Between the Flores and Sumbawa, there is an archipelago consisting of a few very special Islands. This is the home of dragons, the Komodo Dragons. This beast only live in these small islands, practically reign over this area for millennia. Today, their home is well protected and has become the Komodo National Park. One of the most popular is Komodo Island.
This park is not just about the dragons though. This place is also a wonderful haven from its highest points to the underwater life. From the amazing view of Padar Island to the wonderful diving spots around its coral reefs, this national park is truly on a league of its own in term of uniqueness.
Watching the life of Komodo Dragons
Needless to say, the main attraction in this area is the dragon itself. Komodo is the largest lizard and reptile in the world. With a size than can reach 3 meters long and 70kg in weight, komodo are very dangerous and intimidating.
All tourists must be under the supervision of trained guide when entering the islands that has komodo population. Not only in Komodo Island, these carnivores also roams several other islands nearby such as Padar and Rinca Island.
Rich biodiversity within the island to support Komodos’ lives
The Komodo National Park is the main home of the giant lizard, but it’s much more than that. This island is home to 12 snake species, 9 lizard species, more than 40 species of birds, various frogs, deer, horses, wild boars, water buffalo, and many more. There are enough herbivore within the core area of the park to keep the balance of the ecosystem.
Pristine diving spots within its boundary
Being a part of the Asia Pacific Coral Triangle, meaning that it is rich in underwater life. Marine biodiversity in the coral triangle is exceptionally high, including in this park. You can dive to find colorful reefs with many species of fish swimming along. That’s not all though. In some part of the park, you can find manta rays, whale shark, and even the elusive and endangered dugongs.
Pink Beach, one of the only three in the world
Komodo Island also has a beautiful pink beach. The color is a result of the degradation of red coral combined with pristine white sand. This is one of only seven beach with glowing pink tint in the world. This beach is the thin line between the blue oceans with green hills on the island.
Enjoy the amazing view from several vantage points of the park
Komodo National Park has one of the driest climate in Indonesia. With little rainfall, there are not many vegetation that can survive here. Grass, small trees, and shrubs dominate the islands vegetation, creating a nice green rocky spikes against the blue sea around it.
To fully enjoy the spectacular view, you need to hike a little to get to a vantage point. The most popular hiking trek is at Padar Island that will give you a n obstructed view to the branching peninsula at the tips of the island.
The Charming sunset city of Labuan Bajo
Labuan Bajo was a small fishing village in the western tip of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara. Today, the city that is popular for its sunsets has shifted into the main gateway to several tourist destinations around Komodo National Park. This area is blessed with so many beautiful spots as well as rich natural ecosystem, especially its underwater biota. Most of the tourist has to go to this sunset city to enter the park.
Liveaboard to fully immerse yourself with the beauty of the park
The easiest way to enjoy everything in the Komodo National Park is by being aboard of a Komodo Liveaboard. You are basically living on a sailboat, free to go anywhere you like within the park. You want to dive? Go to the best diving spots. You want to see some Komodo?
Off you go to Komodo Island. Or maybe you just want to enjoy your day with amazing vista, especially during sunrise and sunset.
A selection of seafood at Labuan Bajo
Being a national park that offers pristine islands and its natural wonders, it is understandable that the area is not a culinary heaven. However, you can get pretty much whatever food you like at Labuan Bajo.
There are restaurants serving traditional to European foods, but you must try its seafood. With fish freshly taken from the surrounding sea, the seafood here is top notch in quality.
Best place to enjoy seafood at Labuan Bajo:
- Bajo Bay Fisherman’s Club – Ikan Krapu, Labuan Bajo
- Treetop – Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo
- Mediterraneo – Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo
How to get to Komodo Island
Simply said, the only ‘normal’ way to go to Komodo Island and the whole national park is through Labuan Bajo. It means that if you take a public boat or plane, you will land at this town before continuing your journey to the islands.
From Labuan Bajo, you can charter a boat to visit the island of your choice. The price differ from one island to the other, depending on the distance. The closest one from Labuan Bajo is Rinca Island. Don’t worry, you will easily find komodo dragons here too. If you want to enjoy everything in Komodo National Park freely, your only choice is renting a boat for days or travel by liveaboard.
Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo is connected with several cities in Indonesia such as Kupang, Mataram, Denpasar, and Ende.
There are several ship cruising to this town from Surabaya, Makassar, and Benoa (Bali). Overland trip is possible within Flores Island with cities like Ende or Maumere.
What to do in Komodo Island
There are several ways you can enjoy the Komodo National Park. Almost all people who come to this park to see the Komodo dragon. Those lizards can easily be found in one of the big islands in the park. Rinca, Padar, and Komodo Islands all are the habitat of the dragon.
However, this park is not only about the dragon. You can hike a little and find a breathtaking view in Padar Island. The beaches in these islands are generally wonderful with white sand. One beach stands out because it has natural pink sand.
You need to be careful enjoying beaches in these islands since there is a chance a komodo might come. Exploring the park is only possible by boat, either you charter it or you travel by liveaboard.
Best Hotel in Komodo Island
- Laprima Hotel – Jl. Pantai Pede, Labuan Bajo, Goron Talo, Komodo, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat. Starts from IDR990,446.
- Pura Sari Beach Hotel – Jalan Pantai Pede Kecamatan Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat – Starts from IDR760572.
- La Cecile Hotel and Café – Jalan Golo No.Silatey, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat. Starts from IDR716,858.
- Hotel Bintang Flores – Jl. Pantai Pede, Goron Talo, Komodo, Goron Talo, Komodo, Labuan Bajo. Starts from IDR1,177,222.
- Sudamala resort Seraya – Jalan Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, West Manggarai – Starts from IDR3,090,737.