Indonesia is one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations. This is because it has a huge percentage — 20% — of the world’s coral reefs in its waters. It’s simply is more beautiful under water world there than anywhere else!
Indonesia is made up of more than 13,000 tropical islands (many of them deserted) and boasts of the longest coastline of any country anywhere in the world. Nestled between the Indian Ocean on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, Indonesia is an equatorial paradise of unending beauty and mystery.
While scuba diving in Indonesia, you will have the opportunity to spy some of the more than 3,000 species of fish, 450 species of coral, vertical walls, wrecks, volcanic underwater mountains, and macro life of unbelievable diversity. And with nearly a thousand scuba diving sites directly off shore or reachable by a short boat ride, you will never grow bored of scuba diving in Indonesia.
Two of the most popular scuba diving destinations in Indonesia include Komodo and Bali. Following is a brief introduction to each.
KOMODO – Komodo Island is world renowned for its biodiversity. In fact, Komodo National Park is home to great diversity. A scuba diving expedition in this park will bring you up close and personal with colorful shallow reefs full of small marine life and deep water wonders such as sea mounts, walls, and pinnacles. You may even be able to spy a shark or two. Other wonders that you might see while scuba diving in Komodo, Indonesia include whale sharks, sunfish, mantas, eagle rays, pygmy seahorses, clown frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, colorful sponges, tunicates, and corals.
What sets Komodo apart from other parts of Indonesia, besides the Komodo dragon, is the fact that much of the reefs in the waters surrounding Komodo are part of a national park and has been protected from damage caused by dynamite fishing.
BALI – One of the most beautiful destinations in the world, Bali is one of the most popular islands in the whole of Indonesia. Shore-based diving is extremely popular here as well as boat dives. While scuba diving in Bali, divers will be delighted by vertical drop offs, coral ridges, volcanic outcrops, seagrass beds, and one of the most famous wrecks in the world. Marine life in this part of Indonesia includes hairy frogfish, cockatoo leaf fish, bumphead parrotfish, reef sharks, sunfish, and trevallies.
While the scuba diving season in Bali is year round, the best diving can be had from the months beginning with April and running through December. From December to March is the rainy season and visibility is hampered. But if you want to see sunfish and sharks, the best time to go scuba diving in Bali is from June to September.
The bottom line is this: Scuba diving in Indonesia is an experience that can be matched by no other. The sheer abundance of life and diversity of underwater formations is what makes Indonesia a popular destination for divers from all over the world.
If it weren’t for the coral reef located in the Florida Keys, the United States would have nothing to offer as far as scuba diving and coral reefs are concerned. In addition to the living coral reef that has been a main scuba diving attraction of the Florida Keys for more than 35 years, numerous dive able wrecks are scattered throughout the waters providing exotic and breathtaking artificial reef habitats.
Here is a brief overview of some of the wrecks you can visit while scuba diving in the Florida Keys:
Benwood – The Benwood is perhaps the oldest scuba diving wreck site to be found in the Florida Keys. This WWII ship was sunk in 1942 when it collided with another whip while dodging German U-boats near the coast of Florida. While the wreck is not intact (it was blown apart because it presented a boating hazard) it is home to a wide array of marine life. Scuba diving near the Benwood will bring you face to face with critters such as Pork fish, grunts, lobsters, moray eels, glassy sweepers, Sergeant Majors, Goatfish, and Christmas Tree Worms. Since the ship had run aground before it was blown up, the dive is a relatively shallow one and great for novice divers as well as advanced divers.
Cayman Salvage Master – This wreck that can be seen while scuba diving in the Florida Keys is a Cuban refugee vessel that was confiscated by the US government. The ship was tied up to a dock where she sank before she was re-floated. Then, during her burial voyage of 1985, she sank in about 90 feet of water coming to rest on her side. Recently, Hurricane Katrina righted the ship and now divers can swim along the hull and deck hoping to spy huge Jewfish and moray eels that reside in the open hatches of the wreck.
Duane – If you’re experienced at scuba diving, you might want to pay a visit to the wreck Duane while you’re in the Florida Keys area. This US Coast Guard Cutter was intentionally sunk in 120 feet of water in the year 1987. Due to the strong Gulf Stream current and depth associated with the wreck, only advanced divers are allowed to dive this site. The Duane is home to grunts, sponges, chubbs, jacks, barracuda, and numerous tropical fish.
In addition to these three wrecks that can be seen while scuba diving in the Florida Keys, there are several other wrecks in the area that have been intentionally sunk to become artificial reef habitats. Each offers a different experience and a unique look into how the ocean transforms a foreign object into a beautiful habitat where marine life can grow and thrive.
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After scuba diving for many years, I became enthralled with the sport and decided to search out the world’s best places to scuba dive. The options of great scuba diving destinations are endless, but here are my top three diving sites.
Beginning with the Red Sea in Egypt, there is no other scuba diving like this place. It is one of the best places to scuba dive I’ve found. The water is incredibly clear and with the right scuba gear, you can dive and see some amazing sea life.
The next best place to scuba dive is in Malta. This place offers great visibility as well, but the diving with scuba gear is protected by the Maltese Island government. When you scuba dive in this amazing place, you will see octopus and rays of every kind.
Finally, the third best place to scuba dive is in Costa Rica. I can’t believe the fish I saw in my dive off the shores of Costa Rica. Scuba diving in the world’s best water is a hobby of mine, so I’ve seen some fabulous fish, but none like the underwater life I saw here. Keep up the great scuba diving and enjoy these wonderful scuba diving locations.