Greg Lecoeur, decorator crab, komodo, adelaar

New Southern Komodo In-Depth Dive Itinerary

Which best describes your dive style?

A – I like to take my time and really get to know a dive site and the area.

B – That was amazing, o.k. where to next?

There are so many places to dive, neither one is wrong. We understand there is a lot out there. In fact, our regular Komodo itinerary might be perfect for you. However, if you are interested in diving some of Indonesia’s most famous reefs – without the crowds – while taking your time and really getting to know an area, then you may be interested in our new in-depth Southern Komodo itinerary.

Mythical Komodo has many world-class dive sites, several of which are located in Southern Komodo. Because it is far from the main ports of entry, it often has less dive traffic than the North, especially during our summer months of December through January.

During Komodo’s peak winter season running from June through September; Southern Komodo can get ocean swells and upwelling’s from the Indian Ocean. These results in nutrient-rich waters that tend to have reduced visibility and cooler temperatures. Although these waters feed the reefs, they also limit the vessels that can reach these sheltered bays.

Don’t let that discourage you because December and January in the South historically have calm seas, warmer water temperatures, better visibility and fewer crowds.

After hearing of near perfect water conditions in the southern area during December and Giant Frog Fish, Southern Komodo, South RincaJanuary, a well known expedition leader chartered Adelaar for this itinerary. Deciding the area and time of year was the perfect opportunity to spend quality time diving, exploring and photographing the best sites during optimal conditions. This group of avid underwater photographer’s main goal was to spend as much time as possible in Southern Komodo National Park.


The guest enjoyed the diving and itinerary so much, Adelaar Cruises is adding three Southern Komodo trips to our 2018 schedule.

Horseshoe Bay and South Rinca

Horseshoe Bay and Langkoi offer a diverse selection of dive sites. By doing an in-depth Southern Komodo itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to see how diverse these sites truly are.

Southern Komodo, South Rinca, Cannibal RockIn Horseshoe Bay, at the top of the list, you will find world-famous Cannibal Rock. Cannibal Rock is a submerged pinnacle that is covered in marine life. Tidal flow in and out of the bay brings nutrients to the soft corals and critters that live here. Although covered with sea fans, crinoids and black coral bushes filled with golden sweeper fish and surrounded by schools of snapper, surgeonfish, and hunting trevally, many divers are too busy searching for critters to notice. With an itinerary that allows for more dives on this site, you can see Cannibal Rock for the complete dive site it is with both natural beauty and abundant marine life large and small.

Rodeo Rock, located just outside the bay, requires site knowledge and good timing with currents. Liveaboards spending a day often cannot dive this site because they can’t wait for the “right” current, so it gets skipped. Rodeo Rock is teaming with Anthias and soft coral; it may have even more action than Cannibal Rock. It is so covered with life it has been known to cause sensory overload.

Yellow Wall of Texas and Crinoid Canyon both offer steep slopes and mini walls. These sites have everything from tiny ladybug amphipods to pelagic swimming by in the blue. Shimmering schools of Silversides often cascade down the wall on here, creating a frenzy of predatory activity.

Grandma’s bommies and Pulau Pisang bring more diverse diving. Mobulas sometimes feed at the surface in the channel near Pulau Pisang.

Torpedo Ray, Torpedo Alley, Southern Komodo, RincaNight dives in Horseshoe Bay are world famous. Torpedo Alley, named after the electric Torpedo Rays that live here, offers black sand “muck” diving. The only thing I can say negative about this night dive is that sometimes it can be too busy and you don’t get enough time to look at all the weird and wonderful critters. Joining the in-depth Southern Komodo itinerary gives you more opportunities to see these nocturnal animals and watch their behavior. If you want a break from muck, no problem, tomorrow choose a reef night dive.

Komodo Dragon, Southern Komodo, RincaOh yeah, did I mention Dragons? Komodo Dragons patrol the beach in South Rinca. Between dives, we’ll offer excursions on the tenders to get up close and personal. Bring your photo equipment for this one; they often swim right up to the tenders.

Nusa Kode

Traveling outside the bay brings us to rarely dived sites facing the open sea. Due to crashing waves, these sites are hard to reach from June to September, but during December and January, it becomes more manageable. Giant grouper and Giant trevally like to patrol this southern zone; who knows what might swim by.

Langkoi and South Komodo

Across the strait, lie Langkoi and world famous Manta Alley. Manta Alley has some amazing pinnacles and dive sites that are rarely seen in the summer months, due to poor visibility. There are three pinnacles off Manta Alley that are covered in critters, reef fish, and healthy corals, this itinerary allows us to explore these sites and view them in all their glory. Although not Manta season, the odd Manta may come by, and you’ll have the opportunity to see them on the way north to Karang Makassar (we go there too, on the way back to Bali). Longkoi is a great place to explore; with beautiful sites near rock islands, peninsulas and far out pinnacles.

Our normal itinerary would usually offer a half-day in Langkoi and a full day in Horseshoe Bay with the majority of the time spent in North Komodo. Although we will dive some of the signature sites in the North, this new special itinerary is devoted to showing divers Southern Komodo. We will avoid the crowds of day operators and snorkel boats and concentrate on what we truly enjoy…amazing diving in pristine, almost private waters and memorable experiences to last a lifetime.

We believe every diver deserves a break from their real life, an amazing dive experience, and some creature comforts. If you agree, read 5 Things Every Diver Deserves and see why ADELAAR is an extremely attractive liveaboard for divers who like a personalized dive experience.

Note: The SY Adelaar is an exclusive luxury liveaboard and we pride ourselves in accommodating our guests to the fullest to provide the trip of a lifetime. Please note the actual trip itinerary will vary depending on wind and sea conditions, group preferences and the diving experience level of the group. Our dive instructor, together with the captain, will have the final say on the itinerary.