Liveaboard Diving in Komodo National Park

What to expect on a Komodo National Park liveaboard

Liveaboard diving in Komodo National Park consists of itineraries to the main islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and Flores along with numerous smaller islands in the Lesser Sunda Islands in the centre of the Indonesian Islands. It covers an area of 1,733 km2 more than half of which is a marine park. The park was originally designated as a protected area in 1980 to preserve its namesake inhabitants the Komodo Dragon and is now home to amazing Komodo dive cruises.

Six years later UNESCO declared the area a Biosphere and World Heritage Site in order to protect all of the unique flora and fauna living on the 29 islands in the park, to now offer some of the best liveaboard diving in Indonesia. On land, Komodo is home to several species that only live on these islands such as the rinca rat and the komodo cross frog. There are also cloud forests in the higher regions which support a range of rare fauna and many Komodo itineraries also offer land-based trips to see these amazing sights.

The terrestrial flora and fauna are however considered less plentiful that the aquatic life of Komodo. The waters around the islands are also protected by the national park with numerous mangrove forests with unique ecosystems and aquatic life. The presence of reef-building corals and abundant pelagic life also make this place unique. Mantas are frequent visitors along with mola mola, a variety of dolphins and whales and the occasional whale shark. On land and underwater Komodo is a naturalist’s paradise with fantastic topography and landscapes with sweeping bays, volcanic hills, and even a pink sand beach. Dive cruises in Komodo generally include at least an afternoon or day trip for a Komodo island tour to sneak in a Komodo Dragon sighting and see the beautiful flora and fauna.

Komodo National Park Underwater

Sailing in Komodo the waters are highly varied with beautiful stretches of shallow coral reefs, deep walls, and pinnacles, as well as current-swept volcanic mounts. The islands host a variety of different life as well. Macro lovers will find a wealth of critters such as shrimp, frogfish, and nudibranch. Being inside the coral triangle, diving in Komodo offers a wide variety of reefs that are humming with activity, it can be enough just to sit and watch the comings and goings. Komodo is home to several reef-building corals, hence its protected status.

If you are looking for something bigger then a Komodo dive cruise won’t disappoint. Mola mola are also frequent visitors to Komodo drawn by strong currents and rich waters. More occasional visitors are whales and dolphins which are attracted by the plankton-rich waters. There is even a small chance that you might see a whale shark passing by.

Mainly though, a Komodo liveaboard is the place to see mantas, in fact, if you are a little bit lucky you can even have the chance to see several mantas in one dive. The best time of year for seeing mantas is the rainy season between December and February although they are here year-round. The visibility is at its best in December and January with more than 30 meters in some areas, although the sea conditions can be a little rougher.

Guests aboard a Komodo National Park dive cruise can typically expect to do 3 - 4 dives per day, except for departure and return day. Itineraries run anywhere from 3 nights to 2 weeks, so there are dive safaris to suit everyone's budget and timeframes, and boats range from simple to high-end luxury.

Dive Sites Of Komodo National Park

A Komodo dive trip is undoubtedly the best way to experience the Komodo National park, which is blessed not only with abundant marine life but also a huge number and range of different dive sites.

BATU BALONG is one of the jewels in Komodo’s crown with the beautiful coral gardens simply humming with fish life. The strong currents and deep walls also offer the opportunity for big fish as well. Sharks and huge napoleon wrasse can be seen in these deeper waters offering photographers the chance to get some amazing shots.

MANTA ALLEY - Many divers come to Komodo to see the mantas though and there are few places better than Manta Alley. The site is relatively shallow with much of it around 10-20 meters/ 32-65 ft. allowing a nice long dive time to spend with what can be double digits of mantas and other rays. If you are lucky you might see the younger ones playing and swimming around each other.

MANTA POINT similarly offers the opportunity to dive with mantas that come to this patch to feed in the currents. This is a drift dive with some serious current and you will likely be drifting with numerous mantas as well as white-tip reef sharks, unicornfish and the small but fierce mantis shrimp.

GOLDEN PASSAGE, close to Gili Lawa Darat is also one of the signature dives of Komodo with the expected currents making it a drift dive. Divers can drift down and over the coral reef to see reef sharks and sometimes even dolphins and mantas swimming through.

Top Tips For Divers

  • The local language is Indonesian although there are a great number of local dialects in Komodo.
  • The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah and the predominant religion is Islam so dressing modestly during land excursions is recommended.
  • The currents in Komodo can be extreme so it is important to stay with the dive leader as they will know the area and where dangerous areas with down currents are.
  • The temperature of the water varies enormously between north and south so bring extra thermal protection to avoid getting cold.

