INDONESIA - Komodo - Padar - Rinca


The islands of Komodo - Padar - Rinca

On the page of Sumbawa to Komodo can you find for some descriptions of dive sites in the Komodo National Park. This page is a little further in detail with an update of information concerning the sites I visited in January 2008.

Komodo Nationaal Park met van links naar rechts de eilanden Komodo - Padar - Rinca

Komodo National Park, from left to right the islands of Komodo - Padar - Rinca



This island is just south of the Gili Lawa Laut 'situated. We explored the north bay of Komodo which looked quite nice. Beautiful coral garden with large amounts of reef fish. In shallow or limited damage to the reef noticeable. We found there to our surprise also mandarin fish. The passage between Rinca and Gili Lawa Darat is a narrow passage, and both sides are formed beautiful bays. The panorama is breathtaking. Underwater, however, I was totally surprised. The eastern bay is totally destroyed and they find difficulty with a piece of upright coral. Fields sea urchins group on the coral rubble and into the shallow end I found a sand area with a very large colony kaakvissen.Hoewel the reef in poor condition wrong I found at the end of the coral strip a sandy area with there two kraboog gobies ( Signigobius biocellatus).

The very first time I could see them self in the wild.

Batu Bolong

The islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca are separated by vast sea channels that form the connection between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The tides provide a massive displacement that is clearly visible. Tornadoes swirling water, banked-up bodies of water do the surface look like a boiling whole.

In the midst of this great flow is Batu Bolong. A dive for 'daredevils' and one that certainly is not suitable for novice divers. A small island just a few tens of meters in circumference sits in the flow and diving should be carefully planned. The guidelines of the dive leader must be strictly followed.

It is important to dive the sheltered side of the rock and not to venture too far out in order not to be dragged into the flow. The site is wonderful.

Beautiful unspoiled coral in crystal clear water. When one looks at the corners you see manta's going just in the flow backwards in an attempt to swim forward. Napoleon wrasse and shark species feel there are in their element.

Kareng Macassar

When the Komodo National Park inland from North to South one can see in the west a vast shallow water area with several small islands. Near these islands is one of the best manta dive sites in the world, Kareng Macassar. The flow can also be very to extremely strong. This is the playground of the mantas where they obtain their food in the strong current. The shallow area here is quite large, and the best way to see the mantas certainly by the dinghy slowly pass over the area. Once manta rays observed from the surface one goes there to water. The ground is covered in short supply because of the predominant flow and permit enables divers to find a place at the bottom to see the manta spectacle.

THE SLUGS divespot

On the north side of Kareng Macassar hiding behind the islets is a very quiet bay with beautiful coral growth interspersed with areas of strong algae growth.

Here we discovered a paradise where slugs. Nembrotha's Elisidae's Chromodoris were to be found there numerous. Between the different algal species wonderful Polyclad flatworms. Also many juvenile cuttlefish.

Fully protected for this flow is a super dive site for those who want to see a lot of slugs and / or photographs. The reef slope begins at 3m depth and bodemt out at about 15m depth.

Duikstekken in de nabijheid van Komodo baai en het nationaal park office

Dive sites near Komodo bay and the national park office

Pantah Merah (Pink Beach)

Before one bay inland, near Komodo, where the office of the national park is located one passes Pantah Merah. It is one of the most famous dive sites of Komodo: Pink Beach (pink beach). The short stretches of sand indeed have a pink appearance whence the name of the dive site. Again, the current can be quite strong. Usually, this dive is started on the northeast side and then southwestern drifting with the current. At the start there is a sandy area with beautiful hard corals. After a while you will reach the peak of this dip. A large rock formation brimming with life. Frogfish, beautiful nudibranchs, schools of snappers and sweetlips.

It's all there. If allowed to drift with the current one comes back after some time on a sandy area. There is usually terminated the dive. I had the pleasure in an extremely strong current dive to explore the area further. Again beautiful hard corals in good condition with masses smaller rifvisjes.Een not known part is the other side of 'Pink beach' which is served by some boats as night dive site. However, night diving is not as spectacular as the soil is covered predominantly with one type of soft coral. It's not easy to find something.

