Dive Sites

Komodo Marine Park offers to Divers just about every type of tropical diving imaginable – from warm, calm and colorful shallow reefs alive with hundreds of colorful reef fishes and crammed with invertebrates, to current-swept deep cool water sea mounts, walls and pinnacles patrolled by sharks, tuna and other big fishes.

The variety of marine life that you can see in Komodo rivals the world’s best dive destinations. This is close to the world’s epicenter for marine diversity and you’ll see loads of stuff here: From sunfish, mantas, dolphins and eagle rays to pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, clown frogfish, nudibranchs and blue-ringed octopus, all are at home amongst a spectacular range of colorful sponges, sea squirts, tunicates and corals; Komodo is a macro enthusiast’s heaven.

Geologically, Komodo Island and Rinca are part of Flores, separated from Sumbawa to the west by the Sape Strait. In the middle of the strait, the bottom drops to almost 300 meters. The many islands and relatively shallow seas between Flores and Komodo’s west coast mean very fast currents at tidal changes, especially when the higher tidal waters of the Pacific Ocean in the north flow through into the Indian Ocean to the south. The upwelling from the deep surrounding seas bring nutrients and plankton to keep these waters rich and well-fed, which makes perfect conditions for some spectacular scuba diving.

Komodo Dives Sites for Everybody

Bidadari
Kanawa
Pengah Kecil 

Max.depth: 25m
Type: coral slope / wall
Current: Mild – strong

pengah


Pengah can be recognized by its three pinnacles that stick out of the water in a straight line from the southwestern side of the island. Depending on the current, you typically dive the south and southwestern side or the northwestern side. On the South side there is a series of walls that extend all the way down past 40 meters, a natural spur on the eastern side provides protection from a falling tidal currents. This wall actually extends all the way along the eastern side to the north and with favorable conditions one can do the whole thing in a series of steps.
Here, along the wall, corals grace every inch of perch. There are usually myriads of fusiliers and small schooling fish. Coral grouper in bright colors hide among the corals and if you look inside the large branching arms of a wine red of the ecrusting and branching fire corals and you will see them staring back, using their large pectoral fins to maneuver for shelter. The Pinnacles sit in shallow water, usually about 2 to 4 meters, so they are not really suitable to dive, but past the pinnacles is a long sloping reef with giant table corals that extends south like a finger and then rolls in bowls all along the western side of the island. Look under the corals and you might come across a sleeping white tip shark! Along this edge of the island there are usually converging currents and sometimes they can be disorienting, but with a falling tide you can continue north and get to another set of walls where larger pelagics such as giant travalley typically school.
Along the north side the walls continue and form a series of cliffs and drop offs that provide shelter and a veritable playground for fish and divers alike, just be careful of the current!

