As we all know, after scuba diving we need to wait 12 hours prior to flying if we have made a single dive. As most of our divers stay and dive for repetitive days or make repetitive dives (more than one dive in one day), the waiting time becomes 18 hours. So what does one do when one is not watching one’s gear dry? Here are our top suggestions for exploring and discovering more of Indonesia during your no fly-time!
Background to Indonesia
Indonesia is home to numerous terrestrial endemic species which can be found in all different regions. Indonesia has different cultural practices and even languages throughout its provinces and it is as colourful, diverse and exciting to explore on land as it is underwater. We hope that during your non-diving day(s) you will be able to experience and enjoy even more of what this incredible country has to offer. Here are some of the highlights from each region which should be on any divers’ non-diving bucket list!
Did you know that the tarsier monkey is the provincial mascot of North Sulawesi? It’s also the smallest primate on earth! This tiny little species measures around just 9 cm and its huge eyes weigh more than its brain. It can leap from tree top to tree top almost 40 times its own body length and although it is nocturnal it usually can be seen from around 4pm. The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is located close to Two Fish Lembeh and is one of the best places for a sighting. While you trek through the park you will also see groups of Sulawesi Black Crested Macaques living in the wild. Tangkoko trips are suitable for any nature fanatic and look out for the rare, tropical bird species too, including the hornbills and kingfishers.
Take a walk to the village of Bunaken and see how the locals live. This small village is a myriad of small roads no wider than a couple of meters. There is a local school and the chance to visit the church – which you will have seen from the boats when diving. The colourful houses and friendly locals are always curious to meet guests and love to pose for photographs. As you near the beach you’ll find the local fishermen and their traditional boats. Due to this being a marine protected area they fish off the reefs and witness some of the incredible pelagic marine life which we have passing through. Our local fishermen support the marine protected area and all that it has to offer. Their traditional fishing methods ensure that the area remains rich in marine life while they are able to sustain their families and the local communities. This is a colourful, picturesque village offers a true insight into life on Bunaken Island for the locals.
Amed is located on Bali’s east coast and there is no shortage of opportunities to take advantage of on your non-diving day(s). Ubud is just a short distance away and offers everything from yoga, organic food, the famous Monkey Forest and vibrant art market. If you are in need of some retail therapy or gifts or to take home with you then Ubud is a must. If however, you are hoping for a quieter and more relaxing day then Ubud offers no shortage of spas and treks or cycles through picturesque rice fields for which the area is so well known.
For adrenaline junkies, check out options for ATV riding through the jungle and even white water rafting!
Sanur (South Bali)
So many options! For those seeking an adrenaline rush try white water rafting or ATV riding through the jungle. Check out Bali Safari for a walk on the wild side or if you are more of a culture vulture, take an island tour and visit some of Bali’s most iconic temples including Uluwatu and Tanah Lot. If retail therapy is more your style then Seminyak is a shoppers dream come true and for those who’d prefer to relax, take a walk along the Sanur Beach Boardwalk and enjoy a sundowner and barbecue seafood dinner at the beach.
Explore Nusa Lembongan island! Now you’ve seen underwater, check out Lembongan on land. A half day tour around the island will take you to stunning viewing points, through local villages, there are ceremonies to watch almost daily and you can even take a punted boat ride through the peaceful mangroves to the North of the Island. Hotspots include Dream Beach, Devil’s Tear, Sandy Bay, Mushroom Beach and the iconic yellow bridge. If you want to explore further afield venture across the bridge to our neighbouring island of Ceningan where the clearwater coastline offers numerous bars, coffee shops and warungs in which to while away the afternoon watching the waves and doing nothing more energetic than relaxing with friends or a good book! Get out and explore – there is plenty to see!
One of the best things to do in Gili Air is to rent a bike and explore the island. Follow the beach side and discover the beach clubs or bike through the center of the island and see a bit of the local life, coconut farms and you’ll also find some great little restaurants. Other less strenuous activities include taking a local cooking class, pampering yourself at one of the spas and don’t miss out on the stunning sunsets on the west side of the island.
Visit Kuta in South Lombok, lay on a beach, take a yoga class, learn to surf or cook Indonesian classic dishes – the choice is yours. South Lombok has so many opportunities it is impossible to list them all but you can rest assured that you won’t be among crowds and you’ll have a personal experience, whatever you choose to do.
If you want to stay in the local area we highly recommend wandering around the local villages – the local people are friendly, open to chatting and are even keen to have their photographs taken – this is a great way to gain an insight into local life in South Lombok.
Trekking and talking beach walks are perfect for those who prefer to take their day off at a more leisurely pace but if you wish to travel further afield, let us know and we can make recommendations and even organize your trip for you. Whilst you may have experienced South Lombok underwater, there is a whole lot more to see on land!
Are you ready to explore Indonesia?
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Remember that your diving adventures do not need to come to a close as the sunsets – all of our locations offer phenomenal night dives and even mandarin fish experiences!