Indonesia is a vast archipelago of 17 000 islands extending between Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Its warm, calm and crystal-clear waters and exceptional biodiversity have made it an endless playground for snorkelers.

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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).

Snorkeling Report Indonesia
Reef drop-off at Pulau Menjangan, giant clam at USS Liberty Wreck, and the Bali coast

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. 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 Island, Siladen Island...), 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.
When to go to Indonesia?

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.

CDC Indonésie EN

Where to spot them?

Green sea turtle

Frequent on all Gili Islands, especially on Gili Trawangan

Hawksbill sea turtle

Frequent on all Gili Islands and at Bunaken, rare elsewhere

Emperor angelfish

On all spots, common at Pulau Menjangan

Ocellaris clownfish

Common at Pulau Menjangan

Giant clam

On all spots, abundant at Pulau Menjangan

Spinecheek anemonefish

Common at Siladen

Majestic angelfish

Common at Bunaken, but shy

Orbicular batfish

On all spots

Barred thicklip wrasse

On all spots

Ornate butterflyfish

Occasional in Gili Islands

Sixbar wrasse

On all spots

  • Vadim

    Did anyone go to Nusa Penida for snorkelling? I read that some people also go there. Is it good?

    • Key Au

      Penida is really nice. Water so so so clear. Many colourful fishes. If u want to see more. Lambongan n gili islands more can see for snorkeling :)