Great year round diving in one of the driest regions of Indonesia

Season: Year-round diving

Visibility: 12-30m/35-100ft

Water Temperature: 26-30°C/79-86°F

Whip Coral Shrimp (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

The region of Palu in western Sulawesi is probably one of the most diverse regions of the island for diving.

Featuring soft corals, hard coral labyrinths macro species, wrecks, seamounts, shoals of colourful reef fish, reef sharks, drifts, walls, muck and night dives, western Sulawesi truly has it all.

Prince John Dive resort is the only dive resort within 300 kilometres of Palu.  It lies on a white sand beach and has a stunning variety of sites within an hour by boat from the resort including:


Location: A short walk away from the beach and the dive base

Depth: 5 – 40 m

A pristine underwater wonderland consisting of huge fan corals, massive black corals, beautiful gorgonians, colourful sponges and impressive soft and hard corals.
Underwater photographers may find stunning macro motives and a wide range of fish species that range from Spanish dancers, Scorpion fish, crocodile fish, frog fish, ghost pipefish, various kinds of sea horses, stonefish, needle fish  and lionfish to the “ordinary” category including boxfish, filefish, and burrfish. 

The house reef at Prince John Resort is also excellent for night dives.


Location: A short distance from the beach and the dive center
Depth: 15 – 35 m

After approximately 15 metres swim across the house reef, the  fringing reef plunges steeply down to 35 metres and features a dense growth of hard corals that run along the drop off.  On dives here you might see bat fish, shoals of surgeon fish and fusiliers, pennant fish, grunts, impressive groupers, mackerel, moray eels, angelfish, burrfish, boxfish, nudibranchs including various nembrotha and chromodoris species).

You may also see reef sharks and Bumphead parrot fish. Cleaner shrimps and Long-nosed Hawkfish can also be found here - a delight for underwater photographers!


Location: approx. 2 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 5 – 30 m

A low flow fringing reef, which is mostly flat for around five metres, after which it falls steeply down to 30 metres and finally levels out on a sandy bottom which features numerous coral outcrops and bommies.One of thesee massive coral bommies is frequented by a station of cleaner shrimps,  a territorial shoal of black snappers and harlequin grunts. Apart from invertebrates like fantastic gorgonian fans, hard corals, feather stars and slugs, there are ghost pipefish, fusilier shoals,
surgeon fish, bat fish, and shoals of pennant fish. This is a site that suits beginners to advanced divers and offers the possible of seeing black tip reef sharks, Bumphead parrot fish and even sea turtles.


Location: approx. 3 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 10 – 35 m

Reefs with lots of snails, crabs, Bumphead parrot fish, and striped razor fish. Both stingrays and sea turtles frequent this site.


Location: approx. 5 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 3 – 30 m

A vibrant fringing reef that falls down to 30 metres and then levels out on to a sandy bottom. In shallower depths you will be amazed by the beauty of hard and soft corals. Another highlight is an extensive coral outcrop with black and blue moray eels, shoals of cardinal fish and a number of different crab species. Furthermore, this spot is regularly frequented by snappers, stingrays, moray eels, puffer fish, parrot fish, rabbit fish, leaf fish, fusilier shoals, surgeon fish, crocodile and scorpion fish. You may also see sea snakes, eagle rays, white and black tip reef sharks, napoleon wrasse and turtles. 


Location: approx. 7 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 3 – 20 m

This 100 metre long and 20 metre wide reef offers an outstanding diversity of invertebrates and fish in moderate depths. It is surrounded by extensive sandy areas that are dotted by stunning hard coral bommies featuring sponges, feather stars, gorgonians as well as various kinds of nudibranchs and shrimps. Apart from Oriental and Harlequin sweetlips, bluespotted stingrays, moray eels, bat fishes and doctor fishes, one may also see a Jenkins whipray or a Bumphead parrotfish and turtles. Tip: This place is perfect to watch Baby whitetip reefsharks sleeping under big tablecorals. Within the reef, there is an old anchor with fantastic coral growth that gave this spot it's name. When diving by various extensive coral bommies, you may come across ghost pipefish and seaweed pipe fish! 


Location: approx. 9 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 8 – 40 m

Beautiful hard and soft coral landscapes with red and yellow pygmy seahorses, snails, crabs, spade fish, turtles, stingrays, and maybe even Napoleon wrasse.


