The marine life in Halmahera and North Maluku not only offers pelagic fish, blacktip and whitetip sharks, hammerheads, barracudas, manta rays and sea turtles, but also the macro life of Indonesia is incredibly well represented: pigmy seahorse Denise and Bargibant, different species of crabs and shrimps, nudibranchs and critters, are inhabitants of sites sheltered of the currents, or home in the cracks and crevices of deep walls. At the moment, the possibilities to visit Halmahera and the nearby islands are still limited to a few cruises or to stay in one of the few resorts present in the region. These are some of the most interesting areas to dive in the Indonesian region of North Maluku.
Last update: November 23, 2022
Scuba diving in Halmahera and Northern Moluccas
1. DIVE SITES
Halmahera and the Northern Moluccas are located in the heart of the so-called coral triangle, an area of great interest for diving. Due to its proximity to Raja Ampat to the East and Lembeh to the West, Halmahera is surely the repository of great marine biodiversity, with excellent diving spots and potential sites yet to be explored. The North Maluku province is a little visited region of Indonesia, in this remote territory there are 781 islands, the main ones: Halmahera, Tifore, Ternate, Bacan, Morotai and the Goraici archipelago.
Halmahera Diving Map. Pay attention to the position of Halmahera between Lembeh, Sulawesi and Raja Ampat, West Papua.
Scuba Diving in Tifore Island
Tifore is located in open ocean waters, halfway between Sulawesi and Halmahera, this island offers excellent diving with pelagic, with the possibility of spotting gray sharks and other reef sharks, and especially large schools of barracudas. There are also schools of fusiliers. Spectacular sceneries around the giant rocks that form these sea beds.
The remote coral reefs of Halmahera offers spectacular sceneries and large school of barracuda
Scuba Diving in Goraici Islands
The small archipelago of Goraici offers beautiful coral reefs full of life, which entirely surround the islands. One of the best spots is on a coral covered wall where large pelagic can be seen crossing outside, and beautiful coral gardens on a pendant, with black tip sharks all around. Goraici also offers good macro and beautiful night spots. The fantastic white beaches are among the most beautiful in the region.
The dive sites of Halmahera offer coral covered wall and large pelagic, black tip shark, and other reef sharks
Scuba Diving in Patinti Strait
Patinti Strait is located between the islands of Halmahera and Bacan, partly closed by the islands of Sali and Kusu, which accentuate the currents, it is ideal for pelagic, with reef sharks, tuna, mackerels. Halmahera's sites sheltered from the currents are rich in macro: shrimps, crabs, pipefish, seahorses, nudibranchs, and critters, most of them mimicking or in symbiosis with their marine environment. The beautiful coral reefs are full of life and color.
Halmahera's sites sheltered from the currents are rich in macro: shrimps, crabs, pipefish, seahorses, nudibranchs and critters and its symbiosis
Scuba Diving in Bacan
Great macro in the bays around Bacan Island, black sand and all the ingredients for great photos. Much remains to be discovered and explored.
Halmahera's dive sites have all the ingredients for great photos
Scuba Diving in Morotai
Morotai is an island north of Halmahera, famous for hosting a Japanese air base during World War II. There are still wrecks of aircraft and ships of the time. It is the emerging destination, an important tourism development is expected in the near future, linked to the beautiful coral sand beaches and diving. World war wreck diving is one of the points of interest, but there is so much more; reef sharks, mackerels, manta rays, and lots of macro. To date, about 40 sites are known in the perimeter around the island, many more will be added in the future.
Scuba Diving in Weda Bay
Weda is a deep bay, facing east, until a few years ago was difficult to access due to the lack of roads. The seabed offers excellent macro and beautiful reefs. A great destination for bird watchers, the small Weda Bay resort is the only tourist facility in the area, offering diving stays and even hiking opportunities to spot hornbills, parrots and many other tropical birds.
2. DIVING SEASON
Diving season: The region is affected by both monsoons, best period October/November and March/May. Windy weather from June to September, and the sea can be rough. Rainy season: December/February with some extra rain. Water temperature: 27-30ºC. 3 mm wetsuit, even short. Visibility: 10m-40m. Depth: 10- >45m. Currents: Strong in the straits, weak in the areas protected by the islands. Surface condition: Calm, but can be rough. Diver level experience: Diving for all levels. The drift dives are for experienced divers only. Dive sites: > 40. Recommended diving stay: 7-10 days on a cruise or in a resort.
