Komodo Island in Flores | Complete Travel Guide

Komodo island

Komodo Island in Flores (Indonesia)

Komodo island is located in the Komodo National Park, the administrative area of ​​East Nusa Tenggara Province and this national park is also very close to the Sumbawa archipelago of West Nusa Tenggara province. This national park consists of 3 large islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar Island; as well as several smaller islands.

The main attraction of Komodo National Park is the presence of an ancient giant reptile, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), but its authenticity and natural characteristics, especially the underwater panorama of the Savanna and Panorama, are a potential supporting attraction. Marine tourism, for example, fishing, snorkeling, diving, canoeing, canoeing. While on land, the potential for natural tourism that can be done is animal observation, hiking, and camping. Visiting Komodo National Park and enjoying the beautiful natural scenery is an experience that will never be forgotten.

You can only visit Komodo National Park with an official guide and park ranger. So you need to book a tour operator who will arrange inter-island boat trips, guides and also to handle the costs of this national park.

How to Go to Komodo Island?

By plane

You can fly to Labuan Bajo Airport (also known as Komodo Airport) from Bali and Jakarta with Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batik and Nam Air (check SkyScanner, Google Flight for the latest offers) – with several other routes offering connecting flights.

From the airport, a taxi to the city – which is less than 10 minutes away – costs no more than IDR 60-70,000 and must be negotiated before entry; or the trip can be reached in 20-30 minutes (downhill).

By car

There is no way you can travel to Komodo entirely by road but there is a road bus journey from Bali to Komodo which includes three ferry crossings, namely to Lombok from Bali, to Sumbawa from Lombok, and to Labuan Bajo from Sumbawa.

By ship

The last part of the trip, from Labuan Bajo (or Maumere) to Komodo can only be by ferry. The boat trip from Labuan Bajo to Komodo takes about 3 to 4 hours. Such a port does not yet exist on Komodo Island. Tourists have to get off the boat and switch to a smaller boat that will take them to the island.

You can stay at a resort in Labuan Bajo and explore the Komodo dive sites on a liveaboard. Alternatively, you can take a boat in Labuan Bajo and go on your own yacht to explore the park and also snorkel to your satisfaction. There are many travel agencies that will arrange such cruises for you.

3 Main Attractions

Komodo Island

Come and visit the Indonesian Jurassic Park (Komodo National Park) to admire the famous dragons (giant lizards, really impressive!) roaming the island. This park is home to the species closest to the dinosaur.

After venturing among these legendary dragons, head to the famous Pink Beach of the Komodo Islands, another wonder of nature! The pink sand contrasting with the clear blue sea water is of unparalleled beauty; it is indeed a rare sight that will make you feel in paradise.

Komodo dragon at Komodo National ParkKomodo dragon at Komodo National Park. Adhi Rachdian from IndonesiaCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pink beach Komodo island

Arriving from afar it is difficult to distinguish the color of the sand. It’s not very pink but not white either. The closer you get, the more you can see the difference, especially with the waves breaking on the sand.

This characteristic, which is found on seven beaches on the planet, is one of the many elements that make Komodo Island a marvel of nature. This exceptional color is due to foraminifera, microscopic animals that produce a bright red pigment on coral reefs. When small pieces of coral mix with the white sand, it creates the rare pink color.

Wet sand brings out the color even more. Next to the color of the turquoise and translucent water, it is incredible. You have to see it with your own eyes!

Pink Beach, Padar Island, Komodo National Park
Pink beach is one of the main tourist attractions at padar island, one of the big island at Komodo National Park. Devagonal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rinca Island

Rinca is part of the Komodo National Park created in 1980. It includes the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar and other smaller islands.

If you want to be sure to meet the famous Komodo dragons in their natural environment, do not hesitate to start your excursion on Rinca Island because the chances of meeting them here are more promising than on the other surrounding islands!

Adventurers embarking on this journey must cross by boat for one hour from Labuan Bajo. Upon arrival, you may be lucky enough to spot a Komodo dragon or two basking in the sun.

