Diving in Indonesia
Indonesia has some of the best dive sites in the world. Indonesia is at the centre of what is known as the Coral Triangle, which contains 5,000 different species of reef and fish and is home to 20% of the world’s reefs. The beautiful reef formations are a major draw for tourists in places like Bunaken in North Sulawesi, Wakatobi in South East Sulawesi and Raja Ampat in Papua. While diving off Bali is rather mediocre, Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands in the east of the island offer excellent opportunities for recreational diving and are also important training centres. One of the best dives in Sumatra is at Pulau Weh in the Indian Ocean.
Spa treatments in Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the best places to be pampered or rejuvenated. Visiting a spa is a very popular activity for all types of visitors. The soothing natural ingredients and graceful massages are a perfect combination for detoxification. These vary from simply built cottages to elaborate so-called “wellness centres” in the most magnificent five-star hotels. There is usually an option to suit almost every budget. Bali’s beaches and unspoilt nature are at the heart of this activity.
If massage is your thing, there are few places that offer such high quality for such low prices. Again, this could be in a five-star hotel or under a coconut tree on a quiet beach.
Surfing in Indonesia
Indonesia is a prime destination for travelling surfers.
The Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra offer dozens of world-class surf spots. Chartering a private boat for up to two weeks is the most popular way to reach the island chain, but there is also a public ferry from Padang. Nias Island, to the north, is equally popular with hardcore surfers.
Further east, Bali and tiny Nusa Lembongan have some great waves, so does southern Lombok, and for the more adventurous, Sumbawa offers world-class surfing.
All of Indonesia’s surf beaches are described in the beautifully photographed surf travel guide “Indo Surf and Lingo” [www], along with a comprehensive listing of the best surf camps and surf charter yachts.