Ambon Diving Guide

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Contributors Sarah and James’ guide to Ambon, Indonesia.

 

We first heard of Ambon whilst heading to the Banda Islands, as you connect from Ambon to Banda via a ferry, so you can do both as part of your itinerary.

We were told Ambon is fantastic for ‘muck diving’ and it cannot be missed so we quickly added it to our itinerary.

 

You never know what you’ll find on a Muck Dive

 

Muck Diving

Muck diving isn’t for everyone. Generally you won’t find many fish or colourful corals, but instead you should expect sandy or stone bottoms and rubbish and dirty sediment. This environment brings a whole world of fascinating ‘critters’.

 

 

When you search ‘muck diving’, Lembeh in North Sulawesi (check out our article!), is often in the ‘best of’ list. We, however, feel that Ambon could be close or even better than Lembeh, but see for yourselves.

 

Let’s hope an octopus doesn’t steal our camera

 

Diving In Ambon

Critter Junkies dive shop has two of the best dive sites (Laha 1 & 2) only a few steps away from the shop. We were blown away with the variety of unusual critters found in 2-20m of water.

We found many octopuses on our dives including this not so shy wunderpus octopus, found in only 2m of water.

 

A stunning Wunderpus Octopus

 

After each dive, we came back absolutely buzzing at the bizarre creatures we had just encountered and saw something new on every dive.

 

Robustra Nudibranch

 

Critter Junkies has a strong environmental approach to diving, with a no plastic policy and beach clean-ups in the hope of educating the locals to take care of the environment one step at a time. They also promote local homestays instead of hotels, which they can organise for you as part of the trip.

 

A purple Weedy Scorpionfish

 

There’s not too much to do in the surrounding areas, but a 3-4 day stop here for this spectacular diving is definitely something you won’t regret and is one of our ‘Top 10’ dive destinations.

 

An Ornate Ghost Pipefish

 

This adorable looking frogfish is only 1cm in length, and when fully grown he looks completely different! It’s incredible to see the transformation.

 

Baby Frogfish, how cute!

Adult Frogfish, not so cute!

 

Using a macro lens can massively help you focus on these small critters. Can you see this pygmy seahorse? He is only 0.5mm in size! It takes a lot of skill to spot these creatures, and thanks to the awesome guides at Critter Junkies we were spoilt for choice with what we discovered.

 

A Pygmy Seahorse camouflages into this Sea Fan

 

We absolutely love ‘muck diving’ as it feels like a treasure hunt trying to spot these tiny and often camouflaged creatures. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must!

 

How To Get To Ambon

Ambon, the capital of Maluku is usually tied in with a trip to the Banda Islands as you’ll pick up a ferry from Ambon to Banda Neira.

 

The Banda Islands

 

To get to Ambon fly into Jakarta or Bali as there are direct flights to Ambon.

If connecting through Makassar we recommend heading to Bira Dive Camp, for some relaxation or diving with amazing visibility.

 

Bira Dive Camp

 

Ambon was a fantastic dive stop whilst heading to the Banda islands. It has a real local vibe as few tourists stop here unless diving, so get stuck into the culture and feel like one of the locals.

 

Thank you to Critter Junkies for hosting A Lovely Planet.

 

Travelling in Indonesia? Check out our other articles here.

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