Maratua: Underwater Exploration

Anemone Fish - The corals & anemones are abundantly available in almost all the dive spot. Spotting clown fish even can be done with one eye.

One stop destination means that you can get any kind of enjoyment within a single trip, and Maratua conforms that requirement. I think that one of the first reason why Maratua got its famous name & heard across the continents is because its underwater world. Various dive spots are available with the outstanding chance to meet sharks, turtles, nudies & several types of fish schooling.

 

Another subject why I love Maratua is because all those dive spots are scattered in a small compact area, means that you don’t need to spend a lot of times to explore the whole. Even though the sites is not that large, yet you still can witness a truly diverse ecosystem and that’s why this Maratua is so special.

Dives in a comfy resort? Of course you can. At least for 2016, there are 3 resorts available & each of them provide a professional dive centre service. You may name them Maratua Paradise at Teluk Harapan, Nabucco with its private island & Nunukan which is located on Bakungan area. Starting from mid of 2015, there is an independent dive centre which is organised by Putu in Teluk Harapan Village. This is surely a great news for them who want to dive on budget because you don’t need to stay in the resort on the first place.

Cuttle Fish at Coral Garden - "I need some sleep, go away!"

Don’t worry about the safety concern. Even though it is just opened last year, however they have a great crews which are very experience for diving in Maratua. Putu himself has 15 years of diving experience across Indonesia & Thailand region. Dive equipments are well maintained & Irwan, the divemaster, is also a good-spotter for macro creatures. Kadek, which is the owner, is a professional SAT diver for commercial works. I wouldn't doubt them if I were you.

 

I spent several days to dive or just to chat with them and it is something which is more than fun. Maratua water is so wonderful & its greatness has made a guy with a more than 10 years experiences on live-aboard to stop his adventure and choose to settle there. 

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There is Turtle Traffic, which for my experience is the easiest spot to encounter a massive amount of sea turtles. Fussilier spot certainly means that you can get a good chance to meet fussilier schooling. Other spots like The Walls & Coral Garden provide you an exceptional looks of coral reefs. Then you shall visit Channel, a site that claims to be the most excellent dive spot in Maratua for some reasons. This spot is basically a channel which connect the inner & outer seas in Maratua Atoll. This means that the current is always strong at this area & you know well that big fishes love current.

 

During the initial phase of low tide, the sea flows from inner side to the outer ocean & vice versa. By bringing a relatively dirty water from the villages, diving during low tide is not a good option since the visibility is worsen. Hence the best alternative is to reach the area just before the high tide when the flows are bringing the seawater from outer ocean.

Turtle Traffic - Located nearby Payung-Payung village, this spot is commonly dwelled by a lot of turtles. During my last dive there, I could spot around 15 of turtles just in one dive.

With an enormous strong current, dive at Channel will be quite unique. Crawling at the seabed to get to the best spot, we grab to the strong point then we stop & look up to see all the big fishes hold their position on the cleaning station. It is the place when all the fishes come to wash their body with the current. It is like to watch them all from the aquarium, wait, we are even inside the aquarium itself. Depending on your luck level, you basically can see any type of big fishes here, especially for a great amount of barracuda schooling. I'd like to suggest that you definitely shall try Channel if you happened to visit Maratua.

OOH MY GOD!! ANOTHER CLOWN FISH?!

Puffer Fish