Lombok might be known for its high cliffs and scalding volcanoes, but one thing it is best known for its aquatic biodiversity. With initiatives to preserve certain species like green sea turtles, it is inhabiting only more enriched underwater species. To explore this world is a thrill that must be experienced. So here is why and where can you go for scuba diving and snorkelling in Lombok.
Why Scuba-dive in Lombok?
Being an island, Lombok is surrounded with places appropriate for scuba-diving due to its gentle current and calm environment. But that is not the only reason to explore the deep blue ocean.
1. High Visibility
Lombok’s clear waters with its high visibility make it easier for scuba-divers to locate some animals like eels and Mola Molas underwater, whose fast movements otherwise would make them challenging to identify.
Lombok Strait is located on the Wallace Line – the hypothetical geographical division between the Indomalayan and Australasia ecozone. This area is enriched with marine diversity. Some species that inhabit this line include oceanic whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, Mola mola, ribbon eels, manta rays, nudibranchs, large schools of barracuda and giant trevallies. The white sand beaches make it all the more picturesque.
The tropical climate of Lombok permit all year round suitable conditions for scuba-diving, and thus the water temperature stays between 26 – 30 degrees Celsius.
Best Time to Scuba Dive in Lombok
The best time to visit Lombok is during the dry season that lasts from May to September. Heavy rains do follow in December and January, but apart from that, the conditions stay stable all year round. Avoid Lombok is the busiest from May to August, so those of you who prefer solitary wandering might want to avoid these months.
Best Diving Sites
Lombok is not only abundant in an enriched marine life but iridescent with sites that help you explore the underwater world. Some of such fulfilling sites are:
1. Gili Islands
Gili Islands pose as a suitable site for scuba-diving primarily because of its high visibility, i.e. 65 feet (20 m). It is a group of three islands that are surrounded by migrating fish, coral reefs and specific endangered species like green turtles.
2. Shark Point
Shark Point is a sub-part of the Gilli Islands and is the largest of all. The flow of current is usually gentle, but it is not uncommon to have a substantial, robust surge of current at shallow depths. Its corals are laid out with small creatures like ghost pipefish and many species of octopuses. The visibility underwater is about 80 feet (24 m).
3. Deep Turbo
Deep Turbo is another interesting coral site that produces an undulating mountain-like topography due to its sandy bed. The ledges, overhangs and small caves inhabit some species of snappers. Whale sharks are an occasional site too.
4. Belongas Bay
Belongas Bay is located to the south of Lombok and forms an open sea area for thousands of miles after the island ends. Mobula rays, reef sharks and schooling hammerheads inhabit the depths of this bay. The Magnet with a picturesque lighthouse built on its shore is a part of Belongas Bay that is surrounded with striking waves and sea snakes.
Sekotong is a peninsula located at an ideal scuba-diving spot which lies to the southwest coast of Lombok. If you want to learn diving, then Sekotong is the place for you. Its gentle current and ideal topography make it a suitable location. One can spot crabs, nudibranchs, shrimps and an abundance of soft corals here.
Top Diving Operators in Lombok
Scuba-diving in Lombok, for many, may not be possible if it weren’t for individual professional operators. Some of the best are listed below:
1. Lombok Dive Lombok Dive varies in its prices and courses depending on the number of people and the number of dives you sign up for. Their fee is inclusive of PADI equipment and pick-up cost from your place of stay. Their snorkelling masks and fins come coupled with mineral water. They have private boats available at your service depending on your schedule. They also conduct diving courses ranging from tech professionals to recreational scuba-diving trails.
Price: IDR 300,000 Duration: 1 day Timing: All year round Contact: +62 81 805 232385 Email:[email protected]
2. Two Fish Divers Two Fish Divers, apart from their day dives, are also renowned for their night dives. However, their prices vary depending on the number of dives the divers take. Their doves are restricted to Belongas Bay, and their fee is exclusive of the scuba-diving and snorkelling equipment required. They have diving discounts available starting from 3 dives spread across three days. They conduct diving courses lasting as long as 24 months.
Price: IDR 750,000 Duration: 1 day Timing: June - October Contact:+ 62 81 907 852073 Email:[email protected]
3. Cocotinos Cocotinos provides for a professional diving course no less than four days and three nights short. There is an additional fee for every night that follows. They take care of everything from your travel to your stay. Scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing and trekking are all a part of their package.
Price: IDR 8,000,000 Duration: 4 days Timing: June - October Contact:+62 (0) 87765271003, +62 (0) 81907972401 Email:[email protected]
4. Scuba Froggy At Scuba Froggy, you can learn anything from DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) to Advanced Open Water Diver or Rescue Diver courses. They take you in if you are a beginner, and provide you with a certified diver certificate after you complete the course. These courses can last from 1 day to 24 months, depending on your criteria for selection.
Price: IDR 600,000 Duration: 1 day Timing: All year round Contact:+62 878 6551 1090 Email:[email protected]
When exploring the world underwater, keep in mind that you are diving into a habitat that harbours millions of species of flora and fauna. Keep in mind to respect their environment and not get too close to any of the coral reefs and animals inhabiting them, or you might hurt them.