You can jump in the water almost anywhere in and around the Komodo National Park and have good fish life and coral cover. This list of brief descriptions covers some of the more exceptional and popular dive sites in the Park. Please read it with a view of what to expect in Komodo.
Note – When diving with us or another operator, please listen to the advice of the dive centre about what is the best site to dive the following day. We often have guests requesting certain sites because they have heard of great things about the site. However many sites are seasonal, and all are affected by currents and sometimes not suitable to dive.
If you dive with us we will endeavor to take you to the best sites, with the best conditions, and accommodate your preferences. But the final decision on when and where to dive is up to the guides on the boat on the day. Please trust that we will provide the best diving possible, given the conditions!
Sabolon island offers two great dives close to Labuan Bajo. The seamound offers very clear water, large schools of surgeon fish, large see fans, and stunning coral life in the shallows. it is a great place to start your diving adventures into Komodo, or for photographers who appreciate the critters than can be found here, such as devil scorpion fish, pygmy seahorse, orangutan crabs, and frog fish..
The North western corner of Sebayor Kecil is one of the better dive sites at closer distance to Labuan Bajo. A small reef is extending towards the north west and around the edges where it drops of to greater depths, at a few hundred meters from the shore, there are some large boulders around which we can usually see groups of giants trevally, whitetip reef shark, coral trout, snappers and emperors. Most of the wall is well protected from current and usually has great visibility.
Mini Wall also located on north face of Sebayor Kecil. This dive is an excellent check out dive or just a nice easy dive if you don’t wish to deal with current. The entry point marked by a long low rocky point east of the beach that is in the middle of the islands north coast. Enter just on the eastern side of the point and swim reef left around the point at 20-25 meters . Once around the point the reef slope will turn into a wall that drops to about 35 meters. Follow the wall untill you get to a sandy slope in front of the beach. This marks the end of the dive. If you wish to do a second dive you can start at the sandy slope and continue reef left across the front face of the beach to where the reef turns north and runs out to another point. The whole north face of this island is good diving and usually has good visibility and calm conditions.
Tatawa Besar East and West.
Starting at the northwestern tip of tatawa there is a magic drift dive down both the eastern and western sides of Tatawa. The reef is best between 8 to 20 meters of water. There is good reef fish life, including giant trevally, fusiliers, angel fish and lots of sweet lips. Turtles are also prolific and we usually see several on a dive. There are endless fields of hard corals and orange soft corals. Manta’s are sometimes seem in this area also. Normally it is an easy drift dive but can become quite fast on a strong falling tide, but dont worry, enjoy the ride, as it eases off to nothing at the end of the dive. Here we will normally have a 5-10 minute stay in the shallows looking for mandarin fish and other critters in the shallows.
A small island south of Tatawa Besar island with fantastic snorkeling when the current is not to fast. With a large and unexperienced group this is only possible around slack tide. Its best to dive the westernside of the island, rocks, caves and beautifulcoral gardens in the shallows Many coral reef fishes, including large groupers, snappers, sweetlips, jacks and sharks. Tatawa Kecil is probably the anthias (small colorful serranide fish) capitol of the world! Dugongs have been spotted here.and manta rays are often seen on the southern side.
Batu Bolong is a tiny rocky island in the strait between Tatawa and Komodo. This rock is one of the top diving locations in the park but it can only be dived around slack tide, when there is not too much current. This area is undamaged because the current and topography (steep walls) make it impossible for local fishermen to use their dynamite and cyanide fishing techniques. The dive starts right at the surface with colorful corals and other invertebrate life and thousands of small colorful fish.
In deeper water, along the steep walls many large fish, including sharks, napoleon wrasse, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, and large schools of rainbow runners can be observed on almost every occasion.
Batu Sabun is usually found by boats who dont know the waters! It is a treacherous rock just one meter under the surface, not far from Batu Bolong and it also offers a great big fish dive for those who know how to dive it. Recommended for experienced divers under the right conditions.
