When is the best time? – BlogIndonesia

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If you are a diver or an avid traveler wondering when and where to go to explore the Indonesian archipelago. Here are some of the popular destinations in the country and its best season, so you’ll know when is the best time to visit during the year to experience it to the fullest.

Padar Island (Photo by Samara Liveaboard)


Cruises are the best way to explore the Komodo Islands. There are hundreds of liveaboards with various structures to choose from. Itinerary varies for scuba diving, leisure (non-diving) and freediving with duration ranging from 3 days to 7 days, all departing from Labuan Bajo.

During the rainy season, from January to April, the waves and heavy rainfall can be uncomfortable. It is best to visit between March and November/December. As the seasons change, you will be able to see the changing colors of the savannah grass on the hills of the island. Watch as they go from green after the rainy season, to yellow and brown during the dry season.

The Komodo Islands are famous for their beautiful landscape, underwater biodiversity with its thrilling currents and of course the Komodo dragons. Popular destinations like Padar Island, Rinca Island, Manjarite / Pink Rock, Pink Beach, Manta Point and many more.

Some of the famous diving spots are Manta Point, Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, Shotgun and Batu Bolong. Divers with all experience levels can enjoy the dive sites. Please note that some of the dive sites are known for their currents and are better suited to more experienced divers. Have a look here to check available trips that are right for you.

School of Sweetlips fish (photo by Zhu)

Raja Ampat

You can visit Raja Ampat almost all year round with the best season being October to April scuba diving trip. Raja Ampat is definitely a popular destination among divers with its dense schools of fish, walls, slopes, various reef sharks, manta rays and critters. The islands have so much more to offer above the water as well. Pristine beaches and its extraordinary landscape are just waiting to be explored. The trips started from Sorong to North Raja Ampat or South Raja Ampat.

Piaynemo (photo by Tandiono Tour)

North Raja Ampat

Cruise boat trips usually last around 7 days while land trips (without diving) are shorter with just 4 days. You will visit destinations like Piaynemo, Star Lagoon, Arborek, Kali Biru and many more including the icon of Raja Ampat, Wayag, a limestone karst formation.

Manta Sandy, Manta Ridge, Arborek Jetty, Melissa’s Garden, Barracuda Reef, Mansuar are some of the popular sites. One of the main attractions when visiting Wayag is swimming with blacktip reef sharks on Wayag Shark Point. Catching all types of sharks is prohibited in all areas of Raja Ampat and the local manager has made swimming with sharks an activity to create more awareness about its existence to protect it instead of hunting it.

Click here to see the non-diving trip schedule and here for the dive trip schedules.

Manta Ray (Photo by Charlie Jung from Néomi Cruise)

Southern Raja Ampat

To the south you can visit Misool, once a shark finning camp, now a marine reserve area. One of the places in the world where biodiversity is increasing. Misool is known for its world class coral reefs and abundant marine life with diverse species. Manta rays, wrasse wrasse, green turtles, batfish, barracuda, turtles and reef sharks are often seen on dives.

Visit famous sites such as Magic Mountain, Farondi, Boo’s Window, Wayilbatan, Shadow Reef, Jellyfish Point and the heart shaped lagoon on Karawapop Island. Note that from June to early September the weather can be bad and it is not advisable to visit during those months.

Misool is in the southernmost part and logistics can be challenging. Cruises are popular due to their easy accessibility. Trips start from 7 days and more departing from Sorong.

Maratua, villas and sanctuary of Arasatu


Maratua Island is located in the Derawan Archipelago off the north coast of East Kalimantan along with Derawan, Sangalaki and Kakaban. Maratua is believed to contain the third largest marine biodiversity in the world after Raja Ampat and the Solomon Islands.

The island offers various diving spots with beautiful coral reefs, different fish species and is also famous for its green sea turtles. Expect to encounter pelagics such as manta rays, eagle rays, tuna, schools of barracuda and reef sharks. Some dive sites are known for their currents and are better suited to more experienced divers.

For non-diving activities, swimming with stingless jellyfish at Kakaban is one of the most popular activities along with dolphin sightings, snorkelling, cycling and exploring the hidden caves.

March to December is the best time to visit. Flights with transits in Samarinda are available. The resort offers all the necessary services for your memorable trip. Click here to see the travel programme.

Photo by John Henriano


Alor is located in East Nusa Tenggara. Flights usually transit through Kupang before continuing to Alor. Many would say Alor is a hidden gem for its pristine coral reefs, marine life and crystal clear water. During its peak season between March and December, visibility could reach over 30m.

Cruises are available from August to September for 6-7 days. For a more flexible schedule you can also visit the local dive centers which provide accommodation, transport, food and most of the things you need during your stay. Read more about scuba diving in Alor here.

Alor is also great for non-diving activities. Swim/snorkel in the turquoise water, visit the local village or meet the infamous dugong, Mawar. Definitely not to be missed.

Click here to see dive center options and here for cruise schedules.

Mola-mola (Photo by Blue Season)

Bali and Nusa Penida

Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. You’ll never run out of things to explore above and below the water. You can visit Bali at any time of year, just know that the rainy season falls from November to March.

Bali has a wide variety of sites suitable for snorkelling, freediving and scuba diving for beginners and experienced divers. Some of the popular destinations in Bali are Menjangan, Amed, Padang Bai, Tulamben and Nusa Penida. The famous USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben is one of Bali’s most popular dive spots, with easy accessibility and abundant marine life.

Tropical beach and reef on Nusa Penida island, Indonesia (Photo by Freedive Nusa)

Just 45 minutes from Bali by speedboat, you can visit Nusa Penida, a favorite spot to see sunfish and manta rays. Be aware that the currents can be challenging and that it can usually get very cold during mola mola season, August through November.

Click here to see dive center options.

Augustine Phinisi in Pulau Seribu, Jakarta (Photo by Augustine Phinisi)

Thousand Island

If you live in or near Jakarta, Pulau Seribu is an easy weekend getaway from the busy city life. Travel options available from day trip to overnight 3 days 2 nights on a cruise. Explore the islands for snorkeling, scuba diving or any other fun water activity while relaxing on a phinisi boat.

Wreck diving at sites such as the Papa Theo wreck and Tabularasa are recommended for experienced divers due to the depth and visibility which can be very shallow at times.

Trips to Pulau Air, Pulau Pari, atau Pulau Bidadari or Pulau Pramuka are available every week. The end of the rainy season on Mei, during the dry season until September, would be the best time to sail to Kepulauan Seribu.

Click here to see private charter travel options.

Hammerhead shark (photo by Néomi Cruise)

Ambon and Banda Sea

Ambon Bay is known to be a top muck diving destination with its diverse array of living creatures with its native mandarin, redfish, rhinopia, blue ring octopus and more. The eastern side of the bay is where you’ll see more reef walls and the Duke of Sparta Wreck, a 1940s cargo ship from England that was bombed by the CIA and sank in 1958.

Some liveaboard trips offer crossing trips between Ambon and Banda Neira Island during the hammerhead shark season from September to November. The duration of the trip is approximately 6-8 days.

Banda Neira is best visited from February to April and September to November with highlights such as large pelagics, schooling fish, healthy reefs and definitely the hammerhead shark encounters. The island is steeped in history with many historic architecture sites, a perfect destination to explore. Click here to see the timetables for cruises in Ambon and here in Banda Sea.

Which destination do you want to visit next? If you have any questions about travel and availability, please don’t hesitate to contact us Here.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

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