Sumbawa is a rugged, sprawling land mass with many jutting and twisted peninsulas, forming plenty of protected bays for its islands dotted along the north coast such as Moyo, Sangeang and Satonda. These provide sheltered and varied havens that offer crystal-clear waters, steaming underwater volcanic vents, deep and vibrant walls, fertile breeding grounds and conditions that are prefect for some fantastic macro diving opportunities.
Lying between the islands of Komodo to the east and Lombok to the west, Sumbawa Island is visited as part of the itineraries of the Bali liveaboard diving cruises that run to and from Komodo Island.
Sumbawa scuba diving is often mistakenly overlooked as just a convenient port of call onto the better dive sites that are further to the east. However, Sumbawa has its own vast schools of numerous triggerfish, butterflyfish, reef sharks and tunas in the deep walled sections. Also macro sightings of blue-ringed octopus, clown frogfish and nudibranchs are common.
The volcanic islands of Sangeang and Satonda have several good 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 in the east of Sumbawa 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.
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.
Dive The World Indonesia's Recommendations: Angel Reef, Sangeang and Satonda Island.
More detailed information available on the Sumbawa diving sites on our www.dive-the-world.com website.
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The season for scuba diving in Sumbawa runs all year round. Overall, the best conditions are from April to December. Liveaboards run all year round.
We recommend accessing the sites of Sumbawa by Komodo liveaboard. Most frequently, the liveaboard safaris that visit here depart either from Bima in Sumbawa or Bali.
Great for: Small animals, visibility, walls, drift dives and snorkeling
Not so great 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)
Access: Liveaboards from Bali to Komodo
Recommended length of stay: 2 - 3 days
Other sites that can be visited as part of a Bali liveaboard cruise to Komodo: