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Discover the Underwater Wonders: 7 Must-Visit Snorkeling Destinations in Indonesia

Planned on visiting this jaw-dropping snorkel destination? We have compiled our top snorkel spots in Indonesia, from national parks to secret bays. This vast archipelago of 17,000 islands is situated right in the middle of the Coral Triangle, home to 20% of the world's coral reefs. The waters surrounding Indonesia are teeming with marine life, including over 2,000 recorded species of fish and 500 coral reef species, and the water is generally calm and gin-clear.

1. Komodo National Park

The Komodo National Park is most famous for being home to the largest lizard in the world, but it also has some amazing snorkeling locations. The waters are rich in nutrients and packed with nutrient-rich plankton, and highlights include manta rays, sharks, and pygmy seahorses. The park is known for its lizard population.

Pulau Padar Shot from a Drone
Padar Island. Photo by : Kanhaliveaboard

2. Bunaken National Park

Located off the coast of Sulawesi, Bunaken National Park is regarded as one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling. The park is made up of five small islands in addition to the reefs, where you can find a variety of restaurants and facilities. Nearly 400 coral species support an astounding range of marine creatures, including clownfish, pink skunk, boxfish, and porcupine-fish. If you are swimming around the drop-off, you might even spot sea turtles.

Turtle Swim in Wakatobi
Photo by Unsplash

3. Wakatobi Island

Wakatobi Island, which lies southeast of Sulawesi, is home to unusual snorkeling locations like the Sombano Lake, also called Akku'a Nu-lumu. This 500-meter-long lake has an average depth of just one meter and is surrounded by mangroves that are home to thousands of blood-red shrimp. The Wakatobi Resort is often ranked among the best house reefs in the world.

Wakatobi, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photo by Unsplash

4. The Banda Islands

The Banda Islands, formerly known as the Spice Islands, are a must-visit for adventurous divers. Its deep water basin and powerful currents have created the perfect environment for migrating scalloped hammerheads. For the best chance of seeing these shy and ethereal predators, schedule your trip during the second season, which runs from September until November. The Banda Islands boast some of the most dramatic underwater landscapes in the region, with sweeping coral gardens and plentiful fish. Beyond the drop-off, snorkelers can encounter blockbuster big predators like hammerhead sharks and Napoleon Wrasse.

5. Cenderawasih Bay

There is not a better place to snorkel with whale sharks than Cenderawasih Bay, also called the "Galapagos of the East," where you can swim with these magnificent creatures on a variety of specialized tours. Along with being home to over 500 different kinds of coral and 1,000 different fish species, Cenderawasih Bay is also less crowded than other well-known snorkeling locations like Raja Ampat.

6. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida

You can combine both destinations on a boat tour; there are numerous reliable companies offering access to both points. Northeast of Nusa Lembongan is Mangrove of Nusa Lembongan, a sprawling underground forest teeming with tiny colorful fish. A short distance away is Nusa Penida, home to one of the world's best spots for swimming with manta rays.

Nusa Penida and Nusa lembongan
Photo by Unsplash

7. Jemeluk Bay

Situated in the center of Amed, this small bay provides one of the most private snorkeling experiences in the area; its reef drop-off is full of vibrant colorful fish, such as bright yellow damselfish and schools of green chromis; however, it is best suited for experienced swimmers because of the steep drop-offs and the movement of small fishing boats through the waters.


Kanha Liveaboard
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