Day One – Labuan Bajo: Arrival & Boarding: A 1-hour flight from Denpasar, Bali, and you will arrive in the small port town of Labuan Bajo, Flores. Mantamae staff will pick you up at the airport for immediate boarding and departure. After snack/lunch, we have the boat briefing and depending on the time of arrival, the diving briefing, and we will get ready for our check dive.
A few miles from Labuan Bajo’s harbor lies the small island of Sebayur with excellent diving, Sebayur Kecil and Mini Wall, including bronze sweepers, lionfish, eels, and possibly the resident ghost pipefish, which makes the perfect “warm-up dive.” The staggered tiers of the neighboring patch reef are home to many different species of nudis, pipefish, sea fans, sponges, and even a few twin-spot lionfish. During the night dive, we might see nurse sharks, nudis, and crustaceans.
Day Two – Sebayur Kecil: Morning dive in Mini Wall and snorkeling activity in Sebayur Kecil. After the first dive in twenty minutes with the Mantamae, we arrived in Tatawa Besar. Excellent diving or snorkeling alongside the shallow reef water.
Tatawa Besar: This is a thrilling drift dive that starts from the northwestern tip of Tatawa and continues down the western side towards 15 to 20 meters of depth. The surrounding fish life is profuse, and you will see an endless field of stunning orange soft corals as you glide along. Swim past coral heads inhabited by schools of sweetlips and batfish and look out for turtles feeding on the reef. Mantas have been encountered here as well.
Tatawa Kecil: The West side of this small rocky outcrop presents a fantastic underwater terrain with enormous rock slabs that have been worn down to form channels, canyons, caves, and swim-throughs. On the north plateau, crocodile fish lies on the scenic reef among many reef fish and schooling fusilier.
In 20/30 minutes, we cruise to Siaba Besar, and we spend the night at the mooring buoy in front of her. The perfect place for a sunset barbecue is the close white beach of Mauan.
Day 3 – Siaba Kecil: One of the most famous drift dives in the north of Komodo.
Great overhangs with soft coral/hard coral and a lot of fishes. Bumphead parrotfishes, different kinds of sweetlips, and bamboo/white tips sharks.
Batu Bolong – Underwater, this rock is covered in a vast amount of soft and hard corals and full of fish life. In the shallows, watch anemone fishes and look out for turtles munching on the corals. Giant trevallies, white tip reef sharks, snappers, and emperor fishes tend to congregate here. This site presents outstanding opportunities for both macro and wide-angle photography. Batu Bolong has one of the best shallow reefs for snorkeling.
Makassar Reef (Manta Point) is an exhilarating drift dive along the shallow flat bottom interspersed with patches of coral reef teeming with life. There are chances to see manta rays, turtles, eagle rays, and white tip and blacktip reef sharks. Also, appreciate the snorkeling. We spend the night in this area.
Day 4 – Gili Lawa Laut: Two famous dive sites await you, just north of Gili Lawa Laut Island. Crystal Rock and Castle Rock are both incredible locations, boasting the key elements for an impressive dive site: a wide variety of healthy corals covering the reef, plus tons of fish – both big and small and all sizes in between! There are two more exhilarating dives in this area, Cauldron, and Gili Lawalaut Lighthouse, along with good night dives on healthy hard coral reefs off the island of Gili Lawa Darat. Between the dives, there is a chance to visit Gili Lawa Laut Island and take a short trek to the top of the hill for a beautiful view over the Komodo-Flores channel.
Crystal Rock – The rock jutting out of the surrounding crystal clear waters explains how it got its name. But what is truly memorable here are the large schools of fusiliers and anthias flitting over the gorgeous soft corals and impressive table corals. You can also see large tuna, mackerel, and another fish schooling around a small mound to the northwest in the deep blue. A lone eagle ray is often spotted here cruising in the currents.
Cauldron – The channel between Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa Darat forms a dive site with interesting topography. The dive starts with a drift along a sloping reef and sandy bottom. Corals heads shelter crocodile fish and lionfish hunting in the small schools of glassfish. Pygmies and frogfish have been seen here as well as eagle rays and reef sharks. The dive site then shallows out with the ‘bull ring’ circle opening out and ending in a flat rock plateau. There is also a chance to see manta rays playing on the surface.
