Skip to Content

Complete Guide to Dive Komodo Island Indonesia

In this guide to diving in Komodo National Park we discuss the best dive sites (we dived 10 different sites), the prices, operators, live aboard diving or staying on the island and options to dive from Flores, marine life in the park, best season for divers and Labuanbajo accommodation, food and things to do. The park is accessed by most from Labuanbajo on Flores Island. Reaching Labuanbajo from Bali is easy, check out our Complete Bali Diving Guide for everything you need to know about diving from this popular island. Bali has some very nice diving, seeing the massive oceanic sunfish around Nusa Penida is really special and diving on the USAT Liberty wreck at Tulamben on the main island is an amazing shore dive.

Komodo National Park includes three large islands; Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and also include many little islands to cover a total area of more than 1,800 km2 of ocean and land.

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo Dragon and its habitat.

This massive conservation area also protects a variety of other terrestrial species and today is well known to include one of the richest marine environments in the world.

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

Diving at Komodo there is a variety of fish an aquarium can never duplicate. Crystal Rock

Indonesia is probably the best country in the world for diving and Komodo National Park is definitely one of the dive highlights in this underwater paradise. The amount and variety of fish is unreal, millions of reef fish of all shapes, colors and sizes, 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. Komodo is mainly about the big stuff, but do not underestimate the macro life in the park, we saw some amazing things; blue ringed octopus, sea horse, crocodile fish and more.

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

After spending a lot of time diving in South East Asia my two favorite places are Komodo in Indonesia and around Mabul and Sipadan in Malaysia.

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, 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 was 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
    • 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.
    • Wet season is Manta Season!! You can see mantas all year, but 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, late November we had plenty of mantas and good diving conditions.
  • Diving in the Dry Season
    • April to November period is considered 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.
Manta Ray coming our way at The Cauldron. dive Komodo
Manta Ray coming our way at The Cauldron.

Liveaboard diving or dive from Labuanbajo

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 is fairly spread out, making this a great area to explore by live aboard.  You can dive most of the sights you will dive by live aboard on day trips from Labuanbajo, this option is cheaper. Diving can definitely be done on a much lower budget from shore than from a liveaboard. Liveaboards start at about $180 per day compared to diving from shore starting at $90, add budget living costs it will be about $120. The live aboard experience is just something amazing and I think definitely worth the extra expense.

Read the fine print! On most of these vessels Dive Equipment, All National Park Fees & harbor fees (Komodo National Park approx. 100 USD pp) and a long distance fuel charge of around $150 is not included

Why dive Komodo National Park from a liveaboard?

  • 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 role 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 worlds best sites after breakfast and then all day…

Why we love diving around Komodo Island! ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

Budget Liveaboard Komodo National Park Tour

On my first visit to Flores Island a budget liveaboard trip in Komodo National Park, that was not a diving trip and such a great time! These are not dive boats, but just a boat exploring the park, going to unreal deserted little islands, snorkeling and off course trekking to view the Komodo dragons. During this 3-day, 2-night boat tour, swim and snorkel at pristine beaches. Visit Kelor Island, Rinca Island, Pink Beach, and more famous spots and witness spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Includes hotel pick up within Labuan Bajo, and have your choice of shared or private boat tour. For about a $150 this trip is basic, but expect an awesome adventure!

Komodo budget liveaboard trip

Want to explore Komodo National park for one day from Labuanbajo?

Go on a shared or private open-deck boat or speedboat tour, see komodo dragons, enjoy swimming and snorkeling, and go hiking in experience pristine islands, clear waters, and wildlife with a local guide. Privately chartered boat possible, includes hotel pick up within Labuan Bajo

Komodo Liveaboard Diving

There are liveaboards at a huge variety of budgets operating around Komodo, before you book do research and read reviews on the boats. We did not dive from these boats, but did a little bit of homework for you to help you pick.

