dragon in Komodo national park in Indonesia

Komodo Liveaboard Diving

Diving in Komodo offers an exciting variety of dive sites and experiences. Komodo National Park is home to the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon. This area is a World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Komodo has it all! Beautiful soft coral reefs, exhilarating drift dives, spectacular hard coral reefs, fishy pinnacles and black sand muck dives. Komodo is home to a large population of manta rays, large schools of fish, turtles, reef sharks and a myriad of weird and wonderful fish and critters!

Best Places to Dive in Komodo

Komodo National Park covers many different islands. On some cruises you might dive outside of the park, still outstanding diving!

Komodo Flores Channel

The large channel between the islands of Komodo and Flores has colourful reefs and exhilarating drift dives. At Karang Makassar you can drift along the bottom of the sea to look for manta rays. Tatawa Besar and Siaba Kecil have healthy reefs that are best viewed while floating along in the current.

The corals and fish life at the pinnacle of Batu Bolong are beyond belief! Batu Tengah lies exactly in the middle of the National Park and the healthy hard corals here attract reef sharks and turtles.

A reef manta ray gliding along the bottom at Takat Makassar in Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Gili Lawalaut

In the north of Komodo National Park there are pinnacles full of fish where you might also see reef sharks, eagle rays and turtles. The two most famous dive sites are Crystal and Castle Rock. You might also dive at the fishy reefs of Shotgun and The Passage.

Central Komodo

There are plenty of macro dives too. Wainilo and Loh Liang Bay are where your dive guides will look for critters that you never thought existed! Melibe nudibranchs, hairy frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimps are some divers’ favourites. Pink Beach and Torpedo Alley are both excellent dives that can be done during the day and at night.

Padar island has a wonderful viewpoint and long, empty beaches. There are several dive sites such as Three Sisters and Secret Garden in this area. Your dive guides will look for giant frogfish here and keep your eyes out into the open water for schools of mobula rays.

A hawksbill turtle cruising along at one of the beautiful reefs in Komodo, Indonesia

South Rinca and Komodo

In the south of Komodo are some world-renowned dive sites. Inside Horseshoe Bay on the south of Rinca Island you will see a very different coral landscape at Cannibal Rock and Yellow Wall of Texas. Crinoids and sea squirts host cute ladybugs, colourful walls are home to giant frogfish and hiding inside fire sea urchins are zebra crabs and Coleman shrimps.

The Holy Grail of fish, Rhinopias, have also been found in this area. Manta Alley is on the south of Komodo island. This is another popular spot for manta rays to hang out to feed and get cleaned.

Gili Banta Sangeang and Bima

During cruises in and out of Bima you will also be diving in other areas. We might stop at Gili Banta, just on the outside of Komodo National Park. The main dive sites there are GPS Point, Tanduk Rusa and Gazer Beach. At Gazer Beach we do a night dive to look for stargazers, octopus and coral catsharks.

Sangeang Volcano is an active volcano where you can dive at Hot Rocks where you will find a phenomenon of bubbles coming out of the reef creating a natural jacuzzi! The black sands are home to all sorts of mystical creatures and the night dive here is not to be missed. In the south there is a small village where we can take a walk to see island life.

Bima Bay on the island of Sumbawa has some of the best muck diving in Indonesia. There is a chance to see wunderpus, mimic and blue-ringed octopus, seahorses, frogfish, bumblebee shrimps, tiger shrimps and a long list of other amazing critters.

Bali Cruises

On cruises in and out of Bali you will also dive at the islands of Satonda and Moyo. At Satonda there is a healthy reef where we look for nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses and cuttlefish. Either Angel Reef, Little Angel or Panjang Reef will be our last dive of the trip. These reefs all have the protection of the village on Moyo Island so they are full of fish!

Padar island has a wonderful viewpoint and long, empty beaches. There are several dive sites such as Three Sisters and Secret Garden in this area. Your dive guides will look for giant frogfish here and keep your eyes out into the open water for schools of mobula rays.

