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Complete Guide to Dive Komodo Island Indonesia 2023

In this guide to diving in Komodo National Park, we discuss the best dive sites, dive operators, liveaboard diving, marine life, and options to dive from Flores Island. In this magical part of the Coral Triangle, you can expect to see the most wonderful organisms, from massive manta rays, dugongs, giant trevallies, sunfish (mola mola), white tip reef sharks to amazing tiny critters like the poisonous blue-ringed octopus, the pygmy seahorse, frogfish and spectacular hard corals. The park is accessed by most from Labuan Bajo on Flores Island. Reaching Labuan Bajo from Bali is easy, check out our Complete Bali Diving Guide for everything you need to know about diving from this popular island.

For more about traveling and exploring the island see our Komodo Island and Flores complete guide

fish and colorful reef at crystal rock diving komodo island
A spectacular variety of marine life diving Crystal Rock close to Komodo Island.

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park includes three large islands; Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, and also includes many little islands to cover a total area of about 1,800 km2.  In 1991 the Komodo national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Park is home to more than 4,000 dragons and is located in the Coral Triangle which contains some of the richest marine biodiversity on Earth, prepare yourself for unreal diving. Located in the Indian Ocean the park is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Highlights of Scuba Diving Komodo Island

Indonesia is probably the best country in the world for diving around Komodo island is definitely one of the dive highlights in this underwater paradise. The amount and variety of fish are unreal, millions of reef fish of all shapes, colors, and sizes, and plenty of massive pelagic fish and sharks hunting in crystal clear water on the pristine coral reefs. The highlights for most that visit the park are the massive manta rays gliding around underwater and the Komodo Dragons walking on Komodo and Rinca islands. Diving here is mainly about the big stuff, but do not underestimate the macro life in the park, we saw some amazing things; a blue-ringed octopus, seahorse, crocodile fish, pygmy seahorse, and more.

We have spent plenty of time exploring different islands around Indonesia, and seeing what we think is All the Best Diving Around Indonesia.

Liveaboard diving or diving from Labuan Bajo?

The Komodo National Park is located within the Lesser Sunda Islands and includes Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and 26 small islands. The sites in the park are fairly spread out, making this a great area to explore by liveaboard.  You can dive into most of the sights you will dive by liveaboard on day trips from Labuan Bajo, this option is cheaper. 

Why dive into Komodo National Park from a liveaboard?

  • Liveaboard boats dive sites in Komodo National Park that are far from Labuan Bajo and difficult to reach on day trips.
  • You will be at the dive sites first, while hundreds of divers are heading to the dive sites on slow boats, you are already in the water before other divers scare your fish away!
  • (diving is often dictated by current and tides, thus sometimes being there first won’t get you in the water first) still nice to wake up on the dive site and roll into the water after breakfast!
  • Night dives, everything is different at night and it is amazing to be able to dive these far-off sites at night
  • It is awesome, what can be better than living on a boat for a couple of days, waking up and diving some of the world’s best sites after breakfast and then all day…

Komodo Liveaboard Diving Boats Worth Booking

There are liveaboards at a huge variety of budgets operating around Komodo, before you book do research and read reviews on the boats. Here are some excellent Liveaboard options for diving in Komodo National Park.

manta ray indonesia
Manta Ray.

For fantastic deals on liveaboard trips in Komodo National Park in 2023 Check out these boats:

More Komodo Liveaboard Deals for 2023!

Komodo National Park Dive Sites (our dive log)

Batu Bolong (rock with a hole in it)

Max Depth 30m, Avg Depth 14m, viz 25m, temp 27C

Batu Bolong is our favorite dive in Komodo National Park. Descending in the crystal clear water next to this rock it feels like you are in an aquarium.

Massive schools of small zebra fish and a variety of colorful fish swim close to the surface. We saw massive greater barracuda, giant trevally, schools of blue spot trevally, tuna, and a variety of pelagics hunting around the rock.

dive batu bolong komodo island
Thousands of fish on the reef diving Batu Bolong Komodo Island.

Looking closer to the rock there were hawksbill turtles, moray eels, stone fish, and a variety of nudibranchs. The rock drops down to 70m in at about 30m when looking down there were reef sharks and a variety of big wrasse, including a massive Napoleon swimming around. Nice deeper diving for the experienced diver. This dive spot is one of the best dives to start your day on a liveaboard trip. 

