Learning to dive in Jakarta

Eager learners: It is possible to learn in an Olympic-size pool in the Senayan Sport Complex, which is the capital’s main sports venue.

The ideal location of a dive learning centre is somewhere near the sea as learning to dive requires a spacious and deep body of water.

An Olympic-standard swimming pool can provide adequate underwater space, but many public pools nowadays are built in a water park style that does not meet the requirements.

However, having to travel to Bali or any other coastal area just to learn to dive can be problematic for those with limited time and budget.

Luckily for those wanting to learn how to dive without having to spend time away from Jakarta, dive centres are available in concrete-laden Central Jakarta. Even better, these places feature Olympic-size pools.

It is possible to learn in an Olympic-size pool in the Senayan Sport Complex, which is the capital's main sports venue.

Several watersport clubs are housed at the Senayan swimming stadium, including Kingdom and Freedom Scuba, both of which are managed by experienced diving instructor Wibowo.

The pools at the stadium are available for public use during the day, and late in the afternoon are reserved for watersport athletes. Dive centres like Kingdom and Freedom offer diving lessons, as well as nurture diving athletes.

Diving lessons here cost Rp 1.5 million (S$152), which includes two theory classes and four underwater practice lessons - it could be more as the instructors are rather generous in giving free extended lessons should a student fail to grasp the skill.

"Learning to dive is not hard, and it's not an expensive activity either," Wibowo told The Jakarta Post Travel.

Wibowo's words reflect the enthusiasm that can be seen in the pool, which can get really crowded - especially on weekends - with various underwater activities like scuba diving and freediving.

Should you feel confident to try out your newly acquired skill in the sea, dive trip packages are also provided. A trip to Sangiang Island, including two dive sessions, costs Rp 1 million.