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Diving in Flores

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).

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What to see inFlores

Manta rays like to frequent Komodo National Park but you might not be able to spend much time with them as you are likely to be caught up in a quick drift. That said, there are some sites where you can use a reef hook and enjoy the display of whitetip sharks, tuna, trevally, rainbow runner and barracuda zipping around looking for a meal. Eagle rays are also often seen in the blue. Around healthy sloping reefs, there are usually many lyretail anthias, angelfish and butterflyfish. Amongst the corals, there are some interesting critters to find like frogfish and nudibranch. Off Maumere, the reefs have good coverage of soft corals and colourful crinoids. Other than colourful reef fish, look out for ribbon eels, moray eels, squat lobsters and crabs. Gorgonian sea fans are plentiful here and you could find some with pygmy seahorses. Muck sites could reveal an Ambon scorpionfish, wasp fish, flamboyant cuttlefish, colourful nudibranch, octopus and other strange critters.

Getting to Flores

Fly to Frans Seda Airport in Maumere via Wings Abadi Airlines which departs from Bali or Kupang.

Liveaboards in Flores

Queenesia

Shared trips from $520pp

Shared trips from $520pp

Lagoon Ocean (Anema Cruise)

Charter Trips from $1500
Per Night

Ombak Putih

Cajoma IV

Charter Trips from $2207
Per Day

Cajoma 3

Charter Trips from $1744
Per Day

Tiare Cruise

Shared trips from $6710pp

Shared trips from $6039pp

Shared trips from $6039pp

Charter Trips from $5500
Per Night

Other Indonesian Destinations

Lembeh Strait

Raja Ampat

Lombok

Triton Bay

Bunaken & Siladen

Misool