Masso
Mini Wall
Sebayur Kecil

Max.depth: 20
Type: Coral slope
Current: Very mild to mild
Sebayur Kecil is a great place for a relaxing dive where you can view a large variety of corals and marine life in a relaxing setting with very little current. This dive runs along a breach that sits on the northern part of the island and it actually consists of a series of different places to dive. Boats typically go here for mooring or anchorage; however sometimes the weather from the north causes wave action that prevents this from happening.
From the mooring there is a coral slope that runs into a pristine white sand bottom where you will spot garden eels, goat fish, and commensal shrimp working alongside the blennies who protect their burrows. Impatient Sea Cumbers are also abundant, along with many other types of echinoderms. Look around, as sometimes you may spot an octopus using its tentacles to squeeze into the burrow and grab a quick meal.
Facing the beach, along the right side is a series of spurs that all have amazing coral formations, all the way to the sandy bottom. Look out to sea and you may spot the random pelagic making its way across the ocean. Further in, towards the coral formations, there are excellent examples of bright white lace coral, many of which have cleaner shrimp where grouper and coral trout go to clean. The spurs create walls of barrel sponges and Gregorian sea fans perched atop multi-colored table and branching corals that stretch out in fantastic fingers, providing protection for a lot of colorful micro-life. At the end there are two choices: one can turn around before the last large spur and go to 5-7 meters along the top of the beach where one can look for day octopus, scrolled filefish, moray eels, cuttlefish, turtles, and lobster. Or you can be more daring.
For the more daring, the last spur juts out a hundred meters or so past the others and provides a great wall with really healthy coral. Past this spur are two seamounts and a valley that sometimes gets swept by strong current. At this area and all along the spur you have the chance to see emperor sweetlips, giant trevally, schools of bluefin trevally, tuna, and other large fish that make this area their home.
From the mooring, if one were to go to the left while facing the beach, they will immediately hit a series of walls after following the sandy slope. Here there is giant fan coral hanging precariously off of cliffs, table corals balancing on stalactites, and caves that one can poke their head in if they are daring. Along the bottom, which goes past 30 meters and is great for a deep dive, there is the occasional white tip shark and spotted eagle ray. The wall continues in a series of waves for a long while and typically one goes on the wall for half the dive and then turns, getting to the top portion where the colors are more vibrant and the cerulean blues and crimson reds of the corals come out in vibrant display.
Starting from the mooring, we head westward on the sandy bottom inhabited by a colony of garden eels. Sloping down towards the west, we will find at 25 meters depth some rocks covered by corals and visited by many fishes. Swimming towards the west along the slope on our right side, we reach a point where the slope becomes steeper and forms a wall covered by gorgonians, crinoids, sponges. Here we can easily find colourful flat worms, nudibranches, crocodile fishes, groopers lobsters, trigoni maculate and medium size tridacnas tridacne. Sometimes a sea eagle or a shark passes by. We make our safety stop on the coral garden in front of the rocky side of Sebayur.
Mini’s Wall

sebayur

Max.depth: 30
Type: Wall
Current: Mild
Mini’s Wall is a drift dive that works with a falling tide along North Eastern side of Sebayor Kecil. This is a fun dive that typically involves some type of drift, as the cool water from the North funnels between the islands of Sebayor Besar and Sebayor Kecil. Along the wall there are holes and caves you can access for protection, and along those caves you can see anything from giant spiny lobster to hiding sweetlips. Look out to sea and you might see a pack of devil rays or mantas swimming to access the park’s northern waters. Schools of fusiliers rush past in mass, fighting the current as you sweep past.

 

Siaba Besar Bay

 

Siaba besar dive map cutlefish dive komodo

3 Sisters
Bonsai

Max.depth: 40m

Type: Overhang

Current: Mild

 

bonsai

 

This site has many names, including Bonsai, One Tree, and Lonely Tree. Perched precariously on a boulder jutting from the sea is a single fragile mangrove tree marking the site aptly named Bonsai .
This is a site mostly for advanced divers and those that want to play. Along the south and western sides of this site at 20 and 30 meters are incredible overhangs, caves, valleys, and swim-throughs where large emperor sweetlips, napoleon wrasse, hawksbill turtles, and grouper seek shelter. Along the south side there are swim-throughs going as deep as 40 meters where giant red and white fan corals precariously hang onto rocky outcroppings. This is a place to play and perfect your buoyancy as you take on the role of an underwater explorer, closely navigating the overhead environments. Bonsai is not all holes and rocks, however. The coral gardens that surround the entire island are incredibly pristine with invariable amounts of color radiating from stag horn and table corals. Sharks are known to use this place as a resting stop and more often than not, one can look under a table coral and see the white tipped fins of a baby reef shark. An Expansive coral garden to the north protects most of the site and it is ideal for snorkeling as long as the current is favorable. Extremely dangerous currents, however, can sweep this site, and certain areas can become tricky, though with our experienced guides you will not need to worry. In addition, sometimes the visibility is not the best here, so it is advisable to bring an underwater light if you have one so you do not miss anything hiding in the giant caves and overhangs. It is a site worth seeing, especially if you like the feeling of adventure and exploration. South from Siaba near the coast of Rinca, a little rock with one tree is a landmark for a small eden for micro-photographers. The dive starts on the eastern side down to 24-25 m, where going east we will find a small cave and further on, where the slope becomes less steep, we will start to go up. The slope is covered by small colourful coral formations inhabited by nudibranches and flatworms Pseudoceros. As the currents can be very strong it is recommended to dive here in the inter-tide periods, preferably around half a moon, when the currents are weaker and the inter-tide period is longer. Distance 40 min from dive camp towards south- southwest.

