Jan 092014
 
Indonesian Underwater

Indonesian Underwater

This is a part of THE BEST BEACHES IN INDONESIA series. There is a list of beautiful whitest and soft sands beaches in Indonesia and a list of beautiful beaches in Lombok if you only visit Lombok Island/Bali Island. In this second part of articles related to the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia, i will list beautiful beaches in Indonesia that have stunning underwater view for snorkeling/diving.

1. Raja Ampat Archipelago

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat (image from Wikipedia)

Raja Ampat is the largest marine national park in Indonesia. Raja Ampat also has highest marine biodiversity recorded on Earth.

Location: Sorong, West Papua Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Papua Island

Pros: one of the best diving spot in the world

Cons: Relatively expensive, less developed, far away from Jakarta (Indonesian Capital City), relatively not that good infrastructure

How to Get There: The closest city is Sorong. From this little town, there is a tour to Raja Ampat (fast and expensive) or go to Waisai from Sorong and then take a tour with local boat (less expensive)

2. Wakatobi

Wakatobi

Wakatobi (image from Indonesia.travel)

Wakatobi is an acronym of the names of the main islands that form the archipelago: Wangi-wangi Island, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. It is also the best diving/snorkeling spot not only in Indonesia, but also best diving spot in the world. Along with Raja Ampat, Wakatobi Islands also have highest marine biodiversity in the world.

Location: Bau-Bau, Sulawesi Tenggara Province (Southeast Sulawesi), Indonesia

Main Island: Sulawesi Island

Pros: one of the best diving spot in the world

Cons: Relatively expensive, less developed, far away from Jakarta (Indonesian Capital City), relatively not that good infrastructure

How to Get There: There is a ferry from Bau-bau and ferry/flight from Kendari. Both are the closest cities from Wakatobi. There is also scheduled chartered flights from Bali.

3. Komodo Islands

Komodo Underwater

Komodo Underwater

Komodo National Park (Komodo Island, Rinca Island, and islands around) is the home for the gorgeous Komodo dragon. However, the islands around have wonderful marine biodiversity so that tourists not only go here for the ancient dragon, but also enjoying the beautiful underwater view of islands around Komodo Island. One of my friend ever said that Komodo Island was one of the best diving spot in Indonesia.

Location: Komodo Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Nusa Tenggara Timur

Pros: one of the best diving spot in the world, watching Komodo dragons in their own home, pink beach, less expensive, many tours agencies in Bali/Lombok/Jakarta that serve a service to go here.

Cons: less developed, far from Jakarta (Indonesian Capital City), relatively not that good infrastructure

How to Get There: There are tours from Gili Trawangan (Lombok) or Bali. There are also direct flights from Jakarta and Bali to Labuan Bajo (the closest city).

 

4. Spermonde Archipelago

Cinnamon Clown Fish in Samalona Island

Cinnamon Clown Fish in Samalona Island

Spermonde Arcipelago have hundreds of beautiful atoll island and great underwater view. One of the closest island is Samalona Island. The other islands include Badi Island, Kodingari Keke Island, Podang-podang Ca’di, and many more.

Location: Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Sulawesi

Pros: one of the best diving/snorkeling spot in Indonesia, less expensive, very close to big city (Makassar), a lot of boats to get there, relatively good infrastructure, many choices of islands that can be visited

Cons: less developed, relatively far from Jakarta (Indonesian Capital City) but there are many flights to Makassar, not informative, some local people will charge you higher (you have to bargain the price).

How to Get There: get a boat from Makassar.

5. Menjangan Island, Bali

Menjangan Island, Bali

Menjangan Island, Bali

Menjangan Island is located in the northwest part of Bali. Menjangan means deer in Indonesian language. This tiny island has the most beautiful underwater view in Bali. The colorful coral wall is still in good condition with various kinds of marine fish.

Location: Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park), Bali Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Bali

Pros: best view of both the beach and underwater, cheap, accesible, a lot of local boats and tours to get there, good infrastructure.

Cons: little bit touristy,

How to Get There: Drive about 4,5 hours from Kuta to Labuhan Lalang or Mimpi Resort and get a boat from Labuhan Lalang, Bali or a deck behind Mimpi Resort. You can also get a tour from Kuta or Sanur, Bali. It is also accessible from Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur Province

6. Derawan Islands, Berau

Stingless Jellyfish in Kakaban Island

Stingless Jellyfish in Kakaban Island

Derawan Islands consist of three main islands: Derawan, Kakaban, Sangalaki, and Maratua. There are also less popular small islands around. This place is popular for Manta Ray, turtle, and stingless jelyfish hunting (though the coral reefs is also amazing with high marine biodiversity).  Not just best view of underwater life, Derawan Islands laso have beautiful beaches.

