As part of world’s coral triangle, Indonesia, an archipelagic country between the Pacific and Indian Ocean, is blessed with crazy marine life under its waters. The Banda Sea of Maluku is one of Indonesia’s exceptional dive sites that has been awed thousands divers with stunning coral formations, walls, fish curtains, and school of hammerhead sharks which is the signature of Banda diving. The Banda Islands enjoys quiet isolations from modern mass development and are sparsely populated. This result on splendid serenity and well preserved marine life undisturbed by human. Due to the remoteness, however, the Banda Sea diving is only accessible by liveaboard. Trip to here is by no means easy—but it will give you lasting experience for life!
For the adventurous souls who’ve been longing to explore Banda Sea’s spectacular underwater, here are some essentials you should know.
How to Have Banda Sea Diving
The easiest and most popular choice to dive the Banda Island is by liveaboard. That means you will embark on sailing phinisi yacht, sleep on the boat, and practically do everything in the boat while it transports you to one dive site to another. Liveaboard trip seems a little bit pricey in the beginning, but you get all you need just in one payment. It includes full board meals for the whole period of the trip, accommodation, dive gears, and Divemaster guide. You actually save a lot of time, money, and energy this way. Liveaboard also allows multiple dives per day in different sites, which is impossible if you stay at one particular island.
Second option is doing the trip separately. That means you might need to stay at separate islands, which also means catching ferry to go to each island. You also need to hire a local dive centre to rent equipments and guide the dive. Due to the high demand yet few number of the dive centre, prices could surge up beyond normal.
When to Dive in Banda
The best time to have Banda Sea diving is between March to April and September to December. March to April is the beginning of dry season. The skies are clear and sunny while the sea is relatively smooth. It’s comfortable for diving. However, the visibility went up during September to December. You can enjoy clarity up to 20 – 50 meters! This is also the time when hammerhead sharks most possibly make appearance, as the temperature gets colder and they often swim to shallower depth accessible by divers.
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What to See on Banda Sea Diving
The underwater world of Banda Islands is bursting with life and there are just so much thing to see! Ring of Fire region is famous for spotting the big fishes. Expect to see barracuda, giant trevallies, batfish, snappers, tuna humpback parrot, eagle rays, to napoleon and groupers. The Banda Sea is great to see hammerhead sharks, but it’s not guaranteed. Meanwhile, you could enjoy sighting of other sharks! Grey sharks, white tip and black tip sharks, or the rare oceanic shark often pop up just from nowhere! Also, the Mount Api in Banda is famous for their venomous yet gentle sea snakes, which presents as a thrilling adventures for many divers!