When in Indonesia there are a few customs to be aware of to avoid any faux pas: it’s usual to leave your shoes at the door of a home or business (look for a row of flip flops outside as a clue); try not to point with your feet or touch anyone on the head, both can be taken quite offensively; and use your right hand when shaking hands with anyone as the left is generally used for, ahem, other matters. Also, it’s best to respect the locals by covering up. Shorts and t-shirts are fine, but it’s respectful to cover up your midriff and bikinis/swimsuits are not acceptable attire anywhere but the pool or dive boats.
The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). As of July 2015, Indonesian law mandates rupiah must be used for all transactions in the country. IDR 1,000,000 (yes, million) is roughly equal to USD$ 70, EURO€ 60, GBP£ 45, AUS$ 100.
Please check out http://xe.com/ for current exchange rates.
Ladies, no need to fret. It is perfectly safe to engage in all diving and trekking trips while on your period. No, you will not be more prone to attack. That being said, please be aware that our dayboat, Hugo, is not equipped with a bathroom. But that’s another matter entirely.
Yes, Blue Marlin and most shops/restaurants offer WiFi. While this will allow you to check email, please note that internet speeds can be unreliable.
If you arrive at Praya International Airport, we can arrange to have you picked up in our air-conditioned car
Our dive guides, instructors and captains decide on dive sites only after assessing current and predicted ocean conditions. Based on variables such as tides, currents, waves and visibility we may change or cancel dives entirely for our guests’ safety. Some dive sites in Komodo can change from beautiful and serene to deadly within a short time frame. We ask that our guests respect Blue Marlin Komodo’s scheduling decision with the understanding that we plan the day’s dives to maximise enjoyment and safety.
We understand that booking domestic flights within Indonesia can be frustrating and are happy to help! Let us know the dates that you are interested in, which airport you will be departing from and the full passport names of any passengers and we’ll have it sorted for you. Please note that all bookings do incur a 10% service charge.
We cannot stress enough that, while Komodo is famous for its currents, it also offers dive sites appropriate for beginner divers or those who wish to try diving for the first time. Blue Marlin’s 2 boat system means that we never will push a newer diver into a site they may not have the experience to properly manage (for their sake as well as for the benefit of the reef!). As a beginner diver, enjoy 2 dives on our course and beginner boat, Hugo, for a bit more instruction and time to work out any nerves. However, if you are already an Open Water Diver, we advise continuing with the Advanced Course, allowing you to explore even more dive sites around Komodo National Park.
There are plenty of ATM’s around town. Please be aware that withdrawal limits are usually around 10.000.000/day (USD 750).
There is one reliablemoney changer at Green Hill Hotel, next to Cafe In Hit, but to avoid disappointment in exchange rates, change your money in Lombok at official money changers and/or banks.
Yes. Due to our remote locations, we strongly recommend dive insurance. We offer DAN (Diver’s Alert Network) Short Term Insurance: 40$ for 10 days or 50$ for 30 days. This is good for anywhere within Indonesia and coverage begins immediately. We are happy to sign you up in advance, or you can sign up the day you arrive. Please note that dive insurance is mandatory for all liveaboards.
At the dive shop, we accept credit cards (Visa and MasterCard at a 3% surcharge), bank transfers, PayPal payments (+5% Paypal fees) and Indonesian Rupiah. Due to Indonesian law, we cannot accept any other currencies.
While the e-learning offers less theory time on site, some people prefer face-to-face teaching and feel more comfortable being taught in person. It is really up to you. Whether you like a personal interaction with your Instructor during theory time or prefer self-study using the PADI website, both options will allow you to pass your course and have a full understanding of the diving world.
Although there is Malaria throughout Indonesia, the risk to travellers staying at any Blue Marlin location is quite small. Prevention by Malaria tablets is usually not prescribed. You will find that the usual precautions of wearing repellent and long loose clothing are sufficient protection, and most hotels use a spray when they clean the rooms. If you have to take anti-malarial medication be careful about the use of Larium, as in about 50% of cases it produces unpleasant side effects when combined with diving.
