Indonesia Dive Locations For Wet Season.
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 31, 2012 7:45 PM Last Post By: limbo1
Sep 21, 2012 5:55 AM
Indonesia Dive Locations For Wet Season.Hi All,
My wife and I will have a few weeks to spend in Indonesia (flying from Australia to Denpasar) at the beginning of January. Being residents of far north Queensland in Australia, we are well aware that it will be wet season in many parts of Indonesia.
I have researched many posts regarding spots that are fantastic to dive in Indonesia, and the list seems to be limitless, but what I am really searching for is information relating to this particular time of year. We looked into Fiji also but I am making the assumption that the weather patterns will be similar in the South Pacific. Would I be wrong about that? Would anyone be of the opinion that we should reconsider Fiji?
The question I'm really trying to solve is what would be the best for that time??
I am a DM and my wife is open water certified with approximately 20 dives. We would like to have the opportunity to do simple day trips, including the possibility of shore diving, but also somewhere that may offer short live-aboards of a mid range budget. We both have experience diving in Australia, Thailand and Japan. As we only have just under three weeks, we would like to keep the traveling to a minimum, but most certainly want to avoid the real hustle and bustle of Kuta (Been to Bali plenty just never dived there) and get a little off the beaten path, somewhere with a lovely beach to relax after a days excursion, and not huge crowds.
Will their be limitations with access to certain areas during the wet season that I may be as yet unaware of, and are there areas that are typically dived all year round? We also sometimes like to enjoy a casual surf, kitesurf, SUP and a motorbike ride through nice scenery. Has anyone found a place at this time that blew their minds??
In saying all this we are certainly no strangers to monsoon seasons, and we love the rain, we just want to make sure we don't make a mistake in choosing a destination that may not be able to offer diving or may be inaccessible during wet season.
I've seen hundreds of people mentioning Komodo, Gili etc, so is this what we should be going for?? Or would Fiji be a better way to go?
Thank you all,
Sep 21, 2012 1:31 PM
1I was in Raja Ampat (West Papua) in February this year. Absolutely superb diving and Nov-Mar is the best time to be there. Superb coral, prolific marine life, especially manta rays. Weather was generally good, a little bit of rain here and there but nothing major. There are both liveaboard and land based diving options. No huge crowds, other divers were few and far between. Most definitely off the beaten track. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Sep 21, 2012 5:04 PM
2Second dxb, we're heading to Raja Ampat at the end of December for our second trip, it's absolutely incredible, best diving I've ever done. I've only done it as a liveaboard though, so don't really know anything about land based options.
Based on what other activities you want to do, Bali could still be an option (especially with ease of travel from QLD). I was really surprised at the quality of diving there, especially in the north east, around Talumben. I guess I'd fallen into the trap of assuming that all of Bali was like Kuta.
I was there in October though, so not sure if there is an impact from the wet season on the diving. It was mostly shore based so there could be visibility issues from run-off. It's definitely something to look at though.
Sep 23, 2012 1:19 PM
3The Banda's can be good at this time of year, (pulau hatta, around bandaneira, etc) but in my opinion after diving there, it's ridiculously priced for what you get as the owner of the local dive shop is the kepala desa (village head) and he seemed to be a touch TOO Greedy. Like many places in Indo, he seemed to price the diving based on the fuel being used, and his fuel prices were astronomical. His answer that he was the only one with tanks and had a fast boat didn't do anything to justify the 100 price tag each for 2 instructors with their own gear and a 15 minute boat ride. This was a few years back but prices can only have gone up...... There are a few other ways to find tanks there if you speak bahasa indonesia, but the locals face a big problem if caught giving tanks out!! Access to and from Banda is also not good as Pelni runs irregularly scheduled boats and if the planes that fly in aren't full, the passengers are made to pay for the empty seats or the flights don't go..
Like the others suggest, Komoda and surrounds is your best bet at this time of year and you just can't beat the diving......
Oct 2, 2012 10:41 AM
4Hi My husband and I are heading to Indonesia and Kalimantan and Sulawesi for 5 weeks end of January and the month of February.
We were planing on heading first to Derawan.
