When you start having a certain number of dives, you often get passionate about a certain type of diving and many are turning to macro. But to satisfy the macro fan (which often becomes photographer), you need very specific sites where the small rare species that we want to see! Find in this article the best macro diving destinations, which, not surprisingly, is entirely in Asia.

WHAT ARE THE BEST MACRO DIVING SITES?

  1. Lembeh (Indonesia) : The capital of macro, quite simply!
  2. Ambon (Indonesia) : Endemic species in the bay!
  3. Anilao (Philippines) : The paradise of nudibranchs!
  4. Mabul (Malaysia) a great macro + Sipadan compromise!
  5. Alor (Indonesia) : a great macro, corals and big mix!

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DEFINITION MACRO DIVING

What is a macro dive?

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  • 'Macro'' means large-scale and is the term used to define little creatures because the photographers use macro lenses to be able to photograph these creatures.
  • The thermal macro diving is now used in the diving community to define a dive that will not focus on large pelagics.

MUCK DIVING DEFINITION

What is a "muck dive" or a muck dive?

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  • Muck "Means mud in English.
  • Muck diving »Takes its name from sediments that rest at the bottom of the water from certain dive sites, an environment sometimes " muddy".
  • "Muck diving" now means macro dive in an environment often consisting of dead corals or some detritus at the bottom of the water (tire, tin can, fishing net…).
  • This habitat has a completely different ecological system of a reef and often becomes the home ofrare species often juveniles who make it their new home.
TOP 5: 1.Lembeh Strait 2.Ambon 3.Anilao 4.Mabul 5.Alor

1. MACRO LEMBEH DIVING OPINION (INDONESIA): THE BEST MACRO SITE IN THE WORLD!

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Lembeh Diving Review

  • Lembeh is considered by many to be the best destination ofmuck dive " in the world. I have not been able to go yet, but it is guaranteed to see very rare species, see endemic.
  • What we are usually happy to see on a good macro site seems to be "classic" in Lembeh but in covering all variations : frogfish of all sizes and colors (like the very rare hairy), ghost fish (ornate, robust ...), all types ofseahorses (Pygmies ...) shrimp (like the beautiful ones shrimp  harlequin and mantis)
  • And I'm not even talking about the number of different nudibranchs! Even the very rare octopus with blue rings, wonderpus or mimic and flamboyant cuttlefish seem to be walking there! Lembeh is the underwater photographer's paradise !
  • Be careful, this place has become very well known among divers from all over the world and is not the most affordable in Indonesia!

Some liveaboards take diving cruises to Lembeh and Bunaken

Information to organize your diving stay in Lembeh

top-10-asie-lembeh-frogfish

  • Macro Lembeh:
    • Octopus : blue-ringed, wonderpus, mimic, mototi, coconut…
    • Frogfish (frogfish): hairy, scarlet, painted, clown, giant.
    • Pipe fish (pipefish): ghost, robust, banded, hawaiian flame.
    • Seahorse : pygmy (denise, bargibanti and pontohi), common.
    • Scorpion fish : rhinopias, leaf, devil.
    • Shrimp : harlequin, emperor, mantis.
    • Cuttlefish : flamboyant, spotted.
    • Stone fish (synanceia)
  • Best diving period Lembeh : April to November.
  • Best dive sites in Lembeh: Nudi fall, Hairball, TK 3, Air Bajo 3, Bianca, Rojos.
  • Temperature : 26-27 ° from April to October and 28-29 ° from November to March.
TOP 5: 1.Lembeh Strait 2.Ambon 3.Anilao 4.Mabul 5.Alor

2. DIVE NOTICE MACRO AMBON (INDONESIA): ENDEMIC SPECIES IN THE BAY

meilleur site macro ambon indonesie poisson grenouille psychedelique

Ambon Diving Review

  • Everything can be found in Ambon Bay, it's a macro paradise!
  • Some seahorses and fish-pipes of all sizes, Fish-ghosts (ornate, rustic…), shrimp, squid (bobtail squid), flamboyant cuttlefish. You also have all kinds of Fish and frogs, whose the psychedelic endemic (above photo).
  • In the rare, we also have the Ambon scorpionfish and different stonefish.
  • Towards the sunset or diving at night you can also observe several types of octopus: blue-ring, mimic or wonderpus.

