Diving in Sumbawa
The Islands of Moyo, Sangeang and Satonda
The rugged, sprawling land mass of Sumbawa, with its many jutting and twisted peninsulas, forms plenty of protected bays for its islands dotted along the north coast such as Moyo, Sangeang and Satonda. These sheltered and varied havens offer crystal-clear waters, deep and vibrant walls, steaming underwater volcanic vents, fertile breeding grounds and conditions that are prefect for some fantastic muck diving opportunities.
Lying between the islands of Lombok to the west and Komodo to the east, Sumbawa Island is consequently visited as part of the itineraries of the Indonesia liveaboard diving cruises that run between Bali and Komodo Island.
Often mistakenly overlooked as just a convenient port of call onto the better dive sites that are further on to the east, Sumbawa scuba diving has its own vast schools of countless triggerfish and butterflyfish, macro sightings of blue-ringed octopus, clown frogfish and nudibranchs, numerous reef sharks and tunas in the deep walled sections.
Allied to this are the topside visual attractions of volcanoes and bat colonies, and you'll soon have enough reasons to plunge deep and explore the underwater tapestry of Sumbawa.
The volcanic islands of Sangeang and Satonda have several good dive sites and provide a great diversion from Komodo since they have ideal muck diving conditions. So get good and low and bury your head in the sand to find a whole cache of hidden creatures, such as ghost pipefish, seahorses, frogfish, flatworms, arrow crabs and sea moths.
Angel Reef at Moyo Island is a colourful contrast to the dark surrounds of the muck dive sites. Here the current takes you along a vibrant vertical wall festooned with sponges and soft corals. The visibility is usually very good so watch out in the blue for hunting pelagic fish and reef sharks as they race past you.
How to Dive Sumbawa
As there are no dive resorts on the island, you're only options are a liveaboard safari running from Bali to Komodo or one that departs from Bima in Sumbawa to Komodo. The dive sites of Sumbawa are handily placed for these trips to visit them all.
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The season for scuba diving in Sumbawa runs all year round but overall the best conditions are from April to December.
Liveaboards run all year round from Bali.
Good for: Small animals, visibility, wall diving, drift dives and snorkeling
Not so good for: Wrecks and non-diving activities
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 10 - 35m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 24 - 28°C
Experience level: Beginner - intermediate
Number of dive sites: 8
Distance: ~150 km east of Bali (8 hours) and 30 km west of Komodo (2 hours)
Access: Sumbawa liveaboards to Komodo
Recommended length of stay: 2 - 3 days
Dive Site Descriptions
For more information on the detailed dive sites:
View a map of:
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