The Komodo region is a gem in Indonesia. So far, my favorite part of Indonesia. It is full of beautiful sceneries, wildlife, and incredible marine life. The hills remind me of the desert landscape, but at the same time, it offers some of the most amazing beaches ever. You can see everything from pink to white or black sand beaches. The biggest attraction of Komodo is the Komodo Dragons. Komodo Dragons live on several islands. These include Komodo Island, Gili Motang, Kode Island, and Rinca Islands.
We booked a 3-day boat trip with FloresXP, and we really loved the experience with them. The best part was that the group was only 9 people, so you are actually able to connect to the people on board and make friends! I loved that it was a more intimate group size. The crew of FloresXP was also super friendly and helpful!
Most tours do not cover the entrance fees for the national park, so make sure you carry enough cash to cover for national park fees. You’ll need around Rp 400.000/person/day. Best confirm with the tour guide to check if the prices changed.
How to get to the Komodo Islands?
The easiest way to get there is to take a flight to Labuan Bajo, this is also where most tours start. We took a flight from Bali that takes about 1.5 h. But there are also flights from Jakarta or Surabaya. Airlines like AirAsia, Batik Air, NAM Air, or Wings Air are flying to and from Labuan Bajo. We took a flight with AirAsia to Labuan Bajo and a flight back with Batik Air.
Day 1 in Labuan Bajo
We took an early morning flight from Bali and arrived in Labuan Bajo around noon, so we had time to relax, before spending 3 days on a boat. The tours usually start very early in the morning, so we spend the day before the trip exploring Labuan Bajo, packing, relaxing, and eating.
What to bring for the 3 days?
Never underestimate the sun, so make sure to bring lots of sunscreen! Make sure to bring waterproof sunscreen. I got the worst sunburn on my booty from snorkeling, although I was putting on a lot of sunscreen.
You will snorkel or dive a lot, so make sure to bring a bikini or swimsuit or board shorts! You will spend most of the time on the boat and in the water.
3. Waterproof Phone Case
You are on the water most of the time, so it makes sense to bring a water proof phone case
4. Comfortable Walking Sneakers
You will do lots of hikes, so make sure to bring some comfortable footwear with you. Hiking boots are plus, but not a must. I was wearing sneakers and it was perfectly fine.
Sunglasses are definitely a must on this trip. There are not many palm trees on the beaches, so finding shade will be quite a challenge.
6. Sun Hat
Another essential is some cover for your head, a hat or cap is necessary and you will be happy to have that with you.
7. Bug Repellant
Gosh, this is probably the most important thing for some people. Bug repellent is a MUST and you will regret not bringing it with you. Mosquitoes are alive and well on Komodo Island, so make sure to bring some!
8. Emergency Travel Kit
Because you never know when you might need it. One person from our group got cut by corals, so she was happy when we had an emergency kit with us!
You need to bring a camera, because the views and sceneries there are to die for!
10. Pack light
Do just take the necessary clothes such as swimsuit, shorts, tops, hiking shoes and sandals with you. A backpack is enough for 3 days!
11. Snorkeling gear
Decent snorkeling gear will be provided (all Mares). A couple people on the boat had full face snorkeling masks. We tried one one day and they are amazing. I you have some space in you backpack or trouble breathing with a regular snorkel this is a great option. You can get one from 25USB on Amazon.
Day 1 on the boat
We met at 7.30 at the office of FloresXP and left our luggage there for the 3 days. As mentioned before, we tried to pack only the most necessary things for the trip. After a little instruction and a quick explanation of the itinerary, we headed to the pier to start our tour. The trip started with a light breakfast on the boat and an introduction round. After that, we had time to get to know the crew, guides, and the rest of the group. We got super lucky to be on this trip with a wonderful group of people.
At the first and second stops, we went snorkeling. The marine life at Komodo is incredible and versatile. You will see beautiful fishes, corals, turtles and much more. Even we just went snorkeling is a wonderful experience. Our highlight was swimming close to a bunch of turtles on that day.
