Snorkeling Komodo!

Snorkeling the colorful reefs of Komodo National Park!

Komodo National Park is a favorite destination for our Coral Triangle Adventures snorkeling toursKomodo National Park is located about midpoint along Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda archipelago, a chain of volcanic islands that extend eastward from Java. The 1,817 square kilometer park was established in 1980 to preserve the largest lizard in the world, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986.
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The park consists of three main islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, and numerous smaller islands and islets. Unlike many tropical islands, islands in the park generally receive little or no rainfall for nearly eight months out of the year. This is due primarily to the strong, dry winds from Australia that bring warm air and little moisture. As a result, most of the islands have a rugged appearance with exposed rock and little vegetation. Though this harsh environment does not promote the type of terrestrial biodiversity that is seen in lush, tropical rainforests, the islands have several exceptional inhabitants such as wild boar, Timor deer, water buffaloes and, of course, the Komodo dragon. Dragons can be found on all three of the large islands in the park, but the population of about 5000 animals is essentially divided almost equally between Rinca and Komodo.
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While the national park and UNESCO status helped preserve the island’s most famous inhabitant, it was also very effective in preserving marine life around the local waters as well. As a contrast to the rugged landscape, the underwater wilderness showcases lush, vibrant reefs with a dazzling number of tropical fishes and corals. Located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the park possesses over 500 species of hard corals and close to 1500 species of tropical fishes! Our snorkeling tour focuses on the amazing habitat diversity that can be found in the park; visiting exposed reefs where thousands of reef fish cloud the water above fields of techno-colored corals, black sand coral gardens where a good eye can find interesting cryptic critters such as sea horses and nudibranchs, and current swept passes where manta rays and sharks glide effortlessly in the cobalt-blue sea. If excitement both in the water and on land is what you seek, please join us on our snorkeling expedition to the best reefs that Komodo National Park has to offer!
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ITINERARY

Route map to the coral triangle adventures snorkeling tour to Komodo National ParkThe expedition begins and ends in Bali, Indonesia with a round trip flight to Labuan Bajo, Flores where our tour begins. Departing from Labuan Bajo gives us nearly immediate access to Komodo National Park. Please note that the following is a general itinerary and that weather, tides, and other unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances may affect the schedule at any time.

Day 1: Sanur, Bali
Meals provided: D
Meet in Sanur, Bali at our group resort, the Puri Santrian, for the expedition orientation and welcome dinner. Overnight Puri Santrian

Day 2: Labuan Bajo / Komodo National Park
Meals provided: B,L,D
Morning flight to Labuan Bajo, Flores and transfer to the Gaia Love, our live-aboard and home for the next ten days. Depending on the time of departure from the port, we may have the chance to snorkel on one of the numerous colorful reefs that lay just outside of the eastern perimeter of Komodo National Park. Overnight: Gaia Love

Day 3 – 7*: Komodo National Park
Meals provided: B,L,D
Komodo National Park is home to some of the most colorful and diverse shallow coral reefs in the world. Located squarely in the coral triangle the reefs in the park possess over 500 species of hard corals and nearly 1500 species of tropical reef fish. Most of our snorkeling sites revolve around the high number of habitats that include coral gardens with nearly 100% coral coverage, narrow passes where swift currents attract manta rays, sharks, and large schools of fish, seaward reefs that consistently showcase more species of angelfishes and butterflyfishes than any other place we go in the world, and lush mangrove systems with its unique group of inhabitants. Our snorkels in Horseshoe Bay, an ancient, deceased caldera at the southern tip of Rinca Island, may expose us to some cooler water but the reefs here are stunning. Orange cup corals carpet the substrate and schools of anthias and fusiliers numbering in the thousands hover above. During our stay in the park, we will also visit Komodo dragons on Rinca as well as have some wild encounters with dragons in Horseshoe Bay. Overnight: Gaia Love

*Our 2022 departure is one day longer and we will spend the extra day in Komodo National Park

Day 8 – 10: Gili Banta / Sangeang
Meals provided: B,L,D
Two destinations that lie outside of the park are Gili Banta and Sangeang. Gili Banta has beautiful examples of exposed, seaward reefs where robust hard corals of many shapes and colors stand firm against the incoming waves. Sangeang is an active volcano that last erupted in 2014. The snorkeling here is amazing as the vibrant colors of both soft and hard coral contrast beautifully against the black, volcanic sand. The added bonus is the consistency of sightings of marine life favorites such as sea horses, scorpionfishes, juvenile angelfishes, and lots and lots of nudibranchs! Overnight: Gaia Love

