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Snorkeling with manta rays on a coral triangle adventures Komodo National Park snorkeling tour

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.
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.
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!



Route map for Komodo National Park snorkeling tourThe 13-day expedition begins and ends in Bali, Indonesia with one internal roundtrip flight (Bali-Labuan Bajo-Bali). 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
Arrive in Bali and transfer to Sanur where our group hotel, the Hyatt Regency is located. Welcome dinner and trip orientation at the resort. Overnight Hyatt Regency Bali.

Day 2: Labuan Bajo, Flores / Gaia Love / Komodo National Park
Meals provided: B,L,D
Our morning flight takes us to Labuan Bajo, Flores and upon our arrival, we will transfer to our liveaboard boat and home on the water. After our boat orientation and lunch, we cruise towards Komodo National Park. We will snorkel in the afternoon on one of the reefs just outside of KNP. Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 3: Tatawa / Siaba Kecil
Meals provided: B,L,D
Reefs around Tatawa  and Siaba Kecil are some of the healthiest and lushest reefs in Indonesia. Shallow coral gardens boast a huge diversity of coral and reef fishes. The drop-off attracts larger marine life such as turtles, sharks, eagle rays, giant trevally, unicorn ishes, and manta rays. We’ve also had several encounters with dugongs here. Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 4: Shotgun / Gili Darat
Meals provided: B,L,D
Shotgun is narrow channel between Gili Darat and Gili Lawa Laut. We’ll drift snorkel through the channel to look for manta rays that feed in the current and then spend time on the shallow reef where just about every species of large angelfish that range in Komodo can be found. Gili Darat is a protected bay with large stands of staghorn coral. The adjacent sand patches are great places to look for jawfish and seahorses. Along the steep slope, look for turtles and big schools of fusiliers. Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 5: Batu Monchu / Gili Banta
Meals provided: B,L,D
Batu Monchu is a stunning bay along the north coast of Komodo Island. Shallow reefs extend into spur and groove formations that attract both juvenile and large adult fish alike. Gili Banta is an extinct volcano where our snorkel site takes place in the collapsed caldera. Overnight Gaia Love

Day 6: Sangeang Volcano
Meals provided: B,L,D
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 bonus is the consistency for sightings of marine life favorites such as sea horses, scorpionfishes, juvenile angelfishes, and lots and lots of nudibranchs! Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 7: Tatawa / Siaba Besar (NW)
Meals provided: B,L,D
We revisit the island to snorkel amongst productive, clear-water mangroves. Along with the diversity and abundance of juvenile fishes, cardinalfishes, and pipefishes, this is the best place to see the marine file snake. In the afternoon, we’ll drift snorkel the wall along Siaba besar. Not only a great place for turtles, but we’ll also keep an eye out for sharks and dugongs. Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 8: Horseshoe Bay
Meals provided: B,L,D
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 magnificent. Orange cup corals carpet the substrate and schools of anthias and fusiliers numbering in the thousands hover above. This is also a great place for critter hunting the shallow sand and rubble. Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 9: Komodo Island / Padar Pink Beach
Meals provided: B,L,D
There are several large bays along the southern end of Padar that possess the pinkest beaches in Komodo. Reefs out front are dominated by the soft coral, tubipora musica, whose red skeleton breaks down and contributes to the sand on the beach. On Komodo, swift moving water promotes thousands of fish to dance in the current over healthy coral. Overnight Gaia Love

Day 10: Komodo Dragons / Siaba Besar (SW) / Wanilu
Meals provided: B,L,D
After an early breakfast, we will visit Komodo National Park to encounter the most famous residents, Komodo dragons. The hike takes us to the ranger station and around the park for the chance to see the world’s largest lizard. In the afternoon, we’ll snorkel the fringing reef along the southwest side of Siaba Besar. In the evening, we’ll night snorkel at Wanilu to look for octopuses, scorpionfishes, and maybe a coral cat shark! Overnight Gaia Love

Day 11: Sabayor
Meals provided: B,L,D

90% coral coverage, gazillions of fish, azure-blue sink holes, mangroves, seagrass, enormous sea fans, and consistent sightings of turtles and cuttlefish. This site usually gets the best reviews and it’s easy to see why. Overnight Gaia Love.

