Snorkeling and diving in Komodo National Park

Snorkeling and diving in Komodo National Park

Coral Reefs • Manta Rays • Drift Diving

from AGE ™ Travel Magazine
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Like a giant aquarium!

The Komodo National Park is the Home of the Komodo dragons, the last dinosaur of our time. But divers and snorkelers know that there is much more to see in the national park: Diving in Komodo National Park promises colorful coral reefs with thousands of small and large reef fish. For example, puffer fish and parrotfish are frequent companions under water, snappers, sweetlips and damselfish swarm around the divers and lionfish and well-camouflaged stonefish are also regularly present. More beautiful than any aquarium. Sea turtles glide by, an octopus perches on the seabed, and various species of moray eels peer out of their crevices. Drift dives also feature big fish such as white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, napoleon wrasse, big jacks and tuna. Especially in the period from November to April you have a good chance of seeing the elegant reef manta rays. Follow AGE™ and experience the underwater treasures of Komodo.

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Snorkeling in Komodo National Park

Information about snorkeling in Komodo National Park Snorkel at Komodo on your own
To reach Komodo National Park, you need an external provider with a boat. For this reason, snorkeling on your own is unfortunately not possible. There are public ferries to villages on the island of Rinca and Komodo, but these run irregularly, several days apart, and so far hardly any local homestays have established themselves there.

Information about excursion destinations for snorkeling. Snorkeling tours in Komodo National Park
A well-known destination is the Pink Beach on the island of Komodo. Less well known, but at least as beautiful for snorkeling, is the pink beach on the island of Padar. Mawan is a diving area, but the beautiful coral garden is also worth snorkeling.
Between September and March manta rays stay in the center of Komodo National Park. Excursions to Makassar Reef (Manta Point) are also offered for snorkelers. However, this is only recommended for experienced swimmers, as the currents there are sometimes very strong.
Siaba Besar (Turtle City), on the other hand, is in a sheltered bay and offers good opportunities for the Observation of sea turtles.

Joint excursions for snorkelers and divers in Komodo National Park Joint excursions for divers & snorkelers
Excursions that can be combined are ideal, especially if not all of your fellow travelers are divers. Some diving schools in Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores (e.g. Neren) offer discounted tickets for companions who want to go on diving trips. Others (eg Azul Komodo) even offer snorkeling tours. Snorkelers ride on the dive boat, but are taken to suitable snorkeling spots in a dinghy. For example, Manta Point can be visited together.

Dive sites in Komodo National Park

The best dive sites in Komodo National Park for beginner divers. Tips for your diving holiday in Komodo. Diving Komodo National Park for beginners
There are several sheltered dive sites in central Komodo. Sebayur Kecil, Mini wall and Siaba Kiss for example are also suitable for beginners. When there is little current, there are also the diving spots Pengah Kecil and Tatawa Besar well suited to explore Komodo's beautiful coral reefs in a relaxed manner. Wae Nilo is a macro dive near Rinca Island.
Those not afraid of drift diving can also enjoy Makassar Reef and Mawan, which are also located in the central area of ​​Komodo National Park. At the Makassar Reef (Manta Point) the underwater landscape is very barren, but you can often see manta rays there. Mawan is another manta cleaning station: it is considered less frequented by manta rays but offers a beautiful intact coral reef to enjoy.

The best dive sites in Komodo National Park for Advanced Open Water Divers. Tips for your diving holiday in Komodo. Advanced Diving Komodo National Park
Batu bolong (Central Komodo) ranks among the top dive sites in the world. The underwater mountain protrudes only slightly from the water, falls off at an angle and is covered with beautiful intact corals. Currents pass on both sides and give the dive site an extraordinary abundance of fish. Colorful, lively and beautiful.
Crystal rock (North Komodo) is an open water rock formation with corals, small reef fish and large predators. The mostly fantastic visibility is namesake. An advanced open water certification is mandatory for the north, as there are regular strong currents and deep currents are also possible.
The Cauldron (North Komodo), also called Shot Gun, is a popular drift dive. It begins in a beautiful reef, enters a sandy bottomed basin, shoots the diver out of the basin through a strong current channel and ends in a sheltered coral garden.
Golden Passage (North Komodo) is a drift dive in the passage between Komodo Island and Gili Lawa Darat Island. Beautiful corals, reef fish and sea turtles are waiting for you.

