Diving in Komodo in Indonesia. Dive and experience one of the world's best diving spots.

Diving in Komodo in Indonesia is for you who dreamed of exploring pristine, exotic areas filled with rare wildlife and breathtaking landscapes? A diving trip to Komodo in Indonesia is really something for you then.

After a few relaxing days in Bali with the family, I took a short flight over to the island of Flores and Labuan Bajo. Labuan Bajo is originally a fishing village located on the western part of this large island. It is today the main gateway for exploring Komodo National Park. 

It's a small airport and it's quick to get my luggage. Just outside the doors to the arrival hall, I am met by taxi drivers and they want to offer me a ride. I had booked with Scuba Junkie and they already had a driver ready for me. He was standing there with a big smile and my name on a sign. 

The drive to their office in Labuan Bajo lasted no more than 15 minutes and I quickly glimpsed the ocean and a magical view out over Komodo National Park. I was dropped off at the office to drop off my bags, fill up my water bottle and get information about when the boat out to the resort leaves. Since I landed fairly early, I had time to go out for a small lunch before the transfer. Outside, I found a small local restaurant nearby and ate Nasi Campur, a rice dish with lots of different side dishes, tempe (soy), vegetables and eggs, that was it for me.

Departure to the resort

At half past three the boat went out to the resort, a wooden fishing boat with an engine that roared loudly. But it doesn't matter to me. I put the headphones in my ears and look out over the green hills with the wind in my hair. It takes about an hour before we arrive. We are met on the pier by two staff who stand and wave us in when the boat docks. The resort is located far down between hills right at the edge of the stand. Next to the resort is a small village with fishing boats and children playing by the shore. Next to the jetty are two large, fine wooden boats from which we will dive tomorrow. The tide is low as we enter but I can already see lots of fish and coral through the crystal clear water. 

We are guided into the resort's restaurant while our bags are carried to our room. We get a welcome briefing from the resort manager with a review of everything from Scuba Junkie's background to how the diving will go the next day. Free access to water, coffee and tea is available to us at all times. I take the opportunity to refill the water bottle before being guided to their equipment room to unpack and make sure I have everything I need for the next days diving. All of us who came get a box with our name on it, where we can put our equipment and pick up the weights we need. The boxes will then be taken to the boat we will be diving from tomorrow and their staff will set up and get everything ready for the next day. I'm a bit of a geek and like to set up my gear myself so they say the box will be waiting for me tomorrow morning so when I hop on the boat I can set everything up myself however I want. 

Now I've got my nice room and it's time to unpack a bit and charge the batteries for the camera for tomorrow. It is a spacious room in Balinese style, with high ceilings and a private balcony where I can look out over the magically cozy garden. There is a private bathroom with a shower and space to hang up wet swimwear. I unpack a bit and then I chill on the balcony until it's time for dinner in the restaurant. Every evening a buffet of food is served, everything from Italian themed evening to traditional Indonesian food (it's always the best). After dinner, I have a beer in the comfortable lounge furniture on the terrace by the beach. There I get caught up in conversations with all those who have already been here for a few days and have dived a lot. It turns out they had two amazing dives with manta rays during the day so I'm even more excited about what Komodo National Park has to offer.

Time for diving

The bell rings early and it's up to the rooster (at least for me who likes to snoop), but I put on my bikini, pack my bag and go straight down to the restaurant, where it's clearly written which boat I'm going on. It also says which dive sites we plan to dive at today. After a quick road call by our boat master for the day, we jump on the boat. I set up my equipment at the back of the boat and get help with which tank and place is mine. 

We start moving out towards the national park and breakfast is served while I enjoy the fantastic view. As we approach our first dive site of the day, we all gather in the bow of the boat and receive a thorough dive briefing by one of our divemasters on board. They walk through the dive site with a nice dive map with all the information we need for our dive to go. We do two dives in the morning before we are served lunch. I take the opportunity to take a short nap in the sun upstairs before the last dive of the day. The boats are large and comfortable and there are plenty of areas to chill between dives. My favorite place was on the upper deck in a bean bag. Something I also appreciate is that there was a toilet on board, it is something of a luxury if you compare where I have dived before.

