These uninhabited islands are as diverse as they are beautiful. The mangrove isle of Pulau Ontoloe hosts a massive colony of flying foxes and a few Komodo dragons, while Pulau Rutong and Pulau Temba boast picture-perfect white sand and turquoise waters. There's great snorkelling near Pulau Tiga, Pulau Laingjawa and Pulau Bakau, but wherever you visit, you won't be disappointed.
The eagle-eyed may notice there are actually 23 islands, but government authorities decided on the number 17 as a convenient tie-in with Indonesia’s Independence Day (17 August). Be aware that the park's coral was impacted by the El Nino bleaching in 2002. While visibility is quite good – frequently at least 10m to 15m – don't expect colourful corals. Still, the number and variety of fish here is special.