Blue Manta Explorer - Komodo Itinerary
Discover some of Indonesia’s most biodiverse and healthy reef systems; submerged pinnacles and stunning fringing coral reefs, Big Fish, adrenaline-pumping currents, sharks, mantas & dolphins in crystal clear waters provide a sensory over load for first time visitors. Amazing Macro discoveries such as pygmy seahorses, frogfish and nudibranch galore provide secret delights for photography enthusiasts. Komodo really does have something for everyone, Including stunning scenery above and below the waves and a walk on the wild side with the worlds largest Lizard, the infamous Komodo Dragon!
More than 1,000 species of tropical fish, 260 species of coral, and rare marine mammals such as the dugong live within Komodo National Park. Strong daily tidal flows combine with nutrient-rich water upwelling from the depths of the Indian Ocean to create ideal conditions for thousands of species of corals and tropical fish to flourish. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 Divers travel from all over the globe to experience the spectacular biodiversity of more than 50 world-class dive sites ranging from challenging blue water current dives with a chance of glimpsing large pelagic species to discovering rare invertebrates on a ‘muck’ dive closer to shore.
Enjoy spectacular diving in the North, Central and (weather permitting) Southern areas of this incredible National Park. In the Northern and Central areas of the park expect great visibility and warm (27-28C) water, big fish sightings are common and photographers will find wide angle is the default setting. Highlight Dive Sites include Crystal & Castle Rock, Shotgun, Batu Bolong and Makassar Reef (Mantas on the moon). In The South the water temps are usually much cooler (21-25C) and the visibility can be less than perfect in these nutrient rich waters. However dive sites such as Cannibal Rock, Secret Garden and Torpedo Alley provide sightings of the most diverse marine life in the park. Incredible Manta aggregations can also be seen in the South at Manta Alley. Prepare for Strong currents and conditions suitable for advanced level divers throughout the itinerary. We recommend 30-50 minimum dives logged prior to your Komodo itinerary. Currents are usually strongest around the New and Full moon, you can easily check out the moon phase for your trip by visiting a website such as moonconnection.com.
Sample Itinerary Komodo North & South 8D/7N 20 Dives (schedules are subjected to changes according to weather and sea condition).
Day 1. (1-2 dives) Our staff will meet you in Labuan Bajo Airport and transfer you to Blue Manta Explorer. Depending on arrival time, we do check dive at Bidadari and night dive at Pulau Sebayor in Central Komodo.
Day 2. (4 dives) North Komodo; Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, Shotgun, Gili Lawa. Pinnacles, drift dives and reefs full of action with hunting pleagics, jacks & sharks!
Day 3. (4 dives) North/Central Komodo; Tatawa Besar & Kecil, Batu Bolong, stunning coral gardens with amazing fish life. On to Wainilu for an amazing night dive.
Day 4. (4 dives) Central/South Komodo; Padar Island; one of our favorite regions in the park with some stunning and diverse dive sites such as Three Sisters and Pillarsteen.
Day 5. (4 dives) South Komodo; Manta Alley provides some of the best Manta Action in the region with large aggregations of these marine mega stars visiting for both cleaning and feeding action.
Day 6. (4 dives) South Komodo; Nusa Kode; Cannibal Rock, Yellow Wall, Torpedo Alley, Crinoid Crack. Macro; nudibranchs, octopus, frogfish, pigmy seahorses, & more.
Day 7. (2 dives) Central Komodo; More Manta Action at Makassar Reef followed by a final dive in Current City. Finally enjoy a walk on the wide side in search of Komodo Dragons, and then back on board to relax as we sail towards Labuan Bajo, where you spend last night on Blue Manta Explorer in Bajo Port.
Day 8. (0 Dives) 6am-12pm; check out after Breakfast, farewells and transfer to airport. Take your pre-booked flight from Labuan Bajo.
Blue Manta Explorer Trip Schedule:
Departure; 3.30pm, 1st Day - Bajo Port, Labuan Bajo, Western Flores. Or earlier if everyone arrives before and all Trip Preparations have been completed. Free transfer from Airport or local hotel to Bajo Port (15 mins) on Trip Departure day.
7D/6N& 20 dives to 11D/10N & 33 dives: Enjoy spectacular diving in the North, Central and (weather permitting) Southern areas of the National Park. Trips departing from Bima / disembarking in Labuan Bajo and vice versa available from 2019. Prepare for Strong currents and conditions suitable for advanced level divers. We recommend 30-50 minimum dives logged prior to your Komodo itinerary.
Return; 6am, Last Day - Bajo Port, Labuan Bajo, Western Flores. After breakfast and farewells we take you to the Airport in time for Check-in & flight or local hotel.