Wainilu

 


wainilu dive mapwainilu

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best muck dives in the “Komodo National Park”; this is a macro lover’s dream come true. WaiNiLu is a short drive from Rinca Island, and it is easily combined with a Rinca dragon hike and another dive to make a fulfilling daytrip if you do not have much time. It is also one of the best places to spot painted frogfish, mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, as well as a large variety of other hard to see species that one may miss. In addition, a large amount of porcupine fish, triggerfish, scrawled filefish, and giant pufferfish make WaiNiLu their home.

On first sight, the dive might look as if it does not have much to offer, but to the patient and observant eye, there is so much to see and find here. A plethora of nudibranchs, slugs, and flatworms adorn this site in every possible color combination, from the cerulean blue and school bus-yellow of the Hoff’s Sapsucking Slug, to the crimson red and white crown of the Chamberlin’s Nembrotha. Under large rock mounts full of coral you will find packs of zebra lionfish, scorpion fish, octopus, ribbon moray eels, an incredible variety of shrimps, and even a giant spiny lobster or two. Along the sandy slope there is a large variety of large sea fans, soft corals, and sea pens intersperced. Look carefully and you might catch a giant thorny stingray playing in the sand or a blue spotted ribbon-tail stingray skirting by.
Turtles of both the hawksbill and green variety also use this site to feed on the soft corals in more shallow water, and you can pass your time at a safety stop by playing with them, or looking carefully for the hidden wonders among the corals. This site has everything, and though it does not have the corals of the other sites, for those experienced divers that are truly interested in the macro environment, this is the place to find those animals that you rarely get to spot on other dives.
Vainilu (1 hour south from resort)
Enter the water just in front of the beach at the west side of the bay.
You will be surprise for the absence of corals and colors. Just sandy slope, broken coral and rubble.
You may think you missed the spot but no, that’s the place, the best muck dive of Komodo.
Explore carefully the bottom at 8 to 15 meters, you will find a collections of critters that no other sites in Komodo can offer.
This is a real paradise for macro-photographers.
Frog fish, sea horses, any species of pipe fish, dragonets, mandarin fish and so on.
Vainilu is a strange and different dive site but not to be missed if you think that “small is nice”.

Sebayur West

Sebayur Kcl West dive site

The dive starts at 50-60 meters from the coast near the western tip of Sebayur Kecil, going down along the slope until we reach 15-18 meters, where a sandy saddle joins the platform of Sebayur Kecil to the cliff. We turn clockwise around the corner of the cliff and go east reaching a depth of 28 – 30 m along a beautiful wall covered by alcyonaria, swimming among schools of fusiliers and surgeon fish. This is the area of Sebayur Kecil where it is easier to spot big fishes, like sharks, trevallies, sea eagles and mantas. Going further east, at the end of the cliff, we will head to the slope which is about 15 meters away. We go east along the slope and end the dive with a safety stop not far from the rocks of central Sebayur. This dive is not possible during the moon changes, when the currents are strong.

Komodo Dives Sites for Advanced Divers

Manta Point

Max.depth: 15m
Type: Reef
Current: Mild-strong

manta


Manta Point is actually not a point at all. The original name is Karang Makassar and it is a small island off of the east side of Komodo with a series of long current swept reefs running north to south, creating both a highway and a feeding ground for these giant and graceful rays.
This is one of the must do activities while diving. One of the most famous dive sites in Komodo National Park, this is the place where it is almost grunted mantas. These majestic creatures come to this spot mostly to feed during heavy current. Because of this, Karang Makassar is usually a drift dive where there is moderate to heavy current.
It is one of the most relaxed drift dives in the park, however. Along the bottom your guide will take you to 12 to 14 meters along broken reef that looks as if it were sculpted that way. Locals say the reef is like that due to cyanide fishing, though there is a healthy line of reef at many places. Typically, the mantas use large coral bommies and the interspersed reef for shelter during heavy current, gracefully gliding up and down with their mouths wide open, feeding on plankton and other objects.
The current runs either north to south or south to north with a falling or rising tide respectively, and as you float along with your guide hopefully you will come across a manta. Once this happens we typically breathe out and get negatively buoyant and try to grab onto the sea floor so we can sit and rest while the mantas play around us. It is an amazing site and sometimes, if you are lucky, you can get inside packs of mantas as they majestically float along the heavy current as if it did not take them an ounce of energy.
If mantas are not present, which is sometimes but rarely the case, there is still plenty to see. The long sections of coral reef are perfect places for sweetlips, emperors, white tip sharks, and more. Mantis shrimp are abundant here, so look in rocks and crevices if you can to spot their wild eyes sticking out. They are curious creatures, manic in nature, but be careful as their appendages can shoot faster than a .22 bullet! Many a goggle glass has been cracked by these brightly colored underwater killers.
Along the long coral patches you will find morays, clown trigger fish, filefish, unicorn fish and fusiliers schooling above.
True enough, this site has plenty to see for everyone and is usually one of the most memorable dives in the park.

