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mattmarinegreen

Indonesia Diving Location Recommendations

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Dear Seasoned Tropical Underwater Photographers,

 

I am going to spend around 2 months travelling around indonesia in July/August with my camera set up (seacam, canon 5d, strobes, 15mm sigma, 60mm macro and gopro). I am looking for some stunning places to shoot macro and wide angle on a budget if possible. Can anyone make any general location and dive shop recomendations?

 

Many thanks,

 

 

Matt

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Hey Matt

 

I presume you already know about the Lembeh Straits in North Sulawesi? The Lembeh Straits are The Mecca for macro. There are lots of resorts - some of which have featured on WP.

 

A week or two there is time well spent for pics. And you might combine it with a stay at a resort in the Manado area (about a two hour drive from Lembeh) where you can dive walls in Bunaken National Park. I'd suggest splitting time broadly 1:2 between Bunaken and Lembeh.

 

After that, Bali is worth diving: Tulamben for the wreck of the Liberty. Mike Veitch (a WP Moderator and also a former Lembeh hand) can help with Bali diving.

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Everything Tim said plus I had a great time last November at Ambon. It has a great vibe and the macro critters are excellent all over the bay.

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Everything Tim said plus I had a great time last November at Ambon. It has a great vibe and the macro critters are excellent all over the bay.

 

I would second the recommendation of Ambon (I did my divemaster training there, awesome for critters, especially Twilight zone). Unfortunately, I don't think it works with the OP's timeline -- I think most (all?) dive shops/resorts in the area are closed for the summer months and open again only in September/October timeframe.

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When you say budget, how much are you talking about? The most convenient would be Bali. Accommodations can go for even $40 a day (if you’re not too fussy) and depending on where you go, dives are in the $20-40 per dive range, depending on packages etc. Obviously Tulamben is the place to be with a good variety of dive sites. Then there’re the northern areas like Seririt, Pemuteran etc. Bali is good for budget diving and a 2-3 dive day with accommodation will come in less than $150 even.
Besides those well-trodden places mentioned above. there are some interesting off beaten path places which have good variety of diving. Around Alor, you have nice walls and coral (although I’m no sure how the bleaching is this year.) as well as some very good macro. I can’t tell you which resort to stay or which ops though, since I go there mostly with liveaboards but I do know there are a few resorts and temp trips which go out there during your time frame. Pricewise, I’d put it in the $200+ per day range. Most of them have some sort of unlimited house reef dives scheme.
Way off the beaten path, there are a few places in Southern Sulawesi that hit the Wakatobi National Park (not the resort). For a real off the beaten path, a favorite of liveaboards going in/out of Maumere, Flores is Wodong Bay. I have seen the beach cottages in the Wodong village itself, but never stayed there. Saw divers from the ops everytime we go there. Nice macro and even a decent Japanese wreck. There are backpacker places as well. I just know the dive sites only and not the place that well.
Good luck!

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When I was in Bali last year, I had my own equipment and just paid $6 for each tank hire. Three dives a day for 18 dollars, really nice accommodation with free breakfast for $20 a night. Great place for easy shore diving and lots of life!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Rajah Ampat on a liveaboard. I did a trip on indosiren from Sorong to ambon, in late august, a couple of years ago. A good mix of muck macro and mantas. Not a budget option but well worth it.

Edited by recd

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Thank you all so much for the help. I dived at Amed which was fantastic (Seraya, Pyramids and Melasti). I am indeed going to Lembeh strait next week and am diving with TwoFish, they seem to be the cheapest company overall with a good rep. I will hopefully catch some mantas in Lembongan tomorrow (going over on public ferry tomorrow evening), I have even managed to get some free diving for photography services (but not Lembeh!!). I put together a website (very rough and ready!) http://mattmarinegreen.wix.com/sciphototo give people a feel for what I can do which has worked at some places. I have decided that Rajah ampat is out of my budget unfortunately. I will go there one day! I am travelling with my canon 5d (old one) with my 60mm lens and nikonos flash guns! It is a complete pain carrying my underwater camera set up around with me but so worth it when I get in the water!

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We dove Raja Ampat from the Misool EcoResort. It is expensive, but the diving is hard to beat. I may have spoiled myself and my fiance by having that be our first dive trip to Indonesia.

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