During the day this is also not a high dive but the place is well known for regular observation of blue-ringed octopus. Even if I myself, for the 2nd time ever, encounter a copy. On a sea squirt sat alone on lookout.

The next day I returned to the same rock and true .... the blue-ringed octopus was still around.

Blauw geringde octopus - Komodo Nationaal Park Foto: Danny Van Belle - Duikstek: Pantah Merah - 01/02/2008

Blue-ringed octopus - Komodo National Park Photo: Danny Van Belle - Dive site: Pantah Merah - 01/02/2008


Not known as a dive site but discovered by own exploration, this is one of the best muck diving sites in Komodo. During one dive I found ambon scorpion against several beautiful nudibranchs, a hunting 'broadclub' sepia, boosting egg shells falling on a crab and verorberden. In this part of the bay is practically never dived here and so we went to investigate. There is a fairly shallow not as spectacular area on the north side of the bay. In the north-east (near the big rock like a big wall is near the beach) we were pleasantly surprised. This is a dive site for experienced divers, photographers and videographers looking for the extremely rare! An absolute must.


When you visit Komodo is everyone ashore to see the Komodo dragon to go.
When the boats at anchor see Komodo bay pier where they build dinghies to bring people to the country. Links from this pier a few hundred meters are on the beach two large boulders together. This is the reference point for this dive site. Again never dived and went himself to reconnoiter. In the shallows, the reef is very badly damaged but once one the deeper part (5m +) seeks out one is surprised by big beautiful hard corals and numerous fish.
Different types cardinalfish, butterfly fish and goat fish. But juvenile batfish and emperor fish in various stages of development.
We found there also hidden under a coral block a coral Nursehound (Coral catshark).
The dive site is fully protected and flow is almost nonexistent. It is an easy and relaxing dive with many beautiful things.

Koraal kathaai - Komodo nationaal park Foto: Danny Van Belle - 12/02/2008

Coral Nursehound - Komodo National Park Photo: Danny Van Belle - 12/02/2008


To the left of the pier, we have explored the whole beach strip and had one of the most disappointing diving. Much damage to the coral. Plus point is that noticeable is that protection of the reef became effective and stabbing the old rubble numerous small coral twigs emerge. A reef in full repair phase.


Padar is the smaller island in the group of three islands forming the Komodo National Park. It is located between Komodo and Rinca. It is a beautiful island with an impressive mountain relief. Near Padar were also found some very interesting dive sites.

Duikstekken rond Padar

Dive sites around Padar


A dive site that is exposed to swell and currents. Impressive rock formations are both above and below water a spectacle of canyons and ravines. It is also quite deep and one can consider this as a medication. To escape flow are sought protection in the deep-cut gorges that separate the rock formations. It is a place to see larger marine life such as sharks and manta rays. Even with the lower animals are doing interesting discoveries. I saw this for the first time the slug 'Rostanga halgerda. Because of difficult conditions this dive site is by many 'liveaboard' rarely visited.

Pantai PADAR Kecil

This is a small island located on the south side of the bay of Padar. The exploration dive we made was rather disappointing and was characterized by poor visibility and very interesting marine life. It is a protected area that is exempt from currents and swell.


The beach area of ​​the bay is lined with a bright blue line, characteristic of a shallow area. Again we went to investigate. This section mainly has a sandy bottom with coral sparse vegetation. Unexpectedly swam a manta over. The visibility was not exceptional and underwater life rather limited. In very shallow area was the presence of huge numbers of Picasso triggerfish very striking.


This is the top dive site of Padar in my opinion. Near the eastern tip of the bay are two small islands. The dive site is located on the southwest side of these islands. It is a vast field of coral that juts into the abyss to a sandy area. There is also an impressive ridge which starts at about 10m depth, and that leads to the depths. There are wonderful range and other soft corals to be found. We found there also beautiful nudibranchs, many species of reef fish and a manta swam slowly past. For the first time I saw a juvenile here 'velvet angelfish (Chaetodontoplus dimidiatus).

This place is suitable for all diving levels. You can deep (30m +) go around and look at the shallow end. Beautiful dive site.


On the north side of Rinca, the easternmost island of the Komodo group are still several smaller islands. Some of them also have wonderful dive sites.