Siaba Kecil offers one of the best drift dives in the park. Start at the north of the island and heading south, you follow the reef edge at about 8 and 20 meters. The current can be very strong on this reef. The reef face is filled with small caves harbouring angel fish and sweetlips. Giant Trevalli cruise past curiously. At the end of the dive you are pushed up onto a shallow reef plateau with an extensive pristine hard coral garden, which hosts numerous turtles and Mandarin Fish!
Perhaps one of the most under-rated sites in the park. Pengah can be as spectacular as other famous sites such as Tatawa Kecil and Batu Bolong. Rich hard and soft coral gardens cover almost every inch of the reef, and it is fantastic for big schools of long nosed emperors, turtles, angle fish, and scorpion fish just to name a few. Sharks patrol in the depths, and Jacks play on the edges of the currents. One of our favourite dives when the conditions are right.
Again a much neglected site. With the right current conditions it provide a great big fish dive with Napoleon Wrasse, white tip reefs sharks and schools of fusiliers and Giant Trevalli. The complex topography has reef walls, slopes, rich overhanging caves, and fantastic hard corals gardens in the shallows.
Karang Makassar / Manta Point
Famous for its agreggations of up to 100 manta rays. Makasar is a long gentle drift dive. Mantas can be found through the site under the right conditons and season, as well as schools of humphead parrot fish, bamboo sharks, marble rays, and other rich fish life on the rock outcrops. Not to be missed if the Manta’s are there in good numbers!
Batu tiga is without a Doubt one of the most current affected sites in Komodo. Situated southeast of Tanjung Kuning in Linta strait. Batu Tiga is an Excellent Big fish dive when you can get on it . Best place to enter is at the northwestern side of the tree rocks A rocky reef extends below the surface out towards Komodo. Down in the deeper water to the west and below the reef Big Boulders offer excellent habitat for grouper and other creatures. Large grouper, mantas, giant trevally and other pelagics are frequently seen here…most of the coral growth is stunted as a result of the strong currents that prevail.
A great reef slope, that offers a gentle drift dive with some interesting rock outcrops. White tip reef sharks are commonly found sleeping on the bottom, giant morays reside in the sweeping sponges, and at the right time aggregations of groupers and large sweetlips impress even the most experienced divers.
Prone to current, this site is a sea mound. It usually has excellent visibility. Usually the current is flowing to the east and is much stronger at the surface than in the deeper water . If you enter in the blue water approximately 100 metres up currents from the shallowest point and swim down 30 to 40 meters divers are usually met by 3 or 4 very friendly batfish, schooling barracuda, jacks, and mackerels are often encountered. In approximately 20 meters of water thre is execellent soft corals growth and numerous fans that are host to pigmy seahorses. The top of the rock is approximately 3 to 4 meters of water and offers shelter from the current, hence castle rock. This is a good place to look around during your safety stop.
The top of crystal bommie is exposed at low tide. This site also experiences very clear water, hence crystal bomie. A very colorfull dive with excellent softcoral coverage which is also prone to current. The current usually flows to the east. Best time to dive is during slack-tide. Frogfish, morays, scorpionfish are quite common on this site. Thousands of anthias and schools of yellow-ribbon sweetlips are always encountered. There is a small mound north west of the rock where different species of fish school seasonally. Tuna and mackerel frequently buzz this site. This is an execellent dive and usually worth doing twice.
Darat Passage South
Good snorkeling here although a lot of damage has been done by fish bombing and reef gleaning (meting). The best place for snorkeling is right at the tip of the peninsula where lots of fish and some turtles can be seen on a very pretty coral reef. A dive can be made starting inside the bay along the eastern shore of the peninsula. The best time is when the current is running from east to west through the narrow strait between Gililawa Darat and Komodo island. Swimming towards the point at about 20 to 25m, along the bottom of the drop off we can see many small coral trout, large schools of anchovies and small tuna and trevallies coming in to feed. More and more fish come in sight closer to the point, with whitetip reefshark sleeping on the sandy bottom and garden eels doing their hypnotizing dance. The dive ends when the current brings you around the corner. Gililawa Bay is a good anchoring place.