The Cauldron

Max Depth 29m, Avg Depth 11.2m, viz 20m, temp 27C

Amazing Dive! Good visibility. Greeted by a large manta ray! Sloping reef, sand patch followed by a nice drift dive through a channel. Nice fish life, Giant Trevallies, sweetlips, schools of batfish, large groupers, moray eels, nudibranchs, and big hawksbill turtles.

dive the cauldron komodo national park
Manta Ray coming our way at The Cauldron dive site, Komodo Island.

Manta Point (Makassar Reef)

Max Depth 15m, Avg Depth 10m, viz 20m, temp 27C

Manta Point (also known as Makassar Reef) is one of the most dived sites in the park. This is the best place to dive with manta rays, sometimes schooling in the area! Manta Point is a cleaning station where Manta Rays come to get their parasites removed. Manta Alley is the other well-known cleaning station in the park. We also saw two eagle rays majestically flying over the reef, for me the most graceful of all rays. These cleaning stations are drift dives in shallow waters with some rocky outcrops. On a good day, your dive guide will lead you to some great interactions in the crystal-clear waters of this great place. 

You can see them here all year round, but the best season for mantas is from December to February when you can have 20 or 30 of these giants circling you! It is a very flat, shallow site with small rocks covering the bottom. The current here can be very strong and some groups use reef hooks to remain in one position, hovering in the current while looking at the mantas. We were very unlucky, in August it was not the season but many groups saw 4 or 5 mantas. We had zero current and saw only one manta for a short while.

Manta Bay and Manta Point at Nusa Penida in Bali were two excellent spots for snorkeling with manta rays where we were swimming with loads of large mantas in Indonesia during our last visit to Komodo Island.

Crystal Rock

Max Depth 28m, Avg Depth 17m, viz 20m, temp 28C

Crystal Rock is a great dive site in north Komodo. Large see mound, covered in beautiful soft corals, and hard corals. Many black tip reef sharks. Huge dog tooth tuna. Strong currents are common, and dive conditions are more suited for advanced divers.

The site with the best chance to see huge trevallies, many came very close to us. Big Napoleon wrasse, many sweetlips, batfish, butterfly fish, and blue spot trevallies.

diver with manta ray at The Cauldron, Komodo Island
Diving with manta rays at The Cauldron dive site, Komodo Island.

Wae Nilo

Max Depth 19m, Avg Depth 14m, viz 8m, temp 27C

Close to Rinca Island, usually dived as an alternative to the Rinca dragon hike to see the famous Komodo Dragons. Classic muck diving site with, flat sandy bottom and some awesome unique things to discover, the best way to explore this site is with a good guide. We saw a sea horse and my first blue-ring octopus!

Castle Rock

Max Depth 27m, Avg Depth 13.9m, viz 20m, temp 27C

Castle Rock is a large rock coming up to 4m on the surface. One of the most popular komodo dive sites.  The dive starts in open water with a quick descent, there are strong currents. Plenty of white tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, giant trevally, and barracudas. Dolphins are often seen here. The dive site is more suitable for seasoned divers. 

Tatawa Besar

Max Depth 19m, Avg Depth 11.2m, viz 20m, temp 28C

Awesome drift dive, beautiful hard and soft corals. Amazing reef covered in fish at 10-20m depth, Great dive, Big GTs, huge Napoleon wrasse, snappers, breams, Bluefin trevallies, many damsel fish, sweetlips, white tip sharks, large cuttlefish, blue spotted stingray, leafy scorpion fish. A favorite dive spot for many scuba divers. 

Golden Passage

Max Depth 16m, Avg Depth 9m, viz 20m, temp 28C

Golden Passage is a drift dive in the channel Gili Lawa Darat and Komodo Island. Popular with dive boats. Often dived on day dives by dive schools from Flores Island. Nice chilled-out drift dive in the slow current. Beautiful corals. Big turtle, many sweetlips, a white and a green leafy scorpion fish, and blue spotted stingrays. Many small reef fish.

cuttle fish diving at tatawa besar, komodo island
Cuttlefish, the king of camouflage showing off at Tatawa Besar, Komodo island.

