Divers usually make a beeline for Komodo National Park which can be accessed from the town of Labuan Bajo, often forgetting that there is also diving off Maumere. In the past, the diving around Maumere used to be outstanding but because of poor monitoring and many incidents of dynamite fishing, much of the reefs have been destroyed. That said, recovery is in process and the muck diving is excellent.
Diving Komodo National Park is an exciting affair but does require a bit of diving experience as the area is known for its swift and powerful currents. The water temperature here ranges from 73-82˚F (23-28˚C) with the colder temperatures mostly in the south. The best way to dive Komodo National Park is on a liveaboard diving vessel and the best season for diving is during the dry months of April to August. That said, some liveaboard vessels run trips throughout the year here.
In Maumere, it is also advisable to hop on a liveaboard diving vessel to be able to cover more ground but there are also land-based dive operators to choose from. Diving around Maumere involves trips to islands like Babi Island, Adonara Island or Lambata Island for sloping reefs, walls and boulders. There are also current filled drop-offs and of course, good muck diving around the bay. The best time to dive here is the dry season which starts from April and extends to December. Similar to Komodo, this area requires some diving experience because of the currents and choppy surface conditions. Visibility at Maumere averages at about 50ft (15m) only while at Komodo it can be beyond 100ft (30m).