Darat Passage North “The Cauldron”
An excellent drift dive and good snorkeling can be found on the northern face of the passage. The dive can be done from east to west or visa versa depending on the current. Its best to wait until just before or after slack water when the flow is not to strong. The vis bis usually better if diving from west to east. The entry point is on the reef slope west of the island about 100 meters north of the channel. Then swim reef left . the reef slopes down to a sandy bottom at 15 meters covered in garden eels. The reef slopt itself is ouite rich . The current is usually very gentle in this area. As you approach the channel keep an eye out for turtles and a family of giant sweetlip live in a grotto near the surface.The sandy bottom then drops away to about 35 meters as you round the corner and enter the passage. Keep the reef left and get ready to go as it gets shallower and the current increases. Its best to stay left in the shallows as the deeper section of the channel has rubble, boat traffic and a down current at the end of it. The shallows are extremely rich and full of fishlife. Bumphead Parrots are common and aggregate here to spawn every year around April. Sharks and schools of Batfish also reside in the passage. Try to fly by the large coral head about two thirds of the way through as its teeming with life and activity. Once you Kreep left and you eill gradually get closer to the island towards the end of the dive. The current will eventually drop of as you approach the end of the dive.
Pantai Merah / Pink Beach
This is the most frequently visited site in the park Snorkeling is excellent from the beach and there is a very good dive in a small area around a rock that breaks the surface but is completly covered at high tide There as a great variety of tame fishlife here and also a good selection of critters such as leaf scorpionfish, Blueribbon eels, crocodile fish, nudibranchs and more. This site is also a very good nightdive.visibility varies and is best during a ebbing tide
The Peninsula of Loh Namu offers an interesting dive for those who are into large groupers and napoleon wrasse. Dive around this point from south to north, at a depth of some 28 m and always just before high tide. Almost guaranteed to see some big ones! Most of the fish are found near the southern corner where some large boulders are spread out over the drop-off and a few caves offer additional hiding places. We have seen some of the largest coral trout here, hanging out side by side with malabar groupers and huge male Napoleon wrasse which may be aggregating here to spawn. Also wide soft coral as a carpet and the giant gigas clam in 8 meters depth.
Close to Loh Liang this small island with steeply dropping walls is an ideal location for divers starting from Komodo Island. Many big fish and good corals can be seen when drift-diving along the steep walls. The best time to dive here is at the end of the falling tide when the current has slowed down and we can easily drift along the eastern wall from north to south. Top attractions include potato cod, large napoleon wrasse and schools of giant trevallies and snappers. This dive has to be planned around slack tide to avoid excessive currents.
Pilaarsteen is a pinacle rock on the shore of a small island east of Padar Besar. Its best to enter just off the point below the rock where there is a nice wall then swim to the west where you will find an interesting dive through lots of caves and swimthroughs at different depths.It is particularly good at around 30-40 metersThis Dive is still quite good when other places have too much current.It can be affected by surge when a swell is running from the southwest. Large schools of fusiliers can be found here along a slope which is covered by an interesting variety of soft and leather corals. The landscape is really interesting and its not unusual to encounter sharks and the odd turtle.
Three Sisters is a site north of pillarstien . There are 3,quite large submerged rocks within easy swimming distance of each other, each rock is only about 10 meters apart. They are sitting on the sand in about 20 meters of water and rise 3 to 5meters from the surface.It is a very prestine site covered in coral growth and rich in fishlife .They can be hard to find as its not marked on any charts and the rocks lay just below the surface. The rocks run in a line towads the eastst about 100 meters from a small reef that juts out on the eastern side of the island.It is often current affected but ususlly always diveable if you are one of few divers in this world that still don’t mind having to swim.If you are adventurous there is actually a fourth sister located further to the west that starts in about 20meters of water and drops down to 40 with some impressive fans and good life on it.
