Komodo National Park is one of the new 7 wonders of nature and the main thing to wander about is its main inhabitant – Komodo Dragon.
Besides DRAGONS, Komodo National Park is a place where you can snorkel with MANTA RAYS and GIANT TURTLES, see CORALS and incredible underwater world, and even get to know another unusual inhabitant of the region – FLYING FOX.
If you are searching for your next adventure destination, you are nature and animals lover, look no more – Indonesia is the answer.
Komodo National Park include 3 main islands – Komodo, Rinca and Padar and numerous smaller islands in the area.
Visit to this national park will include: sailing, trekking, swimming and snorkeling and besides the creatures on the ground and under the water, you will even get to know the strangest flying ones.
In this text we will share our experience and itinerary for Komodo National Park in which you can find practical advices and tips on how to arrive to this remote location, which tour to chose and what you can expect there.
Going from Bali (since Bali is the most common Indonesian destination and very well communicated by numerous airlines) there are several options to arrive to the Komodo National Park:
It is possible to book a MULTIPLE DAY BOAT TOUR that is starting in Bali and will bring you to the islands of Komodo National Park in several days while you will have the opportunity to explore many other islands along the way.
Another option is to book the boat tour to Komodo National Park from LOMBOK ISLAND since many tourists choose to travel from Bali to Gili Islands and from Gilis to Lombok. Again, this trip will take several days since it is not a very short distance but, in return, you will be able to make different excursions on the way.
Liveaboard options sound like a truly exciting and fun way of traveling and exploring seas and beaches of the isolated islands on the way.
HOWEVER, we recommend this options only to a real adventurers and the ones who can REALLY deal with limited living conditions.
Saying this, we want to stress out situations that can (and most likely will) play against you:
SEA SICKNESS (even if you are not prone to, extended stay on the moving boat can make you feel quite bad)
BATHROOM β toilet and shower facilities on a boat (we are speaking about budget options) are not going to be as in a hotel (not even close).
Live-aboard excursions normally include 10 or more people on the not very big boat + the boat crew = many people, lot of noise, sea sickness, improvised bathroom, and yes, sleeping all together on a deck. And the main thing β you cannot get off until the final destination.
If this sounds inviting for you, go for it! If you are more picky and need certain dose of comfort, this might not be the right choice for you.
The most convenient option in our opinion, and probably the SAFEST one would be to take a flight from Bali or Lombok island to Labuan Bajo (Flores Island) and from Labuan Bajo to take some of the BOAT TOURS that will bring you to the islands of Komodo national park.
There is plenty of direct flights to Flores Island (Labuan Bajo) from Bali and Lombok Island and also, there are many other flights from other indonesian cities.
During our Indonesian trip this was the route – Jakarta – Bali – Gili Trawangan – Lombok – Flores – back to Bali.
Once you arrive to the Flores Island, you can find many tours to Komodo National Park from there, from your hotel or from the tourist agencies that are numerous in the whole town of Labuan Bajo. Since the port is just in the town, you can go there directly, see the boats and arrange your tour.
Since the whole area is full of AMAZING ISLANDS, agencies are offering different tour packages from ONE DAY EXCURSIONS (for the ones who don’t want to sleep over on the boat) to liveaboard 2, 3, 4 or even more days BOAT TOURS.
Taking a BOAT TRIP with sleep on board option is an incredible experience and everyone should be encouraged to try it BUT, everyone should take precautions and do a research according to his/hers own needs and abilities before booking a tour.
Like in any touristic place, here as well you can come across scams, misleading information given by the tour operators and fake promises. What it makes difference in this case, it’s not that you can just lose your money and time, but you can experience much more serious problems such as BOAT SINKING for example.
Still, this is not likely to happen but IT DID HAPPEN in the past that some boats had serious problems and tourists were in the Titanic-like situation, jumping of the sinking boat and waiting for evacuation.
Boat tours are numerous and there are many different options β number of nights on the boat can be arranged, places to be visited, the size of the group on the tour as well.
Our choice was – 2 DAYS 1 NIGHT PRIVATE TOUR so we were 5 persons in total on the boat including captain, his assistant and the tour guide. Since the sleeping and toilet conditions are limited at the boat, and we wanted to maximize our experience with some romantic sunsets on the boat, we opted for the more comfortable option and we did not regret it β we couldn’t have had a better experience.
It is important to mention that most of the boats that are offered through the tours are quite basic, you will find 3 sleeping options starting from the cheapest one on the open deck, to the cabin with fan or cabin with AC as the most expensive one – we are speaking about budget options. There are the luxory ones as well.
We opted for the cabin with a fan one but soon enough realized that was a wrong choice for multiple reasons β you will learn that COCKROACHES live on the most of the boats in the cabin or in the engine and other dark parts of the boat therefore it is safer to sleep on the OPEN DECK where we haven`t spot any of them.
Another reason why you should not sleep in the cabin but on the OPEN DECK is that on the open deck you will have STARS above your head, FRESH SEA AIR, sounds of FISH jumping from time to time out of the water, BIRDS and scary sounds of FLYING FOXES which are a special attraction in that region.
All of these will make an INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. Luckily, accommodating stuff on the boat allowed us to change our choice of sleeping arrangement so we had a full experience of SLEEPING ON A BOAT UNDER THE SKY.
Maybe you will not get your 8 hoursβ beauty sleep but you will be able to listen and watch nature around you changing under the darkness of the night and awakening with the first sunrays.
Back to the story about Komodo National Park β the park itself includes 3 larger islands β Komodo, Rinca and Padar and even 26 smaller ones, some of which you can visit during the boat tour.
Normally the 2 days 1 night TOUR to Komodo National Park will include:
TREKKING of around 1 hour at the Komodo Island in search for the Komodo dragons (guided tour),
Photo with Komodo Dragon
TREKKING of around 1.5 hours at the Rinca islandand getting to know dragons a little bit better (also guided tour).
SNORKELLING at the beautiful Pink Beach (where you will be amazed with underwater wildlife and beautiful pink sand on the beach),
SLEEPOVER next to the Kalong Island/Flying Fox island where you will be watching sunset and Indonesian bats (called Flying fox) flying over after the sun goes down.
The second day would normally include:
SNORKELLING at the Manta Point (SNORKELLING WITH GIANT MANTA RAY FISH),
TREKKING at the Padar Island where you can climb all the way to the top of the hill from where is possible to see 3 beaches that make a breathtaking view, and
SNORKELLING and swimming at Kenawa Island.
Sleepover tours always include all the meals, water, coffee and tea on board as well as transfer from and to your hotel or the airport. In case you would take a private tour you will have a full freedom of choice of which place you want to visit and how long you want to stay there.
This is more less itinerary that we had and we were completely satisfied, amazed by all the places we visited and would recommend this tour to anyone who wants active, adventurous and unique experience in Komodo National Park.
There are many other options for boat tours with more or less days so everyone can find a suitable option.
Our little boat expedition in search for Komodo Dragons, Manta Rays and Flying Foxes was absolutely a highlight of our trip to Indonesia and one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. We would like to encourage everyone to do the same and visit these incredible islands.
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