Budget liveaboard diving Komodo

Dragon Dive, Indonesia

Want to get a taste of a liveaboard, this is the lowest budget you can do it on with dormitory accommodation or cabins available on the boat and doing shorter trips. Can not even do day trips with food and accommodation for this price. For details or booking Dragon Dive Komodo

  • from US$ 121 / day (3D/2N and longer)
  • sundeck has comfortable loungers and hammocks
  • all trips go and see the dragons on Rinca Island
  • cabins features air-conditioning and private en-suite bathrooms
Manta Ray

Empress II Liveaboard, Indonesia 

For details or booking MV Empress II

  • $186/day (8D/7N)
  • Excellent Dive reviews
  • Nitrox available
  • Excellent boat reviews
  • maximum of 9 divers,
  • there are twin cabbins with AC and portholes

Medium budget Komodo liveaboard

The Lady Denok Yacht

For details or booking Lady Denok Liveaboard

  • from US$ 265 / day
  • Sailing to Komodo between June and August
  • up to 12 divers
  • comfortable, air-conditioned, en-suite cabins
  • indoor salon with entertainment system, or sundeck with comfortable outdoor lounge area
  • Fresh meals are cooked by the on-board chef
  • free internet
  • boat well suited for photographers

Do it in Style

The Sea Safari 6 Liveaboard

For details or booking Sea Safari VI

  • from US$ 342 / day
  •  luxury Phinisi vessel, scheduling year round trips
  • air-conditioned restaurant and lounge area
  • stunning outside bar area
  • Laundry service
  • Photographic station

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

Dive qualifications needed for diving in Komodo National Park

There are many sites 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 some beautiful spots and see incredible things with an open water qualification (18m max), look at my dive log for Komodo below. Your dive operator should only take you on dives suited for your experience level. They will look at this and place you in a suitable dive group. Don’t be shy to discuss issues around this and group size with them before you go on the dive.

Dive Insurance

It is important to have insurance when traveling, especially if you are doing adventure activities with risk involved. If you need evacuation or decompression treatment it can be very costly. Make sure you take out the appropriate cover. Get a online quote in seconds. Have your trip, your health and your gear covered, read the small print. World Nomads Diving Insurance

dive komodo
Dive at Komodo with a Big Moray Eel at Batu Bolong.

Dive Centers for Komodo National Park Scuba Diving

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

I dived with the well-known Komodo Dive Center during my first visit, the service was excellent, dive leaders great and I had a fantastic time.

Upon my return to Labuanbajo I shopped around and found lower pricing and a schedule that suited us better with Divers Paradise Komodo. All aspects of diving; the boats, dive leaders and overall experience was similar to what I had with Komodo Dive Center. It was great that Divers Paradise had a schedule that we could plan according to. I know conditions change, but it was nice that the daily dive schedule was set out a week before, conditions depending and not dictated by which sites were previously dived by divers in the group.

Cost of Diving around Komodo

Prices for a full dive day (3 dives) from Labuanbajo all inclusive (gear, lunch etc.)

  • Komodo Dive Center              Rp. 1.500.000/ US$113
  • Blue Marlin Komodo               Rp. 2.000.000/ US$151
  • Divers Paradise Komodo        Rp. 1.100 000/ US$83

The prices above do not include the park fees; week day IDR 175,000 Sunday and public holidays IDR 250,000. Komodo Dive Center and Divers Paradise Komodo both used slow boats, I enjoyed the long dive days on the boat, we had unlimited free coffee and tea and snacks, fruit and a very nice lunch everyday. Blue Marlin uses speed boats with obvious advantages of getting to the dive sites first.

It was Alya’s first visit to the park and she opted to visit Rinca island and see the dragons on the last day replacing one dive, additional fee for the park guide IDR 65 000.

Huge Komodo Dragon, Rinca Island.

Komodo National Park Dive Sites (dive log)

BATU BOLONG (rock with a hole in it)

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

This was our favourite 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 swims 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 Komodo
Dive Komodo Big Moray Eel at Batu Bolong.

Looking closer to the rock there were turtles, moray eels, stone fish and a variety of nudibranches. 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.


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

One of the most dived sites in the park. Your best chance to dive with manta rays, sometimes schooling in the area! We saw two eagle rays majestically flying over the reef, for me the most graceful of all rays.

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. 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 season but many groups saw 4 or 5 mantas. We had zero current and saw only one manta for a short while.


