For years now, Komodo National Park has been one of the top snorkeling destinations in Indonesia, if not the world. Located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, Komodo National Park is made up of three larger islands – Rinca (pronounced Rincha), Padar, and of course Komodo. These are just the three larger islands, as you’ll find by looking at a map or by joining a snorkeling safari, there are around one-hundred smaller islands, many of which are exceptional snorkeling sites.
Labuan Bajo is a small town on the western edge of Flores that acts as a sort of gateway to Komodo National Park. This is where the newly built airport is and where all flights will arrive and depart from. The harbor is just a five-minute drive from the airport where board the resort’s transfer boat which will take us to our snorkeling resort located on its own private island.
Snorkeling in Komodo
Nearly all of the snorkeling on a snorkel safari—whether it be on a liveaboard or via resort—will take place in the north and central area of Komodo.
This area is best suited for snorkeling as the water is typically clear and warm, and the snorkeling sites are more protected from bad weather. It’s also where you’ll have the best chances for encounters with all the iconic marine life while also having plenty of vibrant reefs that come right up to the surface.
Many people will have no doubt heard about the currents in Komodo, and the rumors are true, Komodo does have some strong currents. It’s one of the main reasons why the area has such an abundance of marine life. Fish and corals love current as it often brings nutrients with it. However, as snorkelers, we honestly have very little to worry about. All of the Snorkel Venture tour guides, as well as the local resort guides know how and when the Komodo currents are running, and how to best snorkel each site given the current situation.
Many of the sites are protected from current no matter how strong it is, while on other sites we actually use the current to push us along for a casual drift snorkel. On a Snorkel Venture snorkeling safari the snorkel guides will always do an in-water current check before guests enter the water, as well as a full briefing with a map of the site and a full description of how we are going to avoid the current or use it to our advantage. If we ever think the current is too strong for a particular site, we will move to a site that is better protected, there are plenty to choose from.
With the exception of polar bears or penguins, there’s really no telling what you might encounter while snorkeling in Komodo. The area is so rich in marine life, with over forty years as a protected area, the reefs in Komodo are thriving to a point where words like “bio-mass” are more appropriate terms to use to describe the scenes beneath the waterline. The sheer abundance and diversity of marine life within Komodo National Park is one of the main reason the area is such an amazing place for a snorkeling holiday- simply because this density and diversity equals predictable encounters with animals big and small.
Likely Marine life Encounters
Other Likely Marine Life Encounters
Blue-spotted & Kuhl’s Stingray • Various species of scorpionfish and lionfish • Stonefish • Boxfish • Moray eels • Barracuda • Batfish • Giant trevally • Bluefin trevally • Blacktip & whitetip reef sharks • Hawksbill seaturtles • Banded seasnakes • Numerous species of reef fish
Surprise Marine Life Encounters
Other Surprise Marine Life Encounters
Dugongs • Schools of mobula rays • Mola-mola
Komodo Snorkeling Season
While Komodo can technically be snorkeled year-round, the best snorkeling and most predicable weather occurs during the area’s dry season—from March until November. Winds are milder during these times, and rain is infrequent. Air temperatures during the peak season are generally around 85ºF in the day and around 80ºF at night. Water temperatures are typically around 82ºF but can drop to 77ºF at certain sites when the current is rising.
Marine life encounters really don’t change too much throughout the year as most of the inhabitants aren’t migratory species, at least not on a massive scale. Sometimes many of the manta rays will shift a bit from the central area to the southern area for a month or so, as they follow the food, but there’re always mantas to be found. Knock on wood. Other than that, on any one of our snorkeling safaris, you can expect to have beautiful reefs, lots of colorful reef fish, schools of larger fish, mantas, turtles, reef sharks, and so much more.
Snorkeling Holiday Examples
With the variety of guide-led group snorkeling safaris that we offer, there are a number of ways to snorkel in Komodo.
One of the quickest and easiest ways—logistically, is to join a snorkel safari that we call the Komodo Snorkel Week. With this trip, we fly as a group from Bali to Labuan Bajo where we’re met by the staff from Komodo Resort and transferred, via the resort’s large wooden boat, to the resort where we’ll be based for the duration of the tour. Every day after breakfast we’ll jump on our own private snorkel boat complete with guides and head out into the park for at least three different snorkels on three different sites. The resort’s fantastic house reef is also always open for those that want to spend a day relaxing at the resort and snorkel at their leisure, or for those that just haven’t had enough and want to spend every waking moment in the water. As with just about all our snorkeling safaris, all meals, snorkeling, accommodations, transfers, and internal flights are included. Alcohol and rental equipment are generally the only additional costs.
Our combination tours, which include Komodo as well as one or more destinations in Indonesia, like Alor, or in the case of our “Epic Indonesia Snorkeling Safari”; Alor, Bali, Wakatobi, and Misool in Raja Ampat. Everything runs the same on these tours while in Komodo, only we may be arriving and departing to and from different destinations depending on the itinerary of the snorkel safari. These combination tours are a great way to experience the jaw-dropping beauty of Komodo while also being able to see and experience some of the other top snorkeling areas in Indonesia.