Yes, Indonesia is open for travel now! The entry point for international tourists is Jakarta (Soekarno Hatta International Airport or CGK), Surabaya (Juanda Airport or SUB), Manado (Sam Ratulangi International Airport or MDC), Tanjung Pinang (Raja Haji Fisabilillah International Airport or TNJ) and Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta International Airport or JOG).
The good news is now you also can fly directly to Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS)!
Known for its beaches, temples, and spas, Bali is Indonesia’s most popular destination that drew 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated tourism which is worth 54% of Bali’s economy, but now Bali is reopening its international border starting on 14 October 2021.
More than 100 million Indonesians have been vaccinated now and Bali has fully vaccinated 80% of the eligible population. The Covid-19 case in Bali is low now that the government is ready to open Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport for international flights.
We are seeing more and more flights directly to Bali now. However, ask your preferred airlines whether they offer flights to DPS!
Guide: 99 Scuba Diving Places in Indonesia
Which country is eligible to fly to Indonesia right now?
Visa Exemption Arrangement is only applicable for foreigners from the following 9 countries :
If you are not from 43 Visa on Arrival countries and 9 Visa Exemption countries, you still can apply for a visitor visa online. For information on how to apply for a visitor visa, visit https://visa-online.imigrasi.go.id/ with a local sponsor. Sponsors can be Indonesian citizens or companies (including travel agencies). Make sure to use the website during Jakarta business hours each weekday between 8 AM and 5 PM (our time zone is UTC+7). It takes 5 working days for the visa to be issued.
As of November 29, 2021, those who live in or have transited through Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Hong Kong, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe are still prohibited from entering Indonesia.
Indonesia Entry Requirements in General
International arrivals are required to prove a negative Covid-19 PCR test from samples taken up to 3x24 hours prior departure time from the country of origin. And, visitors are still required to take the Covid-19 test upon arrival. They also have to show proof of their quarantine paid hotel booking and travel insurance coverage for Covid-19 treatment minimum of USD 25,000.
All international travelers are required to complete e-HAC before travel. Download the “Peduli Lindungi" app in your Apple Store or Android Play to complete the e-HAC. You will get a unique barcode at the end of the process and will have to show it upon check-in and arrival. If you are traveling with family, you are only required to create one account.
The time has come to pack your diving gear, but don't forget to shop our "Vaccinated and Ready to Dive" T-shirts for you and your buddy. Worldwide shipping is available.
Scuba Diving Health Protocols in Indonesia Now
Since November 2021 The Indonesian Tourism Ministry & Creative Economy has applied CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental sustainability) certification to the tourism industry all around Indonesia. More than 6,000 hotels, restaurants, transportations, and activities are certified and audited regularly. The CHSE certification guarantees tourists and the public that the products and services provided have met protocols.
Together with Divers Alert Network (DAN), the government has compiled a 37-page CHSE handbook for Indonesia’s dive industry. The guidance is specifically made for employees, customers, tourism facilities, courses, recreational dive, vehicles/boats, Live On Board (LOB), and diving equipment.
Some of the guidance is only healthy employees and customers are allowed to conduct activities within dive business premises, they will check your temperature. They must wear masks and maintain a minimum 1-meter distance. All facilities and infrastructure must be properly cleaned and disinfected, including providing adequate handwashing facilities with soap and/or hand sanitizers.
The scuba diver is now required to fill in the medical clearance diver form that refers to the Divers Alert Network (DAN) and fill out the COVID-19 risk self-assessment. Before live-on-board (LOB), everyone must show a valid negative antigen/PCR test result. And many more protocols to ensure safe diving in Indonesia.
Best Scuba Diving Places in Bali
Bali sea caters to scuba divers from beginners to advanced, from shore dive to boat dive. You can dive all year round with a water temperature of around 28 degrees Celcius. We listed down 14 dive places in Bali that you can explore. If you would like to know the complete list, download our free ebook of “99 Dive Places in Indonesia” here.
Our favorite is Tulamben because it is an easy shore dive where you can see the USAT Liberty shipwreck that lies just 30 meters off the beach. This huge 125 meters length ship was a US Army cargo ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942. Inside the wreck, the corals and fish are colorful. The best time is at dawn when you can experience diving from pitch dark and slowly see the sunlight enter the seawater and bump head parrotfish just wake up from their night sleep. Other than the shipwreck, Tulamben has two other great dive spots called the coral garden and the wall. Wide-angle and macro photographers will both enjoy the opportunity to take underwater pictures here.
About 30 minutes driving from Tulamben, there is Amed where you can muck diving to see pipe ghost fish and mimic octopus. With an easy drift dive on its wall, you can see turtles, reef sharks, and blue-spotted stingrays. Our scuba diving routine is to spend 3 to 5 days in Tulamben and Amed, but we feel like it's never enough! You can either stay in Tulamben or Amed and explore both places. They both have many hotels near the beach and off the beach, ranging from budget to luxury.
120 km away from Tulamben, Menjangan Island has a fascinating wall diving up to 60 meters deep that you can see pygmy seahorse and gorgonian sea fans. There is also a coral garden, an eel garden, and a wreck at 33 meters depth that is suitable for more experienced divers.
Further from Bali’s east coast, you should scuba dive in Nusa Penida where it is home to magnificent pelagic species such as manta ray and mola-mola (sunfish). The catch is the seawater is slightly colder and the current is stronger. When we say colder, it can drop to 18-20 degrees Celcius in colder months from June to November. Some of you may say it is not cold, but we usually wear at least a 5 mm wetsuit just to prepare.
You also may want an exclusive Bali T-shirt designed by divers for divers in our IndonesiaDive shop for fans of mola-mola.
CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental sustainability) Certification
We have compiled a list of 15 dive centers and 5 liveaboards that have received the Indonesian Tourism Ministry & Creative Economy CHSE certification (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental sustainability). Although the number is more than that, we have listed only dive centers that have a website or social media handles.
Bali Dive Centers with CHSE Certification :
- Alpha World Diving https://www.awdive.com/
- Aquamarine Diving Bali https://www.aquamarinediving.com/
- Bali Aqua Dive Center https://baliaqua.com/
- Bali Fun Diving https://www.balifundiving.com/
- Bali Stingray Divers https://www.facebook.com/stingraydiversbali/
- Bali Villa Dive Resort https://www.facebook.com/BaliVillaDiveResort/
- Bintang Divers https://www.bintangdivers.com/
- Dune Atlantis International https://www.atlantis-bali-diving.com/
- Dune Aurora https://indonesia.dune-network.com/en/home
- Intrinity Divers https://intrinitydivers.com/
- North Bali Dive Center https://balidivecenter.com/en/
- Oca Divers http://www.ocadivers.com/
- OK Divers https://www.okdiversbali.com/
- Planet Bali Dive https://planetbalidive.co.id/
- Reflex Divers Penida https://www.reeflexdivers.com/
Liveaboard Dive Centers with CHSE Certification :
Best Scuba Diving Places other than Bali
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic country. Although Bali is the most popular island, it is just a tiny island out of its 17,000 islands. Denpasar, the capital city of Bali province is where you can fly out to other islands. From Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS), it connects to many best scuba diving places in Indonesia.
Due to the pandemic, some airlines from Bali are not yet operating but we have compiled our favorite dive places with direct flights from Bali;
Our most favorite is Labuan Bajo where you can scuba dive around Komodo National Park. Flight from Bali (DPS) to Labuan Bajo (LBJ) will take only one hour and twenty minutes. There are so many excellent dive sites in Komodo that are far from land that you might want to take live on board to maximize your experience. We prefer liveaboards because they reduce time spent traveling from land to dive sites daily, and we can just simply dive, eat, sleep, and repeat the process.
Komodo National Park is one of the best places to see manta rays all year round. You can also see other pelagics such as sharks, dogtooth tuna, giant trevally, and barracudas. For macro lovers, it is easy to spot small critters such as frogfish, spiny devilfish, leaf scorpionfish, ghost pipefish, and pygmy seahorses. Not to mention vibrant corals and great visibility! Read our article "Best local hacks on scuba diving in Komodo National Park, Indonesia here.
The best thing about Komodo National Park is that the land is also spectacular. You can do trekking to meet the Komodo dragon, the world's largest living lizard that is endemic only on the island - that is the reason why the place is listed on UNESCO World Heritage List or hike up to the peak of Padar Island where you see a breathtaking view - it is one of the most Instagrammable places in Indonesia! You may want to take a photo wearing a Komodo dive t-shirt featuring manta ray that is available for purchase online at IndonesiaDive shop.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can fly to Kupang (KOE) for a 1-hour 45-minute flight from DPS. Located in the southwestern tip of the island of Timor, Kupang is the place to do freshwater cave diving and wreck diving. Timor Island has large limestone underwater cave systems that stretch for miles. Massive sections of the underwater cave walls are adorned with fossilized seashells and other invertebrate skeletons.
Another option is to fly to Manado (MDC) where you can dive into Bunaken National Marine Park that has amazing walls that start at five meters deep and drop to at least 50 meters deep. The water in the Park is very deep, lying until 2 km on the seafloor. Schooling reef fish, many green turtles, and sharks are easily spotted. If you still have time, go on a road trip to do muck diving in Lembeh Strait to unrevealed macro creatures in black volcanic sediment.
If you don’t like flying, Bali is a short ferry ride to Lombok island and The Gilis (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air). Typically wall and slope diving, you can see green and hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, rays, to smaller ones like lionfish, scorpionfish, crabs, and many nudibranchs. Or if you are a very experienced diver, you might want to dive in the South Lombok where you can meet the schooling of hammerhead sharks!
If you are keen to go diving after a prolonged pandemic, you should consider Indonesia, one of the best diving destinations in the world. Warm seawater, great visibility, healthy corals, and the most biodiversity of marine life await you with certified health protocols dive operators. This is the best time to visit since it is not as crowded as it usually is. If you are not from eligible countries to enter Indonesia but are willing to go through a bit more hassle obtaining the visa and have enough time to travel, we highly recommend coming over!
As you now know that there are many great diving places in Bali and other parts of Indonesia, therefore we recommend downloading our free eBook “99 Scuba Diving Places in Indonesia” here to guide you through diving in Indonesia with a comprehensive checklist to get you to start. IndonesiaDive will continue to provide you with more in-depth stories about Indonesia’s scuba diving places in Indonesia, so stay tuned!
Bali Short-Sleeve Unisex T-Shirt
Scuba diving in Bali offers you the widest range of opportunities, including shipwrecks, macros, and pelagic dives. Bali’s deep, rich waters are home to the Mola Mola or Oceanic Sunfish which is the heaviest bony fish in the world. This Bali T-shirt, part of the IndonesiaDive places series made from cotton, and is soft and comfy. The double stitching on the neckline and sleeves adds more durability to what is sure to be a favorite!
Vaccinated and Ready To Dive Short-Sleeve T-Shirt
Are you ready to dive? Show you’re ready to dive by wearing a vaccinated T-shirt! This t-shirt is everything you’ve dreamed of and more. It feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It’s comfortable and flattering for all.
IndonesiaDive Baseball Cap
If you’ve been scuba diving in Indonesia and you love it, wear this cap to keep the memory alive! And if you plan to scuba dive in Indonesia, wear this cap to make your dream come true sooner! This one’s got a low profile with an adjustable strap and curved visor.