Diving is available in Indonesia all year round, which is why it is such an attractive destination for those who love marine life. Most liveaboards in Indonesia operate in various parts of the country throughout the year. The country is vast and geographically diverse, which is why we only offer general guidelines and insist on the necessity of checking the tips for your specific destination before booking the dates. In general, your choice should depend on your diving level and your preferences on what type of marine life you would like to see.
Water temperatures here are mostly between 25-27°C/77-84°F. However, while diving from a liveaboard in Indonesia, you may encounter strong, cold currents where the temperature may drop as low as 19°C/66°F, so make sure you have an appropriate suit and appropriate gear. The air temperature is constant all year round (25-30°C/77-86°F) and only varies based on altitude, so be sure to stay warm throughout the trip.
Tips for choosing liveaboard itineraries in Indonesia
There are more than 600 dive sites that you can visit on Indonesian liveaboards, so you definitely need to consider all the information below before choosing your itinerary. Some of the best dive sites include Komodo National Park, Triton Bay, Liberty Wreck, Coral Garden, and “frontier diving” spots in Raja Ampat. We prepared the five best destinations for Indonesian safari diving below, to help you choose your route.
Best time to visit: September - May
It’s advisable to visit Raja Ampat between September and May because this period has the least rain and less chance of choppy seas. This is a marine sanctuary and one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world. Raja Ampat has many unique coral and sponge species (some scientists believe that corals from Raja Ampat are the ancestors of corals all over the world), dugongs, green turtles, leatherback turtles, hawksbill turtles, blue-ringed octopi, scorpionfish, manta rays, and hundreds of dolphins. Come here and make every dive unique feel like a pioneer in this remote location.
When coming to Raja Ampat, make sure to bring your reef hook and be ready for currents and drift diving.
Best time to visit: April-November
Komodo and Flores are year-round dive destinations, but it is best to visit specifically between April and November, because this time has the best weather conditions. In August in particular, this area is famous for mola mola. Besides mola mola, this is also the best destination for seeing mantas, because while the plankton blooms and reduces visibility, it also attracts hundreds of manta rays. The manta season here lasts from December to February.
Best time to visit: May-September
This dive site is southeast of Raja Ampat. It is a marvelous dive region with fabulous soft coral coverage and vast forests of black corals that never fail to impress. It has topside scenery with huge vaulting cliffs and ancient cave paintings. In terms of marine life, you can see turtles and huge schools of fish, including jacks, fusiliers, giant grouper, and epaulette sharks. Not many Indonesia liveaboard charters visit Triton Bay, so you can feel a true pioneering spirit from being here. The pilot whales that can also be seen here will leave you with unforgettable memories after your dive.
Best time to visit: May-September
As you can see from the picture above, Cenderawasih Bay is famous for having large numbers of whale sharks. This is one of the richest places for biodiversity. Dolphins and dugongs are common here, and you can also find four types of turtles: green, hawksbill, Pacific Ridley, and leatherback. There are also several World War II wrecks to investigate and some top-class muck diving locations with creatures galore.
Best time to visit: March-April, September-December
The Banda Sea is located between Komodo and Raja Ampat. Scuba diving in the Banda Sea is famous for its amazing hard corals, dogtooth tuna, and mobula rays. At most dive sites here you will see large schools of fusiliers and red-toothed triggerfish. There are also prolific mandarinfish and native Ambon scorpionfish. This is also a great destination to see cetaceans, such as melon-headed whales, pilot whales, blue whales, humpback whales, orcas, and spinner dolphins. Diving in the Banda Sea is varied, colorful, and fascinating.
Best liveaboards in Indonesia for photographers and non-divers
Indonesia is a unique place for any kind of diving activities, including underwater photography. Above you can find specifically designed set of offers to help you find the best photography suggestions out of all Indonesian safari boats. Local guides advise choosing Komodo and Flores or Raja Ampat if you are looking for great walls and nature. The wrecks in Cenderawasih Bay can also add some spice to your pictures. If you love macro photography, then nothing is better than Triton Bay, with the tiniest seahorses you will ever find. Check the available deals in our selection above.
If you are a non-diver, you will never get bored on an Indonesian liveaboard. Along with diving tours, you can find boats offering trips to the local islands and excursions overland. So if you are not a diver or have non-divers traveling with you, Indonesia is a great destination for both diving and non-diving activities. Look for available tours in our selection at the top of this page.