3. HOW TO GET THERE
Airport: Manado, Ternate, Bacan and Morotai reachable by connection from Jakarta or Manado. Climate: 27-32ºC. Tropical climate, with rain mainly from December to February. Time zone: Maluku GMT +9. Transit night & connecting flight: You may need to spend one night in transit in Indonesia before and/or after your cruise, depending on your domestic and international flight schedules. We have the most competitive airfares with the most convenient flight timetables, and hotels for all budgets.
Does it seem complicated? Contact an operator who speaks your language and who can assist you in Indonesia. Feel free to contact us now!
4. DIVE CRUISES
Ondina Liveaboard runs the epic trip Raja Ampat, Halmahera and Lembeh Strait. The better of Raja Ampat, Moluccas and Sulawesi in one lifetime diving trip. Book in advance this very special dive cruise that takes place only once a year: Raja Ampat and Halmahera plus Lembeh Strait
Enjoy your diving experience in the remote coral reef of Halmahera in North Maluku, Indonesia. Contact now a Liveaboard Specialist
The Maluku Explorer is the only permanent dive boat in these waters. The program includes longer cruises that visit Lembeh -Paradiso dei Critters-, then reach Tifore and then descend to Bacan. Other routes include Bacan, Goraici and the Patinti Strait.
A great diving experience in the remote Halmahera with Maluku Explorer. Contact now a Liveaboard Specialist
Occasionally other liveaboards pass Halmahera on the Raja Ampat to Sulawesi route, this is a diving cruise that offers the best of these three regions. The 700 nautical mile journey takes us through a range of different land and seascapes.
5. DIVE RESORTS
Sali Bay Resort
Sali Bay Resort is located in the Bay of Sali, an enchanting island of Patinti Strait, east of Bacan. Remote and difficult to reach, the Sali Bay Resort offers exclusive living and diving, away from everything and everyone. The resort is located on a strip of sand, with a fantastic coral reef in front. Beautiful beachfront villas and also cheaper accommodation for those on a budget.
Sali Bay is a surprising lodge with intact lively reef house and an ever-increasing number of dive sites, in the remote Moluccas.
Kusu Island Resort
Kusu Island homes a secluded resort that provide guests an amazing and unforgettable holiday experience, through excellent service, and world class diving. Kusu Resort is a newly opened small resort with 8 ocean villas, dive center, restaurant, spa, and amazing house reef which virtually untouched and bristling with marine life.
Kusu Island homes a secluded resort that provide guests an amazing and unforgettable holiday experience, through excellent service, and world class diving
Weda Bay Resort
Weda Bay is small eco-resort in remote Weda Bay, beautiful reef and macro diving. The resort is also famous among ornithologists for the abundance of birdlife in the surrounding forest, where tours and stalking are organized.
Metita Resort Morotai
Metita Resort Morotai is a new resort for divers, the only facility in Morotai. The promises are excellent, species-rich seabeds and WWII wrecks.
6. HALMAHERA LUXURY CRUISES & CHARTERS
Why you should rent a charter boat in Halamahera? If you are a group of adventurous divers always looking for new diving emotions, new dives sites, new marine species, and the most important be off the beaten track, this is the route of a dive cruise for you! You and your group will be free to choose your own itinerary, certainly Cruising Indonesia will put its experience at your disposal to advise you on the best dive sites in the North Maluku region. The team of cruise directors and dive masters will do the rest. Many of the initial potential dive sites now are consolidate dive sites where you can find what your experience liveaboard team offer in your briefing before each diving.
Land Excursions in Halmahera, North Maluku
Scuba Diving in Halmahera: Land excursions are offered as part of your dive cruise
All the underwater images in this article were taken on our Halmahera 2018 exploratory charter cruise, on board the Maluku Explorer Liveaboard, by underwater photographer Dr. Stefano Minio.
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Halmahera Underwater Photography
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