Edge of the World on the Pindito, A big ship for a few good divers, 5/97
Fighting Off Malaria Baruna Adventurer, 8/96
Serenade in Indonesia, 4/95

Indonesia Dive Reviews

from our Travelin' Divers' Chapbooks

Land Based Dive Resorts in Indonesia

For Members 2014 2013 2012            
For Public 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996    

Indonesia Liveaboards

For Members 2014 2013 2012            
For Public 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997      
Contact Information for Dive Resorts and Liveaboards Worldwide
All Indonesia Diving Reviews -- Instant Reader Reports

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Indonesia
including Komodo, Raja Ampat, Lembeh, Wakatobi, Papua

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from Amazon.com; just follow the links. -- BD

Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life
by Brandon Cole and Scott Michael

What? Another fish ID book when you thought Paul Humanns and Ned Deloachs were enough? Yes indeed, and while I rarely say this, Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life is a must-have for the library of every traveling diver. And if you only want one ID book, this is it.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.



Reef Fish of the East Indies Reef Fish of the East Indies
by Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman

It's got a list price of $250 and a weight of 14 pounds, but the price and the poundage will be worth it to add this three-volume set to your library. Renowned marine biologists Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman have combined 60 years of surveys, fieldwork and research to create the most definitive guide of the Coral Triangle to date, perhaps forever. The 1,292 pages of text and 3,600 photographs (40 percent of which are of fish not seen before in print) gives comprehensive information on every known reef fish species from a region known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. An essential reference for any scuba diver.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.



Four Fish Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape
by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock

This dynamic duo's book describes 130 dive sites of Raja Ampat, Triton Bay and Cenderawasih Bay, while offering practical information about the area. The detailed descriptions of the sites, complete with GPS coordinates, explains the terrain, how to dive the site, and the kinds of animals, coral and critters you can expect. Excellent photographs will help you identify many of the critters you will encounter.

If you have been to Raja Ampat, or dream about going, this thoughtful and well-illustrated book is for you. The book, priced at $35, is only available at New World Publications.


Click here to order through Undercurrent -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.



Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach

Paul Humann and Ned Deloach have done it again, releasing a definitive identification guide to 1600 extraordinary reef creatures of the Tropical Pacific. with this 500+ page softbound guide, you get upwards of 2000 exceptional photos of shrimp and crabs and stars and worms and lobsters and nudibranchs and slugs and squid and bivalves . . . well, all those invertebrates that move along the reefs of this region without fining, so it seems. There are several photos of some creatures to help you identify them during different life stages, and about ten percent of the book is descriptive copy so you can tie down your identification. Even if you have no plans to go to the tropical Pacific, just to thumb through the pages, gawk at the complexity and uniqueness of these animals, and read a thumbnail sketch will give any serious diver vicarious thrills for endless hours.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and we'll get a cut of the proceeds to continue our reef-protection efforts.



Diving Southeast Asia Diving Southeast Asia
by Beth & Shaun Tierney

This just-published, 302-page, soft-bound guide by Beth and Shaun Tierney, is a must for anyone contemplating diving in Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand. Where is Sipadan? Raja Ampat? Komodo? Richeliu Rock? Maps make it easy to pinpoint dive destinations and travel routes. Destination and 250 dive site descriptions (with tables on depth, visibility and currents) help you determine whether you’ll see big fish in the blue or pygmy seahorses in the muck. There’s a lot of supplemental information such as travel tips, health tips, and resorts and liveaboard descriptions.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.



Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
by Gerald R. Allen, Roger Steene.

I was trying to pack light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide, by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it. This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii, it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages. $39.95.



Malaysia Macrolife A Diver's Guide to Underwater Malaysia Macrolife
by Andrea and Antonet La Ferrari

We just discovered the ultimate guide to Indo-Pacific macro life. It was published late last year by marine photographers and writers Andrea and Antonet La Ferrari, who have several other winning books in their portfolio. They picture and describe in full detail 600 different species, focusing on those found in the South China, Sulu, and Sulawesi seas. From colorful nudibranchs to cleaner shrimps and pipe fish, to larger species like cuttlefish and clown fish. Each description offers an insight on distribution, habitat, size, life habits, and U/W photo tips. Illustrated with more than 800 extraordinary color photographs and written in a clear, concise, informative style, this book is both a macro and fish field guide for all serious divers from the Maldives to Australia. A must for traveling divers.
$38.25, 468 pages, paperback, in a handy 6"x7" travel size.
Order through us and get Amazon.com's best price and some of the profit will be donated to preserve coral reefs.



Reef Fish ID Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Gerald Allen, Rodger Steene, Paul Humann, & Ned Deloach

At last, here's a comprehensive fish ID guide covering the reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The generous 500-page text, displaying 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species, identifies the myriad fishes that inhabit the warm tropical seas between Thailand and Tahiti. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish's common, scientific and family names, size, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution. This is an essential book for every diver traveling westward. 6x9 inches. Order through us, get Amazon.com's best price and a good hunk of the profit will be donated to preserve coral reefs.



You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.



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