Best time to visit
Dive on an active volcano, manta rays, rare nudibranch species, paddleflap rhinopias, sea apples, banded sea snakes, ornate ghost pipefish
Generally speaking, Sumbawa is not somewhere that comes up on a lot of divers’ radars, but this makes it all the sweeter as barely any divers venture to this region of Indonesia, and we can say first-hand that the diving is excellent! Best for more experienced divers due to the strong currents in the area, Sumbawa’s best dive sites vary from glorious muck dives on an active underwater volcano to washing machine currents with excellent manta encounters. There is just one dive resort in this region and they have their pick of 45+ dive sites for guests to enjoy without any crowds.
Kalimaya dive resort jetty
Island in Sumbawa
Whilst Sumbawa does not have the same volume of marine life as in Komodo National Park, it doesn’t have the volume of divers and boats either. Kalimaya Dive Resort, nestled in this quiet area in East Sumbawa, has access to some of the best dive sites in the country. Sangeang Volcano is a 40-minute boat ride from the resort and promises a unique experience diving on an active volcano, with sulphur bubbles rising from the black sandy slopes at Bubble Reef. The nutrient rich sea floor is dotted with a huge array of nudibranchs which are a photographer’s delight, their vibrant colour popping against the black sand beneath. Galley Rock at Gili Banta promises virtually guaranteed encounters with manta rays, as long as the current is manageable for diving, while sites like Lulu’s Hat boast immaculately healthy reefs.
Places to Stay in Sumbawa
Kalimaya Dive Resort
This is a very special dive resort with only 10 bungalows all overlooking the sea.
Located just outside the Komodo National Park, Kalimaya has access to some incredible dive sites that can only be accessed from divers at Kalimaya or the odd liveaboard.