Indonesia is widely known among scuba divers as one of the best countries for marine life.

The archipelago is located right in the center of the coral triangle, which explains why it is home to 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs. With over 3000 species of fish and 600 different species of hard and soft coral, there really is no other place like it on earth.

Not only is there incredible marine diversity in the waters surrounding Indonesia, it’s also the perfect place to explore deep water trenches, macro life, World War II wrecks and volcanic seamounts.

If you are a scuba diver, you must have heard all about the magnificent dive sites of Indonesia. However, what if there are so much more to see in the lesser-known areas?

Here are some lesser-known dive areas in the archipelago:

1. Banda Islands
Located in a remote area of the Banda Sea, the Banda Islands are one of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets. This unbelievable collection of islands are surrounded by turquoise, blue waters that are heaving with marine life, huge hard corals, colorful soft corals, large pelagic, reef fish, giant sea fans and sponges. The Banda Islands are a paradise for macro photographers, with so many undiscovered treasures just waiting to be explored.

2. Bunaken
Bunaken National Marine Park is home to some of the best dive sites found within Indonesia. It is also a great place to witness incredible biodiversity and outstanding fish variety. These crystal clear waters are flourishing with all manner of marine species including hard corals, soft corals, turtles, sponges and reef fish.

3. Togean Islands
The Togean Islands are a slightly better-known dive location, however, are not as widely known as Raja Ampat. Komodo and Wakatobi. Located to the north of Sulawesi, Togean Islands are a group of islands where diving is simply breathtaking.

4. Weh Island
Weh Island is the sister island of Bali and is a small active volcanic island located north of Sumatra. It is known for it rich ecosystem and remote location. The Indonesian government has classed part of this island as a ‘wildlife protection zone’ due to its rare wildlife.

5. Ambon
The bay of Ambon is 563 meters deep, 8 kilometers wide at its source and just 23 kilometers into the island. In 1942, the battle of Ambon began between Japan and the Allied forces and subsequently caused a huge amount of damage to the island.

6. Bintan Island
Bintan Island is the largest island amongst the other 3000 islands that make up the Riau archipelago. Diving in Bintan is the ideal location if you’re looking for relaxing dives with impeccable coral reefs found at 20 meters below the surface. Diving in this area is not as well known, with new dive sites popping up all over the place.

7. Buyat Bay

Buyat Bay has been classed as a hot new diving area found in Indonesia. Located south of Lambeh and only 3 hours by speed boat, if you’re travelling to this location, it is a place not to be missed. Buyat Bay was discovered by a mining company that operated in the near by mountains from 1996 to 2004. The mining company is no longer in existence, however they left behind some small buildings that are now being made into bungalows, which are being renovated into a diving lodge.