Siaba Kecil

 

Siaba Kecil

 Siaba kecil dive mapsiaba-kecil
Siaba Kecil is a drift dive running through amazing canyons that lies 15 to 30 mt deep. Ending point is always around a beautiful coral garden. Current here can be strong and the drift a real adventure for moderately expert divers, but beginners can enjoy the area too just hanging around the gardens avoiding the flying drift.

Depending on currents divers can dive the site starting from the east or west cape of the little island and snorkelers can enjoy the site too if current is not too strong.
The canyons with spectacular caves and ANFRATTI are home of big pelagic fishes, sharks, barracudas and schools of giant trevally and sweet lips. Lots of turtles are usually found here. At the end of the drift there are rich coral gardens with a lot of life that are a paradise for macro lovers. Many critters live here around and the rare mandarin fish can be spotted too. Snorkelers will enjoy this spot as well.

Siaba Besar

siaba

Siaba Besar is another amazing dive of north Komodo. The beautiful coral garden lies along the western coast of the island and the site can be dived both in rising and falling tide providing that falling tide, with currents pushing towards south, is the best. In falling enter the water at the north western tip of Siaba Besar and just follow the current at a depth of 18 to 25 meters. As in any other spot with running waters large schools of pelagic hunt here around. Black tip sharks, barracudas, snappers, trevally, wrasses and turtles are usually spotted during this dive. More you go south and more the current can be stronger but never too much. The dive naturally ends at the south edge of the island where a colorful garden awaits divers during their safety stop that normally last much more than 3 minuts.

Mawan

 

dive site mawanmawan
This dive is suitable for expert divers if not during slack or in proper moon and tides conditions. Approach the site during rising tide only and you will discover one of the richest spots of Lintah Strait. From in front of the southern beach enter the water around the west edge and just follow the slope toward south. You will meet big fishes with a good chance to spot some mantas and macro critters as well. Indulge yourself here for the longest you can at a depth of 12 to 18 meters, then swim back towards the beach for the safety stop. You will be surprise for the number of species you spotted during a single dive. A peculiarity of Komodo waters, the amazing biodiversity.

Tatawa Kecil

 

Tatawa Kecil dive maptatawa-kecil

A fantastic dive site where currents can be awful. Located North from Komodo, not far from Batu Bolong and South from Tatawa Besar, Tatawa Kecil is populated by an impressive variety of species. In the southern area at about 24 meters depth a small cave host a colony of pygmie seahorses. White tip fin sharks, grey sharks, giant trevallies and tuna fishes are commonly seen here. In the northern side, at about 22 meter depth, two big rocks give shelter to a cleaning station, mostly used by sweetlips. In no or weak current conditions, it is nice to have the safety stop in the northen side, while surrounded by surgeon fishes, big unicorn fishes and trevally.

Everybody can dive here during the tide change in the half moon periods, when the currents are weak. In all the other periods the extremely strong currents make this site suitable only for very experienced divers.
Visibility usually excellent.

