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Lying at the gateway to the Pacific Ocean and between Lembeh Strait and Raja Ampat, Halmahera promises exceptional diving opportunities at the very heart of the Coral Triangle.

Once at the centre of the spice trade, the lush volcanic island of Halmahera is now a quiet outpost of the Indonesian archipelago, a land that time has long since forgotten.

Despite its location at the very centre of the richest and most diverse waters on earth, the largest island in the Moluccas has remarkably escaped the attention of divers clamouring to visit Indonesia's many other diving meccas. This area is finally beginning to open up and represents a new and exciting frontier for adventurous divers.

The waters around this sparsely populated island play host to pristine, untouched reefs and an astounding biodiversity. While the waters are still relatively unchartered, a survey in 2005 suggested that Halmahera is comparable only to Raja Ampat - currently considered the most diverse habitat on earth - with at least 450 species of coral and over 800 species of fish recorded in just a few hours.

The wider region, much of which is still to be explored, boasts almost 400 islands, plunging drop-offs, atolls, pinnacles and vibrant coral gardens hiding countless macro delights such as the pygmy seahorse, blue-ringed octopus and flamboyant cuttlefish.

Larger visitors include turtles, schools of barracuda and batfish, eagle rays, bumphead parrotfish and graceful manta rays (Sep-Oct), and a new species of walking shark has been discovered in the region (hemiscyllium halmahera).

Although the area can be dived by liveaboard throughout the year, the best months for diving are considered to be from Oct-May. The itineraries concentrate on the south western side of Halmahera exploring the dive sites around Bacan, Moti, Tidore and Ternate islands.

Halmahera's remote location and the possibility of stronger currents mean the diving is most suitable for more experienced divers with at least 50 logged dives. It's a photographer's dream!

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: pygmy seahorse, bumphead parrotfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, barracuda, reef manta ray
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Sali Bay Resort

Located in a protected bay off the beaten track in south Halmahera, this unique dive resort offers exceptional diving opportunities and pristine nature at the heart of the Coral Triangle.

Suggested liveaboards are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.


The luxurious Tambora has been engineered for a minimum of noise and vibration and aims to take you on an exhilarating journey through the Indonesian archipelago, unique in diversity and home to the world’s best dive sites.

Maluku Explorer

Visiting remote and unexplored areas, the Maluku Explorer offers pristine exploration diving at the heart of Indonesia's Coral Triangle, where you can expect breathtaking scenery and an amazing biodiversity of marine life.