During our journey trough Indonesia we stopped on Pulau Weh, a volcanic island off the coast of northwest Sumatra. This jungle island house many rare species from the land to the sea. That’s why diving Pulau Weh belongs to one of the best diving site in Indonesia with more than 20 diving spots, though not as well known as the others but many people who dived here agreed it is among the top ones. And I can just confirm that. The diving there is just amazing. Every dive is different with diverse marine life on every corner, from small staff to big ones including big barracudas and reef sharks.
How to get there
Its located about 15 km off the northwestern tip of Sumatra. It takes 45 minutes on a fast boat or 2 hours regular boat (big ferry) from Banda Aceh to Pulau Weh. Diving centers are located around Iboah on the north of the islands. Its 40 minutes from a port and you can take a minivan or rent a motorbike.
When to go
Basically all year round. The best time is from April to November, during the dry season. I was there diving in mid of April and the weather was nice. You may experience some short evening showers but they are rather refreshing than disturbing 🙂
Prices / Accommodation
Pulau Weh has one of the best value dive price in Indonesia. The prices starts on 24 USD per dive down to 20 USD if you do more then 5 dives. Not only because I always try to support local business, I chose go diving with the first ever opened dive center on the island running from father to son – Rubiah Tirta Divers. Around dive center there are plenty of accommodation possibilities. We stayed in oceanfront bungalow (fan) with big terrace for 7 USD / night.
Diving Pulau Weh and dive sites
There are more than 20 good dive locations located around Pulau Weh, accessible by boat though some you can get to by swimming a few hundred meters from shore. The visibility is almost always in good weather between 10 – 30m. I enjoyed every single dive on this beautiful island and wanted to stay there longer. This place belongs to those I will always want to come back.
Here are some of the best dive sites around Pulau Weh with various marine life you can expect to see. You can also watch short dive video (I met also few silver-tip and black-tip sharks but didn’t manage to film it due to very strong current):
Arus Balee – is a water passage that has a strong current, making it a fantastic dive site that gives the diver an opportunity to have a glimpse to different living sea creatures because the water is clean and clear.
Batee Dua Gapang and Gapang’s House Reef – great dive site where you can experience a very astonishing view of the marine creatures, diving deep into the water, enjoying the white sands and coral reefs.
Batee Tokong – has very impressive marine life on it’s steep slopes covered with encrusting sponge, zigzag clams and gorgonian seafans. Shark Plateau is a good place to see black tip reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, grey reefs and occasional silver tips. Several species of moray eels are on every corner as are lion-fish and scorpion-fish.
Rubiah Utara is a fantastic dive spot that has a great background view. Around Rubiah Utara you will get to see some of the larger marine life like sharks, giant reef rays, schools of fusillers, snapper and butterfly fish.
Pantee Aneuk Seuke (The Canyon) – is another great dive spot where you can see uncountable fishes, planktons, coral reefs, and lot more that can really catch your eye Napoleon wrasse and trevally can also be seen.
The Sophie Rickmers Wreck – sits in 55m of water in Pria Laot bay. The shallowest part is the wheel house at 37m so this dive is not for beginners. She was a German cargo steam ship built in 1920 and sunk by her own crew on 1 May 1940 to prevent confiscation by the British navy.