Komodo Island travel guide is part of – 2 Week Indonesia Itinerary
Komodo Island is home to cold blooded creatures from the days of the dinosaur. Where the continental plates collide, lies the domain of the Dragons. Komodo Dragons are the largest lizards in the world. They can reach a length of 10.3 feet (3.13 meters), weigh around 154 pounds (70 kg), and can run at speeds up to 13 mph (20 kph). They are only found on a few Indonesian islands mainly Komodo and Rinca, both accessible from Labuan Bajo, Flores.
Welcome to the domain of the poison-breathing dragons!
Where is Komodo Island
Komodo Island (Komodo Dragon Island) lies off the coast of Labuan Bajo in the northwestern corner of Flores in Indonesia. It is part of Komodo National Park. It is one of the two islands in the world to have Komodo Dragons in the wild, the other being nearby Rinca island.
Komodo Island Map
Komodo Island is only accessible by boats from Labuan Bajo or liveaboards from Bali and Lombok. If you are coming from Bali, then you can fly into Komodo Airport (IATA: LBJ) in Labuan Bajo. There are few other daily flights to Komodo Airport from different airports in Indonesia. Almost all the travel agencies in Labuan Bajo offer a day tour to Komodo Island to see the dragons. More on the tours later.
A Tale of the Dragons
Komodo Island Day Tour
The Boy: “What is the Kiss of the Dragon?”
The Blue Ocean: “The dragon has an anticoagulant venom. When it bites its prey, it drools the nasty fatal toxin into the wound of the animal.
That is the Dragon’s Kiss of Death!”
How to Visit Komodo Island
The dragons are truly beasts out of the mythical books – dinosaur scales, flickering tongue sensing the surroundings, arrogant piercing eyes, and the gait stamping authority
Labuan Bajo is the gateway to the Dragon’s Domain. You need at least 3 days to visit Komodo Island. On the first day, you will land at Komodo Island Airport in Labuan Bajo. After checking-in to your hotel, you will have to look for a day tour to Komodo Island. Either you can ask your hotel to arrange a tour or you can speak with travel agencies located on Soekarno Hatta street. Almost all the agencies sell the same standard tour at the around the same price (negotiable). The tour includes a couple of snorkeling stops, trek in Padar Island, an hour at Pink Beach, and of course the opportunity to see Komodo Dragons. Do check the snorkeling gear carefully.
Komodo Island Tour Options
(i) Komodo Island Budget Tour
Cost: IDR 100,000 transportation + IDR 300,000 Entrance Fee + Optional Snorkeling Tour = IDR 400,000 per person (US$ 30/ INR 2,000)
The cheapest way of seeing the dragons is by taking a local boat from Labuan Bajo to Komodo Island. The local boat leaves Labuan Bajo port at 10 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It costs IDR 50,000 pp (US$ 4/250 INR). You can pay the park fees (IDR 300,000 pp) and a ranger will accompany you on the trails in search of the dragons. The return boat runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, the same price. You can stay the night in Komodo Island at Erjun’s homestay for IDR 350,000 (US$ 26/ 1700 INR) including 3 meals for two people. Erjun is a certified park ranger of Komodo National Park with great knowledge of the dragons and fluent English. He can also arrange full day tours from Labuan Bajo. You can contact him on WhatsApp at +62 813-3778-2881 or Instagram @jhuna_ranger27
(ii) Komodo Island Day Tour
Cost: IDR 600,000 tour cost + IDR 300,000 Entrance Fee = IDR 900,000 per person (US$ 67/ INR 4,300)
Tour timing 7 am to 7 pm. Includes visiting Komodo Island, snorkeling at Pink Beach and Manta Point, Padar Island, breakfast, lunch, and hotel pick-up and drop-off. We went with Wanua Adventures because they allowed us to customized our tour without any extra cost. We dropped Padar Island and went in search for Komodo Dragons on Rinca Island. Rinca Island is smaller than Komodo Island, therefore the chances of spotting Komodos on Rinca are higher. You can get in touch with Ignas on WhatsApp +62 812-3982-2705 or [email protected]
(iii) Komodo, Rinca, and Snorkeling 2 Days Tour
Cost: IDR 1,000,000 tour cost + IDR 300,000 Entrance Fee = IDR 1,300,000 per person (US$ 97/ INR 6,000)
The tour starts at 7 am on day one and ends at 4 pm day two. You visit Rinca, Komodo, Pink Beach, Padar Island, Kanawa, and snorkel at some prime spots including Manta Point. It includes all meals, snorkeling gear, and live aboard a ship. For more info contact Ignas of Wanua Adventures on WhatsApp +62 812-3982-2705 or [email protected]
