There is an abundance of unique snorkeling and beachcombing spots around the Komodo Islands. Yet still, one of the fascinating locations is Taka Makassar island and its surrounding coral reef. Despite a tiny land size and diving focus, Taka Makassar owns a must-visit reputation during your exploration of Komodo National Park.
Taka Makassar Manta Point
Also known as Taka Makassar Manta Point, this diving haven holds strong currents that attract mysterious manta rays in large numbers. Thousands flock to Taka Makassar’s surrounding reef year long to experience an intimate encounter with gentle manta rays. Thus, making Taka Makassar a real diving paradise for manta lovers. You do not have to go deep to take in the beauty of the underwater world here.
The famous Taka Makassar is known as the longest reef in the Komodo National Park. It is also one of the best sanctuaries in Indonesia to encounter the manta rays in large numbers year-round, as confirmed by marine biologists. This natural phenomenon led to various laws in the hopes of protecting manta rays species. As a result, protected Taka Makassar Point has become the most sought-after diving and snorkeling destination in Komodo National Park.
Ten meters is all it takes for you to reach the sandy bottom of Taka Makassar Manta Point. At all times, be ready to meet the gentle creatures in their natural habitat. The base of Taka Makassar Manta Point is filled with plankton, attracting the manta rays to come for feeding and cleaning. Not surprisingly, the trip to Taka Makassar will not be complete until you encounter the only real star of the area – the manta rays. These gentle creatures are known to be harmless and pretty intelligent. Give them some time, and you will find that soon enough, many curious creatures will start to swim closer to you. It is a fascinating experience when you come across a group of 30 or more manta rays simultaneously. The more commonly sighted species in the waters of Taka Makassar is the Reef Manta.
Taka Makassar island
Another highlight of Komodo’s Taka Makassar is a crescent-shaped island with a pink beach in the middle of the sea, a supreme spot for relaxing and snorkeling in shallow waters. The experience may remind you of swimming in a private pool, although a more beautiful and majestic one with all the captivating Komodo Islands scenery around. Due to its small size, Taka Makassar island is limited when it comes to exploration. Nevertheless, with its distinctive island shape and pinkish sands, you are guaranteed an Instagram-worthy shot, especially from a drone. The best time to visit Taka Makassar island is during low tides.
While the manta rays are considered the focus of the Taka Makassar tour, there are many other residents in its nutrient-rich waters. In Taka Makassar, you can also encounter turtles, sharks, eagle rays, giant trevallies, huge clams, various sponges, and cuttlefish. Taka Makassar is so famous that you will certainly visit it during the Komodo Island tour or any liveaboard cruise across Komodo National Park from Labuan Bajo. As a stand-alone destination, Taka Makassar is within an hour’s reach from Labuan Bajo on a speedboat. Whether you are after an epic photo of the Taka Makassar island or swimming alongside dozens of manta rays at Manta Point – Taka Makassar in Komodo will not disappoint.
First-timers in Komodo National Park often confuse Taka Makassar Manta Point with another famous dive site called Manta Alley. And while Taka Makassar is found northeast of Komodo Island, Manta Alley is a more relaxing dive site on the south coast of Komodo Island. These sites enjoy different seasonality, which is great news for divers because you experience at least one manta encounter during your Komodo diving holiday.
South of Komodo Island is known to be a famous breeding spot for the mantas during the northeast monsoon that exposes Taka Makassar on the opposite side of the Komodo Island. The main species of mantas here are the Reef Mantas and the Oceanic Mantas, but rare sightings of the Black Morph Mantas are still possible at certain times. Although the mantas are the main icon of Manta Alley, visitors will not be deprived of a wide variety of marine life. Manta Alley is the home to reef sharks and trevallies among many.
Sea currents around Manta Alley can be fairly strong, therefore suitable for more experienced divers. Due to the strong currents, factors such as water temperatures and visibility could be affected. However, fret not, as the dive site is full of mantas, and this sole reason is more than enough to serve as an unforgettable diving experience. Drift diving is made more comfortable with the existence of strong currents. A steady flow allows you to float through a vast alley, with up to 20, beguiling manta rays circling at once! While Taka Makassar is great from April, Head over to Manta Alley from December to February for this unique diving experience.