The world famous Komodo National Park

GREAT REASONS WHY TO PUT KOMODO ON YOUR DIVE BUCKET LIST!

What to expect from diving? Extremely healthy reefs with more fish than you can imagine, frequent manta rays encounters, sharks, turtles, mola mola (mainly in August) & great macro life
Experience level? Beginners to advanced
Best time to dive in Komodo? June-November is the best time, and that is when most dive liveaboards operate there, but you can dive in Komodo all year long.
Best time to see manta rays? All year around – they live there How to dive in Komodo? Ideally by dive cruise, but there are also plenty of dive centers in Labuan Bajo, and some islands resorts as well near Labuan Bajo.
Water temperature? 26-29° Celsius
Visibility? Up to 40 meters
Currents? Medium to strong
Dive equipment needed? 3mm-5mm wetsuit is sufficient, reef hook recommended in case of stronger currents
What currency should I bring? Apart from Indonesian rupiah US$ is a widely accepted currency

WHY GO TO KOMODO AT ALL?

A couple of years back I was planning a dive trip to Bali with my husband and a couple of friends. My partner in crime and I decided to extend the trip with a short liveaboard in Komodo after reading another friend´s blog (thank you Carlota!), which really inspired us to go there. You don´t hear much about this destination when it comes to diving or at least not as much as Raja Ampat
or other Indonesian locations, so it was never in our top ten list of diving destinations. Let me tell you this: the Komodo dive sites have some of the most beautiful and inspiring reefs I have ever seen, so, if it is not on your bucket list yet, watch out the video and add it!

Most of the trips start in Labuan Bajo, in Flores, and we flew there from Bali directly. You have many options to fly there, and I strongly recommend Garuda as an airline, even though is a bit more expensive, it is more punctual and safer than the other options. Labuan Bajo is nothing special (quite dirty and not much to see), so no need to extend your stay there. However, there are beautiful island resorts around Labuan Bajo.

You will visit the best dive sites in the Komodo National Park regardless if you do it from a liveaboard or an island resort, since the dive resorts cover 90% of the park as well. The only area not covered by the resorts is the south part of the marine park. The south area is where the Mola mola encounters are more common, so if you are going on the right season and want to see this, then the liveaboard is a better choice.

Another great way of enjoying the best diving of Komodo is by doing a transition trip combining different areas of Indonesia combining Flores, Banda Sea and even Raja Ampat. Watch out for them, especially in September or October for the hammerhead shark season. :) Further, you will find trips where you enjoy the best of Bali, the Gili islands and the Komodo National Park, all in one trip.

If you are planning on staying in Indonesia for no more than 30 days, there are no special requirements for the visa. You get it right at the airport free of charge. Malaria is not common in the area.

THE REEFS ARE TO DIE FOR

Now let’s talk about the most fascinating part of this trip: the diving. What can you expect? You can expect amazing pristine reefs, more fish and life around than you can imagine, mantas, turtles, sharks, loads of macro life (specially on the night dives), beautiful visibility, and if you go in the right season you can also find mola molas (sun fish). You will find vibrant colors and a lot of activity around the reefs. You are inside a busy underwater city sometimes. It is just gorgeous! And it reminds you how a coral reef should actually be. If I have to choose one highlight of this dive trip, it would be the vibrant reefs. I was truly overwhelmed by the beauty of these reefs and the amount of life on them. Almost on every single dive I felt like being home. Definitely, my four favorite reefs with incredible reef activity in the Komodo National Park were: Batu Bolong, Castle Rock, Crystal Rock & Tatawa Kecil.

GENTLE MANTA RAYS

Don’t forget that on top of the breathtaking reef friendly mantas call Komodo their home. It is always special to be around by these gentle giants, and mainly in a place like this, where they put on a real show for you. There are a couple of specific manta points, but we were also lucky to see them on other dive sites. Definitely, one of the highlights of our trip was spending 40 minutes just swimming among them. What a feeling!

You will be also enjoying the company of sharks (mainly grey reef, sharks, white tips and nurse sharks) and turtles on most dives. The currents can be quite strong, so it is highly recommendable to bring your reef hook for those dives and be comfortable in drift diving. The night dives are truly amazing, mainly if you enjoy macro life, which has lots of amazing little creatures that look like being from another planet.

THE FAMOUS KOMODO DRAGONS

Komodo is not only beautiful under the water. You will enjoy also the magnificent scenario that the Komodo Natural Park area has to offer, while navigating between the different dive sites. I was especially amazed by the turquoise waters surrounding the beautiful islands. Most liveaboards stop on an island to do some trekking and see the archipiélago from above (where you can enjoy sunset). Another huge advantage of visiting Komodo is to explore the Rinca island to see the Komodo dragons on their natural habitat, and do some trekking there as well. This is a must! When planning your trip make sure Rinca is included in your package. Some people worry about how safe this might be? No worries! You are always accompanied by a local guide who will take excellent care of you. The guide will give you a full briefing on how to behave around these magnificent creatures. Most of the time you do this on your last day of the trip.

If you also been there I am looking forward to your comments! And if you just added this destination to your bucket list, I am here to hear all your questions :) I hope you enjoy the video!

Happy bubbles,
Lucía
Planning your own trip to Komodo? Let me help you: lucia@divingspecials.com

posted by Lu Osorio, December 2018

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