Best Diving in Lembeh Strait

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Lembeh Strait is known of as the king of muck diving destinations. For those who have yet to visit these dark and mysterious waters, what are you waiting for? Lembeh Strait in Indonesia is a world class diving destination that will not disappoint.

Lembeh Strait is home to the weird and wonderful, the rare, the bizarre and the beautiful. An underwater photographer’s dream, the narrow strait on the northern side of Sulawesi is home to many examples of interesting adaptations and therefore truly unique creatures.

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Explore below more details about scuba diving in Lembeh Strait.

Table of Content

Underwater Pictures of Lembeh Strait


Muck Diving

The world class diving available at Lembeh Strait is possibly the best muck diving experience you will ever have.

Underwater photography enthusiasts from all over the world come to experience the magnificent muck diving at Lembeh Strait, but you’ll be pleased to know that the area has yet to succumb to large touristic developments.

This local feel simply adds to the local charm as divers can rest assured that they will not be led into any tourist traps by the existing dive resorts and shops in the area. The dive operations vary in size and quality and are situated on both the Bitung and Lembeh Island sides of the strait.

Best Season to Dive in Lembeh Strait

Diving in Lembeh is all year round but the conditions do vary.

The best visibility is between October and December while the lowest visibility is between January and February. However, for muck diving, the visibility doesn’t really matter as divers get very close to see the tiny critters.

Diving Conditions

Water temperatures at this year-round destination are very mild, with averages in the range of 27 – 29 degrees Celsius. July and August tend to present the coldest temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius. Thermoclines are normal occurrences in the area and a full 5mm wetsuit is recommended, especially if you’re an underwater macro photographer.

Compared with other diving destinations in Indonesia, Lembeh Strait offers relatively calm currents, a fact that is highly appreciated by many underwater photographers considering the ever-present challenge of the unique sea floor.

Lembeh Strait’s distinctive feature is that of its almost black volcanic sand. Although ideal as a backdrop to photographs of macro life, the volcanic sand is very easy to stir and will result in reduced visibility if divers are not careful. Many dive operators require divers to sit through an informative orientation session to fully understand the importance of not stirring the bottom, thereby shielding the unique macro life therein from harm.

As with many destinations in Indonesia, rain is a daily occurrence, but this should not put you off. Diving visibility is rarely impacted by the rain, which usually only lasts between 5 and 30 minutes each day. In fact, often times the rain has proved to be helpful by encouraging more critters to be visible to divers.

Lembeh Strait Marine Life

Lembeh Strait offers divers a chance to test their seeking skills, with a number of shy and camouflaged critters perfectly playing the role of hiders. Flamboyant cuttlefish, skeleton shrimp and blue ring octopi are just a few of the many small creatures that you might find if you look out for them.

Larger fish are also commonly found hiding on the sandy bottom such as the odd-looking crocodile fish and even majestic whale sharks have been sighted in the area.

Night dives in Lembeh are very popular, as the unbelievable list of interesting marine life magically doubles once it gets dark.

Researching the area before you travel to Lembeh Strait is highly recommended as specifics on the creatures you may find can be found in numerous reports from experienced underwater photographers who know the area. These reports, as well as spending some time practicing your buoyancy control, will largely improve your experience at Lembeh and allow you to fully enjoy the world’s best muck diving site.

Access to the Dive Sites

All the resorts in Lembeh have their own dive operations organizing diving trips.

There are over 50 diving sites in total at Lembeh Strait and most of them are accessible via boat in less than 20 minutes except the coral gardens which are located on the other side.

The dive boats in this area are relatively small and only transport a small number of divers at a time, especially as many of these divers carry macro underwater photography equipment. Because the sites do not offer exceptional visibility, many dive operators will have an impressive ratio of 2:1 for divers to guide.

Travel tips

Are you ready to discover this muck diving paradise? Check out our Lembeh Strait travel guide and start planning your next diving trip!

Dive Sites Reviews in Lembeh Strait

Mawali Wreck dive is one of the areas best wreck dives. If you are interested in wreck diving, then the ...

It is often called the premier nudibranch dive site in the world, and Nudi retreat definitely lives up to this ...

Magic Rock is an astounding natural dive site that gets its name from the single rock in the area that ...

Angel’s window is a magnificent dive site with a large intensity of marine life and some beautiful topography that is ...

California dreaming is a great dive site attracting a large number of divers. Most divers come to see the very ...

The Lembeh Straight is known for its excellent muck dive sites and Hairball is one of the best muck dive ...

Liveaboard Reviews in Lembeh Strait

Been diving here with a liveaboard? Please share your experience using the comment section!
Johny July 24, 2017

good day to you,

Me and my wife planing to do some diving in the streat off Lembeh. Since we are expercienced divers, we like yo have a guide hat shows us the dive sitesm and after that we ll go by ourselfs the next time.

We did this many times in Bali allready, we drive to the dive site and jump from the beatch.

Is this also possible in your accomodation, so we like to rent the bungalow for a few weeks, stay and dive.

Also can you tell me something about ISIS, we heard some rumors about it.
We doubting to go there


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