Day 11: Labuan Bajo / Bali
Meals provided: B,L,D
In the morning, we disembark in Labuan Bajo and fly back to Bali where we will transfer to our group hotel, Puri Santrian. Lunch will be at a nearby restaurant where we have the chance to experience local food and drink. Farewell dinner at the resort.
Overnight: Puri Santrian

Day 12: International flights or extensions
Meals provided: B

DEPARTURES

Sept. 2 – 13, 2021 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Brian Magnier
Length: 12 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$7600 USD per person, double occupancy
$10,000 USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
March 31, 2021: $3500 USD / $4500 single
June 1, 2021: $3600 USD / $5000 single

Sept. 16 – 28, 2022 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Ethan Daniels
Length: 13 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$TBD USD per person, double occupancy
$TBD USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
February 15, 2022:
May 1, 2022:

Back-to-Back combination with Alor, Sept. 28 – Oct. 10, 2022

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 12 (day 13 for May 22 departure)
  • All meals on days 2 through 11 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 12(13))
  • All internal transfers including international arrival and departure transfers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • All snorkeling and park fees
  • All gratuities

Tour cost does not include

  • Round-trip international airfare (Please contact us with recommendations for routes or referrals to any of the several travel agents we currently work with)
  • Additional hotel accommodations and meals as a result of travel outside of the program dates
  • Visa requirements including payments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Extra / overweight baggage fees
  • Trip insurance (recommended; (we recommend Travel GuardWorld Nomads, or Travel Insure)
  • DAN insurance (required unless personal insurance program has worldwide emergency evacuation services)
  • Additional accommodations while on tour in the event of flight schedule changes or events of force majeure
  • Any required COVID-19 tests
  • Any required quarantine or flight changes due to a positive COVID-19 result

Cancellation policy:
91 – 150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less prior to departure: 100% of tour cost

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information


Accommodations

We use the finest live-aboard boat in Indoensia to host us on our exploration of Komodo National Park, the Gaia Love. In Bali, we stay at the Puri Santrian in the quiet beach village of Sanur.

gaia love - coral triangle adventuresThe Gaia Love is a modern 40 meters steel hull vessel build from the ground up in Batam, Indonesia. It is purpose built to sail and explore the far reach regions of Indonesia and complies with class requirements of BKI (Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia). Designed with a modern contemporary look with an emphasis for diving in comfort, she accommodates up to 20 guest in 10 spacious ensuite rooms; six on the upper deck and five on the lower deck. Each room averages in size of approximately 20 square meters, individual air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot water. Upper deck rooms will feature an additional private outdoor balcony. Gaia Love has a total of 4 decks (lower, main, upper and top/sundeck). A lounge, restaurant and camera room is located on the main deck. In the lounge is an entertainment center, pantry and all the facilities and little creature comforts to make your stay most comfortable. At the rear is a large dive deck that can accommodate up to 28 divers, so there is lots of space for guest to move around. On the dive deck is also eleven large rinse tanks of various sizes, for camera setups of all sorts. A boat deck is slightly aft of the dive deck where two 5.5 meters diving skiffs will always be ready and easy for divers to board. The sundeck features a bar for evening gatherings and relaxation under the stars. If you prefer to dine outdoors, this will be the perfect area to enjoy your meal. Sufficient shelter is available here as well as unshaded areas for those who wish to soak up some sun. Safety is top priority for us, hence, Gaia Love has a very well equipped wheelhouse from up-to-date navigation equipment to advance communication systems, life rafts, life vests, EPRIB, fire protection and fire fighting systems. An additional back up RIB is stored on the top deck, easily and swiftly deployable by a one ton crane, should it be needed. For more info about the Gaia Love click here.


 

Puri Santrian is a modern Balinese resort strategically positioned on the beach at the tranquil southern end of Sanur. Close to several historic sites of interest, it is an upmarket area with strong cultural roots where tradition permeates all aspects of daily life. Cocooned within a mature tropical garden, the hotel presents a choice of elegant Balinese accommodation options supported by essential lifestyle facilities. For more information about the Puri Santrian click here.


DEPARTURES

Sept. 2 – 13, 2021 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Brian Magnier
Length: 12 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$7600 USD per person, double occupancy
$10,000 USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
March 31, 2021: $3500 USD / $4500 single
June 1, 2021: $3600 USD / $5000 single

Sept. 16 – 28, 2022 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Ethan Daniels
Length: 13 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$TBD USD per person, double occupancy
$TBD USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
February 15, 2022:
May 1, 2022:

Back-to-Back combination with Alor, Sept. 28 – Oct. 10, 2022

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 12 (day 13 for May 22 departure)
  • All meals on days 2 through 11 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 12(13))
  • All internal transfers including international arrival and departure transfers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • All snorkeling and park fees
  • All gratuities