When we are back at the resort at the end of the day, we gather on the terrace. All divers write log books with their guides where we talk about all the different fantastic animals we saw during the day. Then we enjoy the sunset with a cold beer before I sneak up to the room for a quick shower before dinner. 

A fantastic week

For five days I got to enjoy the fantastic diving and it just got better and better every day. Mantas galore, reef sharks, rays, a small group of devilrays, my first dugong, blueringed octopus and flamboyant cuttelfish were just a few of the highlights. In addition to the diving, we went out one evening on a "bat sunset cruise". We went to an island that was just a little bit outside the resort. Every day at sunset, the bats that lived on the island came to life and flew out to hunt for the night. It was a super cool experience actually! I had my speaker with me so we played some nice music in the background and just enjoyed all the flying bats and the sunset behind the island. 

Also on my last day I did a little excursion, we went to the island of Rinca and got a little hike to see the Komodo dragons. Today's dragons they are called and I would really agree with that. They are really cool animals to see and experience. I strongly recommend experiencing these animals as well as the diving! 
 

My top 5 dive sites in Komodo National Park: 

BATU BOLONG 

This is one of the most spectacular dive sites on Komodo, also known as the "fish soup". The site is an exposed cliff that is extremely current dependent and must be dived at a specific time. Which side we dive on depends entirely on the tide. Clouds of fish surround the coral here which often makes it difficult to see your hand in front of your face – even when we have crystal clear conditions! 

This place is truly amazing. As you descend the top, you will be overwhelmed by the amazing range of colors. It's easy to just stay in one spot for the entire dive and just watch the fish life that surrounds you. If you can tear your eyes away from the mass of the school of fish, you can also see amazing macro life in this place! From pygmy seahorses to crazy nudibranchs, from huge moray eels to tiny orangutan crabs.

SIABA KECIL

The beautiful reef is located opposite the sister island of Siaba Besar and has a unique and beautiful topography. The coral reef drops into an incredible overhang where shoals of sweetlips like to gather.  

You can choose to dive when the current is strong and enjoy it like a Superman drive or you can aim to dive the site at low tide. Then we can take the time to explore the topography. I love drifting but it was great to have a little calmer dive in there. (Yes it was so good I made a request to do that dive twice) No matter how you dive the site we end the dive at an amazing coral garden with a chance to see reef sharks, turtles and it was also where I saw my first Dugong!! 

MAWAN 

This amazing place is one of the very best in the world for interactions with manta rays. It is on this vibrant sloping reef with two large cleaning stations where the mantas hang around for longer periods. It really puts on a show for any divers that come by. 

It's not just manta rays that you can see here, this is a great spot for octopus, bamboo sharks and lots of nudibranchs. 

CAULDRON (AKA THE SHOTGUN) 

One of the most exciting dive sites on Komodo! And probably the most famous too. This place starts with a gentle drift over a beautiful coral garden with large gorgonians or sea fans and the bodies of coral bommies are covered and surrounded by glass fish. 

When the current increases, the bottom drops from 14 m to 22 m and you are in the "cauldron". It's like a huge crater with many nooks and crannies to explore. Here you often see large shoals of trevally, snappers, sharks and the occasional turtle. I also saw both manta rays and manta rays here enjoying the currents!

WAINILU

I learned that wainilu means "cold water" in the local dialect. Not because the water is cold, but because you move much more slowly during this dive and you then experience that it is "colder". This is a sloping sand and soft coral reef that reaches a plateau at a depth of about 25 meters and here you hunt for small insects. 

With the help of your divemaster, you zigzag up the reef and you can often see the elusive mandarin fish and the picturesque dragon fish here. This tranquil dive site is a photographers dream and lucky divers often encounter Coleman shrimp, zebra crabs, ornate ghost pipefish, mototi octopus and even rhinopia. A must dive in my opinion!! 

Summary

Go on a diving trip and liveaboard to Komodo in Indonesia! - You will not regret it. It's absolutely fantastic. You will have a great diving trip and vacation. Be aware that you will need a few extra nights in Bali or somewhere along the way. No matter what your diving trip plan is, whether you choose to stay at a resort or board a liveaboard here for diving in Komodo in Indonesia. More about one liveaboard in Indonesia you can read here.

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