Siyaba Kecil

Max Depth 22m, Avg Depth 13m, viz 20m, temp 28C

Nice reef, slow current. Some of the best things to see here are the nice macro stuff; frogfish, leafy scorpionfish, different amazing nudibranchs, and scorpionfish. Some blue spotted trevallies, blue spotted stingrays, and small reef fish.

Komodo Dragon Tour

Excellent rate Komodo Dragon Tour – Boat trip from Labuan Bajo exploring the islands of the Komodo National Park. Trek on the volcanic islands Komodo Island and Padar Island and see the Komodo Dragons. Your boat will do multiple stops to swim and snorkel including Manta Point and Pink Beach. Includes hotel pickup and drop off.

Best time to dive Komodo Island

Komodo National Park experiences a wet season and a dry season. Reading about diving conditions in Komodo does not make it easier with so much contradicting information, I believe you can dive all year round.

  • Our personal experience, in late November, was really good we had good diving every day and we were surrounded by plenty of mantas at Manta Point. In August we also had great diving, the weather was good, viz good, I saw a blue ring octopus in the south, but we saw very few mantas, only 2 in a week of diving.
  • Diving in the Wet Season
    • The wet season generally runs from December until March, Jan/ Feb there is a lot of rain, not always pleasant.
    • January to March can have rough surface conditions at the northern dive sites.
    • The rainy season is Manta Season!! You can see mantas all year, but the peak season to see mantas is December to February when you can have more than 10 mantas circling you
    • Visibility is best from November to January, in late November we had plenty of mantas and good diving conditions.
  • Diving in the Dry Season
    • April to November period is considered a dry season when the weather is at its best.
    • May/June & September/October is rated by many as the best diving conditions.
    • July and August can have rough seas in the south and Rinca.

Komodo Island Diving Conditions

Water temperatures vary between a minimum of around 80.1°F / 26.7°C in the coldest month of July to an average water temperature of 80.1°F / 26.7°C in the warmest month of December. 

North Komodo has an average water temperature of 27-28°C (81-82°F), and good visibility in the range of 15-40m (average 25m), Central Komodo has an average water temperature of 27-28°C (81-82°F) in the surrounding waters, visibility is in the range of 7-30m (average 15m), and South Komodo has an average water temperature of 23-24°C (73-74°F ), and visibility is in the range of  7 to 20m (average 12m).

Going on a dive trip? – Dive Trip Packing List+Tips

Dive qualifications needed for diving in Komodo National Park

There are many sites in Komodo National Park with varying experience required. Some sites do have strong currents and down currents do sometimes occur. Experience is essential to dive here. You can dive into some beautiful spots and see incredible things with an open water qualification (18m max). Your dive operator should only take you on dives suited to your experience level. Don’t be shy to discuss issues around this and group size with them before you go on the dive.

Dive Insurance

If you need evacuation or decompression treatment following diving in remote location can be very costly. For simple and flexible travel insurance on your next dive trip check out World Nomads. Get an online quote here.

World Nomads
moray eel swimming at batu bolong while diving around komodo island
Dive Komodo Big Moray Eel at Batu Bolong.

Dive Centers for Komodo National Park Scuba Diving

There are many dive operators in Labuanbajo, and several well-known franchise operators are also present elsewhere in South East Asia, e.g. Blue Marlin Dive Center and Scuba Junkie.

We had some great diving with local operators Komodo Dive Center and Divers Paradise Komodo at a great price.

Huge male dragon, Rinca Island, Indonesia

Getting to Labuanbajo


Getting from Lombok to Labuanbajo flying in is the easiest,  budget airlines fly from Bali (Denpasar) to Labuan Bajo (Komodo Airport). Flights are also available from Jakarta to Komodo.

Check here for Flight Deals – Bali to Labuan Bajo

By Bus

You can take a bus-ferry combination from Lombok or Gili Trawangan. This is the cheapest way, but is quite a long trip. See our detailed guide on how to get from Bali to Flores

By Boat

Taking a 3-day boat trip is popular, this is really budget with the boat cruising along for 3 days. I loved this trip, but it is quite a hardcore backpacker’s adventure on a low budget.

white tip reef sharks komodo island
white tip reef shark

Accommodation in Labuanbajo

On a budget – La Boheme Bajo

Medium budgetGolo Hilltop Hotel & Restaurant

Treat yourself Sudamala Resort, Komodo

Non-diving activities around Labuan Bajo and Komodo

Diving was our main reason for traveling here, but there are many other things to do around this beautiful area.