Tatawa Besar

At this site there is one of the most amazing coral gardens of Komodo archipelago, well worth more than one dive. This dive site can represent an alternative to Tatawa Kecil when the current is too strong. In this condition, the dive at Tatawa besar becomes a fun drift over a colourful underwater landscape for hundreds meters.

tatawa-besar


The dive entry is at about 6 meters depth, in front of a small beach facing the open sea at the northern side of the Island. You will start getting down heading Northeast and then you will follow the reef in East-Southeast direction at about 25 meters depth. This site is an unforgettable place for macro-photographers, as invertebrate species are the most interesting here. However you will easily spot napoleon wrasses, sea turtles and black tip fin shark. Usually in no current conditions you will return to the starting point, while with strong currents the boat will wait in the bay at the southern side of the island.
Visibility is good or excellent, exception made for January and February when the west monsoon
can hit hardly the coast

Castle Rock

At Castle rock the current can be very strong. We recommend that only very experienced divers visit this site in strong current condition.Several pinnacles rising from a shelf 20-24 metres deep and reaching almost the surface up to 4 meters deep, offer an unforgettable view. Among the pinnacles huge schools of fusiliers and surgon fishes attract Giant and Jack trevallies, Spanish makarels and sometimes dolphins. White tip and black tip sharks patrol the area, which is often visited by eagle and mant rays. Most of divers wish to come back here again and again. The visibility is excellent.

castle-rock
In current conditions the dive entry point is in the blue at about 50-60 metri West-Southwest from the shallowest pinnacles. Then you dive down to 30-33 meters on the slope and start to go up to the shelf at about 24 meters. After having explored the shelf, where the action is, you will go up right in between the main pinnacles to have you safety stop at 5 meters.

Crystal Rock

Max.depth: 35m
Type: Sea-mount
Current: Mild-strong
Crystal rock is a series of rocks that make a large seamount between Castle rock and Gili Lawa Laut. It is an amazing dive with a variety of colors and fish life and very similar to castle rock, with more bright colors but typically less schooling fish.
Fish here are abundant however, and yellow-ribbon sweetlips, surgeonfish, and anthias school all around the site. The rock itself is large and along the north end there is a series of walls covered with soft corals and large fans. In addition, this site has numerous interesting nudibranchs and flatworm species, including a strange looking elk horn sea cucumber with bright gold and yellow colors.
Along the northwest of the site there is a seamount that extend out from the main rock. The valley between is usually swept by current but has an amazing array of schooling fish. Look under the table corals and you may encounter a grouper, barramundi, or other interesting rockfish species. Schools of eagle rays and devil rays have also been spotted in this area. Along the mount is another area that houses protection for a lot of fish. The mount is covered in wonderful colors of orange, yellow, red and blue soft and hard corals. Further on, if you dare, is a broken coral bottom where white tip sharks and gray reef sharks are commonly spotted.
The southern side of the site is also amazing, and though the shallows are comprised of a lot of broken corals, once one goes deeper there are amazing coral formations with large fish, along with elk horn coral and other smaller mounts and boulders that house protection for many interesting species.

ctystal-rock


Once we are done diving the site, a three-minute safety stop at the three rocks is a great place to look for morays, stonefish, crocodile fish, day octopus and giant lionfish. This is truly an amazing site, and in conjunction with Castle Rock you are sure to be pleased.

At about 300 meters from Castle rock there is Crystal rock, whose tip is exposed at low tide. Similarly to Castle Rock, the current at Crystal rock can be very strong. Nevetheless a better shelter is found in the shade of the big rock. Besides the same fish species populating also Castle rock, there is a beautiful coral garden rich in fan corals in the Southwest side.In no current condition, we suggest to start the dive at 22-24m on the on the saddle connecting the main rock to a big pinnacle covered by fan corals. From there you can dive down to 27-30m to look for pygmeus sea horses on the fan corals. After having swimmed around a smaller pinnacle at about 22 meters, you will head to the main rock on its western side. From here we will go up, by reaching the main rock eastern side and you will make the safety stop at about 12 meters depth.Position: northwestern tip of Komod island;Distance: 1h 15min by boat from Komodo Resort; 2h 20min from Labuan Bajo.

