Diving in Nabucco

There are no deep dives here, as all sites are shallow, with some even lesser than ten meters.

Dive Resort In Sangalaki

Derawan Dive Lodge | Dive Resort in Nabucco | Dive Resort in Sangalaki | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki

Derawan Dive Lodge

Small and cozy, Derawan Dive Lodge is an ideal place for guests and divers who would like a personal touch on their dive holiday. It is located just off the coast of East Kalimantan in Indonesia at the island of Derawan and built on a white sandy beach with just 10 rooms. Derawan Dive Lodge has 2 ocean view cottages, 6 beach chalet rooms, and 2 family duplex rooms all built from wood with a Minahasan style concept, air conditioned with hot & cold shower, safety box and a day bed which can be a third bed. The beach is only within walking distance where you can bask in crystal clear waters and have a chance to spot giant turtles laying eggs by the beach while hungry divers can have a serving of local Indonesian cuisine in seafood, chicken and occasional beef observing the Muslim culture. For diving, Derawan Dive Lodge has two 14 metre dive boats and has partnered with Tasik Divers team, with Nitrox ready for those who wish longer time underwater to experience diving at its best.

Marine Life Highlights in Nabucco

whitetip shark | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki
Whitetip Shark
trevally | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki
nurse shark | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki
Nurse Shark

Dive Sites In Sangalaki

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Turtle Town

True to its name, the Green Turtles are the main attraction of this dive site. The annual average of the turtle nests ranges from 20 to 30 lay on the beaches every night whereas underwater, you can spot the turtles under rock shelters and coral gullies feeding, mating or resting. Visibility in this dive spot is good from 10 to 30 metres with rare currents and average depth is at 35 metres. Located southwest of Sangalaki, Turtle Town also hosts reef fishes including Moorish Idols and Pufferfish, Popcorn Crabs, Giant Cuttlefish, Octopus, Catfish, Mandarin fish, and decorating the scene are feather stars, sea stars and colourful Nudibranchs. Access to this dive site is through a Liveaboard and only suitable for Advanced divers as a drift dive to the west is also the entrance to Sandy Ridge.

Access: Shore entry
Average Depth: 35m
Maximum Depth: –
Average Visibility: 10m – 30m

sandy ridge | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki

Sandy Ridge

Lying at the west side of Sangalaki and just a drift dive from Turtle Town is Sandy Ridge, a beautiful dive site famous for its Blue-Ribbon Eels and the best place to see Cuttlefish mate or lay eggs. It is reachable by a 10-minute boat ride with typical visibility of 10 to 30 metres and depths of 10 to 25 metres. Despite its name, Sandy Ridge has a variety of soft corals and sponges such as Tube coral, Lettuce Coral and a few Gorgonian Sea fans. Other residents of this site are small Sharks, schools of Catfish, Fusiliers, Jacks and Snappers, Crocodile fish, Lionfish and at the seabed, divers can have a glimpse of the Giant Clam along with Lobsters and other crustaceans. Currents in the area are low and Sandy Ridge is open to all divers.

Access: Boat Ride
Average Depth: 10m
Maximum Depth: 25m
Average Visibility: 10m – 30m

manta parade | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki

Manta Parade

One of the dive sites forming manta highway land along with Manta Avenue and Manta Run, Manta Parade as its namesake, is a site where Manta Rays parade in all directions and even reaching the surface. Not only it is a great diving spot but also a good snorkeling spot as well for the Mantas prefer swimming close to the surface feeding on plankton or being cleaned by Cleaner Wrasse. The reef on this dive site is a set of ridges that seem like underwater hills with the flat sandy bottom boasting Gorgonian fans, large Barrel Sponges and small Coral Heads and adorned by Feather Stars and Alabaster Sea Cucumbers. Looking closely, you will discover Sea Stars, Cushion Stars, Sea Anemones with Clownfish, Flatworms, Fan worms, and reef fishes such as Angelfish, Crocodile fish, Frogfish, Triggerfish, Sweetlips and Stonefish. Average depth is at 24 metres and visibility ranges from 10 to 30 metres, with some strong currents.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 24m
Maximum Depth: –
Average Visibility: 10m – 30m

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Lighthouse Reef

The Lighthouse Reef is situated east of Sangalaki where diving begins at a lighthouse where its reef got its name. Coral steps will lead divers to sandy tracks with two small wooden boat wrecks where the older one is overgrown with soft Corals and Sea Anemones which is an ideal habitat for the vibrant Fire Goby, Elegant Fire Goby and Dancing Goby along with Sweetlips, Scorpion fish, Jawfish, Ribbon Eels, Anemone fish and Clownfish roaming the wreck. On the other wreck are Gorgonian Fans where Pygmy Seahorses can be seen and at the sandy bottom lays Giant Clams. Diving depth in the area is up to 15 metres and visibility is 10 to 20 metres with low currents. Access to the Lighthouse Reef is by boat and is suitable for all divers.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 15m
Maximum Depth: –
Average Visibility: 10m – 20m