Location: approx. 7 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 20 – 30 m

An approximately 80 metre long shipwreck that sank in 1954. The wreck lies on its side and the holds are overgrown by soft and hard corals.  This wreck can be penetrated and on many of the dives here you can see Longnose hawkfish, as well as shrimps, crabs and sometimes pygmy seahorses.


Lying at depths between 35 and 50 metres, the Gili Raja wreck is a 90 metre long vessel that sank over 60 years ago.  It is for very experienced divers and is beautifully overgrown with soft corals.

Give the remote nature of this wreck this dive is performed only with a ratio of 1:1 under constant observation by experienced crew and spare bottles are a basic requirement.


Location: approx. 9 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 1 – 14 m

This recently discovered muck diving spot is a great addition to beautiful dive sites in this region. This dive takes place under the Jetty at Donggala's Harbour amidst a colorful variety of frogfish, various nudibranchs, seahorses, pipefish, razorfish and many other creatures, which may be hiding in the sand, on the beautifully overgrown pillars or between blades of seagrass.


Location: approx. 20 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 5 – 40 m

A conical sea mount that features extensive shoals of fish.  It is often dived on the tide so there can be a stronger current on this site, which features red, brown, and white leaf fish, nudibranchs (above all, ovulidae species), shoals of jack fish, bat fish, surgeon fish, fusiliers, harlequin grunts, black snappers, frog fish, and pygmy seahorses. Due to the current you may also see grey reef sharks, black and white tip reef sharks, and even an occasional eagle ray.


Location: approx. 30 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 7 – 35 m

Massive barracudas, grey reef sharks, eagle rays, and turtles frequent this sea mount, furthermore you will gaze at cuttle fish, snails, harlequin grunts, leaf fish, moray eels, and crocodile fish. 


Location: approx. 40 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 8 – 35 m

A massive seamount with an extensive, pristine, and beautiful soft coral garden. Apart from gorgonian fans, whip corals, and huge table corals, you will also find cuttlefish, eels, Bump head parrot fish, pipe fish, shoals of jack fish, black snappers, grunts, butterfly fish, and angelfish. You may also see white and black tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, napoleon wrasse or huge potato groupers. 


Location: approx. 45 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 10 – 30 m

This sea mount is a great place to see sharks. It also features beautiful gorgonians and soft corals as well as snappers, mackerels, jack fish, grunts, and rays. 


Location: approx. 45 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 2 – 90 m

This beautifully overgrown reef face stretches across the north side of the Bay of Palu. Falling steeply down to 90 metres, it features many ledges, cracks, and small caves. This is an ideal environment for black corals, soft and hard corals, feather stars, gorgonian fans, huge sponges, and nudibranchs. In a depth of 32 m, you will often find longnose hawkfish swimming along the overgrown ledges. You may also see shoals of grunts, yellow and red pygmy seahorses, black snappers, surgeon fish, butterflyfish, fusiliers, frog fish, pennant fish as well as napoleon wrasse, and occasionally white and black tip reef sharks, turtles, head parrot fish, eagle rays, and ghost pipefish. 


Location: approx. 50 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 2 – 60 m

Non-tidal and smoothly declining fringe reef that features an incredible diversity of gorgonian fans, various species of nudibranchs, feather stars, cuttlefish and sponges. You may also see several species of anemone fish, along with long nose hawkfish, blue triggerfish, boxfish and puffers, grunts,  black snappers, angelfish, napoleon wrasse, shoals of fusiliers and bat fish (including juveniles). You may also see turtles, bumphead parrot fish and reef sharks.


Location: approx. 70 minutes ride by boat
Depth: 2 – 70 m

A phenomenal drop-off with lots of cracks, ledges, and small caves overgrown with beautiful soft and hard corals, whip corals, big gorgonian fans, black corals and huge sponges. This site also features several species of nudibranchs. Apart from seeing jack fish, frog fish, and crocodile fish, you may also see many apogonidae and even glass perch!



Blue Spotted Ray (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Macro critters are in abundance in western Sulawesi (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Emperor Shrimp (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Beautiful coral growth on the walls near the resort (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Ghost Pipefish (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Leopard Nudibranch (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Sea turtle (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Red Frogfish (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Spotted Moray Eel (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Anemone Shrimp (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Whip Coral Shrimp (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Leaf Scorpionfish (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

The coral walls of western Sulawesi (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Mantis Shrimp (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

Pygmy Seahorse (Image by Prince John Dive Resort)

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