Getting To Komodo National Park

The islands of Komodo National Park are very fortunately still off the beaten track for tourism. There are a huge number of dive sites and some which are quite remote making a Komodo liveaboard the best option for visiting the park. There are also day boats that leave from Labuan Bajo and can take from thirty minutes’ transit to several hours depending on the dive sites.

There are a variety of different Indonesian Liveaboards to suit different budgets and tastes. There are motor vessels available but most are the traditional phinisi, a beautiful Indonesian two-masted sailboat converted for diving. Divers can enjoy the experience of peaceful sailing and fine accommodation with purpose-built diving facilities on board.

Liveaboards either leave from Bali or Labuan Bajo which can be reached from Bali International Airport (Ngurah Rai) with regular flights to Asia and connections further afield. There is also a several day-long ferry to Labuan Bajo although this is reserved for those more adventurous travelers.


Komodo National Park Diving Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 121 Verified Reviews
  • 6.8 Review score
  • Phil M
  • United States United States

Diving is good but if there is current which there was don't expect good visibility. Lots of creatures to see at night so don't miss the night dives!!!

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Mermaid II

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Caren L
  • United States United States

Out of this world diving experience. Tons of current and I mean strong current but the underwater life was the best I have seem

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Kira Kira

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Robert G
  • United States United States

Good, generally 7.5 out of 10

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Samambaia

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Benjamin K
  • United States United States

excellent; so many coral and animal life!

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Lady Denok

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Fred G
  • United States United States

Wide veriatty of dive sites and dive topagraphy.

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mermaid II

  • 7.6 Good
  • Arkadiy B
  • United States United States

Great diving, but lots of currents.

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Jaya

  • 8.0 Very good
  • David G
  • United States United States

Mantas, a few sharks and lots of very healthy corals

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Mermaid II

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Matthew M
  • United States United States

Excellent. Huge variety of fish, coral, and dive sites in a relatively small park.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Emperor Raja Laut

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Victor B
  • United States United States

Good. Nice combination of big and small things. VERY healthy and lush reef.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Solitude Adventurer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Diane W
  • United States United States

The conservation efforts established by the Indonesian government have paid off handsomely in preserving a most beautiful and healthy environment.

Diving Komodo National Park in September on the La Galigo

  • 7.2 Good
  • Frank F
  • United States United States

Very good, healthy reef, diverse aquatic life

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Cajoma IV

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Alexander C
  • United States United States

Fantastic vibrant coral, large schools of fish, manta rays, reef shark, and micro life

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Seaisee

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Ethan H
  • United States United States

It wasn't as great as expected but still very nice

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Mermaid I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Karl G
  • United States United States

I think this encompasses the majority of the sites we went to. All were excellent. Manta Alley was phenomenal, despite the colder temperatures.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Tiare Cruise

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Kara M
  • United States United States

the dive sites were beautiful and not crowded

Diving Komodo National Park in April on the Queenesia

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Jiayi K
  • United States United States

Didn’t see much pelagics or large schools of fish but did have some nice macro and might dives. Seeing the dragons were cool

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Mermaid I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Melissa D
  • United States United States

Very beautiful. Easy to navigate. Current dive was adventurous.

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Jelajahi Laut

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jessica S
  • United States United States

Nice variety of dives, some with current, some without, generally felt like we had good timing on all of the dive.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Blue Manta

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Julio M
  • United States United States

Fantastic, usually great viz.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Nusantara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Mace B
  • United States United States

The park has a huge diversity of dive sites. From coral gardens to manta cleaning stations - so much sea life here and fairly pristine reefs in good health.

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Sokaraja

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Elisabetta S
  • Italy Italy

Clean and warm water, good vis, lots to see..what else?!?!

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Duyung Baru

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Michael R
  • Canada Canada

Pretty reefs with a good variety of fish.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Mermaid I

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Elisabetta S
  • Italy Italy

Only in few occasion had drift dive, but enjoyed. Manta alley incredibly crowded of these beauties

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Mermaid II

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Christian B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Awesome, great marine life and a lot of spots to do current dives.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Calico Jack

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Rula A
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Absolute magic. It is God's own garden!

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Mermaid I

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Huseyin A
  • Turkey Turkey

very good for drift diving and requires some experience at certain parts

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Ilike

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Dominik W
  • Germany Germany

Well organized and a great experience

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mikumba 2

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Olga S
  • Netherlands Netherlands

The dive sites were all different with so much to see.

