All the basics about travel, weather & diving conditions
To help you plan your trip, we've prepared a list of basic information you'll want to know before you book. Once your trip has been reserved, you'll receive pre-departure information with all the details you need for your adventure.
Getting to Indonesia
A wide selection of airlines fly into the international airports in Bali & Jakarta and a few fly to Manado. Which airport you choose will depend on your dive liveaboad itinerary or your choice of resorts .... and your travel plans in Indonesia before or after your diving trip. Together, we'll work out the best options as we plan and prepare your Indonesia journey.
Liveaboard itineraries to the eastern regions of Indonesia (including Raja Ampat, Cenderawasih, Alor, Banda Sea, Forgotten Islands) generally depart from Sorong, Biak, Maumere, Saumlaki or Ambon, which can be reached via Jakarta, Bali or Manado. The simplest routes are via Jakarta or Bali and we will advise on what should work best for your plans at the time of booking, We strongly recommend spending one night near the international airport before and after your dive cruise.
For Bali & Komodo itineraries it's normally most practical to book your international flights into and out of the Denpasar Airport, Bali (DPS). Some Komodo cruises depart from Bali, others from Labuan Bajo or Bima (a short domestic flight from Bali). We strongly recommend spending at least one night in Bali either side of your cruise to ensure flight connections and, if you can spare the time, a few days in Bali is always magical. We have some very favorite hotels there ....
Visitors to Indonesia must have a current passport (2 blank pages), adequate funds to support themselves, and a return airline ticket. US citizens require a passport that must be valid for 6 months from date of entry.
The citizens of approximately 160 countries can obtain a free-of-charge visa-on-arrival valid for a 30 day stay in Indonesia. According to the State Secretariat, this visa cannot be extended or converted into another type of immigration permit. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days in Indonesia and wish to extend your tourist visa once in Indonesia then you must pay for a visa-on-arrival (VOA). For more information please check: https://www.bali.com/visa-indonesia-entry-requirements-bali.html
What's the Weather Like in Indonesia ?
Indonesia is a tropical country and the climate is fairly even all year round.
Basically there are two seasons, ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. The east monsoon, normally brings dry weather from June to September, From December to March, you have the west monsoon which brings the rain. The transitional period between these two seasons offers days with periods of gorgeous sunshine alternating with thunderstorms.
Even in the midst of the wet season temperatures range from 21-33°C (70-90°F) although if your travels take you to higher altitudes you'll find much cooler temps. December and January are usually the wettest months but again, this varies a bit by region, due to the immense east-west explanse of this archipelago.
What about Water Temperatures ?
Water temperatures in Indonesia vary greatly depending on the location, the season, and even the day. Temperatures can vary from 30C/86F to 17C/65F (rarely). We can say that a normal range for most areas is 26C/76F to 28C/82F.
A 3mm wetsuit is generally adequate for most divers on most itineraries but a hooded vest is highly recommended for backup. If you tend to be quite sensitive to the cold, you may want a 5mm suit. Also, we'll talk about this when you book and advise you based on your chosen itinerary.
What Are the Diving Conditions ?
There are sites conducive to every level of experience and virtually everywhere you dive, you'll encounter healthy, vibrant coral gardens & massive sponges ... other-worldly creatures .... manta rays ...and a few sharks. But, it's the diversity within each category which boggles the mind.
Visibility can vary from 5 to 40 meters although viz can be said to be generally very good and, if you occasionally run into the opposite, there are always those amazing critters to search for !
And, just like water temps, the currents will also vary, but currents can make diving in Indonesia very special. There's little in the world like the thrill of a good drift dive in a ripping current ! For novice & less experienced divers, your Cruise Director and dive guides will help you determine if your experience & skills are appropiate to each planned dive.
How Much Experience Do I Need ?
Virtually every itinerary in Indonesia can accommodate all levels of divers who have at least a PADI Open Water certificate or the equivalent. If you're a novice diver, be aware that the Cruise Director may ask you to sit out certain dives for your safety and the safety of others in the water.
What's the Best Time to Dive Be There ?
- Raja Ampat - October through April
- Maluku - October through Apri
- Komodo - April through November
- Alor - April to October
- Forgotten Islands - October & November
- Bali - May through November (April & May for mantas - August to October for Mola Molas)
Most Indonesian dive liveaboards have rental gear available but it's imperative that you request it well in advance to ensure available of the equipment and sizes you desire. Otherwise, you need to bring a BCD, regulator, wetsuit, fins, mask, snorkel, dive light and dive computer.
When traveling in tropical areas, it is always a good idea to make sure that you are up-to-date with your typhoid, tetanus/diphtheria, hepatitis and polio vaccinations. Please check with your doctor for the latest recommendations..
On the boats, malaria and dengue fever are generally not a problem. However, on land, many parts of Indonesia are extremely humid, which means mosquitoes ... and cases of malaria and dengue fever. We recommend that you bring plenty of repellent and consult your doctor beforehand for the most up-to-date advice on anti-malarial medication
If you are predisposed to seasickness, we strongly urge you to bring some motion sickness medication.
Flying after Diving
Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.
Most liveaboards accept payment by Visa or Mastercard (3.5% CC fee) OR in cash in Indonesian Rupiahs, Euros or US Dollars. Please note that all foreign notes need be clean, new and crisp . Indonesian banks and money changers will not accept old notes or ones which are marked or damaged in any way.
Before embarking, you can also use your credit or debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM in town as it is better to have Rupiah for making smaller purchases or for tips. It's important to inform your bank or credit card company that you will be visiting Indonesia, as it is not uncommon for banks to decline payment on foreign transactions as a precautionary measure to prevent possible fraudulent use.
Taxes & Fees
You do not need to pay any domestic airport taxes at any of the local airports in Indonesia. Plus the international departure tax has also been included in your flight tickets.
However, there are port and park fees which are sometimes included in a boat's rate and other times are extra. These fees differ from region to region in Indonesia and from boat to boat. You can find this information of each liveaboard's individual page on our site, plus, when you book we will provide a full listing of all rates and fees.
Do I Need Insurance?
Travel insurance : We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections. We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances
Diving insurance: the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.
We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.
Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.
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