Indonesia lies within a region of our oceans that is known as the Coral Triangle, which extends from the Philippines through Indonesia and eastward through Papua New Guinea through the Solomon Sea. It is within this region where our oceanlife first was born. And because of this, the diversity of fish and coral life in Indonesia is truly remarkable. Both air and water temperatures are comfortable, typically in the 70’s to 80’s, depending on specific location and time of year. Currents help to keep marine life healthy and well fed with plenty of zooplankton and phytoplankton. It is one of my favorite places to dive!
I have traveled to and dived in several locations in Indonesia, geographically not that far separated from each other with these locations being around Sulawesi and east to the Banda Sea. While each trip has been extraordinary and distinctive in terms of the cultures, there is one constant. The peoples of Indonesia are always smiling and friendly! And while Indonesian is the official language, there are actually over 700 different languages spoken across the archipelago. Indonesia is comprised of over 17,000 islands making it the largest archipelago in the world, and sits across three time zones. In terms of size, it is roughly 740,000 square miles, similar to the size of Mexico.
The coral reefs of Indonesia are amongst the most biologically diverse in the world. It is estimated that their waters support over 60% of all hard coral species and the greatest diversity of coral reef fish found on the planet, according to reefbase.org’s global database (http://www.reefbase.org/global_database/dbt5,32,IDN,1.aspx). It’s no wonder that Indonesia is considered to be a diver’s mecca. Each of my dive trips to Indonesia has been distinctive with some species being more unique or more predominant in a given specific location. Really no different than the “microcosms” in other waters like the Caribbean or Hawaii for example. It is for these reasons that I keep returning to Indonesia for more visits and diving!
Though the trip can take up to two days to get to the final destination, I find the travel to be well worth the experiences. And rather than flying all the way through, why not enjoy a short layover in another country or another part of Indonesia and take in more culture and sightseeing? And recover from a little jetlag!
On our last trip over to Indonesia, we spent a couple of days and nights in Singapore. We spent time walking around the city, sitting at the waterfront watching a rowing competition while enjoying a cold beverage, and then visiting the Singapore Botanic Gardens-a World UNESCO Heritage site. Within the gardens is the National Orchid Garden. If you enjoy gardens, this is a MUST SEE! The Orchid garden alone is a collection of 60,000 orchid plants on display representing 1000 species and 2000 hybrids! Mind-boggling!
I have a few more “bucket list” destinations in mind for Indonesia. So many places, so little time!