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Dive with the Dragon in Komodo National Park

The spirit of early merchants and sailors continues as discerning divers have realized the importance of this biological paradise and continue exploration of one of the most pristine and natural dive destinations anywhere in the world. Under the water the Komodo Island National Park is unbelievably magnificent, offering a bounty of choices to even the most experienced of divers. Komodo dive sites offer an abundance of large pelagic’s, incredible macro opportunities, spectacular bio-diversity, massive open underwater pinnacles, crystal clear waters, incredible wall dives, and often raging currents. Macro to massive, there is no better place on the planet for sheer variety of marine life.

The Komodo liveaboard diving season in the Komodo Islands National Park is year round, with the best diving conditions from April thru December. It is during this time that the seas are most calm, the visibility is spectacular, and there are congregations of large pelagic’s. Diving Komodo is best accomplished on one of our world class Komodo Liveaboards from beautiful Bali or Flores Islands. Be one of only a few to experience this legendary and thrilling dive destination.

Komodo Dive Sites – North

On the northern dive sites of the Komodo Islands you will experience the warm waters of the Flores Sea. The marine life here is similar to that found in most tropical seas world wide, but with a magnitude and diversity that is unsurpassed. Hard coral reefs are extensive and largely pristine, while the water is clear with incredible visibility. Discover a haven for nudibranchs, pigmy seahorses, rare invertebrates, pipefish, and tiny frogfish. Be one of few to experience these mystical waters!

flagBatu Bolong (Northeast Komodo, Tetawa Besar Island)

Also known as Current City, Batu Bolong is a Komodo Islands signature dive site, and a must see on any Komodo liveaboard trip. Located to the north east of Komodo Island, BatuBolong( Hollow Rock) is a small rock outcrop with a hole through it that just breaks the surface. Below the water giant slabs of rock create magnificent steep walls, and spectacular drop offs that disappear into the depths, and are a sight to behold. The currents here can be strong, but that is what has protected the site and created some of the most fascinating and exhilarating diving in all of Indonesia.

The top of the reef is covered with every form of marine life imaginable from swirling clouds of brilliantly colored reef fish, to beautiful colored soft corals, and magnificent invertebrate life. The massive walls and steep drop offs which are covered with hard corals and sponges, are patrolled by larger marine life and pelagic’s including a variety of sharks, napoleon wrasse, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, and large schools of rainbow runners. This dive site is a prime example of marine bio-diversity in action, as everything in the eco-system is on display. Stay a while and discover the magnificence of a world class dive site. BatuBolong should not be dived if the currents in north Komodo are very strong since the site is small and there is no opportunity to drift. This site is one of the top diving locations in all of Komodo but it should only be attempted at slack tide when the current is not at its peak.

Currents moderate to raging, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 40+ meters. Komodo Islands diving at its very best!!

flagTetawa Kecil (Northeast Komodo)

This small rocky islet southwest of TatawaBesar Island is an egret nesting site and a fantastic snorkel and dive site when the current is not raging. Another exhilarating dive site among the many world class dive sites of the Komodo Islands National Park.

Impressive schools of large pelagic fish patrol the blue waters, a huge school of batfish hang in the water, seemingly motionless, near a coral encrusted overhang, napoleon wrasse can be seen patrolling in the blue, and bumphead parrot fish move through the water like a herd of buffalo looking for their next meal. Nurse sharks and bamboo sharks are frequently found hiding in cracks and crevices among the massive coral encrusted boulders they call home. The crystal clear reef shallows are teeming with life and display vibrant and colorful varieties of hard coral that are a great place to find banded sea snakes, coral file fish, and baby sharks on the hunt.

Spectacular rock formations, caves and beautiful coral gardens grace the reef on the western side of the islet. Many reef fish including large groupers, humpback snappers, sweet lips, trevally, and sharks will be in attendance. Amazing numbers of beautiful anthias swim among the colorful fields of branching and table coral. Dugongs have been spotted here and manta rays are often seen on the southern side of the island. This dive site truly has something for everyone. Large or inexperienced groups should only attempt this site around slack tide.

Currents moderate to strong, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 40+ meters. Experience the mystical Komodo dragon!

flagTetawa Besar (Northeast Komodo)

Starting on the northwestern tip of Tatawa Island there is an excellent drift dive down the western coast at about 15 to 20 meters deep. The first stage of the dive can happen rather quickly and will require all of your attention as you will most likely encounter a swift up current before you enter the main current. Once past the up current you will descend down to an endless field of stunning orange soft corals which cover the entire reef. The view is like an amazing sunrise under the sea.