The best dive sites in Komodo National Park for the experienced. Tips for your diving holiday in Komodo. Diving Komodo National Park for experienced
Castle Rock (Northern Komodo) is recommended for experienced divers because there are often very strong currents and negative entry is required. Reef sharks, barracuda, giant jacks, napoleon wrasse and large schools of fish are typical of this dive.
Langkoi skirt (South Komodo) offers an aggregation of Hammerhead, Gray, Whitetip and Bronze Sharks between July and September. Due to the very strong current, the entrance is upstream. It is dived quickly and then a reef hook is used. This dive site is only approached on multi-day liveaboards.
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Costs for snorkeling & diving in Komodo National Park

Snorkeling tours: from 800.000 IDR (about 55 dollars)
One-day diving trips: around 2.500.000 IDR (approx. 170 dollars)
Multi-day liveaboards: from 3.000.000 IDR per day per person (from around 200 dollars per day)
Entrance fee Komodo National Park Monday – Friday: 150.000 IDR (approx. 10 dollars)
Entrance Fee Komodo National Park Sunday & Holiday: 225.000 IDR (approx. 15 Dollars)
Snorkeling fee Komodo National Park: 15.000 IDR (about 1 dollar)
Dive Fee Komodo National Park: 25.000 IDRR (about $1,50)
Flores tourist tax for snorkelers: IDR 50.000 (about $3,50)
Flores tourist tax for divers: 100.000 IDR (about 7 dollars)
Please note possible changes. Prices as a guide. Price increases and special offers possible. As of 2023.
You can find detailed information in the AGE™ article Prices for tours & diving in Komodo National Park.
All national park fees include diving & snorkelling fees here listed and explained.
Information about the many changes can be found in the AGE™ article Entry Komodo National Park: Rumors & Facts.
AGE™ went liveaboard with Azul Komodo:
The PADI diving school Azul Komodo is located on the island of Flores in Labuan Bajo. In addition to day trips, it also offers multi-day diving safaris in the Komodo National Park. With a maximum of 7 guests on board and a maximum of 4 divers per Dive Master, a customized experience is guaranteed. Well-known dive sites such as Batu Bolong, Mawan, Crystal Rock and The Cauldron are on the program. Night diving, short shore excursions and a visit to the Komodo dragons complete the tour. You sleep on comfortable mattresses with bed linen on deck and the chef takes care of your physical well-being with delicious vegetarian meals. An Advanced Open Water certification is required for drift diving in the beautiful north. You can even do the course on board for an extra charge. Our instructor was fantastic and struck the perfect balance between safely guided and free to explore. Ideal for enjoying the beauty of Komodo!
AGE™ dived with Neren in Komodo National Park:
The PADI diving school Neren is located on the island of Flores in Labuan Bajo. It offers one-day diving trips to Komodo National Park. Central Komodo or North Komodo is approached. Up to 3 dives are possible per tour. At Neren, Spanish divers will find contacts in their native language and will immediately feel at home. Of course, all nationalities are welcome. The spacious dive boat can take up to 10 divers, who are of course divided among several dive guides. On the upper deck you can relax between dives and enjoy the view. At lunchtime there is delicious food to strengthen yourself. The dive sites are selected depending on the ability of the current group and were very varied. Many diving spots in the center are also suitable for open water divers. A wonderful introduction to Komodo's underwater world!
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Biodiversity in Komodo National Park

The underwater world of Komodo is a special experience. A special experience!
Intact corals, schools of colorful fish, manta rays and drift diving. Komodo enchants with lively reefs and mangroves.

Biodiversity in Komodo National Park. Highlights in the diving area. Corals, manta rays, reef fish. What is there to see in Komodo National Park?
Colorful Coral Reefs: Most diving areas offer coral gardens of hard and soft corals with many colorful reef dwellers. Especially the Batu Bolong dive site felt like one big aquarium. Typical fish are for example: Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Bannerfish, Clownfish, Surgeonfish, Damselfish and Soldierfish. Schools of sweetlips and snappers welcome you. You can also regularly observe lionfish, parrotfish and triggerfish.
Species richness: Round puffer fish and square boxfish meet elongated trumpet fish. Small pipefish hide in the reef, several species of moray eels lurk in sheltered crevices and colonies of garden eels collectively stick their heads out of the sand. If you take a closer look, you can also discover a well-camouflaged stonefish, a scorpionfish or a crocodilefish while diving. You can also observe several sea turtle species. With a bit of luck you will also see an octopus, a giant squid or a blue spotted ray. Encountering dolphins, seahorses or a dugong is rare but possible. The Komodo National Park has around 260 reef-building corals, 70 species of sponges and more than 1000 species of fish.
Big Fish & Manta Rays: During drift dives, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, gray reef sharks and barracudas make divers' hearts beat faster. But giant mackerel, tuna and Napoleon wrasse are also worth a look. At manta cleaning stations you have a good chance that majestic reef manta rays or beautiful eagle rays will glide past you during your dive. Giant Oceanic Manta Ray sightings are rare but possible. November to April is considered the best manta ray time.
Nocturnal Residents: With night dives you experience the reef again. Many corals filter food out of the water at night and therefore look different than during the day. Moray eels roam the reef and sea urchins, feather stars, nudibranchs and shrimp cavort in the lamplight. Especially macro lovers get their money's worth at night.
mangroves: When snorkeling in Komodo National Park you can explore not only coral gardens but also mangroves. Mangroves are the nurseries of the sea and therefore a very interesting ecosystem. The trees rise into the sea like sunken gardens and shelter cute juvenile fish and numerous microorganisms in the protection of their roots.