Last dive ends; 12pm, Penultimate Day. Followed by a walk on the wild side in search of Komodo dragons, then sail back to LBJ port for late evening. This allows for your minimum 18 hours surface interval/ No Fly Time (as recommended by Padi).
International Flights: Labuan Bajo (LBJ), Western Flores can be accessed via Bali (DPS, Denpasar). International connections from Singapore (SIN), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Jakarta (CGK), and Bangkok (BKK) to name but a few. From Singapore you can now fly same day via Jakarta with Garuda Indonesia to and from Labuan Bajo.
Domestic Flights: Early morning Garuda Indonesia or Lion Air flights between Bali & Labuan Bajo, are the preferred option. Alternatively if you arrive to Bali by 9am on Trip Departure day you should be able to connect with Lion Wings later flights at 13:10 & 13:55 or Nam Air Flight at 13:40. Please ensure you book domestic flights BEFORE confirming your International flights to ensure you make your connection to & from Labuan Bajo.
Book online directly: Garuda Indonesia & Lion Air provides online reservations.
Other airline carriers: You may need an Indonesian credit card.
Hotels in Labuan Bajo: For guests planning to stay in Labuan Bajo before or after their trip, the following hotels come recommended; Jayakarta Suites Hotel, Bintang Flores Hotel, La Prima, Please note this is not an exhaustive list but a good place to start when looking for accommodation in Labuan Bajo.
From May 2019 our Komodo schedules Start & Finish ports will alternate between Bima & Labuan Bajo, please check your trip itinerary to confirm your trip’s arrival & departure points.
How to get to Bima (BMU): Daily flights are available from Bali or Makassar with Lion Air or from Lombok with Garuda Indonesia Early morning arrivals are the preferred option in order to allow us to start diving by the early afternoon.
How to get from Bima (BMU): Daily flights to Bali or Makassar with Lion Air or to Lombok with Garuda Indonesia On Trip Return if you have connecting International flights home, please allow enough time between your Domestic flight landing and International departure.
Bima Hotels: With regular flight schedules to and from Bali there is really no need to stay in Bima overnight before or after your Komodo dive itinerary. Bima is a small town and as yet there are very few hotels that cater for the international traveller.
What Exposure suit do I need? While a 3mm shorty is fine for the Northern areas of the park 78-82F/26-28C. It is recommended to bring your own 5mm long semi-dry & hood for Southern Komodo cooler waters (between 71-78F/22-26C).
Are The Currents always Strong in Komodo? The Komodo area is famous for it’s strong currents and adrenaline pumping action packed dive sites, on any trip to Komodo you should expect to encounter some current during your diving. However our experienced crew & Dive staff is there to advise and assist you. We will always consider the level and experience of our guests when selecting dive sites.
Are you diving with 12L or 15L tanks and are you using DIN or Yoke valves? Our tanks have both INT valves and DIN inserts. You don’t need to bring an adapter. We can provide 15L tanks on request (rental fee applicable and subject to availability on booking).
When is the best time to visit Komodo? Conditions are usually at their best above and below the water during the high season from May through to September.
Check List of what to bring? PASSPORT, Dive certification card, log books, Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, book, MP3/Tablet, camera chargers, memory sticks/SD cards, and CASH for any travel necessities.
Check List for Diving Gear: BCD, Regulator, Fin/booties, Mask, snorkel, wetsuit, dive computer, underwater flashlight/torch with batteries, SMB, hood, reef hook. If you do not have any of these items, we have rental gear available; just let us know what items and sizes (if applicable) in advance, as all gear is subject to availability. Please note the use of a dive computer is compulsory for all Indonesia itineraries, if you do not have one, we have them available for rent onboard.
Do I need a visa? Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival (VoA); many countries now receive a free 30 days on arrival, some pay USD35 to obtain VoA, others will have to obtain Visa BEFORE Arrival. Passport; ensure your passport is in good order, has enough pages, is valid for at least 6 months, and that you are able to enter Indonesia. Check with your local Indonesia Embassy if unsure.
Will I need to Pay Departure Tax at the airport? Departure Tax; Indonesia Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) has changed (March 2015) to be included in your flight ticket price. Please check with your airline if unsure.
Should I purchase Travel & Dive Insurance? Dive Insurance with evacuation coverage is compulsory for all trips. We also strongly advise you get adequate travel insurance. Please check your travel insurance policy for your travel needs. For dive travel insurance, we recommend DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. More information about insurance options can be found HERE.
