Trips to specific regions are, of course, based on the best time of year to experience the region's finest diving .. and Mutiara Laut does a magnificent job of providing creative itineraries, many of which take you off the beaten track..
Ambon – If you love crazy critters, Ambon is hard to beat. Get your lens ready for rhinopias, pegasus sea moths, countless varieties of frog fish, seahorse, flamboyant cuttlefish, ghost pipe fish and star gazers. Lesser known is the south side of Ambon, which features great colourful walls, caves, swim throughs and healthy reef life with large fish … and more critters.
Banda Sea, Alor - In Alor & the Banda Sea, you'll find clear waters full of masses of fish & loads of invertebrates ... plus alluring critters. As to topography, you'll find shear drops, huge pinnacles, great walls ... all covered with rich & thriving corals which attract diverse fish life. Add to that, visiting pelagics and you have a magical mix.
Halmahera - The largest island in the Maluku chain, features sparkling clear water, loads of fish, some super drift dives, healthy, thriving coral reefs, some fascinating mangroves with intriguing critters … and fabulous volcanic landscapes. Some of the sites border on the deep blue and put you up close to grey reef sharks, eagle rays and immense schools of blue fin trevally.
Lembeh Strait - The undisputed critter capital of the world, Lembeh Strait, will WOW you with its weird & wonderful species: stonefish, sea robins, stargazers, devil fish, weedy scorpion fish, ghost pipefish rhinopias, multiple species of frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, wonderpus & mimic octopus, coconut octopus & hairy octopus and oh my, the list goes on. In addition to simply finding the creature, you’re likely to have the opportunity to observe innate behaviors which will fascinate.
Komodo - Perhaps the most diverse of all diving in the Indonesian archipelago. There are seamounts, walls, canyons and pinnacles as well as the spectacular coral gardens. There a hot spring at an underwater volcano, great night dives on black sand slopes with creepy, crawly critters. Numerous sites tout pelagic fish, sharks & mantas but, be assured that at each dive site, you'll experience something different.
Misool - Pure beauty awaits you here. This pristine area is a protected reserve. You’ll dive amongst splendid corals, experience drift dives & swim throughs, see large schools of pelagic fish and brightly colored reef fish. There are mantas, too … and plenty of fabulous critter action for macro photographers.
Raja Ampat - Indonesia's shining underwater star, Raja Ampat has something of nearly everything a diver could want. You’ll dive channels, plateaus, walls & caves … and just plain mud, for the delight of “muck” diving. You'll swim amongst great swirls of fish and feast your eyes on sponges & corals in scintillating colors. You’ll meet up close & personal, everything from pygmy seahorses to colossal manta rays.
Seram - Seram II is all about diversity, diversity of speci & dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals & sea fans dominate, others with amazing hard corals, sea grass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, muck, caves, black sand, white sand, new lava flow... Then there are the fish, lots of them! Plus, all the levels of the food chain are well represented – from pygmy seahorses to top predators. Something for everyone ...
Triton Bay - Divers love the whale sharks who visit the fishing platforms, but the true star of this region is a profusion of speculator soft corals gardens & the schooling fish - anthias, damsel fish, fusiliers, sweetlips & snappers. With lots of nutrients in the water, photographers beware : the viz is limited at many sites. But, you’ll love the massive black coral bushes, the drift and wall dives and the opportunities for critter hunting.