Volunteer in Indonesia

Volunteer and dive to conserve coral reefs and manta rays in Indonesia.

Dive into coral reef conservation in one of the most biodiverse marine locations in the world. At the meeting point of the Pacific and Indian Oceans lies Raja Ampat, an archipelago in Indonesia. When you volunteer in Indonesia with GVI, you’ll contribute to critical conservation of coral reefs, witness endangered manta rays and other species like sperm whales, green sea turtles and pygmy seahorses, all while living in a truly breathtaking island destination.


Join us on the remote island of Arborek in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, an archipelago of lush green islands and white sandy beaches. This area is known as the Coral Triangle and is home to 80% of the world’s coral species. Join our local team as you dive to conserve coral reefs, record manta ray sightings, and monitor invasive crown-of-thorns starfish. Other volunteer work includes leading workshops on sustainable fishing, environmental issues and skills development with local communities.

Our project work primarily involves diving, but don’t worry if you’re not dive certified — you can earn your PADI qualifications with us. Awaken each day in your beach bungalow above the tide and look out on a pristine island landscape. In your free time you can visit neighbouring islands, go on fun dives or plan extra time to see destinations like Bali, Jakarta, Sumatra and more.

When you volunteer in Indonesia with GVI, you’re heading to a remote island archipelago and contributing to coastal conservation with global implications. These programs offer the chance to live in one of the most biodiverse and stunningly beautiful ecosystems on the planet.

Our programs

Manta Ray & Coral Reef Conservation in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
PADI Divemaster and Marine Conservation Expedition in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Indonesia is a country of over 17,000 islands at the intersection of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Known for popular tourist destinations such as Bali, Nusa Penida and West Papua, Indonesia is also home to an incredible array of wildlife and sea life. 

Your home for this program is on the remote island of Arborek, just a 45-minute boat ride from Waisai, the capital of Raja Ampat Regency in eastern Indonesia. Raja Ampat (“raa-juh am-pat”) is a vast archipelago encompassing four main islands: Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. 

This region, nestled in the heart of the Coral Triangle, is renowned as the most biodiverse marine area globally, making it a diver’s paradise with many islands still unexplored. You’ll stay on the small, secluded island of Arborek, giving you access to explore the “Amazon of the Seas” while engaging in vital coastal conservation work.


This project is dedicated to conserving the exceptional coral reefs and marine biodiversity of Raja Ampat while fostering sustainable tourism and livelihoods for the local community. 

Despite global threats like climate change, coral bleaching and disease, Raja Ampat’s reefs have shown remarkable resilience, retaining essential marine life. This resilience is critical for the conservation of marine ecosystems worldwide, as these nutrient-rich reefs help replenish other reefs through deep-sea currents.

Our work in Indonesia employs a combination of survey dives and research with education and poverty alleviation. We believe that effective global marine conservation starts with local, community-driven efforts. By involving local residents in the conservation process, the project ensures sustainable subsistence fishing and long-term ecological health.


We offer two volunteer opportunities in Raja Ampat, Indonesia:

On our manta ray and coral reef conservation program, you’ll use your diving skills to collect essential data on the local coral reef, which is home to 80% of the world’s coral species.

Our PADI Divemaster and marine conservation expedition provides training from Open Water to Divemaster. You’ll dive 10 to 13 times weekly under professional supervision in Indonesia’s biodiverse blue and green belt.

When you volunteer in Indonesia with GVI, you’re heading to a remote island archipelago and contributing to coastal conservation with global implications. These programs offer the chance to live in one of the most biodiverse and stunningly beautiful ecosystems on the planet.

Diving requirement

Participants are required to have a PADI Advanced Open Water certification to fully engage in this program. You can absolutely join us as an unqualified diver – we’ll provide dive courses in the first weeks of your project. As a beginner, you’ll participate in the dive training program and begin as a dive trainee, progressing from PADI Open Water to PADI Advanced Open Water during the initial week. 

Remember you’ll need additional time to complete these certifications. Our local staff and enrolment team will assist. Minimum project duration based on your diving qualification is as follows: no Open Water (4 weeks), Open Water (3 weeks), Advanced Open Water (2 weeks). Additional PADI courses like Rescue and Divemaster can also be done during the project. 

Qualified divers should send a copy of their certification card and logbook ahead of time and remember to bring them to the project. All qualified divers will undergo a review dive with a PADI scuba instructor to verify their skills and ensure they meet safety standards.

Some essential diving gear, like a dive torch, delayed SMB and reef hook, should be purchased before arrival and can be found inexpensively online. You’re welcome to bring your own mask, fins, and wetsuit, or you can rent them from the local team.

Top Five

When you think of Indonesia – and specifically an island archipelago – the first visuals that come to mind have contrasting shades of green, blue and white, as islands and sand meet the ocean.

As a volunteer in Indonesia, here are the top five things you can experience. 

  1. These waters are home to 80% of the world’s coral species.
  2. It’s a marine metropolis hosting 1,350 fish species, 6 of the world’s 7 marine turtle species and 27 types of marine mammals.
  3. The crystal-clear waters and secluded white-sand beaches are perfect for relaxation.
  4. The welcoming warmth of Papuan culture and customs makes you feel at home.
  5. Our location is situated at the meeting point of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, making it the most biodiverse area in the world.

What language is commonly spoken in Indonesia?

The official language is Bahasa Indonesia, but a local dialect and English are also spoken.

What’s the weather like in Indonesia?

The temperature is a very comfortable 27–30°C all year round. Coastal regions tend to be hot and humid, but our project location has a nice cool breeze. Rainfall is highest in September, with short spells that are typically only a few days long.

How can I stay in touch with family and friends back home?

There is 3G/4G internet access at our project base, or you can get a local Telkomsel SIM card on arrival at the Jakarta airport. Some international service providers also have roaming access here.

What can I do in my free time?

Given the beauty of your destination, you can either relax on the beaches, go for a fun dive or explore some of the uninhabited islands nearby. Consider taking extra time before or after your volunteer project to explore further.

Do I need any qualifications to volunteer in Indonesia?

You don’t need any specific experience or qualifications to join us on a volunteer project in Indonesia. We will provide project training during your program.