Flores has so much to offer - from historical villages and the ‘Hobbit caves’ of Liang Bua to bustling fishing communities and markets, and ecosystems unchanged since prehistoric times, like the savannahs that are home to the famed Komodo dragons. But for those who like to dive into adventure, goggles first, the diving in Flores is renowned for being some of the best in the world.
Flores is an underwater paradise for divers, with white sand beaches, and waters teeming with protected marine life and vast coral gardens. Divers come from all over the world to swim with turtles, massive schools of fish and reef sharks, dolphins and the spectacular giant manta rays off Komodo. The protected waters, particularly in the north where ocean conditions are milder, are known for their biodiversity, with a wide variety of vibrant corals and seaweeds, crustacea, molluscs and larger marine species, making it a diverse wonderland to explore.
There are dive experiences and licensed dive charters to suit all divers, from novices to more experienced divers, and those looking for ‘live-aboard’ experiences. Locals and dive experts strongly encourage that visiting divers book with a qualified dive tour, as conditions across the wet and dry seasons and ocean currents can shift dramatically. By booking with a dive tour, you give yourself the best chance to dive safely, with dives and equipment that best match your skill level, and professional dive buddies to show you the way. Plus, they know all the best sites to ensure divers can get up close with the stunning variety of marine life in Flores.
Some of the diving highlights in Flores include:
Kanawa Island, located off Labuan Bajo. Here divers can see turtles, manta rays, sharks and huge schools of fish.
Komodo National Park, renowned for its incredible protected waters, teeming with marine life. This is one for experienced divers only, as the currents off Komodo need a high level of skill to navigate. Go with an experienced dive charter who can take you to dives accessible only by boat, and help navigate the sometimes treacherous currents.
Padar Island is also part of the Komodo National Park, and its famous pink beach offers a more protected site to dive and snorkel the popular snorkel trails.
Bidadari Island is a huge drawcard for divers who want to explore the offshore reef, as it is a sheltered aquatic playground for many ocean dwellers.
17 Islands Marine Park is a fantastic location to book a tour. Tour guides can take divers and snorkelers island hopping, in search of the perfect dive spot in the many reefs and calm lagoons.
There are just so many incredible dive sites to choose from in Flores, the possibilities are virtually endless. Divers get access to uncrowded beaches, protected waters and dives that are beyond your wildest dreams. It’s an untapped, underwater paradise, just waiting for you to discover it!
Written by The Travellist team for The Voice of Flores.