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How to plan your trip to Komodo National Park

One of the most amazing gems in Indonesia is undoubtedly the Komodo Islands. Located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, Komodo National Park comprises three major islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and numerous smaller ones, all of volcanic origin.


Komodo National Park is home to unique flora and fauna, like the Komodo Dragons, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks to name a few. It is famous for its world-class snorkeling and diving spots, teeming with millions of beautiful fish and colorful coral reefs whose beauty will take your breath away! Additionally, Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, and it is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


How to get to the Komodo Islands

Traveling to the Komodo Islands can be very confusing at first. You need to know that you won't be flying directly to one of the Komodo Islands. The island you can fly to is called Flores, and the nearest city on Flores with an airport is Labuan Bajo. That's where you'll need to fly to, and it's the starting point for your trip around Komodo National Park. Flights from Bali or Lombok to Labuan Bajo's airport take around 60 minutes. The airport is just a 5-minute ride from Labuan Bajo town, which is where you'll start your Komodo National Park trip.


How to Travel around Komodo National Park

Exploring the Komodo Islands is possible through single or multi-day boat tours from Labuan Bajo. Boats of various sizes and comfort levels are available for hire. The price of a boat tour depends on what you want to see, the level of comfort you prefer, and how many days you spend in the national park. Booking a Komodo boat tour can be done online or while you are in Labuan Bajo (it's better to do it there so you can negotiate the price).

During your boat trip, you can explore the national park, visit different locations, go snorkeling, enjoy a few fun hikes, witness incredible sunrises or sunsets on one of the islands, and much more.


We made the whole video about our trip to Komodo National Park. You can watch it here:



What are the tour options in Komodo National Park


One Day Speedboat

This is a good option if you have limited time and a tight budget. With a speedboat, you can visit a few main attractions in the national park, such as Komodo Island, Padar Island, the Pink Beach, and the Manta Point. Some tours might offer more, but you'll be rushing through each attraction, so check the offered itinerary first. Also, be aware that a one-day speedboat tour usually accommodates around 8-10 people. Therefore, you'll need to be flexible and respectful of others' desires and wishes about the trip. A one-day speedboat trip typically starts around 5 - 6 AM and ends around 6 PM. The cost ranges from 600,000 to 1,200,000 IDR per person, depending on the company and the number of people joining the trip. This price includes lunch and snorkeling gear, but it doesn't cover the entrance fee to Komodo National Park (280,000 IDR). In our opinion, the speedboat option is worth considering only if you have just one day. Otherwise, you won't be able to truly enjoy your adventure and explore the national park well.



2 Days and 1 Night Slow Boat (we chose this option)

In our opinion, it's the best option. With 2 days and 1 night, you'll be able to see most of the attractions at Komodo National Park. But most importantly, you'll have the freedom to choose which places to visit and which activities to experience. The price for this boat trip will be around 7,000,000 IDR (for the whole boat, excluding the national park entrance fee). The first day of the trip might feel rushed as you'll have to travel quite far from Labuan Bajo. However, the second day will be more relaxed. You'll have plenty of time to hike, snorkel, and simply enjoy your time away from everyone and everything. On this trip, you'll also get to see Padar Island at the best time of the day, during sunrise.


If you are interested in the boat we've chosen, feel free to contact our friend Marcel!

IG: @komodomarvel





There are many other options for boat trips, such as 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights. With these longer trips, you'll have more time to explore Komodo National Park, of course, but they will also cost you much more. So, if you're up for a longer adventure, be prepared to pay a higher price.

Whatever your budget and plan are, a visit to Komodo National Park is an experience you absolutely must - do in Indonesia!


Things to do In Komodo National Park

It’s impossible to get bored in Komodo. There are stunning beaches, colorful coral reefs, and exotic wildlife at every corner you turn. Below are the most popular things to do in Komodo National Park.



Visit Padar island


If there's one thing you can't miss on your Komodo tour, it's the spectacular sunrise trekking on Padar Island. The views are absolutely breathtaking.

