Top 5 Big Marine Life Encounters in Indonesia

Giant manta ray with diver in Raja Ampat with Coralia Liveaboard in Indonesia

Big Marine Life in Indonesia

Indonesia has so many great liveaboard scuba diving destinations to satisfy all divers. But if ‘big stuff’ is what you are looking then Indonesia can tick all those boxes too. Big marine life encounters in Indonesia can be found in many destinations.

Manta rays in Komodo and Raja Ampat. Hammerhead sharks in the Forgotten Islands, Banda Sea. Whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay. Molas, sunfish, in Alor. Whales and dolphins – everywhere!

Reef manta rays are one of the big marine life species that can be encountered in Indonesia with Coralia Liveaboard

Manta Rays in Raja Ampat & Komodo

The two best destinations to see manta rays are Raja Ampat and Komodo. In Komodo there are multiple dive sites that can be visited by manta rays. Coralia Liveaboard will cruise in Komodo from May to September in 2021. Raja Ampat also has many dive sites where you can see manta rays. Coralia Liveaboard has trips in Raja Ampat from September to May.

Raja Ampat is a very special diving destination. For manta rays it is even more special because you could get lucky and see two different species. Raja Ampat is one of very few places in the world where you can dive with both reef manta rays and giant manta rays. There is even one dive site where both species can be seen, an even rarer occurrence around the world.

Hammerhead shark in the Banda Sea with Coralia Liveaboard in Indonesia

Hammerhead Sharks in Banda Sea

In recent years Indonesia has emerged as a destination to see hammerhead sharks. In the Banda Sea you can dive with hammerhead sharks in warm, blue water unlike other sharky destinations where the water is usually cold and green! Coralia has cruises in the Banda Sea and around the Forgotten Islands in September and October in 2021 and 2022.

The Banda Sea is connected to the Pacific Ocean and is a sea in the Maluku Islands. The Banda is very deep, at the deepest point its depth is more than 7.2 kilometres (4.5 miles)! The topography of the dives sites is mostly steep, deep, impressive walls. There are several dive sites with a good chance to spot these amazing sharks. These dive sites are at the Banda Islands and the Forgotten Islands.

Whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay are another big marine life species that can be encountered in Indonesia with Coralia Liveaboard

Whale Sharks in Cenderawasih Bay

Whale sharks can be found all over Indonesia but there are some places where the encounters are more likely. Over the years we have seen whale sharks in Komodo and Raja Ampat. But one place with a very unique way to swim with whale sharks is Cenderawasih Bay. Coralia Liveaboard will visit Cenderawasih Bay in July and August 2023. Look out for future trips to Triton Bay where we could also visit the bagans. Also we have a Komodo special whale shark trip in 2021.

Cenderawasih Bay is not known only for the whale sharks but they are definitely a highlight! This bay is part of the Birds Head Seascape, east of Raja Ampat. Here the fishermen fish from large platforms called bagans. The fish they catch are suspended in large nets under the bagans. Whale sharks have learnt that if they suck on the nets, the small fish come out through the holes and they get a free meal.

The fishermen here believe the whale sharks are lucky. They will feed them by throwing handfuls of fish to these large majestic fish. This keeps the whale sharks close to the bagans and therefore the luck stays nearby.

Click here to watch a fantastic video of a whale shark feeding at the bagans in Triton Bay.

Molas in Alor and Komodo

Two great destinations where, if you are lucky, you might get a chance to see a Mola are Alor and Komodo. Coralia has trips to Alor in April, August and September in 2021. We will be in Komodo from May to September in 2021.

Molas, also known as sunfish, are an incredible and unusual fish that can be seen in Alor and Komodo. The type of Mola we can see here in Indonesia is the Mola alexandrini or Bumphead Sunfish. Often you will hear divers say they saw a Mola Mola but actually the Mola Mola is a different type of sunfish.

Where the water is very cold is where you will find Molas! In the south of Komodo there is a dive site actually famous for manta rays. However, the southern sunfish has be known to come for a clean here too. In the Pantar Strait in Alor there are very deep waters and sometimes a Mola will come up from the deep to bask in the sun on the surface.

Whales and dolphins everywhere!

You can see whales and dolphins everywhere in Indonesia! During any cruise you might get lucky and have a pod of dolphins come and swim along the bow of Coralia. Dolphins rarely visit divers underwater but it has happened so keep looking out into the blue! Our guests have been lucky to see dolphins on dives in Raja Ampat, Komodo, the Banda Sea, Triton Bay and Alor.

On any of our cruises in Indonesia, there is a great chance of spotting whales. While relaxing on our luxurious and comfortable decks whale watching is a great activity! Every year in the Dampier Strait of Raja Ampat whales can be seen. During Banda Sea trips there is a good chance to spot a whale on the horizon. Similarly, there is a whale migration route in Alor, through the Pantar Strait.

In the video below you can watch dolphins playing next to the speedboat!

Encounter Big Marine Life in Indonesia Together with us!

With our Coralia Liveaboard we offer cruise to the destinations mentioned above. Check out our cruise schedule for your next trip to see the big marine life that Indonesia has to offer! You can also contact us in case you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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