Komodo Dragons

A highlight of any visit to Komodo is to see the Dragons! There are several locations where you can see these magnificent animals. Any Komodo cruise on board Coralia will include a trek to look for Komodo Dragons. There are also a couple of viewpoints where you can take in breath-taking views across the National Park.

You can read more about Komodo Dragons on our blog. You can also watch a video showing Komodo dragons on the beach here.

Close up of the Face of a Komodo Dragon in Indonesia

Komodo Liveaboard Diving Highlights

  • Walk with Komodo Dragons
  • Manta rays – lots of manta rays!
  • Drift over a reef entirely covered in orange soft corals
  • See a pink beach!
  • Common sightings – manta rays, reef sharks, schooling fish, turtles, octopus, nudibranchs, seahorses, crocodile fish
  • Special sightings – Rhinopias, ladybugs, wunderpus or mimic octopus, frogfish, zebra crab plus lots more weird and wonderful creatures!

Best Time to Go

Komodo can be dived all year round but it is best dived on a liveaboard cruise. Coralia visits Komodo in May and July to September. This is when the sea is calmest and you should be able to dive in the southern areas (where the day trips don’t go!)

How to Get There

Coralia’s cruises to Komodo depart from Labuanbajo or Bima. Labuanbajo is on the islands of Flores. Bima is on the island of Sumbawa. There are direct flights from Bali to both towns. The airport codes are LBJ for Labuanbajo and BMU for Bima. Bali international airport is DPS. It is now also possible to fly direct to Labuanbajo via Jakarta (CGK).

Garuda runs flights on both routes. At the time of writing, Garuda offers an extra 23kg per person for dive gear. Be ready to show your diving certification and that your extra baggage is made up of dive equipment. Most flights for Labuanbajo and Bima depart in the morning.

At the end of the cruise you can arrange for a morning or afternoon flight back to Bali or Jakarta. Please remember that if you fly in the morning then you might be restricted on the number of dives you partake in the day before. Usually, on the last full day on board, we will do two dives in the morning. Finishing by around 1pm.

You can take an international flight into Bali or Jakarta to connect with your domestic flight. We recommend arriving in Bali or Jakarta at least one day before your domestic flight. We also recommend you book your return international flight for one day after the end of the cruise.

Useful Komodo Liveaboard Cruise Information

  • All levels of divers and snorkelers can join a Komodo cruise. There are some sites with strong current but there is always a non-current side to these sites.
  • Transfers to and from the airport are included. From Labuanbajo airport to the harbour it is around a 15 minute drive. You will then be transferred by a short speedboat ride to Coralia.
  • Water temperature – ranges between 21°C and 29° Thermoclines in the south could reduce the temperature to below 20°C.
  • Therefore, the water can get cold in Komodo so bring a 3mm or 5mm long wetsuit plus a hood or hooded vest if you feel the cold when diving.
  • Visibility in the north and central parts of Komodo National Park is usually very good, ranging from 20-30 metres. In the south the visibility can be less.
  • Komodo is part of Indonesia. The currency is Indonesian Rupiah or IDR.
  • The official language is Bahasa Indonesia. Although there are over 300 different native languages spoken in Indonesia.
  • There are some great opportunities to buy souvenirs such as hand carved wooden dragons or pearls grown inside the park so bring some IDR.
  • If you would like to bring gifts for the children of Komodo, we would have the opportunity to distribute them during the cruise. Please do not bring items wrapped in plastic as this plastic will not be disposed of appropriately. It is also best not to bring plastic toys or balloons. Most useful are things like pencils, pencil sharpeners, books, crayons, clothes, hair bands for girls, etc.
  • Other on board options include kayaking, paddle board, beach visits, treks to viewpoints.

Komodo Photo Gallery

Visit Komodo with Coralia Liveaboard Indonesia !

Please have a look at Coralia’s cruise schedule to join us on an unforgettable diving adventure.

Also, please feel free to CONTACT US in case you have any questions. We look forward to assisting you.