Travel Insurance: please NOTE: we cannot be held accountable for airline flight changes, delays, or cancellations. We STRONGLY advise you take out adequate insurance to cover such eventualities.
Follow Safe Diving Practices at ALL times: We do not allow Decompression Diving or Solo Diving on any of our trips.
Is Malaria present in this area? Will I need Immunization boosters? You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel; while the risk is low some health professionals recommend travel vaccines for Hepatitis A/B and Typhoid. Komodo area is a low risk Malaria Zone; however it is advised you take the proper precautions against malaria including speaking with your physician or travel medicine specialist for appropriate anti-malarials. DAN provides information on diving and anti-malarials, which can be found HERE. Good preventative measures include DEET-containing insect repellent and long armed/legged clothing in the evening. If unsure about any health matters please consult a diving doctor prior to your trip.
What Currencies are accepted in Komodo? Most places accept US Dollars, as well as Indonesian Rupiah. Please ensure ALL bills are in good order; NOT worn or torn and unmarked or they will not be accepted. Exchange rates differ for USD100/50 bills and USD20/10 bills. There are a number of ATMs available in Labuan Bajo town, very close to our departure/arrival port.
Is there a fuel Surcharge? NO fuel surcharges in place at this time but may be implemented to account for any wide fluctuations.
What Plug types are available? We have 3 pin UK standard plugs, 220v in every cabin, salon, dining area, and dive deck. International plugs plus USB sockets are also available. We also have some adapters onboard. Most modern mobile phones, computers, camera batteries, etc. are dual voltage (check labels to be certain), so most guests only require adapters, rather than converters. If a converter is required, please bring your own.
Is there Internet/ Mobile signal available in Komodo? Local Telkomsel is best local card to buy. North & Central Komodo has fairly good mobile signal and Internet access, South Komodo is less well covered and has next to nothing. Telkomsel simpati sim card is the best and costs only 3USD plus credit to add on top. The Blue Manta Explorer does have 24hr Satellite Internet available onboard at a charge.
How much luggage is allowed on domestic flights? Most airlines allow 10-20kg/pax checked & 7kg carry-on. Additional weight is charged per/kilo (USD2-5/ kilo). Maximum allowance between 20-30kg. Consult with your Travel Agent or Airline carrier for actual details.
I want to stay in Labuan Bajo before / after my trip, is it possible? Absolutely, Labuan Bajo has blossomed into a small tourist gem in recent years, with many Western/Local restaurants serving high quality food, small local craft shops and plenty of land and diving based day trips available. We can help recommend local hotels where we can pick you up on Trip Departure day & drop off on trip return, transfers on Day of trip departure/arrival all included within the Labuan Bajo area. The following hotels have often been used by our guests in the past and come recommended; Jayakarta Suites Hotel, Bintang Flores Hotel, La Prima, Please note this is not an exhaustive list but a good place to start when looking for accommodation in Labuan Bajo.
How about the weather? What Clothes should I bring? Generally, throughout the day, light clothing such as shorts and T-Shirt should be enough; most often it is hot and sunny with fine clear blue skies. However you may also want to bring a light sweater or jumper as the evenings can sometimes turn a little cool, especially in the Southern areas of the park. For our dragon trek and visits to the island covered shoes are recommended.
Will there be land based visits? As well as the Komodo Dragon trek there are also numerous opportunities to visit some of the island’s beaches and view points throughout the itinerary. While the actual location of these visits will depend on the trip itinerary as determined by the cruise leader, you can expect at least one or two opportunities to enjoy some of the stunning Komodo scenery from land in-between your diving adventures.
How much should I tip the crew? Average guest gratuities are around 10% of your trip price, or more if you wish to reward their excellent service, this is entirely up to you of course. (USD or Indonesian Rupiah preferred).
What's included? All nights' accommodation & 3 meals/day onboard, tea, coffee, fruit, snacks, towels, dive guide, all dives, 12 liter air tanks, use of weights & belt, 2 way land transfer from Labuan Bajo or Bali Airport (LBJ/DPS) or local hotel (Labuan Bajo only).
What's excluded? International/local airfares, accommodation on land, marine park & harbor fee (USD180/pax or USD200/pax for 2019 departures), dive insurance (required), travel insurance, massage services (USD30/ hour), laundry services (USD5/basket), Satellite Wi-Fi (USD30/per person/per trip), Nespresso coffee (USD2), soft drinks, Alcohol; beer (USD4), wine (USD30-50), Diving Gear; 15L tank rental, Nitrox EANx32, Nitrox & Equipment Rental Items.
Credit card: MasterCard & Visa only, all credit card transactions incur 4.5% processing fee.