Tour cost does not include

  • Round-trip international airfare (Please contact us with recommendations for routes or referrals to any of the several travel agents we currently work with)
  • Additional hotel accommodations and meals as a result of travel outside of the program dates
  • Visa requirements including payments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Extra / overweight baggage fees
  • Trip insurance (recommended; (we recommend Travel GuardWorld Nomads, or Travel Insure)
  • DAN insurance (required unless personal insurance program has worldwide emergency evacuation services)
  • Additional accommodations while on tour in the event of flight schedule changes or events of force majeure
  • Any required COVID-19 tests
  • Any required quarantine or flight changes due to a positive COVID-19 result

Cancellation policy:
91 – 150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less prior to departure: 100% of tour cost

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information


What to Expect and Bring

WHAT TO EXPECT

Water temperatures vary between 68º – 86º F (20º – 30º C). The large range in water temperature reflects the influence of oceanic upwellings that affect the south side of the archipelago. While most of our snorkel sessions will take place in warm water, there are several sites around Horseshoe Bay on Rinca Island and sites around the south end of Komodo and Padar Islands where we may experience cooler water. Many of the reefs we will snorkel upon are subjected to currents associated with the large tide cycles that prevail in the area. While we often schedule our session during a time when the currents are minimal, there will be planned drift snorkels. These types of snorkels take advantage of the water movement and allow us to float over the reef without having to actively swim. This activity usually becomes an instant favorite among our guests as it is very exciting and yet very passive at the same time! In any case,  we will always have two dinghies standing by to help if needed.

Our planned hikes in Komodo National Park are on beaches or well established trails (paved and dirt/rocky). Our hikes in the park to look for dragons, whether we visit the national park on Komodo or Rinca, each require about 45 minutes of walking on well worn dirt paths. Most of the trails are flat but there are sections that lead uphill to breathtaking overlooks of the surrounding park. Both sites also have sections that are exposed directly to the sun.

Please read more about our daily schedule here.

WHAT TO BRING

The following list is a suggestion of things to bring and applies to almost all of our trips (specific items on a particular departure will be noted on the departure information).

-A good fitting mask, snorkel, and set of fins. If your equipment is brand new, please try it out in the pool. Determining the fit and function of your equipment in the pool includes doing several laps with all of your equipment on. Doing several snorkel dives is also very beneficial. It is also important to clean your new equipment, especially your mask. Cleaning procedures for your mask include light scrubbing with toothpaste or dishwasher soap to remove the light layer of silicon that is used to preserve the mask during shipping and storage. All areas of the mask, both inside and out, need to be addressed. Doing this greatly reduces the chances of having your mask fog. Not doing this, even when using mask de-fogger, usually results in a fogged mask.

-A wetsuit, rash guard, diveskin, or any type of clothing that can be used for thermal and/or protection form the sun. We suggest bringing a full 3mm wetsuit and some type of core insulation like a vest or shirt made of 1 – 2 mm neoprene (e.g., Lavacore or Sharkskin shirts or vests). These items will not only provide thermal protection but protection from the sun as well. For those who feel that a 3mm suit may be too warm, please consider a full body skin or rash guard to ensure protection from the strong sun. With regards to thermal protection, remember the saying: it is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. One that note…

-Head protection in the form of a wetsuit hood, a cap, or even a bandana. Anything that can keep the sun off of your head is extremely important. It is the most exposed part of our bodies when we are floating on the surface.

-Underwater Flashlight for our planned night snorkel. Komodo has excellent opportunities for night snorkeling and we will take full advantage.

-Biodegradable sunscreen lotion. Okay, this is a tricky suggestion. Even many biodegradable sunscreen lotions have been shown to harm and even kill tiny larvae (baby marine life ranging from fish to all types of invertebrates especially coral). It is fine to wear on land, but we highly discourage the use of sunscreen lotions in the water. Having a full wetsuit or skin will do the job of protection from the sun much better than lotions and the suits also help with thermal protection. It is truly a win-win for everyone and the marine environment.

-Casual, lightweight, tropical clothing
-Sunglasses (and a spare in case you lose your main pair)
-Comfortable footwear such as active sandals (Teva, Keen, Merrell, etc.)
-Hats. We cannot stress the importance of a hat in the tropics!
-All of our boats provide items like shampoo, soap, towels, etc. We bring this up because these items represent added weight and if they leak, less-than-fun times during the unpacking stage of the trip.

