|Level||Intermediate - advanced|
|Current||Gentle, but can be strong|
Whales also frequently pass through the strait. Walls, drop-offs, boomies, and pinnacles so colorful and so healthy!
Main points: the Banda Sea is characterized by a very good visibility. Warm waters. Some exceptional dive sites as “Too Many fish” in Koon, a great wall with incredible fish life, Manuk with so many sea snakes, Nil Desperendum and its Hammerhead sharks and many more that we prefer to keep secret. Walls on the islands around Banda Neira.
Banda Neira :
Batu Kepal :
Lava Flow :
Htta Island :
Manuk island :
Pohon Miring :
|Season||How to get to Ambon (AMQ); Lion Air daily flights from Jakarta, Manado or Bali via Makassar. Garuda Indonesia have daily direct flights from Jakarta or for early morning arrivals (preferred) via Makassar. Batik Air also offer direct flights from Jakarta with an early morning arrival to Ambon. (flight time around 3 hours).
How to get from Ambon (AMQ); Lion Air daily flights from Ambon to Bali via Makassar. Garuda Indonesia & Batik Air offer direct flights to Jakarta or via Makassar. Early morning flights should give you best chance of making connecting International flights (flight time around 3 hours).
Jakarta (CGK): If you are travelling via Jakarta some International & Domestic flights do not always arrive/depart from same terminal building. If yours is one here is a useful Transfer link. Note; If taking Garuda International flight to Jakarta and connecting directly to port of departure we recommend to double check the luggage belt in Jakarta incase your luggage is offloaded in error
|Highlight||The remoteness of the islands in the wide open Banda Sea, and the low levels of human population, have meant less fishing pressures, and a vibrant, natural and healthy reef system. The results of this is that you can expect reefs bursting with life, huge seafans and sponges, some monumental hard corals, and more fish than your mask can cope with. While big fish and pelagics might be the most obvious draw card for divers at the Banda Islands, its true value is in the extraordinary variety and sheer volume of fish life, both in terms of large and small marine life.
Two of the creatures worthy of special mention here that characterise diving in the Banda Sea are the preponderance of dogtooth tuna and mobula rays. At most sites you'll see enormous schools of fusiliers and thousands of redtooth tirggerfish. At the other end of the size scale, there are prolific mandarinfish and the native Ambon scorpionfish.
Cetaceans are frequent visitors too, and Banda liveaboards often report sightings of spinner dolphins, orcas, and various whale species, including melonhead, pilot, blue, and humpback whales. One certainty is that you will see plenty of big stuff as well as no shortage of colourful reef life. Diving is usually comfortable, with mild currents, good visibility and calm waters, but some of the sites are subject to stronger currents that make them suitable for experienced divers only.
If you have dived in the Banda Islands before then you will be planning to return already. If you have not, then now is the time to experience the splendour of the Banda Sea before the word spreads ...
Visibility of up to 50 m, 300 species of hard corals, intact and healthy coral communities, steep walls, Gorgonian gardens, huge barrel sponges, outstanding reef fish diversity, mug diving in one of Indonesia’s clearest harbors... are just a few terms to characterize your dive experience in Banda.
Due to its remote location and the surrounding deep sea, the waters around Banda are extremely clear. Visibilities of 30 m are common and on some days you can experience 50 m +. The condition and health of the coral reefs is breath-taking – what makes the most important rule in scuba diving quite difficult to follow. Most of the sites are wall dives characterized by huge sea fans, barrel sponges and orange soft corals. According to a survey that was conducted in November 2012, the Bandas are home of the largest Napoleon wrasse population in Indonesia known to date and you can see them on almost every dive. On a closer look you will find hairy squat lobsters, whip coral shrimps, pigmy seahorses, leaf scorpion fish, ghostpipe fish and much more. Frequent turtle encounters can be expected at all islands. Currents are moderate on most dive sites, allowing also beginners to have a relaxed and enjoyable dive. At some islands there are caves waiting to be explored and the islands of Hatta and Ai are awaiting you with an extraordinary diversity and cover of hard and soft corals. For the lucky ones among you, there is a chance to encounter hammerhead sharks.
Besides the possibility of Hammerhead sharks, you will find pristine coral reefs, unique local seaman in Alor, tons of sea snakes in Manuk and a visit to one or more of the villages in the spice islands.
The remoteness of these islands along with the low levels of human population, have meant less fishing and pollution pressures resulting in a vibrant, natural and healthy reef system. You can expect reefs bursting with life, huge sea fans and sponges, some monumental hard corals, and more fish than your mask can cope with, there is an extraordinary variety and volume of fish life, both in terms of large and small marine life.
Beyond providing some of the best diving in the region the islands also have had a long and fascinating history. Spices, foreign traders, colonial conflicts, wars and earthquakes have all featured heavily in their checkered past. Up until the middle of the 19th century this was the only place on Earth where the spices nutmeg and mace could be found and as a result they were crucial hub for the spice trade, for a taste of the historic atmosphere of this region we will often visit local villages & communities that still rely on these very spices for their day to day living.