Diving in Sumatra has treasures to behold and offers a personal experience as dive sites are less crowded. Pulau Weh is the highlight. This small volcanic island is a tropical paradise with white sand beaches. Blessed with great visibility that extends to 40m, diving at Pulau Weh consists of wall dives, coral gardens and boulders. Outer reefs offer exciting drift dives.
Another dive destination in Sumatra is Padang. Visibility is about 15m closer to land but further out, there are some beautiful pinnacles in the open sea. Macro dives are plentiful and underwater conditions are typically easy and calm, suitable for new divers. The third area for diving is at the Riau Archipelago where there are healthy coral reefs and sandy bottoms to explore for critter hunting.
The popular dive sites around Pulau Weh in the Andaman Sea can be dived year-round with warm water temperature averaging at 84°F (29°C). It is also possible to dive in the warm waters of Padang year-round. Currents pick up during December to February and this is the best time for drift dives.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
Fly to Kualanamu International Airport in Medan or to Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Banda Aceh via airlines like AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and local Indonesian airlines. From Banda Aceh airport it is 30 minutes by taxi to Ulee Lheue Jetty and then 45 minutes by speedboat to the island (or 1 hour 30 minutes using a slower public boat). Once on the island motorbike taxis are available. To reach the Riau Archipelago for destinations like Bintan Island, take a ferry from Johor in Malaysia or from Singapore.