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4 Dive Destinations off the Beaten Path in Indonesia


It’s safe to assume that most divers have heard of Indonesia’s most popular dive destinations: Komodo, Raja Ampat, and Bali. Avid divers are probably familiar with the more comprehensive list of Indonesia’s top dive destinations, which includes Alor, Banda, Lembeh, Bunaken, and Wakatobi.


With over 18,000 islands spanning a massive archipelago, Indonesia is home to plenty of lesser-known dive destinations. Read on for some locations most divers unintentionally miss or purposely skip and why you should include them on your Indonesian dive itinerary.


1. Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara


The three Gili Islands in Northwest Lombok are a hotspot for tourists with different interests. Gili Trawangan is known for its party atmosphere, Gili Meno offers a quiet and romantic experience, and Gili Air is a mixture of both. Diving around the Gilis is suitable for all experience levels and includes exciting currents and fascinating macro and night dives.

South Lombok is home to the South Gilis (Gili Gede, Gili Asahan, and Gili Layar) and Belongas Bay. Experienced adrenaline divers shouldn’t miss the Magnet dive site – a thrilling current dive offering the opportunity to see hammerhead sharks.


2. Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara


Sumbawa Island is located east of Lombok and west of Komodo National Park. With the opportunity to see whale sharks year-round in Selah Bay and dive virtually untouched coral reefs, Sumbawa Island is making its way onto Indonesia’s must-dive list.


3. Selayar Island, South Sulawesi


Visitors to Selayar will fly into Makassar, travel several hours by car to Sulawesi’s southernmost harbor, and then take a speedboat to reach this remote island. White sand beaches and pristine reefs are worth the trek off the beaten path. Diving in Selayar includes gorgeous walls covered in hard and soft coral, nudibranchs, black coral, and potential shark and marble ray encounters.


4. Weh Island, Aceh


Located where the Andaman Sea meets the Indian Ocean, Weh Island is known for its spectacular reefs and marine life. Fly into Banda Aceh and take a 45-minute fast ferry to get to this small island at the northernmost tip of Sumatra. Diving Pulau Weh is excellent year-round, with dive sites surrounding the island including thrilling drift dives, macro sites, and potential encounters with manta rays, whale sharks and megamouth sharks.