The Indonesian government charges entry and diving tickets into Komodo National Park which must be paid for daily and in Indonesian Rupiah. While Blue Marlin buys these tickets for all guests each morning, these fees are not included in quoted prices. Tickets are IDR 175.000/day and IDR 225.000 on Sundays and holidays.
Due to the extreme nature of diving in Komodo, we may limit certain sites to advanced certifications or higher. You can find the certification need to dive each site by visiting our dive site descriptions here.
The biggest medical problems that may prevent you from diving are asthma, diabetes, recent surgery, high blood pressure and certain prescription medications. If you are concerned, please refer to our medical statement here. If you answer yes to any of the questions, it’s best to get an ok and signed statement from your personal doctor before visiting.
Unfortunately, because of our early starts in combination with notorious delays of the airports, it is not possible to dive on the day that you arrive. However, we can always begin the theory of a course or get you in the pool for a quick refresher on day one.
Electricity is 230v and Indonesia uses the European-style two-pin round plugs.
Adaptors are readily available throughout Indonesia. If the standard voltage in your country is between 220V – 240V you can use your electric appliances throughout Indonesia.
Similar to the rest of the tropical world, Komodo National Park experiences a wet season and a dry season. Wet season generally runs from December until March. However, while it does rain in wet season, we are still able to go diving most of the time. In fact, it is during this season that Manta rays are most prevalent. The northern sites usually experience poor visibility and large waves, but sites in the southern part of the park (Cannibal Rock, 3 Sisters, Pillarsteen and more) open up with incredible visibility (25-40m) and calm conditions.
The cooler dry season is from April through November. Visibility clears up in the northern and central parts of the park with an average day seeing about 30m vis, while we stop visiting the southern sites due to winds coming in from the south. In terms of crowds, high season is July, August and September with a busy week around the Christmas and New Year Holidays.
We recommend April, May, October and November as the best months for optimal weather and beating the crowds.
Unfortunately, we do not offer pickups from hotels based around Labuan Bajo. Please arrange morning transportation with your specific hotel.
If you haven’t been diving in a while (over 6 months), we ask you to sign up for a refresher course. A quick theory review and pool session the bay before you begin diving again can help you find your muscle memory and become comfortable with previously learned dive skills. If you opt out of the refresher course, we may limit which dives we allow you to join on your first day of diving.
Diving directly after flying is not a problem at all. However, do remember that you must wait 18 hours after diving to be able to fly. Due to the schedule of our dive trips, unless your flight leaves before 9:00am, you will be fine to dive and fly the next day.
One of Komodo’s great assets is our resident manta ray population of over 700 individuals. While it is possible to see mantas throughout the year, please note that your best chance of seeing them is October through June.
No. We only run liveaboard trips out of Labuan Bajo, Flores. However, there are multiple daily flights connecting Lombok, Bali & Labuan Bajo.
Water temperatures vary between 25-29c, so not too much thermal protection is required. We provide a 3mm shorty to all day trip guests, with a full-length 3mm wetsuits available for our liveaboard customers. If you tend to get cold, we recommend bringing a neoprene vest to go underneath.
The Indonesian Government now allows free visa-free travel for 52 countries valid for 30 days. (Check if your country is listed here). Please be aware that this option is not extendable or convertible into another type of visa. Make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 (six) months from the date of arrival in Indonesia.
If your country is not listed or you think you may stay longer than 30 days, we advise you to get a Visa on Arrival (USD 35), which can be extended another 30 days.
It is perfectly safe to engage in all diving trips while on your period. No, you are not more prone to shark attack. Because physiologists know little about the effects of diving with a foetus, the recommendation is that women avoid diving while pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
Our standard tanks are interchangeable between yoke and DIN, meaning we can change our tanks according to your needs.
If you’re lucky, you may see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare and with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behaviour. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and a relatively special sight to enjoy.
There is an apotek (pharmacy) conveniently situated right across the street from Blue Marlin where you can see Doctor Asep for any minor health complaints.
If you do come down with any health problems, the recently opened Siloam hospital is a good resource with Western standards. Please be aware that there is no recompression chamber in Flores, the nearest one is a flight away in Bali.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer Nitrox at this time.
Assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses, no. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how to properly equalise. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you’ll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.