Castle Rock – Castle Rock is a submerged pinnacle situated a kilometer further north from Crystal Rock. Its exposed location means strong currents, but experienced divers will love the thrills to be had on this dive. The main action comes from watching the staggering amount of fish such as batfish, groupers, midnight snappers, and impressive schools of fusiliers and surgeons whipping past. Of course, divers aren’t the only ones interested in the vast amount of fish here, which explains the giant trevallies as well as whitetips, blacktips, and grey reef sharks hunting around for their next meal.
Day 5 Komodo-Flores – MAUAN: This is one of the most beautiful beaches inside the Komodo National Park. With its pinkish sand and turquoise waters, it’s the right place for stunning pictures and a fantastic dive or snorkeling spot. It’s another Manta Rays spot, and it featured an amazing coral garden where you can spot a lot of macro and beautiful live hard and soft corals. Memorable encounters with sleeping blacktip reef sharks can happen.
Pulau Pengah: This dive site is located in the middle of the Komodo National Park, 12 nautical miles to the north and 12 nautical miles to the south. The translation of Batu = Rock, Tengah = Middle. With a slope to the east of the site and a coral garden to the west, Batu Tengah is a beautiful site where we often get to see turtles, cuttlefish, and juvenile white tip reef sharks hide under the table corals among the hard coral garden. Napoleon’s wrasses and big groups of snapper swimming on the slope with all the colorful decoration of the soft coral make Batu Tengah a high-quality dive site.
Wainilu – This sunset dive is situated off the north of Rinca Island. The hard coral reef is home to many different critters in the shallows, including juvenile harlequin sweetlips and batfish. Away from the reef, the sandy slope is scattered with pulsing soft corals that hide demon stingers and starry night octopus, plus a moray eel that has not yet been classified by scientists is only found here in Wainilo. We dive at 17.30 for the Mandarin Fisch, and we spend the night at the anchor position.
Day 6 – Wainilu: This morning, after light breakfast, we will repeat the dive to enjoy it by daylight. Another perspective for another incredible macro dive. Once back, we will serve a full breakfast, and afterward, we will head to Rinca for the Komodo dragon trekking.
Rinca trekking – Today is the day for wildlife on land. In the morning, all dry and ready to experience Komodo National Park’s main feature: the famous Komodo varans, aka Komodo Dragons. Please wear comfortable clothes; we would suggest wearing long pants and trekking shoes along with a hat to enjoy the trekking around the Rinca park with the ranger. You will see the dragons and other wildlife such as wild pigs, water buffalos, monkeys, snakes, and many different bird species.
Kalong Island – After trekking, we will serve a refreshing snack before heading to Kalong Island. Like last night we will offer you the fantastic scenery of the flying foxes food catch. This natural emotional, and the incredible show will impress your eyes and leave you with a memorable cruise end.
Day 7 – Wake up later and breakfast. On the way back to Labuan Bajo, we will stop by the Mesah Village to experience the Bajo fishermen village’s local life. Since this is a Muslim village, we recommend appropriate clothes for the women, long pants, and t-shirts. Way back to Labuan Bajo and check out.
(During the cruise, traveling between one site and another, do not exceed the 2.30 h / 3 hours)
The above itinerary is a sample one. Based on weather, sea, and currents conditions, this itinerary may vary for the guests and boat’s safety. Also, KLM Mantamae Cruise Manager will decide based on the divers’ level if the dive plan suites their level due to strong currents, especially in Gili Lawa Laut. It would be possible to discuss and add island hopping or hiking directly with the Cruise Managers. Marine Life: Bumphead parrotfish, bamboo sharks, marble rays, nudibranchs, dusky sharks, jawfish, bubble coral shrimps, leaf fish, porcelain crabs, pygmy seahorses, schools of barracudas, trevally, and mackerel, white tips, black tips, grey reef sharks, turtles, octopus, frogfish, manta rays, dugong, banded pipefishes, mandarin fishes, Wonderpus, Indian Walkman
Please note while there is no minimum certification level or a number of dives required, divers with less than 50 dives who have not dived for one year will be required to take a scuba review onboard (underpayment as per price list). The same is required for divers with 51 up to 200 dives who have not dived for two years