As your enjoying the ride and the sunrise keep your eyes open for hawksbill turtles, giant trevally, black tip reef sharks, bumphead parrot fish, and massive great barracuda. Manta rays frequent this site so be sure to look above and below. At the southern end of the island the roller coaster ride will end and you will have time to take in your surroundings and explore the rest of this world class Komodo dive site.

It is also possible to drift down the north coast of Tatawa Island from the same entry point. This site is a good dive option if the current is too strong at Tatawa Kecil or BatuBolong.

Currents moderate to strong, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 40+ meters.Go Komodo Islands Diving!

flagCastle Rock (North Komodo, Gilli Lawa Laut)

Castle rock is another amazing Komodo dive site that usually has excellent visibility but is prone to strong currents. The current usually flows eastward and is much stronger at the surface than in the deeper water. A submerged sea mount, the top of the rock which is approximately 3 to 4 meters deep can offer divers shelter from the current; hence the name “Castle Rock. Upon entry divers should make their way to the top of the mount and use the rock as shelter from the current. The top of the rock is also a good calm place to explore at the end of a dive during a safety stop.

Once out of the current divers are in for an exceptional treat. The fish life here is simply stunning with schooling barracuda, trevally, and mackerel awaiting divers at depths of 30-40 meters. White tips, black tips, gray reef sharks and giant trevally all frequent this site in hopes of a good meal. At approximately 20 meters there is excellent soft coral growth and numerous sea fans that host the tiniest of pygmy seahorses. Curious batfish will escort you, and fusiliers will pass you by as you look for big rays out in the blue.

In recent times a pod of bottlenose dolphins have made this spot one of their favorite hunting grounds, and you can often see them while diving. These creatures are amazingly agile while working and to watch them in their natural environment is an experience not to be missed.

Currents moderate to strong, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 40+ meters.One of the many hidden treasures of the Komodo dragon islands!

flagCrystal Rock (North Komodo, Gilli Lawa Laut)

Crystal Rock is yet another open water pinnacle that just breaks the surface at high tide and is surrounded by amazing crystal clear water. Located just north of Komodo Island between to small islets this dive site is known for magnificent and colorful soft corals, huge rust colored sponges, and very impressive table coral coverage. The shallows host thousands of colorful anthias and damselfish, large cuttlefish, pyramid butterfly fish, hawksbill turtles, and large red octopus. This site is exceptional for wacky macro discoveries including many varieties of nudibranchs, and frogfish.

On the north west side of the pinnacle is a submerged sea mound that rises to 14 meters with a 20 meter deep saddle in the middle. Due to the strong easterly currents you’ll need to make a quick descent to reach this area in anything other than slack tide conditions but the reward can be worth the effort. The area around the mound should not be missed as it offers incredible big fish schooling action. There are schools of yellow-ribbon sweet lips, black snappers, blue fin and big eye trevally, tuna, mackerel, and white tip reef sharks always in attendance. Keep your eyes open for the bottle nose dolphins and eagle rays gliding by in the blue.

Currents moderate to strong, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 40+ meters.Book your Komodo liveaboard diving today!!

Komodo and Rinca Dive Sites – South

In the southern portion of the Komodo and Rinca Islands divers will encounter cooler water temperatures typical of the Indian Ocean. Upwellings, caused by deep ocean currents colliding with the continental shelf, force an endless supply of plankton into the water column and result in an explosion of marine life. The invertebrate and fish species found in south Komodo are diverse, dense, prolific and brilliantly hued. Many rare and unusual species, large pelagic fish, mantas, whale sharks, dugongs, green and hawksbill turtles are resident here. Don’t miss this pristine and world class dive destination!

flagCannibal Rock (South Komodo, Rinca Island)

There are so many phenomenal dive sites in Indonesia but there is only one Cannibal Rock. Located between Rinca and Nusa Kode Islands this submerged sea mount which is well protected and free of strong currents is truly a macro lovers dream world, as well as a hub of big fish action. Night dives here should not be missed as they are extremely colorful and full of life, especially on the sandy slope on the northern side of the island starting at about 25 meters deep.

A kaleidoscope of color, Cannibal Rock is world renowned for its rich and abundant soft coral proliferation and a magnitude of invertebrate life that rivals the very best dive destinations on the planet. Divers will see a profuse field of extremely large green and blue magnificent anemones swaying in the current on the southern side of the site. The entire area is covered with beautiful sea apples (PseudocolochirusViolaceus), their bodies decorated in amazing maroon, studded with golden beads and bright yellow or cream colored tentacles they use to filter feed on the nutrient rich waters. Huge red gorgonian’s play home to pygmy seahorses which are a definitely a challenge to find. Flamboyant nudibranchs, frogfish, feather stars, tunicate’s, cleaner shrimp, ghost pipe fish, green turtles, leaf fish, fire urchins, and coleman shrimp can all be found here. Bait balls, a variety of sharks, tuna, snapper, large grouper, and eagle rays are all possibilities at this world class dive site.