The Cauldron

Name: The Cauldron / “Shotgun”
Max.depth: 20
Type: Coral slope / Channel
Current: Mild to ultra strong ;)
Cauldron, also called shotgun by some of the locals, is a drift dive with amazing changes of topography in between Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa Darat. It is named cauldron because of the bowl shaped drop off along the eastern end of the site, which resembles the Spanish cauldron, or large bowl.
This site can be very intense, as the water all funnels through the passage between the islands and creates a very fast current for a few hundred meters, sometimes up to 10 knots!
The dive typically starts in lush coral gardens in the northwest or northeast, though there is something for everyone here. We like the southwest because there is a large coral garden along a sandy bottom. At around 10 meters there is a large coral formation on top of a pinnacle where immense schools of fragile glassfish of all assortment of colors tend to congregate. It is always fun swimming through them and looking into their translucent red, turquoise, and blue bodies.
Further into the channel there is a large wall that extends to a sandy bottom around 30 meters and it is here where immense Gregorian coral tend to hang and if you look closely into the fan corals you will spot pipefish and other small critters. Larger fish, including bump head parrotfish, tend to use the overhangs of the wall for protection. Here and there a turtle can be spotted, and they are usually so busy feeding that they hardly notice that you are right next to them.
After the wall, you will typically swim back and into the sandy patch. Here the current becomes heavy. With less advanced divers, we typically go over the middle edge, as the topography rises and closes in sharply. The current picks up things become fast and all of a sudden you will fly over the edge and into a series of small canyons and reefs, where schooling anchovy, tuna, travelly, and even manta fight and play in the current in a spectacular sight.
The other way to go from the drop-off is for advanced divers, and it is a canyon situated to the northwest where a large amount of water funnels. This part of the dive is only dove on a falling tide form high tide, and it is very extreme in many ways. Computers typically don’t like this and will beep warnings and you get shot around the canyon walls and then vertically up and over a large and rocky slope. It is very enjoyable when done right, and usually you can be rewarded with sights like giant tuna and barracuda that fight the surface current. Along the other side, towards the east, lies the cauldron.
The slope gradually deepens to 12 meters before dumping into a large sandy bowl. Here, there are very colorful patches of coral that are literally teaming with fish. Under the edge of the bowl there is usually no current, while if you look up you will see plenty of fish fighting at the surface. It is truly a sight to behold. Along the sandy bowl there are usually large patches of garden eels, stingrays, and even sharks.
The dive is finished by pursuing soft hydra coral to the northeast side, where the most lush and healthy coral garden in the park is. This garden is vibrant with turtles, macro life, and colors galore. Typically, after the intense excitement of the drift from the passage between the islands, it is a wonderful experience akin to meditation to sit along the coral and look at all the vibrant colors of fish and marine life and totally relaxes.
We also dive this site in reverse with a rising tide, starting in the coral garden and ending along the northern slope or southern wall of the opposite end. Every dive here is different, and many times it is a place that people ask to do again and again.

cauldron

Usually a drift diving along the channel between Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa Darat. With the high tide we start from the south-eastern side of the channel and we cross it swimming among corals and school of fishes. On the other side of the channel we will be drift up on the edge of the cauldron. Once entered the cauldron we will dive down to the bottom watching the the wall covered by corals and crinoids. Inside the cauldron you will enjoy the amazing view of sharks and big pelagic fishes whirling round.We will go up along the northern side of the wall, we will be drift a bit longer to end up behind the western tip of Gili Lawat Laut where the boat will be waiting.
Great snorkeling, but suitable for expert swimmers, due to the strong corrents
Position: a few hundreds meters from Crystal Rock at the north-western tip of Komodo island; 1h 20min distant from Komodo Resort; 2h 25min distant from Labuan Bajo

Golden Passage

This dive site is the channel that separates Gili Lawa Darat from Komodo Island. It’s a surprising drift dive better to be done in rising tide when the current pushes east to west. Get into the water in the shallow eastern bay and follow the current. The coral garden is beautiful and deeper you get more life you’ll find there awaiting for you. You will cross the channel about 20 meters deep surrounded by amazing landscapes always changing and fishes. Schools of sweet lips, trevally, reefs white and black tip sharks. Lots of turtles. In few occasion we met giant manta ray and dolphins. The dive ends at the opposite side of the channel where divers can enjoy the bright corals during the safety stop. The dive with opposite tide still very nice and the site is very suitable for snorkelers especially in the shallow waters of the bays.