This island offers a 20-minute hike to the top viewpoint. From here, you have a jaw-dropping view over the entire bay. It is home to the Komodo dragon and a large population of deer. The newly-built stair stops at multiple viewpoints, so you will have a few different angles to enjoy the views and take some beautiful shots! To enter Padar, an entrance fee of 150,000 IDR (10 USD) is required.


And if you are a photographer and want to fly your drone, be aware that you will have to pay for flying! It will cost you 1,000,000 IDR; but believe me, the shots you will get from the sky are worth this high price!





Also, keep in mind that from the moment you step on the island, you will always be accompanied by a local guide. The local guides provide well-spoken English guided tours and also ensure your safety (the island is full of poisonous snakes, so you will have to be very careful).



Swim with Manta Rays

Manta Rays are very common in Komodo National Park. They can be found here year-round while snorkeling or diving. During the rainy season, the water is colder, and there is glowing plankton which is food for the Mantas. During this time, hundreds of Manta Rays gather at Manta Point. So the rainy season is the best time to swim with mantas. Just imagine crossing paths with such a wonderful giant creature! It’s an amazing, mind-blowing experience that you will never forget!



Snorkelling in Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is a true paradise for divers and snorkelers. With over a thousand kinds of fish and different species of coral, the reefs at the Komodo Islands are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Expect to see small reef sharks, manta rays, dolphins, turtles, loads of fish, and sea stars in all kinds of colors and sizes.



Komodo Pink Beach

There are many pink beaches around Komodo National Park. And yes, Pink Beach does indeed have pink sand. White sand mixed with tiny pieces of red coral gives the beach its pink appearance. You’ll notice the pink hue even before getting off your boat, as it’s visible from far away.


Pink beaches are truly remarkable... Unique pink sands, clear turquoise waters, blue skies, high green hills. I could go on and on. Pink beaches at Komodo National Park have to be one of the most spectacular places we’ve ever visited in our lives!

Meet Komodo Dragons

Komodo National Park is the only place where the largest lizard on planet earth lives - the Komodo Dragon. Hiring a trained Ranger is required on both Rinca Island and Komodo Island (those are islands where you can see these amazing, lethal creatures). A ranger keeps you at a safe distance and guides you through the park. The Komodo dragon can grow up to 2.5 meters, weigh over 85 kilograms, and just one lick from it is actually very deadly. Always stay behind the ranger; it’s his job to keep you safe.

Labuan Bajo

Labuan Bajo is a great upcoming little town. More and more fantastic bars, restaurants, and hotels are being opened there. Our favorite restaurants are La Cucina (Italian food) and Escape Bajo (a small, comfy bar).

Where to stay in Labuan Bajo

Labuan Bajo doesn’t have too many accommodations yet, but they are building a lot of new places at the moment. That’s why it’s better to book a guesthouse or hotel in advance. You can do it through Booking.com or Agoda.com.


If you’re planning to book a liveaboard Komodo tour like we did (with sleeping on the boat for a night), you’ll need to stay in Labuan Bajo the night before. You don’t really have a choice, as flights don’t arrive early enough and you definitely won’t make it there by ferry in time. Since the Komodo tours start very early in the morning, getting to Flores island and Labuan Bajo, in particular, the night before is a must. So that’s what we did during our trip to Komodo National Park.


We decided to stay at Golo Hilltop Hotel (which was an amazing choice!). We spent one night there before our Komodo tour package started, and one more night once the Komodo island tour was finished. We have to say that Golo Hilltop Hotel is a super nice place to stay! Besides the stunning pool overlooking the whole Bay, the design of the hotel is exceptional! It has a very unique and cozy vibe. Breakfast was delicious, and the service was unparalleled (everyone was very warm and friendly). Again, the view from this hotel is just stunning!


Our Experience in Komodo National Park

Our Komodo trip exceeded all our expectations: crystal-clear waters, stunning views everywhere, brightly colored corals beneath the surface, amazing wildlife, friendly people, a private boat just for the two of us, beautiful green islands, fun hikes, and the best sunset and sunrise of our lives…


...all of this in just 2 days!


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kruvisuals

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