Are you looking for diving destination for your next trip? The best answer will be Indonesia. This is not a lie. All territory of this country lies within the famous Coral Triangle which teems with the world’s seo-smart most diverse marine life. Each of its islands offers great chances of enjoying an array of underwater colors which are still virgin and clean. Just come and try one of its diving points. We’re sure you’ll want more.
Manta Rays are one of the many sea creatures that interest divers the most. Here in Indonesia you’ll get a dozen opportunities to meet the winged fish. We call it Manta Point, a place where manta rays are easily encountered. And if you’re one of manta lovers, explore these six manta points for your best experience of swimming with the unique fish.
1. The Islands of Komodo, East Nusa Tenggara
As you already know, Komodo islands is the only home of the dinosaurs-like komodo dragons. But is that all? Of course not. Corals and marine species are other two highlights that help the site garners popularity. Komodo islands feature hundreds diving spots that only 41 have been officially named.
Manta points are mainly centered on the southern shore of the area’s biggest island named Komodo. Visibility of the water reaches 20 meter that we can spot manta rays with relative ease. If you come to the site at noon, all you need to do is just snorkeling to see them clearly. During the time, a school of manta rays will surface to feed just off the shore. The best time to spot manta rays is between June and September with a chance of encountering 10-20 manta rays all at once.
2. Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, Bali
45 minutes off the coast of Sanur beach is the islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Those islands are famous for beach gateway and diving is one of the most favorite activities. In fact, the dive spots around the islands are some of the best in Bali.
The sea floor here features colorful soft corals while the deeper open water is playground for manta rays and another big species like sharks. You’ll also find a few of turtle species swimming lazily nearby the reef. Make sure you’re in your best condition so you can dive against strong water current easily.
3. The Islands of Raja Ampat, West Papua
Who doesn’t know Raja Ampat islands? We believe many of you have heard of this legendary place especially if you happen to be diving lovers. Raja Ampat is located within the wildest Indonesia island of Papua, making it the best of the best diving destination in the country.
There are countless dive spots in Raja Ampat but manta point mainly resides in Dampier strait nearby Arborek island. Many divers have declared that manta point here is one of the most attractive around the globe. The manta rays are very friendly that they frequently swim close to the divers instead of feeling disturbed.
Inhabiting the water are two species of manta, the black and the white one. They grow bigger than manta in other places in Indonesia with the wing spanning 4 meter wide and weighing to amazingly one ton or 2000 pounds. Raja Ampat will definitely give you the most unforgettable diving experience.
4. The Islands of Derawan, East Kalimantan
Manta rays swim freely around Sangalaki island within Derawan islands. The unique fish can be spot only by snorkeling in 4 meter -deep water. You should dive deeper if you want to see the fish in a big group. Compared to Raja Ampat, water current in Derawan is less strong which is suitable for divers of every level.
Other than manta rays, Derawan is most well-known for its stingless jellyfish and green turtle that dominate the view of the ocean. They turtle can be seen swimming everywhere including in Sangalaki manta point. The jellyfish, meanwhile, inhabit the lagoons on every island within Derawan. Those two marine species will surely make your manta-spotting more thrilling.
5. Bunaken Sea Reserve, North Sulawesi
Bunaken is another most popular diving destination in Indonesia. As a reserve, the underwater life in Bunaken is kept pristine with Pangalingan point nearby Manado Tua island as the favorite site.
The good news is there are no exact manta point in Bunaken because the fish can be found everywhere within the area. Whether in Pangalingan, wall dive site Sachiko’s Point or Lekuan I and II teeming with coral slopes, everywhere you dive, manta will also be there.
6. Gili Trawangan, Lombok Island
Gili Trawangan is one of the most famous trio gili isles in Lombok along with Gili Meno and Gili Air. Surrounded by white sand and calm beach, Gili Trawangan is indeed a place of every mood. Sunbathing is relaxing but manta-watching must be in your list during your trip here.
Manta rays are many off the south coast of Gili Trawangan. They mainly appear during rainy season when plankton, their favorite menu, are abundant. The wave is big during the time that probably only pro divers are suitable for this condition. But your effort will be rewarded by a breathtaking view of the many coral species.
Those six dive sites are the most recommended manta points in Indonesia. There are still a lot more diving points which each boasts unique native species. Pick one of the names above and start your Indonesia underwater journey.