  • See the Komodo dragons on Komodo and Rinca island
  • Go for a day trip to the beautiful Padar island and tackle a steep hike to the amazing viewpoints
  • Go island hopping, spend a day on Kanawa island
  • Rent a scooter and drive around Flores, there are some amazing waterfalls to see
  • Visit Sano Nggoang Lake
  • Hike Kelimutu Volcano
  • See thousands of bats migrating from Kalong Island
  • See our Complete guide to visiting Flores and Komodo

South East Asia Diving Resources

The 17 000 islands of Indonesia offer some amazing sites and an unreal variety of fantastic diving. Bali is the most touristy island and Nusa Penida is a great spot to see Manta Rays all year round directly from Bali. See different options for how to get from Bali to Flores

The massive island Sulawesi is a great spot for diving with some of the best muck diving in the world in the Lembeh strait, some great diving in the lesser explored Bira, and a fantastic off-the-beaten-track island adventure in the Togian islands.

For a lesser explored island with good diving, Pulau Weh near Sumatra is a good place to go.

There is great diving all over South East Asia, if you want to do your open water course or advanced check out our article on the Best Dive Schools on Koh Tao, Thailand. The Perhentian Islands in Malaysia is another fantastic spot for dive training, chilling on the beach with some great dive spots.

Swimming with the massive, gentle whale sharks is a bucket list item for many people and the Philippines is one of the best places in the world to go, for our experience see our articles on Swimming with Whale Sharks in The Philippines and a review on swimming with whale sharks in Oslob in the Philippines.


Diving Komodo Island Indonesia pin

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Rod Doddridge

Wednesday 25th of December 2019

We arrive in Denpasar 4/4/20 for ten days and are looking to dive at Komodo Park - maybe a live aboard with private bathroom for a couple of days and then shore dives. We would also like to see the dragons

Stingy Nomads

Wednesday 1st of January 2020

Hello Rod, many of the liveaboards around Indonesia go to Raja Ampat this time of the year, but check out this one, sounds great, reviews look good Safe diving!

Tamlyn Cohen

Monday 1st of October 2018

Hello ? I just did some dives in komodo and the boat from Labuan to lombok. and now debating whether to dive in Pulua weh as it’s beginning of rainy season or to head to Lake Toba. How do the dives compare ? Would you say the island is a MUST visit

Stingy Nomads

Monday 1st of October 2018

Hello, Tamlyn! Pulau Weh is a nice island with good diving but it can't be compared with Komodo, it's more like Perhentian island in Malaysia or some islands in Thailand. We were there in dry season but if it rains there is not much to do there. I liked Toba lake, it's a very beautiful area more of a relaxing place. If you go to the lake stay on Samosir island. Cheers!


Monday 25th of June 2018

Hi. Quick question: where did you find the liveaboard prices for those 3 centres? I've been trying to find budget options and those ones are far cheaper than others I have seen. Thanks for the informative article!

Stingy Nomads

Monday 25th of June 2018

Hello Becky, thanks for reading. This is the prices I saw when at the centers. The prices is not for liveaboards it is for a full day at sea with 3 dives, it included gear, snacks, coffee etc. I just checked online and see prices increased a bit since I wrote the article, about $5 to $10 I will update the article. Safe Travels


Thursday 17th of May 2018

Hi!! this is a really informative site! thanks for that... just wondering... im planning to go the first week of September... is easy to book the diving trips with the agency you recommend? I mean you don't have to make a reservation in advance or something? I'm very curious about everything around Flores.

Stingy Nomads

Saturday 19th of May 2018

Hello Roxana, thanks for reading, September is not high season, I think if you arrive without booking you should easily get a spot on a boat. If you want to make 100% sure you can email the operator before you go. Every time we went there, we could dive with all the operators we went to.

Stuart Forster

Sunday 26th of November 2017

I love the format you use to provide information. It makes your site a useful resource for travellers interested in diving. I'd love to dive off the Komodo Islands!

Stingy Nomads

Monday 27th of November 2017

Thanks Stuart, glad you enjoy our site! I recommend diving around Komodo, it is truly world class. Fairly easy to reach, plenty of good operators which makes the prices competitive and spectacular diving!

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