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Cajoma IV

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Rudolf F
  • Austria Austria

There are spezial dive sites

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mermaid II

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Paul B
  • France France

Sharks, turtles, best corals, and lots of both Pelagics and macro life

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Duyung Baru

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Andrea Joyce R
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Diving was world class - just need to ensure it stays that way by assisting divers to help with rubbish pick ups on the islands ... and also ensure they don't over subscribe number of divers to sites ... keep it sustainable is my advice

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Jaya

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Martin S
  • Australia Australia

The reef and the aquatic life all seem very healthy. Plenty of islands to dive off.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Lady Denok

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Thomas F
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Excellent - some of the best we have been lucky enough to do anywhere in the world.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Mutiara Laut

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kieran M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Lots of nice corals, you can see big pelagic fishes in the distance, as well as small and colorful ones. Some nice nudis and lot of small little critters.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Carpe Diem

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Robyn A
  • South Africa South Africa

Absolutely beautiful. Strong currents but the variety of fish and corals make it worth it

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Mermaid II

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Julia S
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Wonderful diversity of corals and fish and non-vertebrae. Even though there are several Live Aboard ships and diving boats around, no dive site ever crowded (maybe also just really well chosen by our dive master / manager) . Very good night dives

Diving Komodo National Park in November on the Queenesia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Daphne C
  • Singapore Singapore

Strong currents but worthwhile!

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Solitude Adventurer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Pasquale C
  • Italy Italy

Diving is really good, corals are great and healthy in some parts. Biodiversity is abundant but not much large fishes. Great for Macro

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Duyung Baru

  • 7.6 Good
  • Ingemar H
  • Sweden Sweden

Calm, sometimes just ok visibility, sometimes good. Some sharks, lots of turtles and occasional mantas. Mostly critters

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Mermaid II

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kay Yinghong Z
  • China China

variety of lives, good water temperature and visibility

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Solitude Adventurer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jose A
  • Spain Spain

Overall, very good, the season didn’t bring mantas this year. We managed to see only one.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Nusantara

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Rinaha B
  • New Zealand New Zealand

A big variety in small and big creatures to see.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Cajoma IV

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • benjamin F
  • France France

Komodo National Park is still well preserved, with corals still in a good shape and a lot of diverse marine fauna

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Sokaraja

  • 9.2 Superb
  • LUCIA A
  • Spain Spain

Nice coral, drifts, wild life…

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Cajoma IV

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ewa Z
  • Germany Germany

Very good but not sooo easy

Diving Komodo National Park in November on the Queenesia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Juan E
  • China China

Surprising, diverse and rewarding.

Diving Komodo National Park in February on the Queenesia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Gilbert T
  • Malta Malta

Some challenging currents at times but well dealt by dive masters especially with regards to briefings and underwater guidance.

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Neptune One

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Eric D
  • France France

Nice sites with some courant. Very nice corals in good health. Lack of school of fish

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mermaid I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • MEI L
  • China China

Diving is amazing.Also I like hike,Komodo island, Padar, Pink Beach...

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Neptune One

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Marc T
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Amazing, couldn’t be better! All from makro up to mantas!

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Scubaspa Zen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Philipp G
  • Germany Germany

Great, No strong current because of moon

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Sokaraja

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Max L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

The diving in Komodo is truly world-class. From macro to huge life, from strong currents to easy swims, from wall dives to coral gardens, you have it all here. The variety of life here is extraordinary; everything from pygmy sea horses to oceanic mantas and everything in between. Sharks? Tick. Turtles? Tick. Schooling fish in their hundreds or even thousands? Tick. Whatever you're interested in, you'll find it here.

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Bajak

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Fleur H
  • Netherlands Netherlands

The corals were in great condition. During my trip the currents were very mild. There is a great amount of diverse marine life.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Neptune One

  • 8.4 Very good
  • andré V
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Excellent! Reefs are beautiful, lot of schooling fish and the muck nightdiving is also great with octopi, flamboyant cuttlefish, pipefish, frogfish and so on..

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Neptune One

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kuenik C
  • South Korea South Korea

great exp. drift diving is quite fun

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Sokaraja

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • PETER B
  • Australia Australia

Incredible variety of dive experiences. Very healthy coral and abundance of marine life.

Diving Komodo National Park in September on the Jakaré

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Tara H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Excellent - healthy reefs, good coral mix of soft and hard. Marine life of varying sizes. Overall something for everyone!

Diving Komodo National Park in September on the Scubaspa Zen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Daniele O
  • Italy Italy

Diving in Komodo was once in a lifetime experience. It is not for beginner divers though, as the currents can be quite strong and some experience is advised to avoid panic. The sea life is amazing, literally an underwater aquarium with all sorts of species.

Diving Komodo National Park in September on the Nusantara

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Luisa K
  • Germany Germany

Awesome! Less damaged corals.

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Cajoma IV

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Sian R
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Beautiful with healthy, plentiful reefs and wildlife.

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Sokaraja

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Samuel H
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Amazing. Huge coral gardens. Fish everywhere you can, sharks, manta rays, a lot of macro as well

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Sokaraja

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Lewis T
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very good, variety of currents, corals, fish.

Diving Komodo National Park in December on the Komodo Sea Dragon