Location: Indonesia

Generally accepted to be the world's best country for sea life, Indonesia has more marine diversity than anywhere on earth. Slap bang in the middle of the 'Coral Triangle' of diversity that extends from Australia to the Philippines and across to Borneo and into the South Pacific, this country is at the core of the ocean's heart, where the marine variety suggests life in the sea began.

With 20% of the world's coral reefs, over 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species, deep water trenches, volcanic sea mounts, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life, Indonesia scuba diving is both excellent and inexpensive. You can dive here now and experience all the wondrous fish and other marine life in these nutrient-rich seas. From encounters with big pelagics around the cool waters of Komodo, drifting over pristine fields of coral in Raja Ampat, marvelling at the enormous volumes of fish in the Banda Islands, to photographing the outrageous critters of Sulawesi, Indonesia diving cruises are unsurpassable.

For many, diving is best on one of the Indonesian liveaboards to Raja Ampat or Komodo, the country's 2 main liveaboard diving destinations. Raja Ampat cruises allow you to explore the most biodiverse waters on the planet, diving pristine, remote sites with all the comfort and ease of a liveaboard safari. Komodo is a prime destination offering liveaboard experiences to suit all budgets and delivering vibrant colourful reefs, plenty of fish action, as well as the promise of mantas, sharks and more, plus of course land visits to see Komodo dragons. Some trips will take you further afield to place like Cenderawasih Bay or Triton Bay in West Papua, the Banda Islands, Ambon and Alor, where boats are few and only genuine pleasure-seeking divers are to be found. Fantastic times are virtually assured.

Highlights

Such a vast and varied destination as Indonesia is very difficult to limit to just a few highlights but any consideration of a dive holiday here should bear in mind at least the following areas:

Raja Ampat - one of the few destinations left which truly allows you to feel like you are a pioneer - to boldly dive where no man has dived before. You can marvel at the incredible topside scenery of West Papua, sail through waters where so few boats venture and experience some of the most impressive scuba diving in Indonesia ... and therefore the world. For those who want to get away from it all and dive in a remote paradise but not compromise on comfort then Raja Ampat liveaboards are the choice for you.

Komodo National Park - the islands of myth and legend where dragons roam, are surrounded by rich nutrient-filled waters where a kaleidoscope of colour and life awaits scuba divers. Mantas, dolphins and sharks compete with critters galore, all against a riot of soft coral colours. Komodo liveaboard trips allow you to visit the many varied sites around this awesome marine park, some starting in Bali and visiting all the best sites along the way.

Banda Islands - the Banda Sea may be located between the better known destinations of Komodo and Raja Ampat, but for those in the know it deserves its own reputation as one of the world's best dive regions. Scuba diving in Banda means experiencing incredible variety of both large and small. Big pelagics and large schools abound. The reefs are healthy and thriving. Consider on top of this that many different species of whales and dolphins are often sighted, and you begin to get the picture. Diving here is varied, colourful and fascinating as it takes in the critter haven of Ambon as well as the Banda Islands.