Day 12: Labuan Bajo / Sanur
Meals provided: B,L,D
Disembark in Labuan Bajo and transfer to the airport for the flight back to Bali. Transfer to group hotel/resort. Afternoon on your own. Group dinner in Sanur. Overnight Hyatt Regency

Day 13: International flights or extensions
Meals provided: B


Sept 12 – 24, 2024 ←Sold out
Accommodations: Gaia Love
Guides: Lee Goldman, TBD
Length: 13 days

Prices and Payment schedule:
$8600 USD per person, double occupancy
$12,100 per person, single occupancy

Reservation deposit: $500 USD
March 12, 2024: $4600 USD / $6600 USD (single)
June 12, 2024: $USD / $3500 USD / $5000 USD (single)

Back-to-back combination with: Alor, Indonesia, Sept 24 – Oct 06, 2024

Tour cost includes:

  • Accommodations on day 1 through day 13
  • All meals on days 2 through 12 (dinner on day 1 – breakfast on day 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
  • 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
  • Fuel surcharges (if applicable)

Cancellation policy:
180 – 91 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


We use the finest live-aboard boat in Indonesia to host us on our snorkeling adventures in Komodo, the Gaia Love. In Bali, we stay at the Hyatt Regency in the quiet beach village of Sanur. Please visit our accommodations page for more photos or use the link to visit the given website.


gaia love - coral triangle adventuresThe Gaia Love is a modern 40-meter steel hull vessel build from the ground up in Batam, Indonesia. Designed with a modern contemporary look and with an emphasis on diving in comfort, she accommodates up to 20 guests in ten spacious ensuite rooms: six on the upper deck and four on the lower deck. Each room is 20 square meters and has individual air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot water. Upper deck rooms feature an additional private outdoor balcony. Gaia Love has a total of four decks (lower, main, upper and top/sundeck). The lounge, restaurant, and camera room are located on the main deck. Adjacent to the lounge is the seating area for plated meals. At the rear is an over-sized dive deck that can accommodate up to 28 divers. The partially shaded sundeck is perfect for evening gatherings and relaxation under the stars.More photos 


The Hyatt Regency in Sanur, Bali, is a beachfront property built on nine hectares of lush tropical gardens. Relax in one of the 363 rooms, designed with contemporary Balinese and Japanese elements and comforts. Each room features a patio or balcony overlooking lush gardens or partial ocean. The property has three gorgeous swimming pools and three restaurants to choose from: Omang Omang, Pizzaria, and Piano Lounge. The hotel is conveniently located near Bali’s main tourist attractions, and the International Airport Ngurah Rai is just 16 km away. Hyatt Regency Bali is a CHSE certified and GBAC STARTMaccredited hotel. Our room type is the Premium King or Twin. These rooms are 39 square meters and feature a sitting/lounging area and a spacious terrace with easy access to the pools, restaurants and gardens. More photos 


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.


The following list is a suggestion of things to bring and applies to almost all 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 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 layer of silicon used to preserve the mask during shipping. Clean both sides of the mask. 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 from 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 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 your head is extremely important. It is the most exposed part of our bodies when we are floating on the surface.

-Underwater flashlight on departures with a planned night snorkel

-Biodegradable sunscreen lotion. Sunscreen lotions can be harmful and even kill tiny larvae (baby marine life). It is fine to wear on land, but we highly discourage the use of sunscreen lotions in the water. A full wetsuit or dive skin will protect one from the sun much better than lotions and provide 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 our boats provide items like shampoo, soap, towels, etc. We bring this up because these items represent added weight or may leak.

Other items to consider:
-Lightweight rainwear to protect from the occasional afternoon shower


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