Diving in Indonesia

From volcanoes in Java to the lush forest of Sumatra, the archipelago of Indonesia attracts travelers from right across the Globe. Most are surprised by the melting-pot of cultures and religions, not to mention completely stunned by the beauty of the landscapes and the marine life Indonesia has to offer.

Indonesia is home to a large number of the world’s best scuba diving spots. Tropical waters are usually warm all year round. You can expect between 20-28°C/71-85°F consistently. Bali is ideal for wreck divers, allowing you to explore the US Army Transport Liberty Wreck. Swim with turtles, mantas and the occasional yellow fin tuna while diving in Komodo.

Scuba divers looking for large fish can head to Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), and in particular Bunaken Marine Park. Diving in Sulawesi, you may be lucky enough to spot a killer whale. Lombok and the Gili islands offer a wide variety of hard and soft corals.

Exploring Indonesia

Indonesia, the largest archipelago in the world, stretches from the Indian to the Pacific Ocean.

Amongst the 17,000 islands there are a few that stand out. Java hosts the capital, Jakarta. Sumara is known for its rich flora. Bali has it’s white sandy beaches, and is also a popular scuba diving destination. In a similar way, the world-class diving sites of Sulawesi, formerly known as the Celebes, attract scuba divers from around the world. Finally, Komodo in Nusa Tenggara fascinates world travelers with its spectacular lizards and its stunning underwater sea life.

How to get to Indonesia

There are three main international airports in Indonesia : Soekarno-Hatta (CGK) near Jakarta, Denpasar (DPS), in Bali and Juanda (SUB) at Surabaya, East Java. Most flights operate a stopover in one of the nearby Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia or Singapore.

Money and ATMs

ATMs can be found in most tourist destinations and in large cities. However, be aware that there may be withdrawal limits per transaction. Paying with credit cards is equally easy, however some places may charge extra fees.

You will find most of the foreign exchange counters in Java, Bali and Lombok. Bill condition is a major issue as employees in foreign exchange counters may prove to be very picky. There is usually no commission fees.

Visa and Embassies in Indonesia

Most Asian nationals can enter the archipelago for up to 30 days without any visa. Most westerners will usually obtain a visa-on-arrival in Indonesia. The cost of a visa is approx US$25. Please be sure to have the exact change. It’s also necessary to be able to present a return or onward ticket.

You will be able to extend this visa by an extra 30 days at any bureau of immigration in the country. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to apply for an extension about 10 days before the expiration of your visa.

Health in Indonesia

As throughout most Southeast Asian countries, mosquito-borne diseases are the most common health concerns. Although malaria may be rare, dengue fever on the other hand is a much more common disease. Be sure to apply mosquito-repellent generously.

Food hygiene does not usually meet western standards and may expose you to hepatitis A. It is recommended to get vaccinated before your trip.

Finally, most medicine can be found over-the-counter. As long as you know the name of the active ingredient, you will be able to find a similar drug manufactured under a different brand name.

Indonesia Seasons

The archipelago of Indonesia sits across the Equator. Therefore, there is no such thing as summer, winter or spring. Travelers encounter two distinct seasons: Dry season starting in April and ending in November, and Rainy season which takes place from December up until March. Since the islands of Indonesia are so widely spread, there may be some slight variations.

Temperature-wise, it rarely drops under 20°C (68°F ). Most days, temperatures will vary from 25°C (77°F) to 35°C (95°F).