Scuba Seraya Resort

Beautiful, new luxury villas and well-appointed maisonettes set right on the beach in Tulamben, all with views of the ocean or Mt. Agung Volcano as the majestic backdrop.

Diving with the friendly Scuba Seraya Resort is from motorised dinghies. You can explore the Bali scuba sites of Tulamben, Gili Selang, Amed and the Liberty Wreck as well as the resort’s own renowned critter-haven, under the watchful gaze of experienced dive guides.

Only eight units, a swimming pool and beach, this Tulamben resort is ideal for families, and those wanting to escape the tourist crowds.

Wakatobi Diving

Dive Sites of the Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi

The area of Wakatobi is fast gaining a reputation as one of the top dive spots around. This small collection of islands in the south east of Sulawesi enjoys some of the healthiest coral fields you are likely to see. The rich waters mean an abundance of marine life in all its forms and the area is now regularly visited by liveaboards.

Wakatobi is one of the newest and most exciting diving destinations in Indonesia, winning extraordinary praise from its visitors both for outstanding and accessible diving and the quality of service they receive from the dive operation.

For fans of Wakatobi diving it is not only that there are so many incredible dive sites within easy reach of the resort, being only a short speedboat ride away, but also that a few fin kicks from the shore lies the best house reef in the world. How could a simple house reef be one of the highlights of a diving holiday? Well this isn’t your average house reef.

In fact, the Wakatobi House Reef is considered by many dive professionals to be the finest in the world and is a site that guests often visit over and over again, such is its allure. Stroll in to a dive site that seems impossibly entertaining with every reef character you could imagine including seahorses, trevallies, turtles, eagle rays and hard and soft corals galore.

Although it is simple enough to get to with charter flights from Bali, you still have the remote pioneer-diving feel when enjoying these sites. For serious divers looking for the one of the finest diving experiences in Indonesia, this could well be the place.

• View map of Sulawesi

Diving Season

March to December is the season for scuba diving in Wakatobi. This applies to both the resort vacations and to liveaboard safaris. July and August bring rich plankton blooms and their attendant big marine animals, but also cooler water and lower visibility.

The water temperature varies quite a bit here. This is a quick guide: October maximum of 30°C, the latter half of August minimum of 25°C, March until May the temperature averages 28°C, June, July and September are between 26 to 27°C, October 28 to 30°C November to March averages 28°C. In other words for 99% of the year, the temperature ranges between 26 – 29°C.

Reef Basics

Great for: Small animals, underwater photography, reef life and health and visibility
Not so great for: Wrecks and non-diving activities
Depth: 5 – >40m
Visibility: 15 – 80m
Currents: Gentle
Surface Conditions: Calm
Water Temperature: 26 – 29°C
Experience Level: Beginner – advanced
Number of dive sites: >50
Distance: 1,020 km north east of Bali (2½ hours)
Access: Wakatobi liveaboards
Recommended length of stay: 7 – 11 days

Dive Sites

Dive The World Indonesia’s Recommendations: Roma and Cornucopia.

Use our short form to grab your options:
• Send your diving enquiry now

Diving Indonesia Courses

PADI DIVEMASTER

For those of you looking to join the leaders of the pack in the Indonesia scuba diving industry, look no further. The PADI Divemaster programme is your first step leadership level in the PADI System of diver education. This rating denotes you as a person who:

  1. Has a high level of personal diving skill
  2. Has instructor level knowledge of dive theory
  3. Has had significant training in how to assist an instructor during training activities
  4. Is able to assume appropriate responsibilities that benefit the welfare of other divers.

In other words, you’re the cream of the crop and we want you!

As you may know, many PADI Divemasters go on to become PADI Instructors. So, the training and experience you gain trough the PADI Divemaster programme helps shape your abilities and attitude toward becoming a professional level dive educator. To help shape you into a scuba professional, PADI has developed the PADI Divemaster Crew-Pak and various other material.

