Regularly topping just about every 'top diving' list and hogging a number of world records for marine biodiversity, it's irrefutable that Raja Ampat, located in the bullseye of the Coral Triangle, is home to some of the best diving on earth. But the Coral Triangle is vast and varied, with a treasure trove of hidden diving spots where the coral and marine life spread through the sea like splatters of paint on a turquoise canvas (move over, Picasso). And while they may be under-the-radar for now, they're set to be next year's big thing, so stay ahead of the game and book now for 2019.
Rapidly emerging as one of the world's top muck diving destinations, Alor also benefits from a wealth of pelagic species, superb coral reefs and the world famous Pentar Strait, which is just around the corner. In fact, the diving here is so varied you'll be hard-pressed to experience the same dive twice, even if you spend the entire trip underwater (which we thoroughly recommend).
Kimbe Bay, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
Bold call alert: this might actually be our favourite dive spot. Ever. Located in the Coral Triangle, Kimbe Bay enjoys all the coral and marine life of Raja Ampat, but with none of the crowds. So pristine is the diving that it is regularly scoped by marine biologists and avid divers alike who come to witness spirals of thousands of barracuda, scalloped hammerheads and even passing orcas, to name but a few. All from the shores of Walindi Resort or its liveaboard MV Febrina.
East Sumbawa Island, Komodo, Indonesia
Kalimaya Dive Resort, the only dive resort on East Sumbawa Island, shows guests a side of Komodo often missed, with a wealth of incredible sites still being discovered by the expert dive team. Whether spotting frogfish and paddleflap rhinopea on the house reef or diving the surrounding muck, reef, drift and bubbling (yes, you read that right) sites, discover a deeper cut of Komodo.
The wild card entry: it might not be in the Coral Triangle but we couldn't resist featuring this remote archipelago, which offers a Jacques Cousteau experience like no other. Exploration is at the top of the agenda from this remote private island paradise, spending days discovering new dive sites with a wealth of marine life (think: mantas, tuna, napoleon wrasse, massive groupers, eagle rays, sharks, turtles and more on pretty much every dive). Best yet, you'll be the only ones there - prepare for a real pioneering experience.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
While the new kids on block mentioned above stay secret, Raja Ampat remains popular for a reason. And although Raja Ampat may be fully booked for this year, there's still availability for 2019/2020 trips. Whether setting sail by luxurious liveaboard, staying in one of the world's top eco resorts (like Misool Eco Resort) or basing yourself at one of our other incredible dive resorts, get in contact now to plan for next year because, after all, the early bird catches the worm.