Note: The trip includes snorkeling equipment.
Our highlight of the day was hiking up Padar island for sunset. I saw so many photos on Instagram before and still was blown away, but the views on Padar island. The hike is well maintained and not too hard; what makes it hard, though, is the heat. It really depends on what time of the day you arrive, the morning is probably the best. We did it in the afternoon, and I was sweating a lot 😀 BUT those views are worth every single drop of sweat. I loved watching the sunset and took a million photos.
The day ended with a dinner on the boat and playing some games with the rest of the group.
NOTE: The itinerary might change depending on the weather and ocean conditions.
Day One: Labuan Bajo – Sebayur – Siaba – Rinca – Kalong
- Departure time from Labuan Bajo between 8:00-8:30
- Logistic Stop at Xpirates Dive Camp
- Dive/snorkeling at Siaba Bay – Turtle City
- Lunch on board
- Trekking at Rinca Island with the Legendary Komodo Dragons
- sunset at Kalong Island with flying Foxes
- Dinner and Night on board of the boat
Day 2 on the boat
We started the day with breakfast on the boat, and our first stop was the famous Komodo island with the Komodo dragons. The trail took us about 1.5 h, and we got lucky to see Komodo dragons and learned some interesting facts about them. After that, we headed to the Pink beach and had some time to relax and swim there. There was also the option of snorkeling around the reef. After some time at the beach, we made our way to Makassar beach sand Atoll, also known as Mini Maldives. Let me tell you, I have not visited the Maldives (still on my list!), but this is how I imagine the Maldives. Very beautiful with the clearest water! The day ended with reaching the Xpirates Dive Camp for sunset and a lovely dinner.
Day Two: Padar – Pink Beach – Makassar Reef – Sebayur
- Morning Trekking at Padar Island with the Legendary Komodo Dragons
- Snorkeling and beach relaxation at Long pink Beach at Padar island
- Selfie time at Makassar beach sand Atoll, also known as Mini Maldives, a nice swim and snorkeling is also possible here
- Sunset at Xpirates Dive Camp, by the beach or up the hill
- Dinner and night on the island, buffet style dinner at the Pirates Cafe.
Day 3 on the boat
This day was full of snorkeling. We made at least 3 or 4 stops, and by the end of the day, I was exhausted, but also extremely happy about all the wildlife I had seen during this trip. My personal highlight was swimming with the Manta rays, they are huge, but still so graceful and it truly amazing to swim next to them.
Day Three: Manta Point – Mawan island – Tatawa – Labuan Bajo
- Diving/Snorkeling at Manta Point, with the amazing Manta, turtles, reef sharks
- Dive/snorkel at Mawan island – Manta cleaning station and Pink Beach
- Diving/snorkeling at Tatawa Island, on a colorful coral garden with turtles, rays, reef sharks.
- Logistic stop at XPirates Camp and back to Labuan Bajo around 16:00
Where to stay on Labuan Bajo?
We stayed at the Seaesta Komodo Hotel & Hostel and really enjoyed our stay there. You can book private rooms or shared dorms. It was spotless, and breakfast was good. It has a vast rooftop area where you can relax, have drinks or food, and enjoy the pool. The hotel is not too pricey, and you can find rooms for 10-70 dollars a night.
Where to eat in Labuan Bajo?
We tried two other places to eat in Labuan Bajo besides eating in the hotel. The local fish market in the evening and a sushi restaurant named Happy Banana (does not sound promising, but IT IS!!!).
The fish market takes place every night and is on the main road, so you cannot miss it. The fish is super fresh, and they cook it for you on the grill or fry it. You have endless options; we liked it so much that we ended up going twice!!! So good!
The restaurant Happy Banana had fantastic sushi, the fish quality is excellent. We ended up going here twice because it was so good! Make sure to check it out when you are visiting Labuan Bajo. You won’t regret it!
Address: In front of Mandiri Bank, Jalan Soekarno Hatta, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Nusa Tenggara Tim. 86554, Indonesia