Komodo National Park Dive sites
Komodo Dive Sites
Although the shallow water coral garden is relatively small, the site is interesting for snorkelers with a good chance to spot big fishes.
Visibility: good to excellent all year round.
Distance: 30 min by boat from Sebayur; 1h30 min from Labuan Bajo.
In current conditions the dive entry point is in the blue at about 50-60 meters West-Southwest from the shallowest pinnacles. Then you dive down to 30-33 meters on the slope and start to go up to the platform at about 24 meters. After having explored the platform, where the action is, you will go up right in between the main pinnacles to have you safety stop at 5 meters.
Position: northwestern tip of Komodo Island; Distance: 1h 15min by boat from Komodo Resort
Distance: 2h 20min from Labuan Bajo
Great snorkelling, but only suitable for expert swimmers, because of the strong currents
Position: a few hundred meters from Crystal Rock at the north-western tip of Komodo island
Distance: 1h 20min from Komodo Resort; 2h 25min from Labuan Bajo
The dive entry is at about 6 meters depth, in front of a small beach facing the open sea at the northern side of the Island. You start getting down heading North-east and then you follow the reef in East-Southeast direction at about 25 meters depth. This site is an unforgettable place for macro-photographers, as invertebrate species are the most interesting here. However, you will easily spot napoleon wrasses, sea turtles and black tip fin sharks. Usually in no current conditions you will return to the starting point, while with strong currents the boat will be waiting in the bay at the southern side of the island.
Visibility is good or excellent, except in January and February because the west monsoon can hit the coast very violently.
Great place for snorkelling
Distance: 20 min by boat from Sebayur; 1h 30 min from Labuan Bajo
A fantastic dive site where currents can be awful. Located Northeast of Komodo, not far from Batu Bolong and South of Tatawa Besar, Tatawa Kecil is populated by an impressive variety of species. In the southern area at about 24 meters depth a small cave hosts a colony of pygmy seahorses. White tip sharks, grey sharks, giant trevallies and tuna fish are commonly seen here. In the northern side, at about 22 meter depth, two big rocks give shelter to a cleaning station, mostly used by sweetlips. In no or weak current conditions, it is nice to have the safety stop in the northern side, while surrounded by surgeon fish, big unicorn fishes and trevally.
Everybody can dive here during the tide change in the half moon periods, when the currents are weak. In all the other periods the extremely strong currents make this site suitable only for very experienced divers.
Visibility usually excellent.
Distance: 25 min by boat from Sebayur / 1 h 35 min from Labua Bajo
Makasser Reef (Manta Point)
In fact, it is just that mantas always come here. To find food maybe? To be cleaned? Or just to play? Why they come here is not clear, but this is definitely the place to go to spot them. It is possible to see them anytime here, although it is easier to see them at high tide and with strong current conditions.
We start diving down to 8-10m a few hundred meters east from a little green Island that marks the southern end of Manta Point. We drift with the current at a short distance from the bottom not deeper than 15 m.
With high tide, although the current is strong the dive is not difficult. For inexperienced divers it is a perfect start for drift diving. In this strange place, that looks sparsely populated at first glance, you can actually meet sea turtles, white or black tip sharks and huge trevallies. Bamboo sharks, rather uncommon in this area, have recently been seen here.
Visibility is generally good, except during the rainy season (January-February) Excellent Snorkelling with the same probability to see the mantas.
distance: 45 min south west from the Komodo Resort
Snorkeling: beautiful all around Sebayur Kecil
Distance: 5 min from Sebayur Besar (Komodo Resort); 1h 15 min from Labuan Bajo
Snorkeling: beautiful all around Sebayur Kecil
Distance: 10 min from Sebayur Besar (Komodo Resort); 1h 20 min from Labuan Bajo
This dive is suitable for experienced divers but not during the moon changes because of the strong currents. Approach this site during rising tide only and you will discover one of the richest spots of Lintah Strait. In front of the southern beach you enter the water around the west edge and just follow the slope southwards. You will meet big fish and have a good chance to spot some mantas and macro critters as well. Indulge yourself here as long as you can at a depth of 12 to 18 meters, then swim back towards the beach for the safety stop. You will be surprised by the number of different species you can spot here on one single dive. The peculiarity of the Komodo waters is the amazing biodiversity.
Siaba Besar is another amazing dive of north Komodo. The beautiful coral garden lies along the western coast of the island and the site can be dived both during rising and falling tide, though falling tide, with currents pushing southwards, is the best. In falling tide enter the water at the north western tip of Siaba Besar and just follow the current to a depth of 18 to 25 meters. As in any other spot where currents run large schools of pelagic are hunting here around. Black tip sharks, barracudas, snappers, trevally, wrasses and turtles are usually spotted on this dive. The more southwards you go, the stronger the current gets, but it never gets too strong. The dive naturally ends at the southern edge of the island where a colourful coral garden will receive you for your safety stop that normally lasts much more than 3 minutes.
Siaba Kecil is a drift dive running through amazing canyons that lie 15 to 30 m deep. Ending point is always around a beautiful coral garden. Current here can be strong and the drift a real adventure for average experienced divers, but beginners can enjoy the area too by just hanging around the gardens and avoiding the flying drift. Depending on the currents divers can dive the site starting from the east or west cape of the little island and snorkelers can also enjoy the site if the current is not too strong.
The canyons with spectacular caves and cracks host big pelagic fish, sharks, barracudas and schools of giant trevally and sweet lips. Lots of turtles are usually found here. At the end of the drift there are rich coral gardens with lots of life, a real paradise for macro lovers. Many critters live here and the rare mandarin fish can be spotted too. Snorkelers will enjoy this spot as well.
The slope is covered by small colourful coral formations inhabited by nudibranches and flatworms Pseudoceros. As the currents can be very strong it is recommended to dive here during the inter-tidal periods, preferably around half-moon, when the currents are not so strong and the inter-tidal period is longer.
Distance 40 min south-southwest of the Komodo Resort
Vainilu, just at the exit of Loh Buaya bay, offers something different compared to the other dive sites in Komodo .
Enter the water just in front of the beach at the west side of the bay.
You will be surprised about the absence of corals and colours. Just a sandy slope, coral debris and rubble.
You may think you missed the spot but no, that’s the place, the best muck dive-site of Komodo.
Explore carefully the bottom at 8 to 15 meters, you will find a collection of critters that no other sites in Komodo can offer.
This is a real paradise for macro-photographers.
Frog fish, sea horses, all kinds of species of pipe fish, dragonets, mandarin fish and so on.
Vainilu is a strange and different dive site but not to be missed if you think that “small is nice”.
You always dive in the part under the current very close to the coast and go down to some thirty meters and then go back to zig zag always avoiding the exposure to the currents on the east and west corners. The wall is covered with ascidians (sea squirts) and a number of different species of soft and hard corals that house a large variety of nudibranchs and flatworms. Almost certainly you’ll meet with some turtles, big Napoleon wrasses, trevallies and white tip sharks. Visibility is generally good except for some periods of the year when the water tends to be cloudy.
Very nice snorkelling even if it is on a small area.
Distances: from Sebayur Besar 25 min southbound on the route to Loh Buaia (Rinca) from Labuan Bajo 1h 30min southwest