The Banda Islands are one of the Indonesia’s most popular destinations for divers. Both experts and beginner divers will enjoy themselves here, as the diving spots vary from the shallow lagoon between Bandaneira and Gunung Api, to the vertical walls of Hatta Island. Wherever you go here, you’ll discover stunning tropical scenery, a remarkable history, friendly locals, and some of the globe’s most pristine, biologically diverse coral reefs.
So, here are Top 7 Dive Sites in Banda Islands:
The nearest site for a decent dive is just five minutes by boat from most hotels. It is in the sonegat-sea arm- between Banda Neira and Gunung Api, just offshore from a Des Alwi’s little seaside house. The drop off here is steep and the wall extends down 25 meters to a grey, sandy bottom. There are plenty of good sized dogtooth tuna cruising by and some beautiful blue girdled and emperor angelfish.
2. Keraka Island
Pulau Keraka or Crab Island is just a few minutes further out, and protects the north entrance of the Neira – Gunung Api sea passage. A nice sandy stretch on the north coast is perfect for a picnic. At the south shore, 18 meters down you will find a mini-wall covered with hundreds of large blue-and-yellow tunicates. To the east shore, there are a good assortment of reef fish and a school of half meter long barracudas.
3. Sjahrir Island and Batu Kapal
Sjahrir Island, formerly known as Pisang Island (Banana Island) and Batu Kapal (Boat Stone) are just 20 minutes by boat from Bandaneira. These two sites combine well for a morning dive, a picnic on the beach, and an afternoon dive.
4. Lontar Island
The outer edge of Lontar Island, which represents part of the rim of a sunken caldera, offers several good dive sites.
5. Batu Belanda
On this site, you will find many barrel and tube sponges and small caves and cracks. The fish are varied and plentiful, including a school of snappers, large emperor and blue-girdled angelfish, wrasses, a large pinnate bat-fish and numerous bannerfish.
6. Ai Island
Together with Hatta Island, this island offers Bandas best diving. Both the north coast and the southwest of Ai are ringed with flawless coral walls, which are rugged and full of caves, the kind of habitat that harbors fish.
7. Hatta Island
This island is about 25 km by sea from Banda Neira. Skaru atoll, is a barely submerged reef a few hundred meters off the southern point of Hatta. On a coral outcrop, watch the passing parade of Unicornfish, Fusiliers, Jack Fish and Rainbow Runners, Whitetip Sharks (almost 2 meters long) and Dogtoothed Tuna, Napolean Wrasse, and Hawksbill Turtles.