Batu Bolong

Max.depth: 40m
Type: Wall
Current: Mild-strong
One of the most famous sites in Komodo National Park along with Mata Point and Castle Rock, Batu Bolong is a small island swept by the strong currents that run north and south between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. On any given day, if the current is remotely strong, whirlpools form on each side of the island and it is a great place to witness the mighty power of these strong currents. Because of the current, however, this place is literally teaming the ship and more than one time, guests have come up from a dive with thumbs up yelling “fish soup.”

batu-bolong-1


“Batu” means rock and “bolong” means hole, and the giant hole in the south side of the rock that looks as if it was laid by ancient masons is why this island has the name. There are usually two ways to dive this site, depending on the current.
With a falling tide the current runs north to south and you will enter in the lee of the island, usually on the eastern side. Here there are large walls and crevices that go all the way to the south in a series of waves. Inside these crevices giant grouper hide, as well as moray eels, huge Indian lionfish and the occasional turtle. Along the bottom are giant fallen blocks at 30 meters where an occasional manta is spotted as well as teeming schools of tuna, trevally, and other large species.
Rising tide is very similar, however the north side has a giant wall that goes down to 35 meters along with a series of spurs that are literally littered with giant table corals and incredible formations of barrel sponges. You will zigzag with your guide between the northeast and northwest, using rocks for cover with the current. Along the spur there are giant sweet lips of a vibrant yellow and silver color, as well as grouper, emperors, bass and coral trout. The large gregorian fans here are incredible, and many of them hang off of the different walls in red, white, and pink.
Along the southern side are a large wall and then a spur with a large coral garden. Every inch of this site, both north and south, is littered with fish as the small ones seek shelter from the current and the larger ones use the current for feeding.
This is truly an amazing site at all levels, with plenty to see, and incredible vibrancy of life. The dive profile, unless dove in slack tide, is a zigzag from deep to shallow. Remember that the down currents here along the side of the island can be extreme, and you will see giant fish struggling to stay level and then falling into the abyss. Because of this, it is important to let your guide go first. If you fallow an experienced guide, you will truly see an awesome act of nature.

PADAR

Pillarsteen - 'Pillar Rock' lies a couple of kilometres to the south east of Padar Island, between Komodo and Rinca.
The best plan at this top notch dive site is to drop at a pinnacle at the southern-most point and let the strong current and surge take you west. To the south lies deeper water and a series of caves, chimneys and rocky outcrops. Here you'll find large mid night snappers, huge boxfish, and 6-banded angelfish.

To the west Pillarsteen's walls are painted yellow, green and orange by the dense colonies of soft corals. Yellow and white sea squirts are found here in their thousands. With funnel-shaped bodies and spout-shaped open mouths, these colourful creatures can easily be mistaken for aqautic versions of pitcher plants.

In the shallow waters the wall ends and becomes a sloping reef. Here are masses of gigantic soft brown leather corals (Scleronephthya, Sinulana and Sarchphyton). You'll see tiny bright yellow sea cucumbers, so common at Komodo Island, attached to most of the corals. They look surprisingly like members of the sea slug family, but Pentacta Lutea are indeed Holothurians. Strong surge can make this area hazardous amongst the rocks and corals, especially with the presence of highly toxic but brightly coloured red and purple fire urchins.

Pengah

Max.depth: 25m
Type: coral slope / wall
Current: Mild – strong

pengah


Pengah can be recognized by its three pinnacles that stick out of the water in a straight line from the southwestern side of the island. Depending on the current, you typically dive the south and southwestern side or the northwestern side. On the South side there is a series of walls that extend all the way down past 40 meters, a natural spur on the eastern side provides protection from a falling tidal currents. This wall actually extends all the way along the eastern side to the north and with favorable conditions one can do the whole thing in a series of steps.
Here, along the wall, corals grace every inch of perch. There are usually myriads of fusiliers and small schooling fish. Coral grouper in bright colors hide among the corals and if you look inside the large branching arms of a wine red of the ecrusting and branching fire corals and you will see them staring back, using their large pectoral fins to maneuver for shelter. The Pinnacles sit in shallow water, usually about 2 to 4 meters, so they are not really suitable to dive, but past the pinnacles is a long sloping reef with giant table corals that extends south like a finger and then rolls in bowls all along the western side of the island. Look under the corals and you might come across a sleeping white tip shark! Along this edge of the island there are usually converging currents and sometimes they can be disorienting, but with a falling tide you can continue north and get to another set of walls where larger pelagics such as giant travalley typically school.
Along the north side the walls continue and form a series of cliffs and drop offs that provide shelter and a veritable playground for fish and divers alike, just be careful of the current!