Diving conditions in Komodo National Park

What is the water temperature in Komodo National Park? Which wetsuit makes sense? What is the water temperature in Komodo?
The water temperature is around 28°C all year round. As a result, you don't have to worry as much about regulating your body temperature when diving in Komodo National Park. 3mm neoprene is more than adequate. However, most divers use shorties. Remember to adjust your weight belt accordingly.

How is the visibility underwater? What is the usual underwater visibility?
Visibility in Komodo National Park averages 15 meters. It varies depending on the diving area and also depends on the weather. Manta Point is often below 15 meters visibility due to the increased abundance of plankton. Crystal Rock, Castle Rock or The Cauldron in North Komodo, on the other hand, often offer around 20 meters of visibility.

Are there poisonous animals in Komodo National Park? Are there poisonous animals in the water?
On the bottom and in the reef there are often stone fish, scorpion fish or crocodile fish. They are poisonous and well camouflaged. There is also a venomous sea snake and the venomous blue-ringed octopus. Fire corals can cause intense stinging and the beautiful lionfish is also poisonous. Doesn't that sound inviting? Don't worry, none of these animals are actively attacking. If you keep your hands to yourself and your feet off the ground, you have nothing to fear.

Have there been shark attacks? Is the fear of sharks justified?
Since 1580, the "International Shark Attack File" lists only 11 shark attacks for all of Indonesia. Also, large shark species (Great White Shark, Tiger Shark, Bull Shark) are NOT found in the waters around Komodo. In the Komodo National Park you can mainly observe white tip reef sharks and black tip reef sharks as well as gray reef sharks. Enjoy your time under water and look forward to beautiful encounters with these wonderful animals.

Other dangers of snorkeling and diving Are there other dangers?
Care should be taken with triggerfish as they actively (sometimes aggressively) defend their breeding grounds. Depending on the diving area, for example at Castle Rock, you should definitely pay attention to currents. Snorkelers usually experience strong currents at Manta Point. Don't underestimate the sun either! Therefore, when preparing your trip, make sure you buy coral-friendly sunscreen or wear long clothes in the water.

Is the ecosystem in Komodo National Park intact?Is this Sea ecosystem intact in Komodo?
In the Komodo National Park there are still numerous intact coral reefs with many colorful fish. Unfortunately there were and are problems there too. Before the sanctuary was set up, people often fished with dynamite, then damage was caused by anchored ships and today you can unfortunately see corals broken off by inexperienced snorkelers at particularly popular tourist destinations. But there is good news: Overall, however, the areas with corals in the national park have grown by around 60% since the protective measures were established.
Fortunately, plastic waste is only a minor problem in Komodo National Park. At some anchorages, the ground still needs to be cleaned up, for example in Gili Lawa Darat Bay. Overall, the reefs are very clean. Beaches and islands were also virtually free of plastic waste in 2023. Unfortunately, this dream ends outside the park boundaries. A first step would be to officially ban single-use drinking cups made of plastic and instead advertise refillable water dispensers. It would also be important to train the local population in Labuan Bajo.
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Personal experiences in Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is beautiful. Above water and under water. That's why we came back. However, the conditions you actually encounter on site depend on many factors. Above all: travel time, weather and luck. For example in April 2023 we had several days of 20 to 25 meter visibility at various dive sites and then one day with only about 10 meter visibility. In between there were only two days and a thunderstorm with heavy rain. Conditions can therefore change quickly. In both directions. It therefore makes sense to always plan a time buffer.
The animal world cannot be planned either. In November 2016 we were able to observe several manta rays on the first attempt, but at the beginning of April 2023 not a single manta was seen while diving in Komodo National Park. Two weeks later, however, a colleague observed 12 manta rays in the same place. The chances of seeing manta rays depend mainly on the weather, water temperature and tides. During our second visit, the water temperature was a little higher than usual.
But even without manta rays you can be sure that your diving holiday in Komodo will offer a lot of variety. The colourful, lively aquarium atmosphere makes you want more. Our favorite dive sites: Batu Bolong with its many colorful reef fish; The Cauldron for the great variety of scenery, garden eels and lazy river; Mawan for its beautiful corals; And Tatawa Besar, because we totally surprised to see a dugong there; By the way, the Komodo National Park is ideal for completing your Advanced Open Water Diver course. The diversity in the Komdo National Park will inspire you.
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Localization information

Where is Komodo National Park located? Where is Komodo National Park?
The Komodo National Park belongs to the island state of Indonesia in Southeast Asia and is located in the Coral Triangle. It is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands in the Nusa Tenggara region. (The largest islands in this region are Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores.) Komodo National Park lies between Sumbawa and Flores and covers an area of ​​1817km². Its most famous islands are Komodo, Rinca and Padar. The official language is Bahasa Indonesia.

For your travel planning

What weather to expect in Komodo National Park? What is the weather like in Komodo National Park?
Komodo National Park has a humid, tropical monsoon climate. The air temperature is around 30 °C during the day and 20-25 °C at night all year round. The area does not have different seasons, but a dry season (May to September) and a rainy season (October to April). The heaviest rainfall can be expected between December and March.
Arrival to Komodo National Park. How to get to Komodo National Park?
The easiest way to reach Komodo National Park is via Bali, as the international airport in Denpasar (Bali) offers good domestic flights to Labuan Bajo (Flores). From Labuan Bajo excursion boats and diving boats go to the Komodo National Park every day.
Alternatively, you can arrive by sea: Boat tours are offered between Senggigi (Lombok) and Labuan Bajo (Flores). Public ferries are particularly inexpensive, but some only run once a week. If you have a larger budget and are planning a diving holiday, you can explore Komodo National Park on a multi-day liveaboard.

Travel the Home of the Komodo dragons and meet the famous dragons.
Learn more about Prices for tours & diving in Komodo National Park.
Experience even more adventure with Diving and snorkeling worldwide.

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This editorial contribution received external support
Disclosure: AGE™ services were discounted or provided free of charge as part of the report by: PADI Azul Komodo Dive School; PADI diving school Neren; The press code applies: Research and reporting must not be influenced, hindered or even prevented by accepting gifts, invitations or discounts. Publishers and journalists insist that information be given regardless of accepting a gift or invitation. When journalists report on press trips to which they have been invited, they indicate this funding.
Texts and photos are protected by copyright. The copyright of this article in words and images is entirely owned by AGE ™. All rights are reserved. Content for print / online media can be licensed on request.
The content of the article has been carefully researched or is based on personal experience. However, if information is misleading or incorrect, we assume no liability. The Komodo National Park was perceived by AGE™ as a special diving area and was therefore presented in the travel magazine. If this does not match your personal experience, we assume no liability. Furthermore, circumstances can change. AGE™ does not guarantee topicality or completeness.
Source reference for text research
On-site information and personal experiences snorkeling and diving in Komodo National Park in November 2016 and April 2023.

Azul Komodo (oD) Homepage of the diving school Azul Komodo. [online] Retrieved on 27.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX, from URL:

Florida Museum of natural history (02.01.2018-20.05.2023-XNUMX), International Shark Attack File Asia. [online] Retrieved on XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX, from URL:

Neren Diving Komodo (oD) Homepage of the diving school Neren. [online] Retrieved on 27.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX, from URL:

Putri Naga Komodo, the implementing unit of Komodo Collaborative Management Initiative (03.06.2017), Komodo National Park. [online] & Dive Sites in Komodo. [online] Retrieved on May 27.05.2023, 17.09.2023, from URL: & // Update September XNUMX, XNUMX: Sources no longer available.

Remo Nemitz (oD), Indonesia Weather & Climate: Climate table, temperatures and best travel time. [online] Retrieved on 27.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX, from URL:

Rome2Rio (undated), Bali to Labuan Bajo [online] Retrieved 27.05.2023-XNUMX-XNUMX, from URL:

SSI International (n.d.), Batu Bolong. [online] & Castle Rock. [online] & Crystal Rock [online] & Golden Passage & Manta Point / Makassar Reef. [online] & Mawan. [online] & Siaba Besar. & The Cauldron [online] Retrieved 30.04.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX, from URL: & & & & & & &

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