Indonesia is an archipelago located between Asia and the Pacific Ocean that is home to calm, clear waters and a wide variety of marine life and pristine coral reefs. The 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia and the waters that surround them create an endless playground for avid snorkelers.
Best Sites for Snorkeling Indonesia
Bunaken National Marine Park
Bunaken National Marine Park combines excellent water visibility (up to 40 meters!) with a large variety of marine life. The island is surrounded by coral reefs that can be accessed easily right from shore. There is a "House Reef” in front of the private beach which stretches about 60 meters, which is a good place to view dolphins passing by. If you get tired, there is a pontoon in the water, which allows you to take a short break. The Cha Cha "House Reef" has hundreds of different coral species, as well as many different types of reef fish. If you move further out from the reef top, you will hit a steep drop-off called The Wall, where you can catch glimpses of barracudas, eagle rays, turtles, tunas and even some white and black tipped reef sharks.
Raja Ampat is by far one of the best spots for snorkeling in Indonesia. These waters surrounding Raja Ampat hold some of the most diverse marine life in the world with six species of turtles, around 450 types of coral, and thousands of tropical fish species. You can also meet larger marine life, like whales or one of the species of massive Queensland groper, which have reportedly grown as big as a small vehicle! You will want to make your way to the coral Triangle, where all of this diverse marine life can be explored. This triangle serves as a link from the Philippines to Bali to the Solomon Islands. If you only have one day for snorkeling in Indonesia, choose Raja Ampat as your destination!
Wakatobi National Park
The shallower waters of Wakatobi National Park provide opportunities for those snorkeling Indonesia to encounter many different species of coral and marine life. At almost any point on the small island, you can wade into the water right from shore and explore the bio-diverse underwater ecosystem, which makes it a great spot for beginners. While snorkeling through the 821 square kilometer area, you can explore the 25 clusters of coral reefs, all in pristine condition, and see marine life ranging from smaller tropical fish to dolphins, sharks and whales.
Pink Beach (also known as Red Beach) is near the secluded island of Rinca in the Komodo National Park. There is no public transportation to get you to Pink Beach, so you will need to charter a boat or take a dive/snorkeling tour. If you do take a tour, you will likely also stop to see the Komodo Dragons, which is a unique experience! Pink Beach has clear waters, which provide for great water visibility and since it is a protected area, the vibrant corals will be pristine and healthy. You can enter the water anywhere along the beach and just meters offshore will start to spot clownfish and other tropical reef fish.
The Best Time for Snorkeling Indonesia
Now that you’re hooked on the different sites, and are ready to plan your trip to Indonesia you may be wondering when the best time to visit Indonesia for snorkeling is. Indonesia is always warm and humid, but the best time to visit is during dry season, which stretches from May to October. The temperature during the time averages 28°C (86°F), with water temperatures between 28°C to 30°C (82-86°F). There is also low rainfall, which leads to clearer waters and better snorkeling conditions.
Getting to and Around Indonesia
Luckily, Indonesia is well connected well to the rest of the globe by many airlines. To get to Indonesia, you will likely fly into Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, or Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport. Many different airlines provide international service to Indonesia, so choose the one that works best for you and your budget.
Indonesia is home to some of the most vibrant, healthy and bio-diverse coral reefs in the entire world. No matter when you choose to visit, or what time of the year you come for snorkeling Indonesia, it will be a trip that you will not forget!