Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo
Komodo National Park in Indonesia boasts world-class diving for experts and neophytes alike. As a liveaboard, we offer access to highly experienced diving instructors. At Samata, we have a keen awareness of the local dive sites, what makes them unique, when and how to dive them and the kinds of marine life likely to be encountered. Listing the Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo is no easy feat. The list below are our personal favourite sites to explore and make up our Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo.
Castle Rock comes in at number 1 on our Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo list. Located on the north side of Komodo Island and Gili Lawa Laut is a seamount teeming with life such as sharks, giant trevally, massive schools of fusiliers and surgeonfish. On occasion, you may catch a sighting of dolphin pods and sailfish. This is one of the most exciting dive sites in all of Komodo National Park because the natural wonder and liveliness of this site gets your adrenaline pumping. In calmer moments, you have the opportunity to notice all the little details.
It’s a bit like being on a movie set when the director yells “cut!” The hustle and bustle of the underworld production comes to a halt for a short break. You could imagine a director yelling “Action,” promoting the sea and its creatures to continue in a kaleidoscopic frenzy.
We can dive Castle rock with either a falling tide, rising tide or slack tide. Personally, we love to dive this site on a rising tide, which means entering on the east side of the site with current pushing west.
What you can expect to see at this dive site are huge schools of surgeon fish and fusilier. Big-eyed jacks, giant trevally, sharks and occasionally, even dolphins. When the trevally are hunting, you can hear this loud “swoosh”, which is extremely exhilarating.
Second on the list of Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo National park is Shotgun. Located on the north side between Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa darat, if dived at the right time, this site has the potential to become one of the most exciting dives you could ever make. Ideally we dive this site at a falling tide.
You can expect to see seafans, large sponge coral, balmies teeming with life and vibrant soft coral, which is illuminated against the sand when the light hits it. During this dive, we travel to a spectacular formation we call “The Cauldron” which goes down to about 20-22 metres. This dive site is predominantly focused on the happenings in the open water and often times we’ll catch a glimpse of some mantas.
#3 Crystal Rock
Number 3 on our list is Crystal Rock located on the north side of Komodo Island just off of Gili lawa Laut. Crystal Rock contains two unique seamounts that bursts with life. We love to dive this site on a rising tide and so, we enter from the East side.
Upon entering the water, we immediately begin to go down. On this dive, you can expect to see huge schools of fusilier and jacks, tuna, sweet lips and of course, our favourite, sharks. Out in the blue, it’s common to spot grey reef sharks swimming about. This site boasts an abundance of colour in the form of hard and soft coral.
#4 Manta Alley
Coming in at number 4 on our Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo list is Manta Alley, a dive site located at the south side of the Komodo National Park. Being located on the south side means cold water, it’s typically very verdant with an abundance of nutrients and life. As the name of the site suggests, this site is famed for its community of mantas. In the past, we’ve seen anywhere from 15-20 manta rays.
In the late afternoon, these magnificent creatures typically feed and it’s an incredible scene to witness. Manta rays are said to have the largest brain of any “fish” in the sea, this means they are quite intelligent and very curious, particularly if they don’t feel threatened. It’s important that we as divers do our best to keep out of their way, if they feel scared, they disappear and of course we lose the opportunity to see them. It’s not uncommon, especially if we do not invade their space, for mantas to approach divers. On our dives in the past, we’ve had people share a unique connection with these incredible creatures.
#5 Cannibal Rock
Rounding out our list of the Top 5 Dive Sites in Komodo is Cannibal Rock. This is a seamount located in the southern part of the island perfect for macro diving – a term used to describe dives that don’t focus on “the big stuff” but instead draw attention to sea critters such as pipe fish, frog fish and adorable little pigmy seahorses.
This site may be dived at rising tide, falling tide or slack tide and our entry point will vary depending on the strength of the current.
One of the highlights of this area in particular is the chance to spot Komodo Dragons out in the wild on the way to the site.
We’re always interested to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve had the chance to explore these dive sites in the past. If you have any questions or are interested in diving the Komodo region, don’t be shy, get