PULAU WEH / INDONESIA
Dive sites description
Pulau Weh offers a choice for around 20 different dive-sites!
Following dive site described is only some of them.
There are plenty sites suitable for everyone with any level of training, experience and confidence.
We will adjust to your satisfaction at all times.
Please don’t ever hesitate if you personally not feeling comfortable with a dive site at any time!
We will take your concerns seriously and will be handled discreet.
In most cases talking / explaining helps to resolve concerns. Or we simply will find the best alternative for and with you.
There is nothing to be ashamed for to skip a dive.
Our main goal is to make you enjoying your holiday and having a very good time with us!
Experienced divers with appropriate training and skills, do have the choice to split from our group just as well and follow another group to more difficult site. But please let us know in advance to be sure to secure your safety. It’s just as well very important to us!
Gapang House reef and Batee Dua
Our House Reef consists of three parts.
The shallow area, directly in front of the dive-shop (to around 18m) consists of a sandy bottom with big coral formations, rubbly areas and shallow reefs. Look for schools of razorfish, blue-spotted ribbontail rays and blue spotted stingrays, ornate ghost pipefish, leaf scorpionfish, reeftop pipefish, at least 5 different kinds of moray eels and the cute longhorn cowfish. Focus on the small stuff and you’ll find dozens of shrimp, nudibranch, seahorses and crabs.
The moray eels are out and about, octopus and stingrays are hunting and you might even find our resident turtle sleeping under the corals!
In the deeper area (24m) there is a rubbly reef perfect for macro lovers. Nudibranch, shrimp, colorful anemones and seahorses can be found there. But don’t be surprised if there’s suddenly a giant reef ray foraging in the sand, or an eagle- or devilray passing overhead!
On the east side of the beach you can snorkel out to Batee Dua (Two Rocks) and start the deep part of your dive at 30 m and head back to the shallower reef closer to the beach.
Look out for the reef sharks, the devil or eagle rays in the blue and the loads of blue-spotted ribbontail rays and blue spotted stingrays. Juvenile blacktip reefsharks like to swim around in the shallows and the resident turtles can often be found here. There is a huge ‘field’ of garden eels too!
Rental equipment, is also available in the dive shop to have a relaxed extra dive later in the day at the house reef when you still didn’t have enough of diving that day on the boat trips!
With George or/and your buddy, or if you prefer to be taken by a local guide, we can surely arrange that for you.
Underwater Volcano (Hotsprings)
This very unique divesite is not the most fishy of Pulau Weh’s dive-sites, but probably the most special!
In a small area in the bay of Pria Laot hot water bubbles up from the sandy bottom (5-15m). The cracks & vents change shape and size every time. It might be a bit smelly on the surface (sulphur) but it’s definitely an unique experience.
Its usually combine with a dive on the Tugboat Wreck in Sabang Harbour, 5 minutes away.
Just two minutes by boat straight out from Gapang Beach. You’ll find an abundance of nudibranch, flatworms and mushroom corals on this underwater hill with its top at 7m. The turtles from Gapang Beach sometimes visit this area.
Regularly spotted are painted, giant and warty frogfish, as well as a school of barracudas, giant reef rays and eagle rays passing by. Because we will probably dive “Limbo” later on friday afternoon just before sunset, there are always a few octopus and cuttlefish hanging around.
Is just 5 minutes from Gapang, but a less frequented dive-site. It’s a rocky outcrop, where strong currents can sweep through. It is a place to see clown fishes in their anemones, giant reef rays and other stingrays, turtles, different kinds of moray eels and big schools of black snappers hanging out in the shallow water at safety stop level between the rocks.
Rubiah Sea Garden
Famous for its shallow, colourful coral gardens. From 10m down follow the rocky slope with big branching hard corals till over 30 m before hitting sandy bottom. See colourful nudibranches and flatworms. There are a couple of amazingly red fluorescent bubble anemones at 13 m. You are almost sure to find the beautiful honeycomb morays here, of which some of them are often on the move, so you can see them free swimming in full length! Check out the difference if you spot a black spotted or black blotched moray, both quite similar to the honeycomb moray as well.