As a PADI Divemaster, you’ll be qualified to:

  • Organise, conduct and supervise recreational dive activities, both land and boat based
  • Assist PADI Instructors in conducting PADI diver programmes.

To qualify for PADI Divemaster training, you’ll need to:

  • Be certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Be certified as a Rescue Diver
  • Have logged a minimum of 20 open water dives prior to entry into PADI Divemaster training, and completed and logged a minimum of 60 open water dives with experience in night, deep and navigation prior to certification as a PADI Divemaster
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be in good physical condition for diving and submit a medical exam form signed by a physician.

You’ll complete three phases in the PADI Divemaster programme whilst scuba diving Indonesia:

  1. Watermanship and skills assessment
  2. Watermanship and stamina
  3. General diving skills

Knowledge Development

  • Diving physics
  • Diving physiology
  • Scuba skills and environment
  • Supervising students in training
  • Dive management and control
  • Dive planning
  • Emergency assistance plan for diving emergencies in the local area
  • Mapping a local Indonesia dive site

Practical Application

This involves training activities using various structured training sessions, simulated scenarios and internship sessions with actual PADI programmes. These training sessions enable you to gain practical experience as an instructional assistant and a supervisor of open water diving activities, both as a coordinator and as an underwater guide.

As a PADI Divemaster you’ll be able to:

  • Act as certified instructional assistant to PADI Instructors
  • Supervise participants in PADI experience programmes for uncertified divers
  • Generally supervise both training and no training related diving activities by planning, organising and directing dives
  • Teach and certify PADI Skin Divers
  • Conduct the PADI Scuba Review program for certified divers
  • Enrol in PADI Instructor level training.

Upon successfully completing the PADI Divemaster programme, you’ll receive a certification card and wall certificate denoting this rating. You’ll also become a member of PADI and receive benefits, including the ability to purchase professional liability insurance.

 

Course Information

Location: Tulamben – Bali

Beach Dives: ~25

Duration: 4 weeks

Total Price (incl. all taxes): US$ 995 per person (includes certification costs, use of all diving equipment, and transfer to Tulamben from the south of Bali)

Total Package Price (incl. all taxes): US$ 1,295 per person (includes four weeks bed & breakfast, certification costs, use of all diving equipment, and transfer to Tulamben from the south of Bali)

Location: Manado – Bunaken – Sulawesi

Boat Dives: ~25

Duration: 4 weeks

Total Price (incl. all taxes): US$ 775 per person

 

• Book your dive Indonesia course

• PADI course price list

Alor Diving

Indonesian Liveaboards

When divers talk about wanting to get away from it all and do some amazing diving in the middle of nowhere, this is what they mean. Alor is a small island north of West Timor. It offers absolutely world class diving and it is a long, long way from the office. An excellent bonus here is the likelihood of spotting pilot whales and dolphins from the boat. Diving in Alor tends to be suitable for experienced divers due to strong currents and eddies and the remote location.

Kal’s Dream – Some recent Timor liveaboard reports suggest this site is not all that it once was, but it still remains a wonderful and colourful site where a large number and variety of fish are all but guaranteed. You are also guaranteed a low density of fellow scuba divers.

You will make a negative entry and fin down to the sea mount around which the action takes place. You quickly see swarms of anthias flickering above the corals as you look out for the bigger fish species. If you are lucky you may see schools of fusiliers, surgeons and snappers. The sightings may also include grey reef sharks, barracudas and rays.

Sharks Galore is off the coast of Pura Island. It is a site where you can get away from the currents without compromising your fun. Given the name, it is no surprise that there is a good chance you will see plenty of sharks here in what is normally a still or gentle drift dive.

You may feel very small indeed as you watch the big grey reef sharks and white tips cruise around in the company of hefty dog-toothed tuna. If conditions are right you may finish this dive on the adjacent Alor site known as Clown Valley.

