Snorkeling in Halmahera
Snorkeling in Halmahera
Snorkeling in Halmahera will introduce keen underwater addicts to a lesser visited part of Indonesia. It's harder to get to than some of the more well known spots within the coral triangle, but this means that there are very few visitors and so it is as remote and unspoilt as you are going to find. Getting here is certainly worth the effort! Halmahera is blessed with some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world, being comparable to the world famous regions of Raja Ampat and Komodo. Halmahera snorkeling conditions are great due to the crystal clear waters, ideal temperatures, and beautiful underwater scenery, all which will combine to create a snorkeling trip of a lifetime.
Marine Life in Halmahera
The biodiversity in Halmahera waters will impress the most experienced and seasoned of snorkelers. Coral reefs meet tangling mangrove forests; tiny shrimps mix with huge Hammerheads; and strong currents contrast with gentle lagoons. The variety and numbers of marine life is truly staggering, with almost every tropical species found in the snorkel sites in the area. The full range of reef fish are present everywhere, including Sweetlips, black Snapper, Fusiliers, and Barracuda. Amongst these snorkelers commonly see circling White and Black Tip reef sharks, along with the occasional Hammerhead. Elegant Manta Rays are to be seen in a number of sites, and every snorkel trip to Halmahera will be sure to feature it's fair share of Turtles - both the Hawksbill and Green variety are found here.
Best Snorkel Sites in Halmahera
Manta Bay has got to be on the itinerary for any snorkel tour to Halmahera. Although there's not a lot of coral and fish action going on, it's the huge Manta Rays and the high number of them that people come here for. The depth of the site is 10 metres and so viewing of Mantas is perfect for snorkeling, as the visibility is great. Tagalaya Island has water with visibility commonly in excess of 40 metres, giving ideal snorkeling conditions, with a back drop of picture perfect white sandy beaches. Mangrove Forests and spectacular coral reefs provide a great balance for the resident marine life, resulting in stunning schools of reef fish and also some sharks. Tanjung Gorango, locally known as 'Corner Of Sharks', is a great spot to view large numbers of reef sharks, but also if you are lucky, the occasional Hammerhead. Again, the water is glass like allowing great underwater viewing from the surface, from which snorkelers can see many fish including Barracudas, Jackfish and Sweetlips. Napo Siko has some fabulous examples of both hard and soft corals, with fish and sharks darting amongst them. White and Black Tip sharks are regularly seen at this site, and sometimes Mantas have been photographed here. Hawksbill and Green Turtles, large Bumphead Napoleon Wrasse, and schools of many other fish add to the incredible diversity living in these waters.
Best Time To Snorkel In Halmahera
In the northern area of the Maluku province which is where Halmahera is situated, there are a couple of seasons based around the Monsoon, with the wet season running from December till March. Probably the most popular time to visit Halmahera is between October and May, when conditions for water based activities are the most reliable. That said, snorkeling is possible most of the year - just check with your operator for definitive dates.
How Do I Get To Halmahera?
One of the delights of Halmahera is it's remoteness and isolation, meaning that any snorkel trip here will be extremely quiet and relaxed. It does though mean that it's a little awkward to reach, and logistically it can take a bit of effort to organise things by oneself. The easiest way to navigate through the best snorkel sites in Halmahera is on board a liveaboard boat, which will sail you through the spectacular islands and turquoise waters. Vessels commonly leave from the ports of Sahaung in Manado, or Sorong in Raja Ampat. Both Manado and Sorong have airports well served domestically, with regular flights to the likes fof Jakarta and Bali.