Rubiah Utara (North)
A dive here starts on the north point of Rubiah Island by following the rocky outline to the north. The deep part is down to over 30m and offers beautiful scenery with huge boulders and gigantic seafans forming a dense cover of orange, pink & red colours. Coming back up to the 18 m level you’ll reach a remarkable field full with white whip gorgonians like an underwater savannah. Sharks, giant reefrays, schools of fusiliers, trevallies, snappers, and schools of butterfly fishes cruise around. This dive site is only diveable in no current or mild current conditions. We will be checking and deciding before.
Arus Balee is the name for the water passage around a rocky pinnacle situated between the islands of Seulako and Rubiah. Appropriately nicknamed by the Acehnese Arus Palee, which means bastard current ;-), this narrow passage often sees lots of current as well as sharks and other current loving sea creatures, making it a very popular dive site. Best site for a kaleidoscopic moving palette of colours displayed by underwater “rivers” of hundreds and hundreds of neon bright fusiliers… enjoy the show! Also our best site for spotting Blue ribbon eels; here you can easily manage to find both the black juvenile as well as the blue male adult, and sometimes even the yellow female adult. The dive site that became best described with the words of one of our former Divemaster Trainees (Thierry, a French chef cook, 1998): “It’s like diving in the fish soup Bouillabaiss !”
This site is suitable for divers of all experience levels. The “cave” is actually an overhang that hides a wealth of fish and critters for the patient diver to discover. You cannot swim far into it and no additional training is required; nevertheless there is some of the gloomy mystery so typical of caves.
To get there you will most likely be dropped by the boat on the west side of small uninhabited Seulako Island. As you swim south you first pass a carpet of soft coral followed by a slope of small stones. If you are lucky you can spot the local frogfish that like to hang around on the rocks. Elsewhere ribbon eels may be rare; here you can spot black, blue and yellow ones in one dive. Watch out for octopus and cuttlefish. With luck you will bump into the local hawksbill turtle. Its curiosity has made it dance with and even kiss the mask of a diver.
At around 13 m depth you will see the first overhang. It’s just the small sister of the main overhang around 5 m deeper and some fin kicks south. If you don’t bring a torch your eyes will need to adjust to see the variety of fish swimming around the gorgonian fan corals and sponges inside the cave. Have a look for batfish and the giant sweetlips that often hangs around. If you are into crabs and shrimps you won’t be disappointed here.
Going shallower towards the end of the dive you may see schools of black snappers hanging around or trevallies on the hunt or even a black tip reef shark.
You finish the dive amongst the rocks of Arus Balee, the pinnacle that lies between Seulako and Rubiah Islands. Seulako Cave is a good spot to visit in the afternoon – normally a rather easy and rewarding dive.
For specifically “flying WHILE diving”, we only schedule this site with its long steep slope for when we expect currents to be strongest. We enter south of Seulako Island and drift along the island to the north, sometimes making it all the way till past Batee Tokong, with maybe a safety stop in the blue. During the dive soar over the rocks, hard corals and gorgonians in the deep and the fields of soft leather corals in the shallow put your hands down on some bare rock, and let the current push you over into making a somersault. Big fun!
Batee Tokong & Shark Plateau
With its spectacular scenery and it’s abundance of marine life, Batee Tokong tends to be a
favourite site for most divers in Pulau Weh. It takes 20 minutes by boat.
“It’s the Nr. 1 Moray place in the world”, as all visitors so far have agreed on: giant, fimbriated, white eye, snowflake, whitemouth, yellowhead, zebra and yellow margined. Blue ribbon eels reaching out for orange anthias, honey comb morays living together with their giant cousins and our local unique variety of the masked moray outnumbering all these other morays together by far. Hover above a few square metres of rocks and count at least a dozen of these morays sticking their heads out of their hiding places.