Just off the beach outside Biangabang village on Pantar Island is The Twilight Zone. There is a steaming hot spring on the beach that might make you expect the water here to be warm. Don’t be fooled, it can get pretty chilly here. The dive starts to the south of the beach by a lava flow and you can choose to head further south over the reef or to head north on to the volcanic black sand. You can drop down to 40 metres or below but most life is found in the shallower waters.

As the name alludes, this is a dive site for weird and unusual creatures that you will need to be eagle-eyed to spot here. Spearing mantis shrimps peer up at divers, focusing their independently movable stalked eyes. These nocturnal creatures are rarely seen out of their holes in day light but lucky divers may see them hunting aggressively at night.

Octopuses are all around the coral mounds including the much sought after mimic. Pegasus seamoths can be found in the rubble areas. Bobbit worms and gurnard lionfish inhabit the sand, while the rare soapfish inhabit the reef areas. On night dives you may see Spanish dancers performing their incredible dance. This is also one of the few places in the world where the huge and rarely seen nudibranch Djibouti Giant has been seen.

• View map of Indonesia

Diving Season

You can dive in Alor all year round, but the best diving conditions are from March to December.

Reef Basics

Great for: Large animals, small animals, drift diving and advanced divers
Not so great for: Wrecks, beginner divers and non-diving activities
Depth: 12 – 40m
Visibility: 12 – 30m
Currents: Can be very strong
Surface Conditions: Can be rough
Water Temperature: 26 – 32°C
Experience Level: Advanced only
Number of dive sites: >15
Distance: ~60 km north of West Timor (3 hours), 1,000 km east of Bali (50 hours), 300 km east of Flores (15 hours) and 1,350 km south west of West Papua (60 hours)
Access: Indonesian liveaboard
Recommended length of stay: 4 – 5 days

Other sites that can be dived as part of an Alor liveaboard cruise:

• Banda Islands • Flores
• Komodo • Raja Ampat
• Sumbawa

 

Use our short form to grab your options:
• Send your diving enquiry now

Saya Dive Resort

Low Price Small And Quiet Resort…
Discover the true Bali diving magic where fresh air, sea breezes and ocean waves greet you each morning in Tulamben. Saya Resort is a small, quiet beach resort, with the towering Mount Agung providing a dramatic backdrop. The resort is built in tradtional Balinese style and, because it is outside the main village, you will have plenty of peace and quiet. However, you can be taken to the village at any time.

Rooms: 5
Diving in: Bali – Tulamben, Liberty Wreck and all of mainland Bali
Dive type: Boat & beach dives
Divers: Max. 14

And you’re not restricted to scuba in Tulamben only either. With free use of a minibus you can visit any of the Bali sites accessible by road. You can also choose to see some of the tourist attractions too if you tire of the diving, such as visiting the volcano, local villages and shopping for souvenirs.

Saya Resort is perfect for a quiet romantic break where you can take things at your own leisurely pace and enjoy the natural offerings of Bali’s famed east coast. Unlike some other resorts in Tulamben, there will be no day-trippers arriving in hordes to upset the atmosphere. Come and escape the urban jungle and traffic snarls that is Bali’s most popular tourist area in Kuta these days. You won’t regret it.

Rooms, Beds, Bathrooms, Views…There are only four triple bed rooms and one twin bed room, so the resort is always peaceful. The rooms are set by the large lawn and gardens with tropical fruit trees, just a few yards from the beach.

All the rooms have:

  • Air-conditioning with individual controls
  • Private bathroom with hot water shower and bath, toiletries and towel
  • Garden sun terrace with chairs
  • Minibar
  • Personal lockable drawers
  • Bedside lights
  • Table and chairs
  • Large, bright windows facing the gardens
Diving Details…
Saya Dive Resort offers boat and beach dives to Tulamben, Liberty Wreck, Candi Dasa, Gili Selang, Padang Bay and Amed.

