Bintan, situated on one of the many Riau Islands in Indonesia enjoys a pleasantly warm and sunny climate all-year round. It is the largest region in the Riau province with an area covering 1,140 square kilometres. Its coastline stretches out over 105 kilometres. Because of its proximity to the equator, this resort island enjoys warm to hot weather throughout the whole year, has plenty of sunshine and receives its fair share of precipitation—typical tropical weather, in other words. Temperatures range from 23°C to 31°C and average approximately 27°C throughout the year. Humidity is permanently high and ranges from 61 to 96 percent.
This beautiful Island is located just 45 kilometers southeast of Singapore and it’s twice the size of that independent city-state. The climate is serene for almost the whole year which creates a welcoming environment for visitors from all over the world. Diving is one of Bintan’s most popular leisure activities—there are many world-class dive sites around—and the best time to take on this activity is from April through September, which happens to be the “dry” period of the year, as the lower amounts of rainfall increase visibility under water. Dry is put between quotation marks because even the drier part of the year still receives plenty of rainfall—it’s a tropical destination, after all. That being said; rainfall nearly always occurs in the form of heavy, but short, afternoon downpours.
The main reason for Bintan's popularity as a dive spot is the fact that its sea life is very diverse and includes no fewer than 100,000 species. Dolphins can be seen regularly in the water and this is all the more reason to explore the warm waters that surround this beautiful island.
Because of its tropical climate Bintan is well-known for having “summers”—that is, what people form more northerly places consider to be summer—that are often cooler than “winters.” That’s not to say that the summers aren’t warm, though, for the temperatures are incredibly high all-year round, really. The temperatures don’t tend to vary all that much throughout the year, which is due to the moderating capacity of water. Once sea water has warmed up, which usually takes a while, it is able to retain the heat much better than rocks and soil can. As the nearby landmasses cool down, the sea water remains warm and keeps the temperatures comfortable. Bintan is subject to quite a humid climate, too, seeing that the source of moisture isn’t all around it.
There are two main seasons in Bintan. The northeast monsoon season is the wettest part of the year and falls roughly between the beginning of October and the end of May. The southwest monsoon season is considered to be the drier part of the year—although that is very relative, for there is still quite a lot rainfall—and runs from the beginning of June to the end of September. As previously stated, this is the best time of year to go diving.
When you visit Bintan, you will be able to enjoy peace and quiet in the many holiday resorts that dot the island. Many resorts have a plethora of excellent facilities and offer a wide varieties of activities in order to help you make your vacation as smooth-going and relaxing as possible. The warm hospitality of the Indonesian people only adds to this.
If you are in the process of putting together a holiday in Bintan, Indonesia, you can check out our up-to-date and detailed weather forecast here.
Dry southwest monsoon season (June to September)
The dry, calm season from early June to late September, corresponding with the summer season in more northerly regions, is characterised by clear sunny days and calm pristine waters. Although sunshine hours per day tend not to vary significantly throughout the year, it can be said that the dry southwest monsoon season is the sunniest part of the year, with 8 to 9 hours of sunshine per day on average.
Rainfall is relatively low this time of year, when compared with the months in the actual monsoon season. There is, however, still very significant rainfall during the months of June, July, August and September, all respectively receiving 134mm, 152mm, 133mm and 139mm of precipitation. These are numbers that would be extremely high in most other non-tropical destinations. In Bintan, though, they are the lowest of the year. It is because of these lower rainfall totals that the waters are clearer and, as such, much better for diving.
The average temperature is essentially constant all-year round and doesn’t vary whatsoever in the course of the dry southwest monsoon season—it averages 27°C every day. The afternoon highs and nighttime lows also remain pretty much perfectly constant, respectively averaging 30°C and 24°C, both incredibly high numbers.
Yet another thing that stays the same throughout this part of the year is the temperature of the sea water. It ranges around 29°C—delightfully warm for swimming! Pack your shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits and sun-lotion as you will need them!
Wet northeast monsoon season (October to May)
The period between October and May is categorised as the northeast monsoon season with much more rainfall and stronger winds, but the weather is generally still quite sunny. The period between early October and late December is the typhoon season in Bintan and Indonesia as a whole, a time of year that’s subject to lots of precipitation and occasionally very strong winds so take precautions and check the forecast.
November and December are the two wettest months of the whole year. They receive 267mm and 239mm of precipitation in total respectively. The other months during the wet northeast monsoon season are only slightly drier, February being the only exception and receiving just 67mm of rainfall in total. Luckily, although rainfall is quite heavy nearly every day, these downpours are generally short-natured—they last for an hour or two in the (late) afternoon, after which the skies clear and it becomes beautifully sunny once more.
Daily sunshine hours range between 6 (the annual minimum) and 9 throughout this long wet season.
Temperatures tend to be extremely constant and reliable throughout the whole year. In the wet northeast monsoon season, they range between 26°C and 28°C on average. Afternoons get between 29°C and 31°C warm, while at night, the mercury doesn’t ever drop below the average low of 23°C. The sea water, too, stays gloriously warm, now averaging between 27°C and 30°C. All in all, if you’re looking for sun and warmth, this is the place to go!