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Komodo is famous for a lot of things—most notably it’s giant carnivorous lizards—which rule the uninhabited islands. As tourism started to grow in Indonesia people quickly learned that the Komodo Dragons were not the only thing unique to the area—and that it in fact had some of the most biodiverse marine life in the world. Diving and snorkeling became even more popular than the large terrestrial reptiles and now people are coming from all over the world to witness Komodo’ underwater splendor. After spending years diving and snorkeling Komodo, we’ve put together a quick list of what we believe to be Komodo’s best snorkeling sites.
#5 Turtle City
As you may have guessed, the site known as Turtle City is riddled with sea-turtles. The shallow protected hard coral reef has become a natural sanctuary for the large green sea-turtles and as snorkelers we can casually float above them as they go about their naps and enjoy the many cleaning stations where small cleaner fish peck off any parasites and algae from their shells.
#4 Batu Bolong
Batu Bolong is a small rock island in the middle of Komodo National Park where all sort of marine life congregate. It hosts one of the most immaculate and diverse reefs in the park and come just a few centimeters from the surface. Living within the reef is a massive colony of orange anthias who explode from the reef in a brilliant flurry. Larger marine life like tunas, giant trevallies, and the occasional pod of dolphin are all things that can be seen on this magical site.
#3 Tatawa Besar
If you like drifting over reef and just watching everything go by—you’ll love Tatawa Besar. This elongated island is the perfect drift for snorkelers as it’s fringed by another bustling shallow reef home to all sorts of fish like sweet lips, crocodile fish and cuttle fish while mantas and eagle rays are not uncommon encounters either.
#2 Manta Point
Manta point is probably one of the most famous sites in Komodo thanks to it’s resident fleet of mantas who use the dozens of cleaning stations on a daily basis. In the mornings when the water is flat, and with a decent current, (don’t worry you just drift with it) the mantas come to the surface to feed on the plankton which is trapped in the shallow water all around the drifting snorkelers.
#1 China Shop
China shop is sort of a hidden secret, but in our opinion one of the best spots for snorkelers. The shallow reef is in pristine conditions and extends for hundreds of meters in either direction, and it can offer everything Komodo is famous for in one snorkel session. Mantas frequently feed in the channel at the edge of the site while many turtles live in it’s outstanding reef along with any other reef creature you could wish for. Oh, it also happens to be the same site where one lucky diver had one of the most unusual underwater encounters in recent history when a mega-mouth shark swam right over their head a few years back!