The boat is a traditional 5 metre single engine jukung, suitable for two divers and one guide. Two-tank boat dive trips depart from the resort beach at 09:00 hrs, returning at 13:00. Dive sites are only a couple of minutes away.

For two tank beach dives, the minibus departs from the resort at 08:00 hrs, returning at 12:00 hrs. Transfer time is less than five minutes.

Dive trips include a divemaster, lunch, soft drinks, water, tanks, weights and weightbelts.

Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort

Bunaken Island Resort In The Heart Of The Marine Park…
Situated on Bunaken Island, the most popular of the five islands that comprise the world famous Bunaken National Marine Park, this relaxing and unpretentious dive resort is ideally located if you want to stay right in Manado’s premiere diving destination.

Rooms: 10
Diving in: Bunaken Island
Dive type: Boat dives
Divers: Max. 16

Staying at this resort means that your boat journey times to the dive sites are shortened to just a few minutes and you get to make your night dives within the park itself. Unlike most other resorts within Bunaken, the dive operation employs only qualified divemasters as dive guides, and the enforce a strict ‘no-touch’ policy for marine life which is very refreshing to see in this fragile and unique environment.

Bunaken Cha Cha’s island location really is idyllic. Cut into the small hillside, the resort offers breathtaking views across the marine park to Siladen Island and the Manado mainland. Here you can watch for passing pilot whales or dolphins frolicking on the sea’s surface. Constructed from natural materials and surrounded by indigenous tropical forest, the resort steps down onto its own small beach area. Take your mask and fins with you as just 30 metres or so from the water’s edge, is the Bunaken Timor wall – one of Manado’s favourite dive sites and great for snorkelling too.

Photos of Bunaken Cha Cha Nature Resort just don’t do the place justice at all. The resort’s personal flavour and friendly atmosphere are invisible to a camera’s lens. This is a small, family business run by an Irish/Italian/English and Japanese partnership. The owner’s approachable style and attention to detail is really what sets this resort apart.

Located on the secluded east coast of Bunaken, your peaceful enjoyment will not be encroached upon by the noisy churches in central Bunaken. The resort is also the only one on the island to have hot water available in the rooms.

Rooms, Beds, Bathrooms, Views…
There are seven larger Superior and three smaller Standard Cottages, all overlooking the wonderful Sulawesi Sea. Bunaken Cha Cha is the only resort on Bunaken Island to offer hot water showers to its guests.

All the cottages have:

  • Seaview
  • Fan cooling
  • Twin or double bed
  • Private bathroom with hot water shower
  • Towels and soap
  • Balcony and chairs
  • Cotton cheesecloth mosquito nets
  • Reading lamps
  • Complimentary mineral water
  • Cabinet, desk, chair and mirror
  • Round two-pin power sockets with power adapters
  • Torch

Because some of the cottage walls are wooden and others stone, some rooms can have noise from adjacent rooms. Please let us know if this is a concern to you, so we can allocate you a stone walled room.

Two of the Superior cottages can be used for three persons (please enquire for details).

Diving Details…
The Cha Cha Diving Club offers boat dives all around the five islands of Bunaken Island national park. Having spent some time at the resort, we think that the personal dive service offered by the operation is very good. In addition, the resort employs only properly qualified divemasters and enforces a ‘look-but-don’t-touch’ policy to marine life – clear positives when compared to the local competition.

The two dive boats feature:

  • 13 m traditional-style with wood hull
  • Built in year 2004
  • Maximum of 8 divers per boat
  • 2 divemasters
  • 3 non-diving boat crew
  • 2 x 40 HP Yamaha engines
  • Speed – 13 knots
  • Shaded kit up area
  • Sundeck
  • Rinse tank
  • Drinking water, biscuits, tea and coffee

Daily departures from the resort are at approx. 08:00 hrs for the first two dives and 14:30 hrs for the third dive. There is a two hour lunch break between trips. Boat journey time is 1-30 minutes.

