Indonesia is in the “Coral Triangle”, the area of the Pacific Ocean including Malaysia, the Philippines and the Salomon Islands. This area, which is rich in coral reefs and represents barely 1% of the ocean surface area, concentrates the greatest underwater biodiversity in the world. It is estimated that it contains 30% of the coral reefs and 35% of the species of reef fish in the world (over 3000 species).
Bali, Lombok and the small neighbouring islands (Nusa Penida, Gili Islands) are the main snorkeling destinations in Indonesia. Here there are top-quality snorkeling spots (reefs and shipwrecks, such as the wreck of the USS Liberty), although high tourist numbers and the over-use of resources have strongly contributed to the deterioration of the coral. If you visit the island, don’t miss Amed region, where several free shore access snorkeling spots can be found along the coast, including Jemeluk, the Pyramids and Lipah Beach. The small island of Pulau Menjangan is probably the best snorkeling spot in Bali, a wonderful and exceptionally well-preserved reef drop-off, and not to be missed during your visit to the island.
Outside this area, Raja Ampat and its 1 500 islands, large and small, Sulawesi (Togians Islands, Bunaken Marine Park…), Sumatra or the Komodo National Park also offer a wealth of high-quality spots.
In Indonesia it is easy to see green and hawksbill sea turtles (particularly in the Gili Islands), clownfish, angelfish, giant clams or the fascinating ocean sunfish, known locally as the “mola mola”. If you are very lucky, you will cross the path of reef sharks and manta rays in certain areas.
In Indonesia, the climate is always warm and humid. With water temperature on average from 82 to 86°F (28 to 30°C), snorkeling is possible all the time, although you need to bear in mind the rain, which can be heavy at certain times.
From November to April, during the rainy season, the heat is stifling (with a peak in January/February) and the humidity rate nears 75%. The dry season, between May and October, probably represents the best period for snorkeling in Indonesia, with low rainfall and an average temperature of 86°F/28°C.
Visitor numbers are high in Bali in December and January (during the Christmas holidays), and in July and August. Taking into account the climate and the busy tourist periods, the best months for exploring the country are May, June and September.
More than 220 spots have already been published on Snorkeling Report, but there are still many spots to be added! You too can contribute to populate the map by sharing your favorite snorkeling spots around the world. The more snorkelers will contribute, the easier it will be for you, and other snorkelers, to find sites and enjoy the underwater world!
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Unmissable in the Gili Islands, especially at Gili Trawangan
Frequently sighted at Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air; often seen at Bunaken Island reef drop off
Found on many spots; common in Bunaken Island and Siladen Island
Abundant at Siladen Island
Important colonies on Siladen Island reef flat
Common at Menjangan Island
Occasional sightings throughout the archipelago; common at Menjangan Island
Frequently sighted on all reef spots
Occasionnaly observed in Bunaken Island
On all spots
Vibrant reef drop off and shallow seagrass meadows
Sea turtles and vibrant reef drop off
Vibrant reef drop off with turtles and shallow seagrass meadows
Steep reef drop off with colorful fish
House reef with a lush coral drop off and sea turtles
Fringing coral reef and underwater temple with colorful fish
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