A beautiful dive site, this reef formed by huge boulders covered with coral formations. The sand is white and the beautiful colors of the enormous quantities of small reef fish darting above the coral reef are breathtaking spectacle.

It is also a very easy dive site where the reef starts at 5m depth to slide down then slowly at an angle of 45 ° a beautiful reef slopes down to 30 meters.

Under the white sand I found there to everyone's surprise a stargazer.

Sterrenkijker - Komodo nationaal park Foto: Danny Van Belle - 27/01/2008

Stargazer - Komodo National Park Photo: Danny Van Belle - 27/01/2008


Sebayor Besar is the slightly larger island located east of Sebayor Kecil. Again back a reef slope that we explored. But here there is less remarkable coral growth and the dive is more about a sandy area with very sparse vegetation coral.


Also on Rinca can ashore to see the Komodo dragon to go. Guided tours are organized both on Komodo and Rinca on. The park rangers on Rinca however are visited less in my opinion than the rangers on Komodo. When visiting Rinca's boat to a buoy near the height of the island Wainilu. This island is located on the north side of the small bay that provides access to the national park office. We made near Wainilu dives. Always current and poor visibility were typical. There is also damage to the coral reef and the big hurdles sea urchins that inhabit the reef are also evidence of this. In the bay itself near the pier, we also took a dive. This exploration dive was a different experience. The view there was barely one meter. There were, however here masses juvenile zesstrepen emperor fish present. There were also several slugs but not rare.

SOUTH Rinca - Horseshoe Bay

The most outstanding dive sites of the horseshoe bay 'on the south side of Rinca are already described on the pages of Sumbawa to Komodo.

During this trip in January 2008, however, we also explored some never dived spots' horseshoe bay.


On the northwest side of Nusa Kode, the island south of Rinca, is a dive site formed by a smaller island which a channel is formed between Nusa code and Nusa Kode Kecil. The flow can be pretty but the supply of nutrient-rich water results in a very healthy piece of coral reef with numerous reef fish.

The bottom of the channel is a maximum of about 20m deep. However, one can not hide from the flow and the dive should therefore necessary planning get along.


A very wide sandy anticipation can be seen in the north-west side of the bay.

As on all beaches of Rinca one sees regularly Komodo dragons wander around looking for a possible prey. Underwater this beach strip is also too barren.

It is a stretched expanse of sand at about 5m depth that extends relatively flat over a large area. We found there are large number of naked snails belonging to the species Gymnodoris and Chelidonura. An absolute highlight was the sighting of two mimic octopus who stayed in the sand at about 5m apart in a hole.


This dive site I visited before and found there when ghost moray eels, pygmy zeenaaldpaardje and slugs. Now back no different. There were ghost back to see moray eels.

The variety of slugs is huge and we found there a bubble shell.
This dive site is situated on the other side of the rock that forms the northeast side of the dive site 'Torpedo alley'.Op recommend I visited south Rinca during the so-called low season in January.
By the predominantly westerly winds south Rinca more protected. The conditions to sail around there are generally rough and boisterous. Now this was no different.
Underwater visibility was compared to the month of August, however, very different.
Cannibal rock torpedo alley showed themselves from their best side with a view of about 25 to 30m under water. In August this is usually limited to 10 to 15m. A big difference.
Another big difference is the presence of strange critters. In August Cannibal rock and Torpedo Alley real treasures rooms to small weird critters. However, no trace of them in January. The large amounts of torpedo rays (torpedo) also no trace. We saw a grand total of just one!

During the months of the high season (May to October), the sea is usually very rough and small fishing boats can not reach the bay. Now in January, however this was possible and they were therefore always present. It's really sad to see that dive sites posted by some magazines in the top ten best dive sites in the world still may be fished by local residents.

Duikstekken in horseshoe bay

Dive sites in horseshoe bay


On the way back to Labuan Bajo on Flores, we took the route along the east side of Rinca. A very small island there would be a separate fauna and flora variation and that I still wanted to see you. We caught our dive on a sandy reef slope. There was also a reasonable flow. Several beautiful nudibranchs and mantis lobsters we saw but really extraordinary animals we have not observed. It was only at the end of the dive when we came in a rather secluded Reef zone that the flora and fauna are very special began to look like. However, insufficient time to thoroughly delve around. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do so at the next opportunity.

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