2 April, 2024

By Abd. Wahab  

Planning your snorkeling in Indonesia can sometimes be overwhelming. Simply because there are many underwater spots in Indonesia that people will tell you to visit, or you may find them on a travel website. But not everyone tells you those places are worth visiting.  

So, I asked experts about the best places for snorkeling in Indonesia. These experts have been working in the travel industry and providing snorkeling experiences to guests through the years. And the most important thing, they are Indonesian experts who will show you Indonesia through Indonesian Eyes.  

The Underwater Beauty You Can Find When Snorkeling in Indonesia 

You probably have heard or read about this: Indonesia is one of the best countries with the most fascinating underwater biodiversity.

Indonesia is an archipelago with over 17.000 islands and lies at the center of the Coral Triangle Area. That makes Indonesia home to 76 percent of the coral species and 37 percent of the coral reef fish. This country has the densest marine biodiversity, making it one of the best places in the world for snorkeling.

If you love marine life, you will find that the underwater world in Indonesia is a true paradise. The stunning sea creatures and the marine diversity will leave you amazed.

Imagine floating on this gentle sea while swimming alongside a school of colorful fish, the friendliest whale shark, or the majestic manta rays. You could even be lucky to come across six of the seven sea turtle species that call Indonesia home.

Best Places for Snorkeling in Indonesia Recommended by Experts

Our experts have been sailing and snorkeling to many underwater spots in Indonesia. I asked them to recommend the best snorkeling places based on their experience.

So, these are seven best snorkeling places in Indonesia based on our expert or our Tour Leaders recommendation:

1. Pulau Nusatea, Maluku

“Pulau Nusatea is one of my favorite underwater spots in Indonesia. I circumnavigated this island by snorkeling with two guests back in 2018. This wonderful little island in the Maluku archipelago is suitable for beginner snorkelers because it starts from the shallows of a stunning white-sand beach. Depths range from 1-14 meters along a sloping reef then it plunges into the deep blue. Marvelous hard and soft corals can be found surrounding the island, and other marine life such as moray eels, angelfish, and flounder also can be seen swimming around the reef.” 

-Recommended by Nita CJ

2. Kapatcol, Misool, Raja Ampat

“I can still remember very vividly the very first taste of my Raja Ampat underwater experience like it was only yesterday, and it was here in Kapatcol where I first snorkeled in Raja Ampat. The fringing reefs were filled with colourful hard and soft corals hanging from the shallows to the deep. Groups of fusiliers or silversides are common sightings in the area, while the bright, pinkish-red sea fans gracefully dance with the current flow and sometimes we can see moray eels hanging out from their den checking on the outside world. With such vibrant marine life here, it’s never a dull moment snorkeling in Kapatcol. It’s unquestionably an underwater photographer’s playground.”  

-Recommended by Nita CJ

3. Belang-Belang Island, North Maluku

“In 2022, I had the opportunity to visit an awe-inspiring location on the SeaTrek trip as a tour leader. The coral reefs were a sight to behold, with abundant, vibrant, soft, and hard coral and diverse fish. It is one of the genuinely top spots for snorkeling in North Moluccas. And that’s not all – the island also boasts a pristine white sandy beach, perfect for relaxation. You can even embark on a dinghy ride for bird watching and enjoy a lovely beachside lunch. This location truly offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers.” 

-Recommended by Dion Luas 

4. Hiriuli, Southern Misool, West Papua

 

“During my trip on the MSV Ombak Putih from Ternate to Sorong in October 2022, I had the opportunity to visit a unique island. It was recommended to me by one of the SeaTrek Tour leaders. This island is a paradise for beach lovers, where you can relax and enjoy a beach BBQ. What’s more, the snorkeling experience in this area is out of this world. The colors and the variety of marine creatures are breathtaking, making it a must-visit spot for coral enthusiasts as well. Without a doubt, it is one of the best snorkeling spots in Misool, Raja Ampat.”

-Recommended by Dion Luas

5. Sebayur Island, Komodo National Park

“The next place I recommend visiting is Sebayur, located in the Lesser Sunda Islands, East Nusa Tenggara. I went there in 2023 and had an incredible time snorkeling. Our guests and I had a great time exploring the area and were blown away by the stunning coral gardens teeming with fish. It was indeed an unforgettable experience. While it’s true that the Komodo area is known for its strong currents, it’s still possible to experience the breathtaking underwater world if the water conditions are suitable. Sebayur Island is always included in my itinerary when we explore Komodo National Park’s beauty.”

-Recommended by Dion Luas

6. Manta Point, Mauwang Island, Komodo National Park

The place is named Manta Point simply because this is the place to encounter and swim with manta rays. I remember, back in 2014, I snorkeled here for the first time with a big fish that seemed like flying in the water, a manta ray. I was scared when I saw the manta open its mouth and thought it was going to eat me. But after I found that manta rays eat plankton, I fell in love with manta and always got excited to swim with them.

-Recommended by Tinae Siringoringo 

7. Yanbuba, Raja Ampat

I have always heard that Raja Ampat is a paradise for underwater. I went there for the first time with SeaTrek and visited one of the best snorkeling spots, Yanbuba. People called this place Fishbowl because the snorkeling area is like a bowl of fish. There are lots of fish ranging from small to big fish. Floating there while surrounded by a colorful school of fish was very calming. 

-Recommended by Tinae Siringoringo 

Plan Your Best Snorkeling Indonesia Experience

Whether you are an adventure seeker, nature lover, underwater enthusiast, or want to enjoy the calm of snorkeling, Indonesia is the place to fulfill your needs.

As a tropical country, the water temperature in Indonesia is warm. The temperature is around an average of 29c, which is very comfortable and ideal for long swimming in any body of water.

If you plan to snorkel in Indonesia, you can visit the country all year round. Indonesia has two seasons. The dry season spans from April to September, while the wet season spans from October to April.

In SeaTrek, we divide our trip destination and sailing route based on weather and season. So, if you want to go to the Spice Islands, the best time is around September until October. November to January is a great time to explore the Heart of the Coral Triangle in Raja Ampat. Then, around February to March, we sail to Sulawesi to find the Undiscovered Frontier. The last one, the most visited place on a family trip, is the area of the Ring of Fire from April to August.

This way, you can plan your Indonesia snorkeling and sailing trip easily. If you want to learn more about our trip availability, destination, and cruise, our experts are always ready to help you.