Batee Tokong, which translates as “Central Rock”, is a round plateau with one of the rocks sticking out of the water forming a vertical wall till 20 m. A steep slope densely covered with fan gorgonions continues downwards till well over 40 m, where a second wall starts. On the north side you’ll find a 24-28 m deep plateau, ‘Shark Plateau’, where black and white tip reef sharks, gray reef sharks and the occasional silvertip are met.
Marbled & giant groupers play hide and seek along the slopes, black snappers, giant and big eye trevallies, big blacktongue unicorn fish and barracuda’s try to induce vertigo to all divers swimming in their midst, while big needle fish circle high above all this, just under the surface. Deeper down bluefin trevallies hunt together with yellow goat fish and 2 or 3 long face emperors. See octopuses, lionfish, scorpion fish, frog fish, nudibranchs close to the bottom. Butterfly fish, triggerfish and the beautiful bignose unicornfish fish. And nice to watch the last one upside down to see their funny behaviour of having an upward “shower” in your bubbles of “air”. And don’t forget to look up once in a while anyway, as an eagle ray or a formation of devil rays might be passing over your head.
“Slippery Rock”. The rocks at this location form a ridge from the surface sloping down to more than 40 m deep. The massive rock formation with its pinnacles and swim throughs offers a spectacular view, and combined with the usual current that sweeps past, it’s as if flying over a mountain ridge in a hangglider or a small plane. At 18 m you’ll find an underwater beach with a whole bunch of garden eels poking their heads into the current. Good location for seeing bumphead parrotfish in the shallower areas. Usually great viz for fully enjoying the view.
When the current is heading north, a typical dive starts with a descent in the south to the cave (1) at around 29m. In the shelter of the
gorgonian-covered wall (2) it is usually very busy with all kind of small fishes. Often you’ll see big schools of barracudas. Going down to the end of the wall at around 40-45m watch out for
sharks and eagle- or manta rays passing by.
During the ascent towards the canyon (3) you can hover over the beautiful gorgonian garden. The canyon measures at its narrowest space only 1.80m and is “home” of some napoleon-wrasses.
Further north it’s like a “ceremony” to swim through the arch before ending up the dive on top of the reef.
But if there is a lot of plankton in the water, the end of the dive will end above the rocks in the shallow water, looking out for the manta rays that cruise around the coastal line in their search for food.
Meaning ‘Rice field terrace’, this is a deep dive site with the bottom well beyond the regular limits of recreational diving. The reef runs North to
South and be seen clearly in the water when deep ocean waves hit it and rise up as the reef causes a sudden change in depth.
The direction of the site is dived is determined by the currents, if the tide is going to high, the current usually flows from South to North. I usually prefer best to start the dive at the North and head south. Once in the water we descend over the shallow part of the reef and make our way to the drop off which starts at around 30 m and drops to 70 m +. When swimming to the drop off look out for schools of jacks and barracuda both chevron and yellow tailed, large schools of trevallies can also been seen. Moray eels are often seen amongst the rocks, but it’s best not to spend too much time here as it’s best deep!
The drop off starts at about 30 m and is pretty much vertical, the wall is covered in large gorgonian sea fans which thrive in the current and nutrient rich water. If conditions are favorable a dive to about 45 m is good, but often a down current, caused by water falling down the drop off, calls for caution, it’s easy to go too deep here! While deep, keep a look out for sharks – black tips, white tips and gray reef sharks. Only once have I not seen a shark here! Every so often look up to the surface for eagle rays, often seen here and maybe a manta ray. On a clear sunny day looking up at the sun with the wall and gorgonians in sight can be quite special.
We ascend slowly up the wall to the shallows again looking for barracuda and big fish, swim at 20 m for a while looking in the rocks for octopi, morays,
nudibranch and lobster. If we reach one of the small sand filled canyons you could head up it. This is nice looking for more lobsters. At around 10-12 m you can start to feel the surge caused by
the waves passing overhead. The surge is often good fun to play in as you fly past rocks and fish; the shallows sometimes have bump head parrot fish, which are always good fun to watch. Turtles
are commonly seen here in the shallows.
At 50 bars do a safety stop and if things are nice, stay down till 30 bars looking for more sharks.
Pantee Peunateung is a big stuff dive!