Other items that may be considered:
-Lightweight rainwear to protect from the occasional afternoon shower

DEPARTURES

Sept. 2 – 13, 2021←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Brian Magnier
Length: 12 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$7600 USD per person, double occupancy
$10,000 USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
March 31, 2021: $3500 USD / $4500 single
June 1, 2021: $3600 USD / $5000 single

Sept. 16 – 28, 2022 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Ethan Daniels
Length: 13 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$TBD USD per person, double occupancy
$TBD USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
February 15, 2022:
May 1, 2022:

Back-to-Back combination with Alor, Sept. 28 – Oct. 10, 2022

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 12 (day 13 for May 22 departure)
  • All meals on days 2 through 11 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 12(13))
  • All internal transfers including international arrival and departure transfers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • All snorkeling and park fees
  • All gratuities

Tour cost does not include

  • Round-trip international airfare (Please contact us with recommendations for routes or referrals to any of the several travel agents we currently work with)
  • Additional hotel accommodations and meals as a result of travel outside of the program dates
  • Visa requirements including payments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Extra / overweight baggage fees
  • Trip insurance (recommended; (we recommend Travel GuardWorld Nomads, or Travel Insure)
  • DAN insurance (required unless personal insurance program has worldwide emergency evacuation services)
  • Additional accommodations while on tour in the event of flight schedule changes or events of force majeure
  • Any required COVID-19 tests
  • Any required quarantine or flight changes due to a positive COVID-19 result

Cancellation policy:
91 – 150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less prior to departure: 100% of tour cost

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information


Departures

gaia love - coral triangle adventuresSept. 2 – 13, 2021 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Brian Magnier
Length: 12 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$7600 USD per person, double occupancy
$10,000 USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
March 31, 2021: $3500 USD / $4500 single
June 1, 2021: $3600 USD / $5000 single

 

gaia love - coral triangle adventuresSept. 16 – 28, 2022 ←Click to request a booking
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, Ethan Daniels
Length: 13 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$TBD USD per person, double occupancy
$TBD USD per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
February 15, 2022:
May 1, 2022:

Back-to-Back combination with Alor, Sept. 28 – Oct. 10, 2022

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 12 (day 13 for May 22 departure)
  • All meals on days 2 through 11 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 12(13))
  • All internal transfers including international arrival and departure transfers
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • All snorkeling and park fees
  • All gratuities

Tour cost does not include

  • Round-trip international airfare (Please contact us with recommendations for routes or referrals to any of the several travel agents we currently work with)
  • Additional hotel accommodations and meals as a result of travel outside of the program dates
  • Visa requirements including payments
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Extra / overweight baggage fees
  • Trip insurance (recommended; (we recommend Travel GuardWorld Nomads, or Travel Insure)
  • DAN insurance (required unless personal insurance program has worldwide emergency evacuation services)
  • Additional accommodations while on tour in the event of flight schedule changes or events of force majeure
  • Any required COVID-19 tests
  • Any required quarantine or flight changes due to a positive COVID-19 result

Cancellation policy:
91 – 150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost; 90 days or less prior to departure: 100% of tour cost. In any event of cancellation we will endeavor to find a replacements. In the case we find replacement guests we may be able to offer a partial refund or may transfer some or all payments to another departure.

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information

Trip Reports


Aerial view of Rinca Island, Komodo National Park snorkeling tour coral triangle adventures
Snorkeling on thriving reefs in Komodo National Park thriving It has long been thought that thriving coral reefs, one of
Whale shark photographed in Komodo national park by Coral Triangle Adventures
Komodo Snorkeling Tour, Oct 2019 Trip Report When people ask about our favorite trips we always mention, without hesitation, Komodo
Trip Report: Snorkeling the Heart of the Coral Triangle, Sept. 23-Oct. 11, 2019 What an epic journey we just completed!
Komodo National Park
Snorkeling to see sea slugs in Komodo National Park   By the end of the recent Coral Triangle Adventures trip
Porcelain crab photographed by coral triangle adventures
Snorkeling to see porcelain crabs in Komodo National Park Here’s a bit of reef irony, porcelain crabs (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) lives
Juvenile yellowtail coris photographed in Komodo National Park - coral triangle adventures
Komodo National Park Snorkeling Tour, 2018 Trip Report Komodo 2018 trip report.Two of my top five snorkel sites in the
chocolate chip sea stars in Komodo National Park
Snorkeling with the Colors of Komodo Colors are a major part of what we, as snorkelers, experience in the underwater
red emperor snapper in Komodo National Park
Komodo snorkeling tour, 2017 Trip Report Komodo 2017 trip report. Each time we do our Komodo National Park snorkeling tour
typlical reef scene in Alor Indonesia
Fish frenzy in Alor We have yet to visit a snorkeling destination where the reefs possess literally thousands of fish
Fantastic reefs abound in Komodo National Park - Coral Triangle Adventures
Komodo National Park Snorkeling Tour, 2016 Trip Report Komodo 2016 trip report. Once again Coral Triangle Adventures had the chance