Diving and Snorkeling Sites

Diving and Snorkeling Sites

Ataúro offers the world’s most biodiverse diving and snorkeling sites! This is due to its location in the famed Indonesian Throughflow, a warm current that carries a rich assortment of nutrients south from the Banda Sea. This diversity in nutrients bestows Ataúro with rich and diverse marine life. In 2016, a Conservation International team analyzed the sea-life surrounding the island and found an average of 253 species, making these waters the most biodiverse ever recorded. For reference, the previous record was a reef in West Papua, which found an average of 216 species.

Because of this spectacular sea life, any traveler willing to get into the ocean is in for, quite literally, the world’s very best diving. Those who successfully make the journey to Timor-Leste can witness these astounding underwater treasures for themselves. Surrounding aquatic topography includes breathtaking wall drop-offs that plummet miles towards the ocean bottom, coral garden descending slopes, and fringing coastal reefs teeming with varied fauna, some of which are exclusive to the island. In general, the water is also translucent, providing excellent visibility.

You have a plethora of dive sites to choose from around the island, depending on what you are looking for.

  • Haruina

    Located on the east side of the Island, Haruina is characterized by a combination of dramatic walls and a sloping reef. It is full of diverse marine life and it’s famous for drift diving. The reef drops down to more than 100 meters so it is more likely to see pelagic-like hammerhead sharks, tunas and […]

  • Watuai

    This dive site is famous for both macro and micro organisms. In 2015, it was named as one of the top ten house reefs in the world by a German magazine- Unterwasser. Often you can spot blue spotted stingrays buried under the sand and turtles sleeping under the table corals. While observing the beautiful corals […]

  • Vila

    Located on the east side of the island, this dive site is characterized by a slope. It is mostly covered by hydroids and soft corals. It is famous for the red tooth triggerfish which are here in huge numbers. Once in a while, divers can spot bumphead parrotfish and turtles. It is also a good […]

  • Britty Rala

    This dive site is located in a little cove south of the island. It is a combination of a dramatic wall and a slope. It is famous for its small cave located around 15 meters deep. This site is full of critters such as shrimps, crabs, pipefish, dragonets and squirrel fish. The topography of this […]

  • Coral Garden

    As the name suggests, this dive site is covered by different corals: from soft corals to hard corals, different sponges and table corals. The top of the reef is shallow and it’s full of different fish species making it suitable for snorkelers. It also has sandy areas where divers often spot garden eels, flounders and […]

  • Adara Wall

    This dive site is located on the west side of the island. It is famous for its amazing topography and the drop-off starts just a few meters from the beach. The wall is covered with soft corals and huge sponges and often divers can see various schools of fish: snappers, surgeonfish, fusiliers and trevally. In […]

  • Two Mile Reef (Iliana and Arlo/Amphitheater)

    This incredible dive site is located on the west side of Ataúro, north of Adara. The Two Mile Reef combines the villages of Iliana and Arlo with fantastic walls with colonies of soft corals and the opportunity to possibly have a glimpse at pelagic life coming from the Ombai Strait in the North. Iliana is […]

  • Akrema Wall

    Located on the northern tip of the island, Akrema is characterized by a slope. There are higher chances of seeing pelagics such as sharks, tuna, bumphead parrotfish at this dive site. Off from the dive site there is a nice white sandy beach where divers can relax after the dive and enjoy some refreshments.

  • Bikeli Wall

    This dive site is famous for massive sponges hanging on its wall and often you see schools of snappers, and surgeonfish. You may experience strong currents here.

  • Ilicnamo Pinnacle

    This dive site is located north of Haruina. It is a pinnacle famous for its strong currents. Due to its strong and unpredictable currents, it is recommended for experienced divers only. It is a sloping reef which goes deeper than 50 meters. The reef is covered by both soft and hard corals and it’s full […]

  • Big Fish

    As the name suggests, this dive site is known for the big fish divers can enjoy seeing there, from sharks, tunas, and giant trevally to snappers. This site often experiences very strong and unpredictable currents and it’s only recommended for experienced divers.

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