Information to organize your diving stay in Ambon

meilleur site macro ambon indonesie poisson scorpion

  • Macro Ambon:
    • Octopus : blue-ringed, wonderpus, mimic.
    • Frogfish (frogfish): painted, clown, giant.
    • Pipe fish (pipefish): ghost, robust, banded, hawaiian flame.
    • Seahorse : pygmy, common.
    • Scorpion fish : rhinopias, devil.
    • Stone fish (synanceia)
    • Squid : bobtail squid.
  • Endemic / rare macro : psychedelic frogfish, Ambon scorpionfish.
  • Best diving period Lembeh : April to November.
  • Best dive sites in Lembeh: Laha, Rhino city.
  • Temperature : 28-29 °.
TOP 5: 1.Lembeh Strait 2.Ambon 3.Anilao 4.Mabul 5.Alor

3. MACRO ANILAO DIVING OPINION: THE PARADISE OF NUDIBRANCHES!

2 Ghost pipefish - ornate female-min

Anilao diving reviews

  • Anilao is part of world's best macro and muck diving sites (with Lembeh and Ambon in Indonesia).
  • Each of its sites (around ten in all) contains very rare creatures : blue ringed octopus, mimic octopus, octopus wonderpus, scorpion fish, ghost fish (ornate, rustic ...), several species seahorses, dozens of nudibranchs different ...
  • By cons, if you do not like the macro, do not go!

Information to organize your diving stay in Anilao

meilleur site de plongee macro anilao philippines

  • Macro:
    • Octopus : blue-ringed, wonderpus, mimic.
    • Frogfish (frogfish): painted, clown, giant.
    • Pipe fish (pipefish): ghost, robust, banded
    • Seahorse : pygmy, common.
    • Nudibranch: dozens and dozens different.
    • Squid : bobtail squid.
  • Best Anilao diving period: January to June.
  • Top Anilao Sites : Cathedral Rock, Ligpo Island, Anilao Pier.
TOP 5: 1.Lembeh Strait 2.Ambon 3.Anilao 4.Mabul 5.Alor

4. MACRO MABUL DIVING REVIEW: TOP 5 MACRO IN THE WORLD!

meilleur site de plongee macro mabul malaisie

Mabul reviews

  • The island is very close is in the same area as Sipadan.
  • Mabul is known for offering one of the best macro in the world! You can find there: ghost pipefish, seahorse (seahorse), pipefish (pipe fish), all kinds of frogfish, mandarin fish, an impressive amount of different nudibranchs and even blue ringed or mimic octopus!
  • Very close to Sipadan, dives in Mabul and / or Kapalai are often in packages offered for a stay in Sipadan. So we go for the " small And the muck dive, do not go there to see some fat.

Information to organize your diving stay in Mabul

meilleur site de plongee macro mabul malaisie

  • Macro Mabul:
    • Octopus : blue-ringed, wonderpus, mimic.
    • Frogfish (frogfish): painted, clown, giant.
    • Pipe fish (pipefish): ghost, robust, banded
    • Cuttlefish flamboyant
    • Seahorse : pygmy and common (several colors).
    • Squid : bobtail squid.
    • Scorpion fish : rhinopias and many other different.
    • Nudibranch: dozens and dozens different.
  • Best Mabul diving period: March to October, but possible all year as visibility is always low (5-15 m).
  • Best dive sites Mabul : Lobster wall, Paradise 2, Sea adventure platform, Mandarin alley, Froggy lair.
TOP 5: 1.Lembeh Strait 2.Ambon 3.Anilao 4.Mabul 5.Alor

5. DIVE REVIEW MACRO ALOR (INDONESIA): BEAUTIFUL REEF, MACRO AND THRESHER SHARKS!

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Alor Diving Review

  • Alor is not the most famous destination in Indonesia, but offers various dives between superb reef, large pelagics and macro.
  • The area has some flagship spots where macro fans will be thrilled. Alor Strait sites harbor a multitude of small creatures: all types of frogfish, seahorses, some Fish-ghosts, shrimp, nudibranchs and of course the famous Rhinopias, a very rare species of scorpion fish.
  • Further south, the bay of Beangbang village offers great chances of observing very rare octopuses as the blue ringed octopus, the wonderpus, coconut and even the surprising mimic octopus, who uses mimicry as a defense !
  • The advantage of Alor over the others in this ranking is that it has other types of diving, so you can vary the pleasures between superb reef, large and macro.

The full article on Alor here

Information to organize your diving stay in Alor

meilleur site de plongee macro alor rhinopias

  • Macro Alor:
    • Octopus : blue-ringed, wonderpus, mimic.
    • Frogfish (frogfish): painted, clown, giant.
    • Pipe fish (pipefish): ghost, robust, banded.
    • Seahorse : pygmy, common.
    • Scorpion fish : rhinopias, devil.
    • Shrimp : harlequin, emperor, mantis.
    • Cuttlefish : flamboyant, spotted.
    • Stone fish (synanceia)
  • Rare macro Alor : rhinopias scorpion fish.
  • Alor diving season : April to November
  • Best Alor macro dive sites : Musky mosque, Bakalan jetty, Beangbang.

The best diving cruises for ALOR here

Alor Indonesia Diving Video

TOP 5: 1.Lembeh Strait 2.Ambon 3.Anilao 4.Mabul 5.Alor

MY REVIEW ON THE TOP 5 MACRO

With 30% of marine biodiversity in the world, no wonder that 5 best macro dives are in Asia in the coral triangle. If you are a macro fan and / or photographer, you can go to any of these places you will not be disappointed! Then it is clear that Lembeh Strait is clearly a step up.

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