I am always confused by the rainny season and with Global warming , things change, last year in Sri Lanka was completely different.
Can you dive the above time .
I love Indonesia and was fortunate enough to go there in the early 80"s when Gili Trawangan had no guest houses and we stayed at the headman's house and they dressed in their finery for photos , having moved there from Kalimantan.
Also Lembongan before boats from Sanur etc. Pulau Tioman when only 1 resort. And we camped in a village. Times have changed. So can you go to Kalimantan and dive in January-February we plan a 5 - 6 week trip .
We were considering a stopover in the Philippines but last year at that time it was very windy in Palawan. We loved Pulau Weh and Aceh. Thanks for your help. Any suggestions for Sulawesi , for dive centers , not so expensive, Derawan seems pretty expensive. Wonder if the dive Centers not associated with Derawan Dive Center are safe...If it was a good time of year to dive there. Is it really not a good time of year to go to the Perhentians.?? Thanks so much. Terimah Kasih
Oct 2, 2012 11:02 AM
Oct 3, 2012 2:59 PM
Thanks so much for your advice. I think at this stage we really need to consider where is the best place for us. My wife would not want to spend the entire time diving, and so I think dragging her all the way to Raja Ampat might not be on the cards. What kind of time would we be talking about to get there, and is accomodation readily accessible? Can you guys provide an insight into the genreal demographic of the place compared to say Bali or Lombok? I'm told parts of eastern Indonesia are quite sparse and barren, much like some kind of African Savannah (Ie. Komodo etc)
We had planned to spend maybe half of our time diving, and perhaps the rest just relaxing, maybe some surfing, kiting, and perhaps motorcycling around and of course some simple shopping and beach lazing, but it seems to me with really only two weeks, a trip to raja ampat may dominate and thats not what we want. COuld any of you provide your experience with getting there and away, and options if we were to hang around after we finished diving.
So far I have seen horror stories of people in Indonesia during DEC-JAN-FEB and having trouble with rough seas, bad vis, ripping currents and monsoonal rain in the Gilis, the islands off balikpapan (eg. Derawan), Flores and Komodo. Is it worth the risk? Are these people isolated cases or is iot really a throw of the dice at this time period?
Can anyone suggest the quality of diving at this time period of Bali and mainland Lombok if we to just stay around there for the period. Ive already had other dampeners for this time with the realisation that attractions such as the Rinjani volcano trek being inaccessible at this time. Ive been told surfing can be a pain then too, with the Gilis being our only real option.
Would we be better off to go somewhere else entirely at this time????? I feel lost.
Oct 3, 2012 3:01 PM
Oct 3, 2012 3:30 PM
8To get to Raja Ampat you fly from either Bali or Jakarta to Sorong - this is usually indirect via Makassar - it's about 5 hours all up. Once you get to Sorong, you have to transfer by boat to one of the resorts in RA - around 2 hours - unless you're doing a liveaboard in which case they pick you up from Sorong.
In terms of what it's like in RA, have a look at this web site:
I'll be honest, RA is very much about the diving but it is a lovely pristine environment with great islands, beaches and bird life. It is extremely quiet, no doubt about that. I'm a diver and I stayed for 7 days. The diving was the best I've ever done, and I've been lucky enough to dive in some very good locations around the world.
I can't really comment on what Bali/Lombok is like during Jan-Mar but the currents in RA were pretty gentle.
If it all sounds too remote, maybe consider a more established destination like Thailand - diving in the Similan Islands is nice from Jan-Mar. Or Palau is fantastic at that time of year.
Oct 3, 2012 11:36 PM
9Thanks dxb. I am going to spend a bit more time looking into RA now. Yes we did the Similans in January 2011 and it was great then. Palau would be absolutely lovely but unfortunately flights are a little expensive for us atm.
Does anyone have some experience diving in various locations around Bali and Lombok throughout this period?
Oct 31, 2012 7:45 PM
10The Gili islands are a nice destination, they offer good coral, small and big fish. I would recommend Gili Air over Gili Trawangan if you want a more relaxed environment.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$49.48 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$315.99 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$178.25 per night