The Aurora phinisi explores the remote areas of Raja Ampat, North Sulawesi & Komodo. A bonus is the onboard marine biologists, dive masters & underwater photographers sharing their knowledge & passion
Explore some of the best dive sites in Indonesia with the luxurious Mermaid II yacht. Dive Raja Ampat, Komodo, Alor and Ambon then relax in style in one of 8 spacious cabins or large comfortable salon
- Free Nitrox
The Samambaia is a new traditional wooden Phinisi sailing yacht, catering for 14 guests in 6 cabins & 1 master cabin. She cruises to Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Alor and KomodoMV Samambaia
What To Expect on a Batu Balong Liveaboard
Batu Balong liveaboards visit the North-eastern end of the main Komodo Island in Indonesia. Batu Balong, also known as 'current city' is between the main island and the small islet of Tatawa. It is part of a group of small islands that sit between the islands of Rinca, Komodo and Flores in the heart of the Komodo National Park. The dive site itself, is a sea mount or pinnacle, formed due to volcanic activity in the area. The pinnacle goes down from the surface to well over 70 meters’ depth, with a large coral reef growing all over the top half. The area where Batu Balong is, is very exposed and experiences some extreme currents, sometimes up to several knots.
These phenomenal currents bring with them plankton rich water from the deep ocean. This means that the coral and pelagic fish life here is spectacular, the reef at Batu Balong is a humming metropolis of fish, critters and even sharks. The conditions here can be difficult and this is a dive that is only really for experienced divers. It is also worth noting that depending on the tide and the state of the current, it can sometimes be impossible to dive at this site. Your liveaboard dive crew will assess the conditions to determine if suitable for diving.
What You Can See
Batu Balong sits atop the list of liveaboard dive sites in Komodo largely, because of the sheer variety and abundance of life on the reef. It’s no exaggeration to say that he visibility is often 20 meters and above, but it is sometimes reduced, by the huge numbers of fish buzzing around the reef! There is always something going on here, with critters peeking out from every piece of coral, and reef fish feeding in huge numbers. Naturalists will be in heaven with so many amazing creatures all bustling about. You can even spot sea snakes winding through the corals searching for food.
Crevices and overhangs can be homes to lionfish and even white and black tipped reef sharks sleeping until dusk. Huge napoleon wrasses are also a common sight along with hawksbill turtles, which enjoy resting and grazing on the reef.
The turtles here are fairly relaxed about divers and it is possible to get quite close to them and get some great videos. If you look over the side in the blue you can also see surgeonfish and giant trevallies hunting. With all of this going on there will never be a dull moment on your liveaboard dive cruise and so much to be photographed, your memory card might just run dry.
Getting To Batu Balong
Batu Balong is to the North East of Komodo and around an hour by boat from Labuan Bajo on Flores Island, or several days’ sail from Bali. It is possible to take a day boat if you are restricted on time but the most popular way to visit Batu Balong is a diving liveaboard. Diving cruises in Komodo come in many shapes and sizes, from a few days to two weeks long.
When it comes to boats, there is something to suit all kinds of tastes and budgets. Customised motor vessels offer a slick diving experience and comfortable accommodation. The most popular diving cruises however, are aboard traditional Indonesian sailing boats. These beautiful ships offer a unique authentic experience with traditional food and a peaceful sail.
Most Indonesian liveaboards embark at either Bali or from Labuan Bajo on Flores Island. Many of them start at one and end at the other, so as not to waste time in transit which means more diving! Bali International airport offers flights from many major airports and connecting flights on to Labuan Bajo.
Batu Balong Diving Reviews
5 StarDiving Batu Balong in October on the Kira Kira Liveaboard
Strong currents, lots to seeDiving Batu Balong in June on the Black Manta Liveaboard
Muy bienDiving Batu Balong in July on the Mermaid II