Locals say that the population of Komodo dragons is larger here than on Komodo Island. However, the dragons here tend to be aggressive and feral, so always remember to keep your distance and be alert at all times.

How to get to Rinca island?

Rinca is a small island near Komodo, in the Indonesian province of Lesser Sunda Islands. It is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Less known and less visited than Komodo, Rinca is a place where you can more quietly observe the famous dragon in its natural environment.

Hikes and treks at Rinca island

In addition to its famous dragons, the island of Rinca is also known for its many hikes and treks. Enjoy a magnificent panorama while you visit the island! Vast savannahs, majestic hills, turquoise waters and a stunning coastline will leave you speechless.

Panorama of Rinca Island
Rinca Island located in the Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara. Pambudiyoga, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Padar Island

An essential stop on your excursion to the Komodo Islands: Padar Island! It is here that you can enjoy panoramic views of majestic green hills, azure waters and a spectacular stretch of white sand beach.

Padar Island is considered one of the must-see places in a lifetime. Make sure your phone memory has enough storage and your digital camera has an extra memory card, because you’ll walk away with tons of photos of the beautiful scenery!

Pulau Padar 1
Padar Island is one of several islands scattered in the Komodo National Park area, this island has a shape with several bays, white and reddish beaches and several beautiful hilltops. YUS JULIADI, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to get to Padar island?

Padar Island is located between the two main islands of Komodo Park; Rinca and Komodo. A long time ago, the island of Padar was the refuge of a few dragons, which unfortunately did not survive the lack of resources on the island.

If you want to know how to choose the best option for your boat trip to visit Komodo, click here.

Then you will have to find an excursion offering the Padar Island hike. It shouldn’t be too hard, in all the circuits offered, Padar is one of them. Padar remains a must, it’s so beautiful…

The Padar island hike

You need to equipped with sport shoes / sneakers on your feet and a hat on your head, in order to face the steep path that leads to the summit. The top of the island promises a 360 degree panoramic view.

It’s almost 9 a.m. and the sun is already biting and begin the ascent. The path is not very difficult at first since steps have been built on 2/3 of the Padar Island hike. But the slope is quite steep. Fortunately there are plenty of stops to enjoy the view, it’s always a good excuse to catch your breath and drink some water.

When you arrive at the top after about twenty minutes, it takes an average of 25 to 40 minutes. And there the view. The view is stunning, wherever you look, you have an island, a beach or the sea. We sit under a small tree to enjoy the view, just for us.

The Padar island hike is quite short but the heat of the sun and the combined physical effort should not be underestimated. We arrive sweating profusely.

There are plenty of places to take great pictures or just enjoy the scenery. Find some shade, sheltered by a tree and let your gaze wander endlessly over the bays of the island.

This short hike from Padar Island is an excellent memory and may will be one of your most beautiful viewpoints in Indonesia.

Cruise to the Komodo Island

How to choose your boat for the Komodos?

Finding a multi-day cruise on the Komodos Islands for a price that was not completely crazy turned out to be very difficult. I felt like I had only the choice between:

  • Cruises for backpackers really cheap but really limited in terms of comfort and safety (be careful the currents can be strong in the Komodos). Out of the question for us, I wanted a minimum of comfort and maximum safety with the children
  • Rather luxurious cruises but completely overpriced and not really privatized for a family of five.
  • A day trip either in groups or privately. If you hate group tours, but if you can afford it and don’t want to sleep on the boat, private hire is a good option. Choose a powerful boat that will allow you to see as many sites as possible during the day, including Padar for example.

Indonesia Travel Guide | Preparing for your trip, practical guide, advice, tips and itineraries

Asia Travel Guide | Bucket List Ideas and Places to Visit

Sources: PinterPandai, Villa Carissa Seminyak – Bali, Wonderful Indonesia, Love and Road

Photo credit (main picture): jon hanson from London, source: indonesian islands (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

NB: Prices and opening hours of attractions are subject to change without prior notice.


Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *