Banta Island – Destination Spotlight
Everyone knows the Komodo National Park, a vast protected area off the western end of Flores. Although there are many amazing encounters to be had in the park, it’s not the only area of interest nearby. The island of Banta lies midway between Komodo island and Sumbawa and is a destination all its own.
Banta is an ancient volcano that lies a few miles from the Komodo National Park. Although it’s close by, it’s not included within the park boundaries. The shape of the island itself is distinctive with a large bay in the north and long fingers and narrow bays in the south. The large bay in the north is the result of the collapsed crater of this ancient volcano. The volcano itself is not active and there is no evidence of activity within the last 10,000 years. However, the walls of the northern bay are the perfect visual representation of a volcanic crater. It’s fascinating to be anchored in the bay and visualizing just how large the crater is.
Banta Island Geography
The southern bays look vastly different than the north. They resemble miniature fjords with narrow bays with hills rising all around. They are also home to beautiful beaches with easy access. The valleys are safe to explore as there are no dragons on this island, it’s too far from Komodo. Walking does require good shoes and long pants however, the grass can be long and may scratch your legs.
The west side of the island features two of the best beaches in the entire region. These long white sand beaches are perfect for a beach set up or simply relaxing. No people live on Banta and therefore there is rarely anyone else on the beach. The beaches are surrounded by some of the most beautiful corals in all of Indonesia. The snorkeling here is simply breathtaking and we highly encourage it as an activity.
Activities in Banta Island
The large, protected bays in Banta allow for a variety of different activities. The size of the bays means they are often protected from wind and waves and provide the perfect conditions for water sports. As the island is outside of the national park, activities such as wakeboarding and water skiing are permitted. The southern bays offer a great opportunity to explore them with a paddle board or kayak. This is a great way to beach comb and look for mysterious treasures washed up by the tides. However, do keep in mind that strong currents can be found around the island and it’s important to stay close to shore.
The diving in Banta is incredible. There are a variety of sites from easy coral gardens to fast moving wall dives. Several sites feature manta ray cleaning stations and encountering these incredible animals is a true highlight. One thing to keep in mind is the ability and experience of divers. As several of the sites here are advanced sites, choosing the correct site is important based on ability. For those who enjoy night dives, there is a very interesting night dive in the north bay. This sandy slope features a lot of stargazers and an intelligent group of lion fish that love to hunt using divers lights.
Banta truly is one of our favorite cruising destinations. Many Komodo cruises don’t include Banta which means it is a quiet destination away from others. We love the isolation of the island as we often have the entire place to ourselves. The remote feeling of this beautiful island is one of the greatest attractions for cruising. We would love to introduce you to this hidden gem, please Contact Us today to discuss your trip of a lifetime on a private luxury yacht.