Note: Due to windy conditions the sea surface can be quite rough between January and March. If you are less agile than most, we recommend visiting outside of these months.

Diving in the Banda Islands

Gunung Api

Gunung Api is a small volcano island lying just across a small strait, to the west of Banda Neira. Its last volcanic eruption took place in 1988, and hot molten lava streams flowed down its north-eastern and northern slopes into the Banda Sea, destroying the existing reef system. The local village was permanently evacuated.

 

After a time the lava cooled and set like a 200 metre wide concrete path on the reef substrate. The solid platform provided by the cold lava, the attendant ionisation process and the earthen minerals with the lava, have combined to form ideal conditions for the regeneration of the coral reef at Gunung Api.

The regrowth rates here have been phenomenal, dumfounding marine biologists and shattering misconceptions about how fast hard corals grow in nature. The size and conditions of the coral formations are quite staggering, especially when one considers that they have only being growing for a maximum of 19 years. Contrasting the existing formations of neighbouring Gunung Api reefs that were not exposed to lava with the new reef, it is clearly evident that a natural wonder of global proportions has occurred at the Banda Islands.

The best point to drop in to see Banda’s wonder-reef is the northern most flow of lava on north east coast of the island. Descending from the Banda Sea surface you are immediately struck by the awesome spectacle below you. In the shallows there are tiered table corals, warty finger corals, bottlebrush corals, acropora corals, then from 20 down to 35 metres cabbage leaf corals take over the scenery. Some of the table corals are as big as houses, the cabbage patches are more like fields, and the corals are so densely packed that there is hardly a spare space amongst them.

Slender fusiliers, greensnout parrotfish and cuttlefish are commonly seen here, as are triggerfish. The shy clown triggerfish could lay claim to being the prettiest of all fishes, with its black, yellow, gold and white contrasting markings. Black triggerfish are far more abundant at Gunung Api, and can be easily identified by their black body with a white band at the base of their dorsal and anal fins.

There are also a couple of rocky outcrops that break up the landscape and add topographical variety. These too are totally covered in corals and a seafan or two, with anthias and damsels swarming all over. A close examination of the gorgonian fan may bring you reward in the form of a longnose hawkfish sighting.

Swimming along at depth, there’s a good chance that you’ll see large Napoleon wrasse, schools of round batfish and pinnate batfish. If upwelling conditions bring in murky planktonic water, then you’re in luck. Some of the Banda Islands more numerous pelagics are likely to visit. Mobula rays fed on the rich plankton, dogtooth tuna and blue trevally will hunt at the extreme of your vision, searching for stray fishes as easy prey.

Gunung Api is a once-in-a-life time experience, and is a ‘must-see’ on any Banda Islands liveaboard safari.

• Banda Islands tourist information

• View map of the Banda Islands

Gunung Api Reef Basics: Hard coral reef phenomenon
Depth: 5 – 35m
Visibility: 10 – 15m
Currents: Gentle
Surface Conditions: Calm
Water Temperature: 26 – 29°C
Experience Level: Beginner – intermediate
Number of dive sites: 2
Diving Season: March, April, and mid-September to mid-December
Distance: ~1km (5 mins) west of Banda Neira
Access: Banda Sea liveaboards

Use our short form to grab your options for
• Indonesia scuba diving enquiries

Scuba Diving Trip Indonesia

Tourist Information and Things to do

Looking for some information to make your Indonesia diving trip run smoothly?

This section contains tourist information for your vacation in the following locations:

• Bali
Island of Paradise

• Banda Islands
Add some spice to your next Indonesia dive adventure…

• Irian Jaya
Cannibals, birds of paradise and Raja Ampat…

• Komodo
Of dragons and myths…

• Sulawesi
The curiously bizarre island of Celebes…

• View a map of Indonesia

The rest of this page contains information about Indonesia:

  • Security and Safety
  • How to Get There
  • General Information
  • Codes of Behaviour

Got a question?
Have a look through our Frequently asked questions

Tourist Security and Safety

We have to admit to having a vested interest in encouraging you to take a scuba diving vacation in Indonesia but that does not extend to recklessly advising you to go to a place of danger.

