SCUBA DIVING KOMODO
Komodo National Park, located on the west end of the Indonesian Island of Flores, is a large group of islands that offers some of the best diving in the world. Komodo is an underwater photographer’s dream, whether it be for macro critters, or the big guys.
It might take a lifetime to explore all of the dive sites around all of the islands of Komodo National Park, but it would be a life well-spent.
From greats like Batu Bolong and Castle Rock, that offer some of the most prolific gathering of marine life we have ever seen, to Manta Alley where you can observe multiple mantas dancing above cleaning stations, you will never be disappointed.
It’s not just the well known dive sites that are world-class either. Sure, local dive shops keep their customers happy at these amazing sites, but the ambitious divers out there can basically dive around any of the countless islands, and discover unlimited numbers of creatures, big and small.
BEST DIVE SITES
Batu Bolong: ‘Hollow Rock’ is a pinnacle that lies in 75 meters of water between Tatawa to the east and Komodo main island to the west. It is one of northern region’s signature dive sites as the fish life there is always a full-on festival.
The rock’s topography and exposure to strong currents is the reason that the reef has not been targeted by fishermen and is in superb condition. Hard corals and sponges cover the walls and slopes, but the main beneficiary here must be the fish life.
Langkoi Rock: This dive site is the most extreme of the Komodo National Park! It is a submerged pinnacle located southeast of Langkoi Island. Many of grey reef sharks, whitetip and blacktip sharks, hammerhead sharks and bronze whales congregate there! When diving, I went down directly to the pinnacle and grabbed it to watch the action all around me!
Castle Rock: Castle Rock is an amazing site for scuba diving Komodo Islands! It is a huge pinnacle underwater with a top at 4m be very careful to the strong current deep. You can pretty much see everything on this dive site, from Manta rays to grey reef sharks, giant trevallies to schools of tuna and maybe even dolphins.
End of the World: Tala is a tiny, angular island in Langkoi Bay, south of the southernmost part of Komodo, offering some excellent dive sites. The inner passage between Tala and Komodo proper is shallow and has ripping currents, but the southern tip has The End Of The World to the west in very deep water.
Here is a sheer wall of rock, broken up by some nice cuts, overhangs, and sandy shelves down to about 40 meters, and from there on a flat, black plane. There are white-tip sharks, rays, morays and rich coral growth in the cuts and shelves. The flat areas of the wall are covered with extensive fields of marigold cup corals, a beautiful and vivid effect against the dark rock.
Manta Alley: This signature dive is the main location in Komodo to find manta rays – often as many as 10 or 20. It’s a rock islet that just punctures the sea’s surface in a small craggy chain, inside the bay along the south coast of Komodo Island.
Taka Makassar: If you want to see even more manta rays, or missed them at Manta Alley, then this is another great site to find them. Another cleaning station where they like to congregate, divers can site and watch them dance around. This is one of the most memorable experiences you can have underwater.
Tatawa Kecil: This is another favorite for underwater photographers, and macro critter lovers. Here is a great place to find pygmy seahorses in their giant gorgonian fans. You can also expect to see turtles, black and white tip sharks, grey sharks, trevallies and much more.
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BEST TIME TO DIVE
The months of June and July is the ideal time to visit for scuba diving in Komodo Islands. While the skies and water may be calmer, the winds are present, but not very strong, making the days very pleasant and the nights slightly cool.
They are open year round and even if scuba diving in Komodo Islands is affected by weather in one section of the park, travelers are usually able to visit other parts.
HOW TO GET TO KOMODO
The easiest way to get to the diving in Komodo, is to take the short flight from Bali to Lubuan Bajo. Most of the dive resorts and liveaboards are here, so will be your base. From here you will be able to be taken out to all of the best dive sites, as well as Rinca to see the dragons.
HIGHLIGHTS OF KOMODO
There’s a lot of options to see and do in the Komodo Islands. Not only are there tons of coral reefs in its waters, and various beautiful beaches and scenic hikes as well. I didn’t dream that I was going to see one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen on a hike before, nor did I ever expect that I’d get the chance to swim with Manta Rays equal to my size!
At the end of your hike, when you reach the top of Padar Island, you’ll get an enchanting view of its three different colored beaches. You’ll be able to see a pink sand beach, a black sand beach, and a white sand beach, separated only by land ridges and sparkling blue water. The hike is really easy.
Most dive centers in Komodo will do a trip to Rinca Islands, where you can spend your surface interval watching the huge Komodo dragons.
One of the best things to do in the Komodo Islands is to go to the actual Komodo Island National Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s one of the New 7 World Wonders of Nature too!
If you have a non-boat tour day and are looking for interesting adventures near Labuan Bajo, Cunca waterfall may be of interest to you. It’s close to the main town area, and it’s a nice change of scenery to see a lush jungle as opposed to the dry Komodo Islands.
What better place to try some authentic Indonesian food than at a place called Atlantis! It’ a short drive from the main area of Labuan Bajo, but I promise you it’s worth it. Not only is the food fantastic, but the entire restaurant is made out of a giant, old-fashioned, pirate ship and I found that quite amusing.
WHERE TO STAY
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