Location: Berau, Kalimantan Timur Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Kalimantan (Borneo)

Pros: best view of both the beach and underwater, less expensive, bunch of turtles, endemic stingless jelyfish, home for Manta Ray.

Cons: Little bit rainy since these islands are located almost close to equator line

How to Get There: get a flight from Jakarta/Surabaya to Tarakan/Berau. Take a tour that departs from Tarakan/Berau since it is too expensive to travel alone

7. Amed and Tulamben, Bali

Submarine Mailbox in Amed

Submarine Mailbox in Amed

Do not expect white sandy beaches because Amed and Tulamben have a distinctive feature that other beaches dont have: black and red pebbles covered the beach. Amed has Japanese ship wreck and submarine mailbox, while Tulamben has US Army Transport shipwreck. These pebbles, shipwreck, submarine mailbox, and of course, beautiful coral reefs make it the must place to visit while you traveling Bali Island.

Location: Karangasem, Bali Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Bali

Pros: best view of both the beach and underwater, cheap, accesible, a lot of tours to get there, good infrastructure, unique beach with black and red pebbles, schooling fish, beautiful sunrise.

Cons: little bit touristy

How to Get There: Drive about 3 hours from Kuta to Amed or Tulamben. Take a dive tour in Tulamben or just snorkeling on the beach of Amed/Jemeluk

8. Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis, and other islands around, Lombok

Coral Reefs in Gili Kedis

Coral Reefs in Gili Kedis

These islands are located in southwest of Lombok Islands with Gili Nanggu as the main island. Beautiful white sandy pristine beaches, amazing panoramic view of Lombok Mountains accross the island, and a lot of submarine fish are the main feature of these islands.

Location: Lombok Island, Nusa Tenggara Barat Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Lombok

Pros: best view of both the beach and underwater, cheap, accesible, a lot of tours to get there, relatively good infrastructure, less touristy

Cons: though they have a lot of marine fish, the damaged coral reefs are bit unfortunate

How to Get There: Drive about 3 hours from Kuta Lombok or Gili Trawangan or Mataram. Get a local boat to the Gilis for island hopping.

9. Karimunjawa, Jawa Tengah

Karimunjawa Coral reefs

Karimunjawa Coral reefs

What do you expect of 27 white sandy islands? I couldn’t say more but beach, beach, and beach. Not to mention, the coral reefs that even you can see it from the top. In addition, Jawa tengah (Central java) is one of the most cheapest place to live in Indonesia.

Location: Jepara, Jawa Tengah Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Jawa (Java)

Pros: best view of both the beach and underwater, very cheap, accesible, a lot of tours to get there, relatively good tourist facilities

Cons: little bit touristy, bad weather means you have to extend to stay in this island for days

How to Get There: Get a bus from Jakarta (or any other Java cities) to Jepara. Take a ferry or speedboat to Karimunjawa. Rent a local boat in Karimunjawa for island hopping

10. Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands), Jakarta

Kepulauan Seribu underwater

Kepulauan Seribu underwater

It is unbelievable that Jakarta still have beautiful beaches. You can imagine a metropolitan city with the worst traffic jam ever, still has a natural beauty. Yet, it becomes a good point because you dont have to go anywhere but Jakarta. Kepulauan Seribu (means Thousands Islands) are a chain of islands to the north of Jakarta that consist of about 110 islands.

Location: Jakarta Utara, DKI Jakarta Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Jawa (Java)

Pros: very cheap, very accesible, a lot of tours to get there or even you can go alone, good tourist facilities, very close to Jakarta (The capital city of Indonesia)

Cons: very touristy, a lot of damaged coral reefs

How to Get There: Take a taxi in the morning (6-7am) to Muara Angke, Jakarta. Get a local boat or speedboat to Pramuka Island, Tidung Island, or Harapan Island (three main islands of Kepulauan Seribu). Rent a local boat to island hopping.

11. Tanjung Putus, Pahawang, and other islands around, Lampung

Nemo in Tanjung Putus Island

Nemo in Tanjung Putus Island

Pahawang, Tanjung Putus, and Kelagian are coral islands in Lampung. One thing i love about these places is that we can see a lot of anemone fish even from few meters from the beach, especially in Tanjung Putus Island. There are also a lot of Kima (gigantic clam/Tridacna) around.

Location: Lampung Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Sumatra

Pros: very cheap, close to Jakarta (The capital city of Indonesia), a lot of Nemo (clown fish/anemone fish), less touristy

Cons: bad access, relatively bad infrastructure, jellyfish

How to Get There: Take a Damri bus from to Pelabuhan Bakauheni. Change a local transport to Terminal Rajabasa. Change a  local transport to Hanura. Change a  local transport to Ketapang. Not that easy? Just call a tour to Pahawang, Tanjung Putus, Kelagian

12. Kangean Islands, Jawa Timur

Anemonfish in Kangean

Anemonfish in Kangean

If you are “lonely planet” minded person, this is the best place to visit. When i was there, not even a single tourist come here due to the bad access. There are many islands around that have beautiful underwater view. Ask local for some help because this place is still underveloped and not really a tourist destination (at least until right now).

