Bintan Island Diving

Venture to the beautiful Bintan Island to partake in dive courses in shallow, calm dive sites or search the sandy seafloor for a range of macro critters. Stonefish, seahorse, and nudibranch all await your discovery while at less sheltered sites, there’s the opportunity to witness dolphins at deep drop-offs.


Diving in Bintan Island

Bintan Island, the largest island of the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia is actually situated just a 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore making it very accessible from this South East Asia hub. Scuba diving in Bintan Island is ideal for dive courses, where novice divers can learn in shallow and calm conditions. For advanced divers, there’s a whole range of macro subjects - from seahorse to stonefish - where photography skills can be tested.
There are a number of dive resorts and dive centres on Bintan willing to help divers venture out into the blue or better yet, dive the whole of the Riau Archipelago by hopping on one of the liveaboards departing from Singapore.

Best time to dive

The best time for novice divers to enroll in dive courses is from March to November when the conditions are calm, yet, Bintan Island diving is possible all-year-round. In late November until March, it is the wet season and from December through to February, the currents can be strong which may entice more experienced divers. Often, scuba diving in Bintan Island is an alternative to diving Tioman during the monsoon period and vice versa.

Types of diving

Many of the sites surrounding Bintan Island have sandy shallow bottoms, ideal for seeking out macro critters among the rubble. At Mapur Island, in East Bintan, there are steep drop-offs and the chance to traverse towering walls while calm sloping coral reefs are also accessible. There are a few wrecks in the area, where divers can search corals encrusted on the steel bodies for a range of macro creatures while if you enjoy drift diving, visit in December to February.

What to see

Bintan Island diving is perfect for seekers of the weird and wonderful marine life. Elusive crustaceans occasionally come out of their lairs to scuttle along the sandy seabeds while pipefish, seahorse, and nudibranch are all common spots if you have a keen eye.
Anemones and clownfish are abundant on the fringing reefs while hawksbill and green turtles occasionally visit. Eagle rays have been spotted carefully roving the seafloor for the next meal while from January through to April is the best time to spot a stonefish disguising itself. If you count yourself a lucky person, you may even spot dolphins playfully frolicking in the blue.

Best places to dive

The dive sites of Bintan Island can be split into three regions, North, East and South. In North Bintan, diving consists of mainly shallow and sandy bottom sites, with the Berakit Wreck lying on the seafloor waiting for curious divers to investigate. At Sandy Bay dive site, spot schools of lionfish, grouper, and butterflyfish and keep your fingers crossed for reef shark and guitar shark.
In the East, divers can explore the Sleeping Wreck or witness schooling fish at drop-offs. South Bintan, is generally less explored than the other regions and is home to shallow coral reefs and some mangroves. The silty seabed shelters seahorse, nudibranch, shrimps, crabs, pipefish and many others.