We consider it a safe place for tourists to travel. All qualified scuba divers will know from their training that the best way to deal with a potentially risky situation is (stop, breathe, think, act) to make an informed and rational evaluation before taking action. We think that once you’ve weighed up the risks you’ll agree that the country poses no greater concerns to responsible and aware travellers than most places, and certainly no more than, say, New York, Florida, London or Spain.

Indonesia is a massive, developing country full of contrasts and like all such places exposed to social diversity, has some huge problems. This means there are high risk areas for any tourist to visit. Aceh Province on the northern tip of Sumatra, for example, and downtown Jakarta at night, are places to keep clear of. Beyond these we feel there is little cause for excessive concern.

Indonesia does not have a track record of security concerns for tourists, though you might be mistaken for thinking otherwise given recent events. The tourist bombings in Bali and Jakarta in 2002, 2003 and 2005 made such big news partly because they were so unusual. Since these events, and given the importance of tourism to Bali, the heightened level of security present in tourist areas means that it has never been safer to travel here.

Dive The World has travelled to all the tourist areas described in this section and never experienced threats of any kind and indeed have never had any customers report safety or security concerns (so far!). The negative headlines are borne of the actions of a tiny minority. The general sense that tourists get from a vacation trip in the country is one of warmth, hospitality and cultural richness. Blindly following all warnings issued by authorities these days, we sometimes wonder how people ever leave their homes!

If you still feel uncomfortable, we can recommend that you take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quote.

How to Get There

The majority of people travelling to Indonesia arrive in Denpasar, Bali (sometimes via Jakarta) or Manado, Sulawesi.

Please click on the following links for more information on How to get to Bali and How to get to Manado.

Booking domestic flight tickets direct with Indonesian airlines, or through most local ticketing agents in Indonesia, can be a real headache. Often finding the current rates or availability, making the reservations and collecting tickets are fraught with hazard. For these reasons we recommend that you book your domestic flight tickets with the most reliable ticketing agent around:

Manado Safari Tours
Telephone: +62 431 857637
E-mail: info@ManadoSafaris.com
Skype name: jhbmanado

Manado Safari Tours make the reservations, have the tickets issued and delivered as e-tickets (by email) or upon arrival in Manado, Jakarta or Bali. They may also courier them to you, if this is your wish (extra charge applies). Dive The World has no involvement whatsoever with the booking arrangements, we simply recommend this ticketing agent due to their professionalism and reliability.

If you require resort accommodation you can get the best value rooms with Agoda, our affiliated resort reservation specialists.

General Information

This section contains information about:

  • Introduction
  • The Local People
  • Climate
  • Health
  • Tourist Visa
  • Time Zones
  • Business Hours
  • Electricity
  • Photographic Facilities
  • Communications

About Indonesia

This is the world’s most expansive archipelago, stretching east to west almost 5,000km from Sumatra to Irian Jaya, and north to south almost 1,800 km from the Sabah – Kalimantan border to Roti Island off Timor – ideal grounds for dive charter trips.

There are 13,677 islands (we didn’t count them) of which 6,000 are inhabited. While the total area covered by the country, including sea, would swallow Australia 2½ times over (wishful thinking!), the actual land mass is only three times that of Texas. Given that the country consists of such a large area of crystalline waters studded with tropical islands, it is little wonder that it is so highly thought of by experienced divers and that Indonesia diving vacations are deemed by many to be second to none.