Location: Kangean, East Madura, Jawa Timur Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Jawa (Java)

Pros: Good place to be alone/secluded, see dolphins, good coral reefs

Cons: bad access, bad infrastructure, no diving facilities (meaning that you have to bring your own), you have to wear properly because this is a strict moslem area.

How to Get There: Take a bus from Surabaya to Sumenep Madura. Take alocal transport to Pelabuhan Kalianget. take a boat to Kangean. Take a local transport to Pelabuhan Kayu Aru. Rent local boat to island hopping. Travel with Indonesian/Kangean friend for communication purpose.

13. Nusa Lembongan, Bali

Nusa Lembongan Underwater, Bali

Nusa Lembongan Underwater, Bali

Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan are located in the southeast part of Bali. These place are popular for sea walking and Mola-Mola (sun fish) hunting. This should be a thing to do when you travel in Bali, especially in Kuta/Sanur/Nusa Dua.

Location: Bali Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Bali

Pros: awesome view of both the beach and underwater, accessible, a lot of local boats and tours to get there, good infrastructure, good tourism facilities.

Cons: very touristy, a bit expensive tour

How to Get There: Take a boat or tour from Sanur Beach, Bali.

14. Teluk Kiluan, Lampung

Kiluan, Lampung

Kiluan, Lampung

Kiluan is popular for dolphins spotting. This place is the home for hundreds dolphins that appear to the sea surface avery morning. Next to Kiluan is Kelapa Island which has beautiful beach and coral reefs.

Location: Lampung Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Sumatra

Pros: cheap, close to Jakarta (The capital city of Indonesia), a lot of dolphins, less touristy

Cons: bad access, relatively bad infrastructure

How to Get There: rent a car (include the driver) from Jakarta or Bandar Lampung to Kiluan. Rent a local boat, called “Jungkung”, to reach Kelapa Island or see the dolphins.

15. Liukang Loe and Kambing Island, Bulukumba

Liukang Loe Underwater

Liukang Loe Underwater

Kambing Island is popular for shark spotting while Liukang Loe is popular for snorkeling. These two island very close to Tanjung Bira Beach, one of the best beach in Indonesia. So, you will get two points when you travel here: the most beautiful beach and stunning underwater view.

Location: Bulukumba, Sulawesi Selatan Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Sulawesi

Pros: the most beautiful beach, shark, relatively good access, relatively easy to get there

Cons: less developed, relatively far from Jakarta (Indonesian Capital City) but there are many flights to Makassar, not informative, some local people will charge you higher (you have to bargain the price).

How to Get There: drive or rent a car (include the driver) from Makassar to Tanjung Bira. There is also bus/local transport from Makassar to Tanjung Bira, but some driver will charge you higher. I had a bad experience with this local driver. from Tanjung Bira, take a boat to island hopping.

16. Ujung Kulon, Banten

Moorish idol fish in Ujung Kulon

Moorish idol fish in Ujung Kulon

Ujung Kulon is the home for the endangered one-horned Java Rhino. Never expect to see these rhinos because they are very rare. All you can do when you travel to Ujung Kulon is stunning tranquil beach of Peucang Island and beautiful underwater view. That’s all.

Location: Banten Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Jawa (Java)

Pros: Close to Jakarta (The capital city of Indonesia), not touristy, beautiful beach

Cons: bad access, relatively bad infrastructure due to its status to protect the endangered Rhino

How to Get There: rent a car (include the driver) from Jakarta or Bandung to Tamanjaya, Banten. Rent a local boat to Peucang Island. Dont forget to bring your own food and equipment because there is no shop in the island.

17. Belitung Island

Starfish in Belitung Island

Starfish in Belitung Island

Belitung is one of the most favorite tourist destination recently since the booming of movies that took location in here, such as Laskar Pelangi. The distinctive feature that other beaches don’t have is the gigantic stones spread everywhere in this island. They look like asteroids attack the island. Stunning!

Location: Belitung Province, Indonesia

Main Island: Sumatera

Pros: the most beautiful beach, gigantic stones are everywhere, relatively good access, relatively easy to get there, nice local people, direct flight from Jakarta

Cons: Not a main diving/snorkeling destination but still has beautiful coral reefs, less developed, little bit touristy, you have to rent a car/motorcycle to reach any beaches in Belitung.

How to Get There: Get a flight from Jakarta. Take a local taxi in Belitung to reach your hotel. Rent motorcycle/car to go to the beach. Rent a boat to go to Lengkuas Island and for islands hopping

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I will make other posts related to beaches in Indonesia. Moreover, i will add more beach information in this category (beautiful underwater category) once i travel a new beach later.


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