Over the last few years Komodo has quickly become one of the top diving destinations in the world. It’s diverse and exquisite reefs are the perfect backdrop to the pelagic action that congregates in these notorious waters. Komodo literally offers everything from fleets of mantas and clouds of schooling fish to world class critters like hairy frog fish and flamboyant cuttle-all in a day! Oh, and the islands are crawling with giant prehistoric lizards found nowhere else in the world! After diving Komodo for years and years, we’ve put together a list of what we believe to be Komodo’s Top Five Dive Sites.
5. Turtle City
As you may have already guessed, Turtle City received its name for the many nudies which can be found all over the dive site. Kidding! It’s because of the dozens and dozens of large green sea turtles that congregate on this site. The site is protected from the current by a sort of barrier reef constructed of stunning hard coral which allows the turtles some much needed down time to relax and turn in for a shell scrub on the many cleaning stations.
4. Castle & Crystal Rock
Castle Rock and Crystal are two of the big pelagic spots in Komodo and both pinnacles sit just a few hundred meters apart. When the current is just right (slack to rising or slack to falling) you can be in for a real treat when all the fish—shoals of fusileers, walls of surgeon fish, bat fish and barracuda—all come onto the reef in epic proportions. Grey reef sharks and white tip reef sharks are also a staple on these sites and if you are very lucky you may just encounter larger pelagic species like dolphins!
3. China Shop
China shop offers the best of everything in my opinion. The reef is immaculate with layers and layers of hard coral that start at the surface and extend down to 20+ meters where it meets the sandy bottom. Multiple large bommies or coral heads are scattered throughout the site and have accumulated masses of glassy sweepers—an all you can eat buffet for ambush predators like leaf scorpion fish and frog fish. It is also not uncommon to find mantas or mobula rays passing over the reef or feeding in the channel.
2. Manta Point
Manta point has arguably become one of the most famous sites in Komodo as everyone’s favorite underwater animal has become the manta ray, something Manta Point has no shortage of. If you get tired of the mantas you can swim over to the reef on the south of the site where cuttle fish and sleeping green sea turtles are found.
1. Batu Bolong
While any of these amazing sites could easily be number one, I chose Batu Bolong for a number of reasons, with the first being predicability. No matter the time of day, the season, or which way the current is running, you are guaranteed an amazing dive. The reefs are in mint condition and some of the most vibrant in Komodo with no shortage of marine life.