The southern and western side side of Payung island (east of padar) offers a very interesting underwater landscape, with huge rocks that almost give the impression of a wreck dive. At the southern tip, at 5 m depth, you will find a rock in the shape of a cannon. There are lots of canyon and crevices to explore, and the fish and invertebrate life is diverse and abundant. There are big schools of surgeons and smaller yellow snappers (Lutjanus kasmira) and L. quinquelineatus). Typical for dive sites in the southern part of the park visibility is not very good (5-10 meters), the water is cooler, and the rocks are covered with soft coral, gorgonians, and feather stars. This site should be dived at slack-tide, preferably a slack of low tide. Two dives possible, one descending at the northwetern tip (near the rocks that almost break the surface) then dive with the slope on your left (15-30 meters), turn around at the southern most end of the island and work your way back at 10 m depth. The second dive starts at the southeastern side, around the southern tip of the island (20-35 meteres depth), then back at 5-15 meters depth.
The south western tip of Kode island is characterized by large encrusted bolders with little corals and huge groupers. Very large fish are never really plentiful, but among the boulders you have a chance of seeing some of the largest fish on the reef such as the giant grouper, the potato cod and the malabar grouper. Schools of bohar snapper may keep you happy when you do not encounter the groupers
Cannibal Rock is a small seamount in Loh Dasami bay, between Rinca and Nusa Kode island, is famous for it’s invertebrate life and it is a very easy dive with very little current. You can find many different species of invertebrates here as well as pigmy seahorses and frogfish. The fish life can also be quite good at times, with schools of bohar snappers, surgeon fishes and quite a few species scorpion fishes .Softcoral life is excellent and very colourful .Sea apples and many other species of holothurians are abundant. Unusual nubibranchs, fire urchins hosting to colemanshrimp and much more.
Invertebrate Wall is an excellent day or night dive just inside the south eastern corner of Loh Dasami bay,It is also one of the best areas in Loh Dasami for snorkelling. A very good place place to see invertebrate diversity, especially during a night dive. The numbers of species and colors simply boggles the and you cannot put your finger on the wall without touching yet some other creature. Crevices in the wall hold sleeping fish spiny and slipper lobster and a variety of other crustaceans such as cleaner shrimp, reef crabs and decorator crabs. There are colorful poisonous sea urchins, bright red sea apples, beautiful soft corals.Spanish dancers and a great variety of tunicates. Apart from sleeping coral trout and turtles you can see cat sharks, all kinds of cardinal fishes, and parrotfishes dreaming away in their cocoons. 9 times out of 10 the current will be flowing to the north so the best entry point is just around the western most tip of the headland then swim reef right into the bay with the current.
Crynoid corner is a good dive to do early in the morning as it catched the morning sun. Located in a small cove just outside the southern entrance to Loh Dasami on the island of Nusa Kode, almost directly opposite Invertibrate Wall. Entry point is just south of the cove then swim along the wall with the reef at your left. It’s usually best to start at about 25 m then work your way back and forth up the wall to the surface. A lot of small invertibrate life can be found here and the wall is very colorfull. It’s a nice easy dive with no current.
If you travel from Crynoid Corner north along the coast of Nusa Kode into the bay of Loh Dasami you will come to a point where the coastline turn to the west and the bay opens up. Directly below this point there are several big boulders laying on the bottom. The deepest rock is in about 30 m of water and the shallowest rock is about 8 meters of water. The best point of entry is 100 meters south of the point. Here the reefs slopes down to a dark sand bottom in 30 to 35meters of water. Here you will find a forest of softcoral growing on the sand . Then swim reef left up to 20 meters or so untilyou hit the boulders. Along the way check out all the fire urchins for the illusive Coleman Shrimp. A torch helps. This is the best location to find the shrimp in Loh Dasami as there are usually lots of fire urchins in the area. The Boulders themselves have good coral,invertebrate and fish life. Quite often Mobular Mantas can be seen in this area. Also a good night dive.
Tanjung Loh Sera. Great snorkeling along the northern shore of this cape. Superb diving all along the corner or off the corner towards some underwater pinnacles. Large pelagics like dogtooth tuna can be seen circling off the corner and around the pinnacles. Only experienced divers can go off to the pinnacle, beginners should stay along the wall. Plenty of large fish and turtles along the wall. Be ready for some close encounters of the large kind! Tanjung Loh Sera has some monster giant trevallies, potato cod, malabar grouper, schools of bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, dogtooth tuna, manta rays and much more .