Currents are generally moderate , for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 35+ meters. A must see dive site when diving Komodo!

flagPillarsteen (South Komodo, Padar Island)

Pillarsteen is a rock pinnacle located off of the southeastern tip of the small island of Padar which is located between Komodo and Rinca islands. A very surprising and interesting reefscape the topography combined with sheer black walls, gigantic swim through’s, canyons, and large caves will make you feel like you are an explorer of a newly discovered underwater world.

Entry is best just off the southern point of the pinnacle where a fantastic wall will take you to the west to a number of breathtaking caves, chimneys, and swim-through’s The coral covered walls are teeming with invertebrates of every size and shape, and are a virtual kaleidoscope of color. In the shallow water the wall ends and becomes a sloping reef, where you will encounter masses of gigantic soft brown leather corals, many bright yellow sea cucumbers (Holothurians), as well as, red and purple fire urchins covering the entire area. Fish life at this top rated dive site includes large schools of fusiliers, snapper, six banded angelfish, bamboo sharks, nurse sharks, giant trevally, and colorful boxfish. Diving is particularly impressive at 30-40 meters, and the swim-through’s and caves will present boundless opportunities for divers to discover strange and wacky critters. This site is a great choice when neighboring sites are experiencing strong currents. This area may be effected by surge when there are swells from the southwest.

Currents moderate to strong, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 40+ meters. One of the best Komodo dive sites!

flagYellow Wall of Texas (South Komodo, Nusa Kode Island)

The Yellow Wall of Texas is a wall that runs down the east coast of Nusa Kode, which is located to the south of Rinca Island. The entire wall is covered in a brilliant collage of yellow tree corals that bloom in the current, yellow nudibranchs, and yellow crinoids. Everything on this wall is yellow, I mean everything.

Best dived in the late afternoon to catch the natural light of the sun the wall is simply an explosion of marine life. Plankton feeding fish always populate the shallows in vast numbers as they move through the clear water. Divers will encounter colorful anthias, a variety of butterfly fish, and even the distinctively marked and ever elusive clown triggerfish. Fork-tailed fairy basslets swarm around the drop-offs in great orange and purple schools. Pairs of colorful butterfly fish forage in the reef crannies for small crustaceans and coral polyps.

In the deeper water, white-tip reef sharks may be on patrol, red snappers may be hunting for their next meal, and green turtles may glide by with an inquisitive look at unsuspecting divers.

The yellow wall is a fascinating display of the immense invertebrate diversity of the Komodo Islands, especially during a night dive when they emerge to feed. The wall is packed with a mind-boggling array of colorful marine life which include colorful sea urchins, bright red sea apples, beautiful soft corals, spanish dancer nudibranchs, and a great variety of tunicate’s. Crevices in the wall will reveal sleeping fish, spiny and slipper lobster, cleaner shrimp, and spectacular decorator crabs. Nighttime reef life include sleeping coral trout, cat sharks, all kinds of cardinal fish, parrot fish in their mucus cocoons, as well as sleeping turtles.

The current usually flows south to north so the best entry point is just around the western-most tip of the headland; the dive should then continue into the bay along with the current.

Currents are generally moderate, for intermediate to advanced divers. Depth: to 25+ meters.One of our favorite dive sites when diving Komodo!

flagManta Alley (South Komodo, Tala Islet)

If your interested in an encounter with one of the big pelagic’s then Manta Alley is the dive site for you. Another Komodo Island signature dive, divers will delight in this small bay which has an over abundance of Manta Rays from September to January. It is during this time that Mantas will congregate in the shallows in vast numbers to feed on plankton and nutrient rich waters. With up to 20 to 30 adult Manta Rays on one dive it is easy to see why this dive site is a favorite among discerning divers the world over. Manta Alley is beyond magnificent and should not be missed by any diver interested in big fish encounters.

The best dive entry point is on the northeastern side of the islet near a stunning coral mound that is submerged at 3-5 meters below the surface. Making your way north you may encounter Mantas circling above, very large giant trevally defending their territory, white tip reef sharks on patrol, beautiful coral colonies, and a high diversity of other invertebrate life. The entire dive is relatively shallow at 5-20 meters deep. The temperature of the water can drop to the low 20°C range and this site tends to have a moderate current. Break out you 5 mm wetsuit and experience the best Manta diving in Komodo.

Manta Alley is always one of the most frequently requested dives on any Komodo liveaboard safari and should be considered a world class dive site.

Currents are generally moderate, for beginner to intermediate divers. Depth: to 30+ meters. The Komodo dive site for Manta Rays!!

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