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Eel Ridge

Eel Ridge has a variety of species other than what it is famed for – the Sand/Ghost Eels, and rich in bars coral growth. At 17 metres, a flat sandy expanse lies with Barrel Sponges at the edges of the reef,  huge Porites on the main outline, and Gorgonian Sea Fans and Crinoids are present making the scene so alive leaving divers in awe with its pristine nature. A sea pen at the seabed can be spotted where Giant Clams are also a few metres away, Cuttlefish, and loads of critters with rare sighting of Black tip reef Shark. Visibility ranges from 10 to 30 metres and average depth is at 25 metres with low currents. Eel Ridge can be reached by boat and from shore.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 25m
Maximum Depth: –
Average Visibility: 10m – 30m

coral garden | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki

Coral Gardens

Located west of Sangalaki and accessible by boat is a common dive site to all dive locations, the Coral Gardens. Divers will be greeted by Goatfish on the flat sand and going deeper, shelves full of both soft and hard corals are at the seabed including Acropora and Mosaic Corals with species of reef fishes like Triggerfish, Snappers, Anthias and Damsels as regulars. Coral Gardens is also ideal for night dives as it features Lobsters, Octopus, large Hermit Crabs, Shrimps and little Cuttlefish. Above the busy coral life, few Mantas feed in the waters and Green Turtles pass by. Average depth is 20 metres while maximum depth is at 30 metres with mild currents and visibility of 5 to 10 metres.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 20m
Maximum Depth: 25m
Average Visibility: 5m 10m

kakaban | Diving in Sangalaki | Diving in Nabucco | Dive Nabucco | Dive Sangalaki


Kakaban Island is a World Heritage Site that is an exciting dive spot for big fish and also known to house the Jellyfish Lake, one of the three in the world. Located east of Sangalaki and only a 25-minute boat ride, this dive site features deep walls with hanging soft coral tiers, fans and whips that is home to Surgeonfish, Parrotfish, Fusiliers, Butterfly Fish, Gobies and Angelfish. Pelagics like Hammerhead Sharks, Manta Rays, Barracudas, Jacks, Blue-finned Tuna, and Trevallies along with Leopard Sharks and Gray Reef Sharks are common sights to Kakaban. A must-see is the non-stinging Jellyfish at Lake Kakaban which adapted its properties being trapped in the lake for so long with no threat from predators therefore having no need for its natural defense. Visibility in the area ranges from 10 to 40 metres and depths of 5 to 40 metres with some strong currents.

Access: Boat Entry
Average Depth: 5m
Maximum Depth: 40m
Average Visibility: 10m 40m

Diving In Nabucco

Sangalaki Island is part of the Derawan Archipelago lying between East Kalimantan and Sulawesi which, together with the surrounding reefs, is a protected Marine Park. It is strict in implementing natural conservation of the island thus its pristine nature remains, a truly untouched marine ecosystem. Divers can reach the island with ease via a Liveaboard and a visit to neighboring islands of Maratua, Derawan, and Kakaban Islands can also be part of the itinerary as it is an equally exciting dive.

Climate in Sangalaki is mainly tropical being only two degrees north of the equator therefore the island does not experience strong trade winds, monsoon season or typhoons. Dry season is from April to October and wet season is from November to March with a constant temperature of 28 to 30 degrees Celsius. Average visibility is 20 metres but can either fall to 8 to 10 metres or be as high as 30 metres. Diving Sangalaki is suitable for beginner to advanced diver as the depth ranges from 10 to 40 metres with moderate currents.

Being a part of a protected Marine Park, Sangalaki has amazingly abundant corals. It has over 500 species surrounding the island, a wonderful mix of hard and soft corals. The reefs start a distance out from the island and making so much shallow reef until the reef slopes gently resulting to a vast diversity of marine life. Other than the reefs, Sangalaki’s beach is also known as breeding site for Green Turtles. Female Turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs and baby Turtles can be seen once they come out from their eggs.

Because of its pristine corals, the island has a diverse marine ecosystem. Unlike other sites that only promise Manta Ray sightings, Sangalaki is where the Rays are sure to be spotted all year round. Pelagics are also present including Barracudas, Jacks, Blue finned Tunas, and Hammerhead Sharks. But it is not just about the big fishes, it is also an interesting macro site where critters abound such as Shrimps, Lobsters, Octopus, large Hermit Crabs, and Mantis Shrimps. To top all that, non-stinging Jellyfish is a sight to behold, being one of the three sites in the world that brings life to it.

Best Diving Season: May to September
Weather: Wet Season is from November to March & Dry Season is from April to October
Water Temperature: 28-30°C
Marine Animal Highlights: Leopard sharks, Reef sharks, Hammerhead shark, Non-harsh Jellyfish, Mantaray, Sea Turtles
Recommended Thermal Protection:
Water Visibility: 20m-30m
Transportation: Airbus by Silk Air, Singapore Airlines’ subsidiary

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