Liveaboard Diving in Rinca

What to expect from a Rinca Liveaboard

Liveaboards to Rinca offer divers the chance to explore the fantastic bio-diverse area. Located between Komodo Island and Flores, Rinca Island is just under 200 square kilometres in size with a rich variety of wildlife including the famous Komodo Dragons. Rinca liveaboard diving is means spending time in the Komodo National Park, Indonesia, which is often cited as a slightly quieter, off the beaten track area than the others. As part of the national park, the unique flora and fauna of Rinca above and below water are protected and so quite abundant.

The island is volcanic with a collapsed volcano caldera forming the south coast. Liveaboards to Rinca oftern stop off to see the Komodo dragons and water buffalo out in the open. Hiking tours are common although some of the slopes are quite steep. You shouldnt walk without a guide though as it is easy to get lost and even the locals are cautious of the komodo dragons.

The waters around Rinca island are home to some serious currents and weather conditions can be slightly rougher here in the summertime. The marine life though is spectacular with beautiful hard and soft coral reefs, sea horses and turtles in the dive sites to the south of the island. Both on land and in the water visitors will find the island to be a naturalists paradise and slightly less busy than the other islands, making a Rinca liveaboard the perfect choice.

Rinca Underwater

To the south of Rinca island there are a number of excellent dive sites to explore with huge coral reefs stretching out along the coast and further afield. The conditions are a little harder than the rest of the park with slightly lower temperatures and fierce currents. The sheer range of life however is astonishing. The cooler waters mean plankton rich water teeming with life. Rinca is macro divers paradise you can see sea fans in a huge range of colours and if you are lucky maybe a pygmy sea horse on the coral reefs.

Feathered stars, nudibranch and the most lurid coloured sea cucumbers you can imagine are also spread across the reefs. If you are looking for something a little bigger you can see turtles here as well and if you go a little deeper white tip reef sharks. The variety of different critters on display means divers can just sit and watch the action across the reef.

Dive Sites Of Rinca

Cannibal Rock - With its sinister name Cannibal Rock is one of the better known of Rinca’s dive sites. Barely visible above the waterline Cannibal Rock spreads out into a wide reef reaching down to 35 meters/115 ft. with a critter hiding in almost every rock and anemone. A rainbow of sea apples is on show, with pygmy sea horses gracing the sea fans and corals, there macro photographs to be had all over.

Horseshoe Bay - Encompassing Cannibal rock with its trademark horseshoe shape, Horseshoe Bay sits on the curve of the collapsed volcano crater that makes the south coast. The area is also home to the Yellow wall of Texas which is known for being a riot of colour, a dream come true for photographers. With a stunning coral reef that drops off into the ocean and the occasional reef shark passing by, this is a dive bursting with life.

Torpedo Alley - Not far from the other two is torpedo alley, named for the numerous torpedo rays that can be seen on the sand here as well as shrimps and other critters. When you move closer to Kode island there is also Crinoid Canyon a beautiful wall dive with feathered stars covering the rocks.

Nusa Kode also offers us a beautifully colourful coral reef and reef fish all over, with groupers and snappers in attendance too. Be careful though the current can pick up on occasion and over the side the reef drops down to below 50 meters/165 ft.

Top Tips For Divers

  • Stick close to your guide and buddy, strong currents can sometimes happen suddenly and it is good to have someone who knows the area.
  • The water in Rinca is slightly colder than the northern sites so be sure to bring extra thermal protection.
  • Try to take a land excursion too if you get the chance the terrestrial wildlife is also spectacular.

Getting To Rinca

Rinca liveaboards can be accessed from Labuan Bajo on Flores or from Bali on an Indonesian Liveaboard cruise. Although you can get to some sites by day boat a liveaboard offers you the best selection of dive sites and the chance to get in the water before other divers arrive.

International flights arrive at Bali International Airport (Ngurah Rai) and you can connect to Labuan Bajo from here. There is also a three-day ferry for those more adventurous travellers. There is a variety of different liveaboards available with itineraries from 3-4 days to two weeks. With something to offer a range of budgets, there are motor boats with purpose built facilities and traditional Indonesian sailing boats or phinisi. These are a beautiful and peaceful way to spend your trip, completely renovated for diving purposes.

Rinca Diving Reviews

  • 9.4 Superb
  • 30 Verified Reviews
  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • john C
  • United States United States

The diving in the Rinca was amazing!

Diving Rinca in July on the MV Samambaia

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Benjamin K
  • United States United States

excellent; so many coral and animal life!

Diving Rinca in May on the Lady Denok

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Benjamin K
  • United States United States

excellent; so many coral and animal life! lot of micro-critters and saw a juvenile bamboo shark

Diving Rinca in May on the Lady Denok

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Victor B
  • United States United States

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

Diving Rinca in August on the Solitude Adventurer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Ellie H
  • United States United States

Beautiful (however, the highlights for this island were the komodo dragons)

Diving Rinca in November on the Komodo Shalom

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Carolyn S
  • United States United States

So many beautiful crinoids and color everythwere, like a beautiful botanical garden. Sea apples, fire urchins, zebra and orangutan crabs, and big nudibranchs including the Spanish Dancer. You can see crazy things every few minutes on a night dive here as well.

Diving Rinca in February on the Indo Aggressor

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Elisabetta S
  • Italy Italy

A bit cold but macro diving there was great!

Diving Rinca in May on the Duyung Baru

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Christian B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

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

Diving Rinca in August on the Calico Jack

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ngung Chia S
  • Singapore Singapore

Good and with land tour of Komodo Park to see Komodo Dragon

Diving Rinca in August on the Empress II

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • peter G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Rinca was great for komodo dragons, deerand monkeys with some beautiful diving too!

Diving Rinca in October on the Lalunia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nicole Z
  • China China

Komodo dragons on Rinca island

Diving Rinca in August on the Emperor Raja 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 Rinca in August on the Carpe Diem

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • diego L
  • Mexico Mexico

Hard to match these dives, the reefs are spectacular

Diving Rinca in October on the Komodo Shalom

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Elaine S
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Colder....vis poorer. This is seasonal and varies.

Diving Rinca in December on the Indo Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Janice L
  • Malaysia Malaysia

Very nice, impressed with the healthy corals

Diving Rinca in January on the Indo Aggressor

  • 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 Rinca in July on the Duyung Baru

Origin: US