Most of the country’s islands are mountainous, some so high as to be snow capped, with volcanoes running like a backbone through the country. It’s this volcanic ash that gives Indonesian soil its rich fertility, spawning such an amazing diversity of flora and fauna including the world’s biggest flower the rafflesia and the mighty Komodo dragon.

The People of Indonesia

The 202 million people that live here make it the fourth most populous nation on earth, 128 million on Java alone. There are 300 ethnic groups speaking 365 languages and dialects, though most are of Malay descent and speak the national language, Bahasa Indonesian.

Islam is the predominant religion, though religious tolerance is vigorously pursued by the authorities. Christianity is strong in Sulawesi and some eastern areas such as Flores, Hinduism in Bali and Animism remains in Sumba and Irian Jaya.

Climate

Straddling the equator, Indonesia tends to have a very even climate. High rainfall and tropical heat lend a high humidity and mean that most of the country is covered in tropical rainforest – an area second largest only to Brazil. The wet season runs from October to April, with rain falling in short and sudden downpours interrupted with sunshine. The dry season is from May to September.

However, the country is spread over such a vast area that excellent diving is to be found in one destination or another all year round. Check our dive site descriptions for more details on seasons for a scuba diving trip to Indonesia.

For weather data and forecasts for many cities in Indonesia and other areas of SE Asia see the Hong Kong Observatory web site.

Health

Common but avoidable health concerns while on vacation here are contaminated food, water and ice that can lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and hepatitis A or E. Make sure you drink only bottled drinking water.

Fungal infections are also very common. Wear loose clothes, wash frequently, and dry yourself carefully.

This is a malarial area in general, but some areas such as Bali are mainly malaria-free. It is also worth remembering that there are not too many mosquitoes at sea so it’s highly unlikely you’ll catch malaria on an Indonesia diving cruise.

Self-diagnosis and treatment of any medical problem can be risky, so you should always seek medical help.

It’s recommended that you seek medical advice about immunisations at least six weeks before your trip.

Tourist Visas

In February 2004 changes were made to the visa regulations. We summarise them below but check your own position again prior to your trip.

11 countries are eligible for a 30 day stay, with a free permit issued on arrival. They are: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Philippines, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for at least another six months.

The following nationalities can obtain a visa (7 or 30 days) on arrival for a small fee: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and United States of America.

This visa on arrival is not extendable and not convertible into other types of visas. It is available at all international airports and major borders. If you are crossing at an unrecognised entry post you will need a visa in advance. All visitors must have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of arrival. Proof of a return ticket is also required.

If you come from a country NOT listed above, or you wish to stay on vacation for more than 30 days then you must obtain your visa overseas before entering the country. For Portuguese and Israeli nationals there are other specific requirements.

Time Zones

There are three time zones in Indonesia – +7 hrs GMT (+12 hrs EST) for Java, Sumatra and west and central Kalimantan, +8 hrs GMT (+13 hrs EST) for Bali, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and south and east Kalimantan, and +9 hrs GMT (+14 hrs EST) for Maluku and Irian Jaya.

Business Hours

Banks are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs and in some places on Saturdays until around 11:00 hrs.

Electricity

Electricity is 220v / 50 Hz AC. Sockets accommodate two round prongs – the same as in most European countries. It’s advisable to bring your own plug adaptor kit if required. Power is usually reliable but there are occasional blackouts.

Photographic Facilities

Most popular brands and types of film are widely available. If special equipment is required then bringing it with you is probably the best option as supplies are limited.

Communications

Internet cafes are popular in the main cities and tourist areas but connection speeds are slow.

Kantor Telkom, the government-run telecommunications company, has offices in many cities and towns. Most of these are open 24 hours and are the cheapest places to make international and long distance calls. For international direct dialling use 001 + country code + area code + phone number.

Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs and Saturday until around 13:00 hrs. In the larger cities main post offices are often open extended hours. Indonesian postal services are unreliable. Important items can be sent by express mail service (EMS). This is faster and safer but the cost is higher.

