Komodo Diving Intro
Indonesia hosts one of the world’s most incredible and often overlooked dive destinations – Komodo National Park. While Raja Ampat’s shadow is cast over these vibrant and lively waters, fortunately, it is advantageous for divers traveling from all over the world. Lower trip prices make Komodo affordable and an easy-to-access dive spot with exceptional diving. This is one of the most underrated dive destinations on the globe.
On the southern string of islands in the immense archipelago of Indonesia, Komodo is composed of three main islands: Padar, Rinca and Komodo. Many smaller islands are also included in the Komodo region, which boasts phenomenal adventures above and below the waterline. Exploring via dive liveaboard is the optimum way to experience the very best of Komodo, as it’s a large area with many dive sites far too remote for day boats to reach.
Though it doesn’t hold any world records, Komodo offers a level of diving similar to Raja Ampat’s. Many creatures, big and small, call Komodo’s pristine reefs home. Manta rays, wunderpus, frogfish, pygmy seahorses and thousands too numerous to mention are among those that divers can discover in these great waters.
Komodo Diving Highlights
Drift diving and manta rays are quickly mentioned in a conversation about diving in Komodo. The nutrient-rich water attracts an immense population of animals to the area, much to the delight of divers who descend on these remote and vibrant reefs. The currents can be swift, so divers should expect drift conditions on most dives.
Underwater photographers should pack macro and wide-angle lenses when diving in Komodo. Subject matter ranges from tiny colorful frogfish to the region’s ever-common manta rays. Manta Alley, likely the most famous dive site in Komodo National Park, boasts a near guarantee for swimming with these strange and colossal marine pelagics that glide elegantly through the water. Other Indonesian species, such as pygmy seahorses and wunderpus, are also on the docket for photographers with a sharp eye.
Komodo’s unique topography is the perfect setting for such extravagant aquatic life. Reefs in Komodo can take on many shapes, from pinnacles to the classic sloping walls found throughout Indonesia. Drop-offs, shallow coral gardens, and even sandy bottom muck dive sites are scattered across this world-class dive destination.
Traditional Pinisi-style dive liveaboard
Charming 132-ft (40m) vessel with modern comforts in
Accommodates up to 18 guests in 9 cabins
Served by a 16 member crew
Spacious cabins with private bathrooms
Large camera room for underwater photographers
Up to four (4) dives per day
Custom-built hard bottom tenders for easy diving
Shore excursions and eco-adventures
Ground transfers are included to/from airport
From $2,520 all-inclusive
- The most luxurious dive liveaboard in Indonesia
- 171-ft. (52m) in length, 23mph (20 knot) cruising speed
- Accommodates up to 18 guests and 24 crew members
- Complimentary welcome massage
- Suites with large picture windows and private baths
- Lounge with private camera booths for underwater photographers and a spectacular view
- Up to four (4) dives per day
- Dive deck with personal gear station and hot water showers
- Gourmet dining
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Ground transfer to/from airport, hotel and vessel
- Multilingual crew
From $3,150 all-inclusive
Komodo Underwater Photography
Underwater photographers in Komodo will not return home with an empty SD card. Beautiful undersea life of infinitely vivid colors demands the attention of anyone with a camera in hand.
Drift diving can make macro photography a bit more complicated; however, this scenario produces new opportunities with sightings of the large pelagics that thrive in strong currents.
Manta rays and reefscapes make exceptional focal points for capturing beautiful images. Conversely, Komodo’s muck dive sites offer up the chance for photographers to seek out fascinating macro creatures when minimal movement prevails.
Marine Life in Komodo
Komodo’s excellent location near the center of the Coral Triangle delivers an underwater paradise teeming with life, big and small. Everything from tiny colorful nudibranchs to graceful manta rays inhabits the reefs throughout Komodo National Park.
Top Dive Sites in Komodo
- Manta Alley
- Batu Balong
- Castle Rock
- The Cauldron (Shotgun)
- Crystal Rock
When to Dive Komodo
Komodo diving is at its best between May and October. Rain and rough conditions are less likely during this time.
Water temperatures in Komodo are usually a very comfortable 79-85 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures occasionally drop a little lower. It’s never a bad idea to pack some neoprene, just in case.
|Location||Water Temperature (F/C)||Air Temperature (F/C)|
|Raja Ampat||80-86 / 26-30||79-84 / 26-29|
|Komodo||79-85 / 26-30||70-86 / 21-30|
|Banda Sea||79-84 / 26-29||80-90 / 26-32|
|Alor North||70-84 / 21-29||77-84 / 25-29|
|Alor South||75-77 / 24-25||77-84 / 25-29|
|Maluku||79-86 / 26-30||82-90 / 28-32|
Komodo Diving Conditions
Komodo is well-known for its drift dives, which can be pretty swift. Currents will vary from site to site. Divers should be prepared for relatively challenging dives.
Visibility typically ranges from 50-100 feet (15-30 m). However, it can vary, plus or minus, depending on the dive site and time of year. Keep in mind that less visibility usually means more nutrients in the water…and that means more big animals!
We recommend that divers visiting Komodo have a minimum of 50 dives or an advanced-level certification. A surface marker buoy (SMB) is a must for Komodo diving.
How to Travel to Komodo
One of the best aspects of visiting Komodo is the relative ease of travel to the destination and, ultimately, to the dive site.
Traveling to this local is a breeze compared to other Indonesian dive itineraries. Passengers visiting Komodo can experience some of the world’s most incredible and remote dive sites with only a few flights between home and the dock.
Travelers should fly to Bali or Jakarta, then arrange for a domestic flight to Labuan Bajo (LBJ) to board All Star Aurora or All Star Velocean. As an added convenience, round-trip transfers between the airport/hotel and the boat are included in the trip price.
Komodo Shore Excursions
Above the waterline, Komodo National Park is an absolute gem of the natural world. This area is home to numerous dry adventures, including the legendary Komodo dragons, a brilliant pink sand beach and hiking on scenic Padar Island, among many other experiences.
All Star Aurora is known for its shore excursions highlighting local culture. Divers can enjoy a beach BBQ and a visit to the Komodo dragons when weather conditions allow.
Remember to request shore excursions early in the trip if you’d like the crew to try to fit in more visits to Komodo’s beautiful topside world.