The southern point of Tala island is characterized by steep rocky walls and sometimes quite a strong surge. The dive is more than worth it though, with lots of small fish on top, interesting invertebrate life on the walls and lots of larger fish somewhat deeper. Enormus schools of surgeon fish sometimes make it difficult to see anything else since they cover the entire view. If you manage to look away from these creatures you’ll see plenty of large angry-looking bohar, snappers, whitetip reefshark and sometimes other sharks and huge groupers further down among the bolders.
The South Komodo shoreline. Cooler water from the upwellings of the south coast provide a nutrient rich environment in this area. The high densities of plankton attract many large filter feeding manta rays, which can normally be seen swimming right at the surface along the shores and rocks of South Komodo from September to January. The water near shore is quite shallow (5 – 20m) and there are many large rocks and boulders in between which we can find huge malabar grouper, potato cod, napoleon wrasse and schools of surgeon fishes and bohar snappers. There is usually current at the site.
The tiny rocky island in the South Komodo bay are great for snorkeling and diving, with sometimes lots of manta rays (September to January), even if there are no mantas it is a very good dive, very large giant trevally, sharks, beautiful coral and a very high diversity of other invertebrate life in relatively shallow water (5 to 20 m). The water can be cool in this area but never too cold to dive. Only little damage has been done to the corals in this area and the damaged corals here seem to be reviving naturally and rapidly. This site is also current affected. The best entry point is at the northeast side of the rock near a coral mound 3-5 meters below the surface.
This dive is a pinnacle located southeast of Langkoi Island just below the surface. It is very exposed to current and can have a big surge on it . Usually one can see the swell banking up on it but on a calm day can be difficult to find. Its best to use a GPS position as it is not marked on most charts of the area. The rock drops down into very deep water very quickly. Coral growth is stunted however the dive can be a real adrenalin rush at the right time. Lots of sharks aggregate around this site during July, August and September. Grey Reef , Whitetips, Hammerheads and Bronze Whalers. It is also good for pelagic fish and has some resident Potato Cod at the Southern point in 30 meters of water. Best way to dive the Pinnacle is to jump in upcurrent, go straight down, Hang on and watch the show. This dive should not be attempted by unexperienced divers.
8 new sites have just been documented in West Komodo. High Adrenaline sites and quite surge affected at times they feature sharp drop-offs, many sharks, and strong currents.
NE Gili Banta ( outside of the national park)
Execellent Hardcoral garden, at entry point which is at the northern tip of the headland then swim with reef left into the bay . This is a good site to find frogfish on the sponges on the reefslope, also nudibranch and other unusual creatures are often found in this area.
GPS Point ( outside of the national park)
The seamount off the north-eastern tip once ranged among the best dive sites in this area boasting up to 7 species of sharks in one dive. Schooling hammerheads have also been seen here during the month of September. Unfortunately this site was severely damaged by dynamite fishing in 1997 and 1998 and again more recently. It was also extensively fished by sharks finners. The hard corals suffered from the blast fishing and large patches of rubble are found in between stretched of good coral which still show what a great site this once has been. On the north western corner down at 30 meters you have a good chance of running into a pack of grey reef sharks. Good fish life is still abundant at the side which is exposed to the current and large spanish mackerel can usually be seen moving like missiles overhead. Dogtooth tunas can sometimes be seen along the deeper slopes.
NW Gili Banta ( outside of the national park)
The North western tip of Gili Banta island. Fantastic diving and snorkeling. Snorkeling along the steep rocky wall we can see lots of small things, fish and some sharks and giant trevally. Diving deep (40 m) at the very tip we are getting into big-fish-country. Many coral trout, large groupers, schools of giant trevally, massive dogtooth tuna. The best place for entry is approximately 100 metres south of the point in the bay. Once you have rounded the point countinue to the west way and you will find an execellent coral garden in the shallows to do the safety stop. Strong currents and even down-currents can be experienced on the point. It’s best to dive at slack-tide if possible.