Codes of Behaviour

Indonesians make allowances for western ways, especially in the main tourist vacation areas, but there are a few things to bear in mind when dealing with people.

The left hand is considered unclean as it is used to wash after visiting the toilet, so never hand over or receive things with this hand as it will be viewed as offensive. Shake hands, right handed of course, when introduced to anyone when both arriving and leaving.

A person’s head is regarded as the seat of the soul and therefore sacred, so to touch somebody on their head will also cause offence.

Talking to someone with your hands on hips is considered a sign of contempt, anger or aggression. It’s rude to point with your fingers so rather beckon someone with your palm down – a bit like waving your dog to heel!

When eating with Indonesians do wait until you are asked to begin by your host, and it is also considered impolite to refuse a drink.

Tipping and bargaining

Tipping is not normal practice but is expected for special service. Generally if someone goes to extra trouble for you a tip is welcome.

Bargaining is common game in Indonesia with the exception of diving (of course!), restaurant meals, transport and sometimes accommodation, where the fee is generally fixed.

When bargaining, unless you’re sure about the price you want to pay, it’s probably best to ask the seller their asking price. Your response could be anything from a third to two-thirds of this price. Don’t show too much interest and keep it friendly. Be prepared to walk away and quite often you will be called back and offered the price you previously suggested.

Clothing

Indonesia is hot and humid so light, loose cotton clothing is most recommended. When exploring the night-life, tight dresses, shorts, and miniskirts are no problem. However, naked sunbathing or topless appearance in public places is considered offensive, especially when you are outside the main tourist areas. You must wear conservative clothing when in temples or mosques.

Criminality

The vast majority of Indonesians are honest people with a strong sense of right and wrong. Tourism however does attract pickpockets and thieves the world over so to ensure an enjoyable stay, use some common sense. Be aware and don’t leave valuables unattended.

Officials

Police corruption is widespread, however the chances are you will not have any dealings with them unless you are “guilty” of a traffic offence. You have two options – either pay the fine that goes and stays in the policeman’s back pocket, or tough it out and run the risk of a very prolonged and arduous session at the local station. Show respect for the police and don’t take an aggressive approach as it will only make matters worse.

Interested?

If you’re keen to discover these rich and varied waters, then click below to check your options for:

  • Indonesia Diving Sites
  • Indonesia Liveaboards
  • Indonesia Diving Resorts

Be sure to book up in plenty of time to avoid limited choice! The best scuba diving vacation opportunities are booked by repeat customers who book well in advance to ensure their reservation!

Indonesia Scuba Diving Education

PADI Dive Courses – Price List

Your choice of Sulawesi and Bali scuba diving PADI courses, every day:
Course No. of
days
No. of
dives
Bali Sulawesi
Tulamben Manado
US$ US$
Open Water Diver 3-4 4 325 409
Advanced Open Water Diver 2 5 275 325
Emergency First Response 1 0 150 130
Rescue Diver 4 4+ 375 385
Divemaster 28 ~25 995 775
Divemaster Package * 28 ~25 1,295
Master Scuba Diver – any five of the specialty courses below: 4-6 10-14 POA 905
Deep Diver Specialty 2 4 POA 295
Drift Diver Specialty 1 2 POA 229
Multilevel & Computer Specialty 1 2 POA 229
Night Diver Specialty 3 3 POA 255
Peak Performance Buoyancy 1 2 POA 229
Underwater Naturalist Specialty 1 2 POA 229
Underwater Navigator Specialty 1 3 POA 255
Underwater Photographer 1 2 POA 295

PADI dive course prices normally include diving equipment (except Divemaster), PADI instructor, training materials, use of study manuals, certification costs and log books for entry-level certifications. There are no hidden extras.

* price includes four weeks accommodation with breakfast, transfer from the south of Bali to Tulamben, scuba equipment rental, and PADI certification costs.

POA – price on application.

• Request more diving course information