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

Our favorite site in the north. Large see mound, beautiful soft corals. Many black tip reef sharks. Huge dog tooth tuna.

Site with the most huge trevallies, came very close. Big Napoleon wrasse, many sweetlips, batfish, butterfly fish and blue spot trevallies.


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

Close to Rinca Island, usually dived as an alternative to the Rinca dragon hike. Classic muck diving site, flat sandy bottom some awesome unique things to discover, a good guide helps. We saw a sea horse and my first blue ring octopus!

Dive Komodo Blue Ringed Octopus, Wae Nilo, Komodo National Park


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

Sea mound, good viz, lots of fish, big trevallies


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

Amazing Dive! Greeted by large manta ray! Sloping reef, sand patch followed by nice drift dive through a channel. Nice fish life, Giant Trevallies, sweetlips, schools of batfish, large groupers, one or two turtles

A very friendly manta swimming around us at The Cauldron.


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 GT’s, huge Napoleon wrasse, snappers, breams, Bluefin trevallies, many damsel fish, sweetlips, white tip reef sharks, large cuttlefish, blue spotted stingray, leafy scorpion fish.


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

Drift dive in the channel Gili Lawa Darat and Komodo Island. Nice chilled out drift dive in slow current. Beautiful corals. Big turtle, many sweetlips, a white and a green leafy scorpion fish, blue spotted stingrays. Many small reef fish.

Cuttlefish, the king of camouflage showing off at Tatawa Besar.


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

Nice reef, slow current. Nice macro stuff; frogfish, leafy scorpionfish, nudis, scorpionfish. Some blue spotted trevallies, blue spotted stingray, small reef fish.

There are plenty of live aboard boats that operate in Komodo National Park and this is an awesome way of exploring the dive sites in the park, check out this Live Aboard Guide for Diving in Komodo.

Getting to Labuanbajo


Getting from Lombok to Labuanbajo flying in is the easiest, Wings Air (Lionair) and some other budget airlines fly from Bali (Denpasar) to Labuan Bajo (Komodo Airport), daily, costing around $80 one-way or $150 return for a one hour flight. Jakarta to Komodo – Garuda flies daily from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo (2.5 hours) about $175 one-way and $350 return, PT Nam flies with a stop over in Bali

By Bus

You can take a bus-ferry combination from Lombok or Gili Trawangan and costs about $40, we came by bus and ferry booking everything ourselves, this is the cheapest way at $23/IDR310 000. See our detailed guide 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, you buy your own beer and snacks before and take it along, food is not in abundance on the budget trip, so I would recommend lots of snacks. You stop on beautiful islands, swim with mantas and swim in phosphorescence at night I did this 3 years ago it was a lot of fun and really beautiful and costs about IDR 1 500 000/$115.

White Tip Reef Shark
White Tip Reef Shark

Accommodation in Labuanbajo

On a budget – One Tree Hill Hostel Nice location out of the main town,  air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi. Good deal with dorm beds starting at $7.

Ciao Hostel – favorite under backpackers,  little outside the main city, nice with breathtaking views, amazing food, and a fleet of wonderful staff and fellow travellers. The upper deck is beautiful. Movie nights lots of activities, from snorkeling and diving trips, to laundry and shuttle bus.

Medium budget Flores XPirates KomodoWant to do something different? “this is the “lower budget” paradise island resort any traveller, and especially diver just could imagine.- quote from a very happy German guest. 1 minute walk from the beach. Offering a garden and sun terrace, Flores Xpirates Dive Camp is set in Sebayur Island, near Komodo National Park. Island is located close to prominent dive sites in the park, house reef for diving. Nice place to do your Padi openwater course. Check the photos it looks amazing!

Treat yourself  – Puri Sari Beach Hotel Lovely comfortable rooms with huge bed for a great nights sleep, in beautiful grounds. Your room comes with a nice patio or balcony. Gorgeously friendly staff and fantastic food menu.

Non-diving activities around Labuanbajo 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 offers 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

Disclosure: Stingy Nomads take part in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs. We earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to these sites. If you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. Thank You!

Please follow and like us:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.