Maumere

Maumere was once lauded as one of the best diving destinations in Indonesia prior to 1992. But when a tsunami hit in December of the same year, the area suffered a major loss in casualties and struggled to maintain its status as a top diving spot.

Over three decades later, Maumere is still considered unpopular by many divers due to its lack of exposure. But the underwater beauty that was once reported to have over 1100 fish species in 1997 remains. Diving in Maumere, without question, still offers the same breathtaking experience that it once had, far from the crowd.

Top highlights of Maumere

  • Explore the barrier reef around Pangabatang, Pulau Besar, and Dambilah Island, one of the few of its kind in Indonesia
  • The 1992 earthquake created a crack in the reef at The Crack, one of the most iconic dive sites on Babi Island
  • Head to Wairterang Wreck for a wreck dive of the Japanese ship from World War II
  • Treat yourself to some whale shark sightings in Pulau Besar from April to May

About Maumere

As the second largest town in Flores, Maumere often functions as the starting/finishing point for the Liveaboard cruises due to its proximity to Komodo and Alor. The island of Flores is full of active volcanoes, creating picturesque landscapes on the land, while the diving is only mapped out in the northern part of Flores—this includes Maumere and Komodo—because the south coast is pretty rough.

Maumere was once included as one of the finest diving destinations in the world. Due to natural disasters and bomb fishing, 75% of the coral reefs have been reported to be destroyed or damaged from the 2007 report. The earthquake with 7,8 magnitude and the tsunami that followed in 1992 destroyed 90% of the buildings, and at least 2,500 were killed/missing because Maumere was the hardest hit town. This natural disaster had a devastating effect on the underwater landscape and diving business in the region.

Diving in Maumere

Diving in Maumere, once applauded as one of the top diving regions in Indonesia, is like stepping on a slice of history. The earthquake in 1992 left a lasting impact, not only for the people but also for the underwater landscape. The Crack, one of the dive sites near Babi Island, is a cracked reef caused by the earthquake. While at Wairterang Wreck lies the Japanese ship from World War II, making it the only known wreck dive in Maumere.

As the only company area to Labuan Bajo (Komodo) in Flores—since the southern regions are too rough and dangerous to explore—Maumere prides itself in over 1100 fish species in the area. From barracudas, tunas, trevallies, Napoleon wrasse, fusiliers, and groupers to smaller fish like clownfish, cuttlefish, pipefish, damselfish, Mandarin fish, and lionfish are abundant in Maumere.

Big players from different ray species, like stingrays, marbled electric rays, eagle rays, and manta rays, to shark species, including reef sharks, hammerheads, and whale sharks, are regularly seen, depending on the time of the year, especially for whale sharks. Different cetaceans also become recurrent visitors in Maumere, particularly dolphins, pilots, and sperm whales.

For macro lovers, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, flatworms, ribbon and moray eels, mimic octopus, and different species of shrimps and crabs are found close to the coral reefs, camouflaging or simply hiding. For macro lovers, Maumere is, without question, an astonishing critter hunting ground.

Discover your next adventure in

Maumere

Chasing The Big Players in Maumere

Whale sightings might not be synonymous with Maumere, but this is where you can witness the largest-toothed predators.

From November to December, the area in the eastern part of Maumere, particularly around the three islands (Pulau Besar, Pangabatang, and Dambilah), is famous for its sperm whale sightings. This is due to the water flowing in and out of the bay from the barrier reefs that formed around these islands.

Aside from sperm whales, the elusive whale sharks are also present in Maumere. Though reportedly they are around for the whole year, the best period to observe them is from April to May. This is not a guaranteed sighting, even though the possibility is still relatively high.

Dolphins and pilot whales are the other big players that can be found in Maumere. Contrary to sperm whales, dolphins and pilot whales are more common and can be seen throughout the year. It is essential to check with the local dive instructors regarding the sightings if seeing these giant animals is at the top of your list.

Diving Environments in Maumere

When it comes to diving, Maumere is as spectacular as other popular dive sites in Indonesia. From the drop-offs and sloping reefs to muck diving, Maumere has it. With over 30 dive sites mapped out, this region’s depth ranges from 12 to beyond 50 meters.

The water temperature is also constant within 26 to 31 degrees Celsius, while the currents range from medium to extremely strong, depending on the dive sites and the time. The visibility in Maumere is excellent, with an average of 8 to beyond 30 meters, even though it is influenced by the height of the waves and the month. During the wet season, the visibility is guaranteed to be less spectacular compared to when diving in the dry months.

Discover your next adventure in

Maumere

How to get to Maumere

There are two entry points to get to Maumere. The first is Kupang, and the second is Labuan Bajo (where the Komodo National Park is located). Most domestic flights from Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali have a stopover in Kupang before flying to Maumere.

Wings Air is the only airline serving the direct route from Kupang and Labuan Bajo. A direct flight from Makassar to Maumere is available as well, also by Wings Air.

Diving Seasons & Weather in Maumere

April to December is the best period to dive in Maumere, offering calmer seas and excellent weather, with April to October providing the best diving conditions. This period is also the dry season in Maumere.

January to March are the wettest months in the year, bringing regular rainfall, limited visibility, and choppy seas. Diving is still possible, but knowing the consequences of diving during the rainy season is crucial. Maumere has a tropical savanna climate with a long dry and short wet season.

Dive Sites in Maumere

The Channel/Fish Soup

Maumere

Tanjung Darat

Maumere

Pangabatang Island/Pulau Besar/Dambilah

Maumere

Wairterang Wreck

Maumere

The Crack

Maumere

Marine Life in Maumere

Liveaboards in Maumere

Amalia Liveaboard

Price on Request

Tambora Liveaboard

Shared trips from $3850pp

Shared trips from $3850pp

Charter Trips from $7900
Per Night

Elbark Cruise

Price on Request
Charter Trips from $4200
Per Night

Gandiva

Shared trips from $418pp

Shared trips from $418pp

Charter Trips from $3604
Per Day

Papiton Lopi

Price on Request
Charter Trips from $904
Per Day

Papiton Duwa

Price on Request
Charter Trips from $937
Per Day