Komodo Island: A tryst with the dragons, flight of the Mantas, and colorful corals
Tears rolled down my eyes as I was stupefied by the sight of the black beauty of the blue ocean – Manta Ray. Wings spread wide gliding, almost flying in the calm waters of the Flores Sea. My heart happily burst into a thousand particles that still live on in the ocean bed frequented by these gracious beings of the ocean. “Our Planet is Beautiful” moment
Our Wanua Adventure tour started at 7 am. We were picked from our hotel and dropped at the harbor. The boat staff was incredibly helpful and served us snacks, fruits, tea, and coffee. Our first stop was snorkeling near the Pink Beach. The colors and shapes of corals were incredible. Some of the best snorkeling I have ever done. Unfortunately, as I dived into the sea my GoPro case leaked and 🙁
Pink Beach Komodo Island Snorkeling
The pinkness of the Pink Beach, well let’s just say it can be pinker. Some Photoshop-ed images could be misleading so trust them with a grain of pink sand. After Pink Beach, we snorkeled at Manta Point (Manta Alley) in search of the devilish angel of the ocean. I snorkeled around with intent on finding the devilish angel. Tears rolled down my eyes as I was stupefied by the sight of the black beauty of the blue ocean – Manta Ray. Wings spread wide gliding, almost flying in the calm waters of the Flores Sea. My heart happily burst into a thousand particles that still live on in the ocean bed frequented by these gracious beings of the ocean. “Our Planet is Beautiful” moment. We saw 4 Manta Rays and 1 baby shark at Manta Point. Snorkeling here is absolutely a must do.
We were served unbelievably delicious vegetarian lunch. I have always had a bad experience with vegetarian meals on organized tours. But, the food served was beyond expectation. Next, it was time to enter the Dragon’s Lair.
Komodo Dragon, Rinca Island, Indonesia
Rinca Island (198 sq km) is smaller than Komodo Island and has forest cover. Therefore, Komodo Dragon sightings are almost guaranteed. You pay the Komodo National Park entrance fee of 150,000 IDR (US$ 11/ 725 INR) and some administration charges at the park entrance. A ranger accompanies you on the trails in search of Komodo Dragons. You are almost certain to find some lying around the ranger cabins. We saw a Komodo Dragon couple mating. The guide mentioned they had been at it for 8 hours.
Komodo Dragon Couple at Rinca Island
The big bad ones are to be found in the jungle. On the trail, look out for Buffaloes and Timur Deer, since they are the dragon’s prey. We were fortunate to see an adult dragon in the wild. He was humongous and strolled with authority in the jungle looking for a mate. The dragons are truly beasts out of the mythical books – dinosaur scales, flickering tongue sensing the surroundings, arrogant piercing eyes, and the gait stamping authority. I have seen many an animal across the globe, but nothing comes close to witnessing the dragons.
After leaving the lair of the dragons, we made our way back to Labuan Bajo. The tour gets you back around 7 pm. They provided us a drop-off at the hotel as well.
Where to stay
I highly recommend staying at Komodo Island. Very few people stay there, therefore it is an off-the-beaten-path experience. Staying there is an incredible opportunity to witness the harmony between villagers and Komodo Dragons. You can take a local boat from Labuan Bajo to Komodo Island as I mentioned earlier. Erjun’s Homestay is a homely and comfortable place to stay, price IDR 350,000(US$ 26/ 1700 INR) including 3 meals for two people. You can contact him on WhatsApp at +62 813-3778-2881 or Instagram @jhuna_ranger27.
Hotel Sunset Hill, Labuan Bajo, Flores
If you prefer to stay in Labuan Bajo then Sunset Hill Hotel is an excellent hotel with lavish rooms and a view to kill for. Pagi Hotel is a good budget option closer to the town with scenic views from the terrace, delicious breakfast, and very friendly staff. Both hotels can be booked from Booking.com
Vegetarian food in Labuan Bajo
Chef Rafael is a homely Indonesia restaurant serving delicious local vegetarian dishes, comfy sandwiches, and tasty pasta. Casa Seleni is an opportunity to sail from the islands of Indonesia to Isles of Greece one Greek delicacy at a time. Mouthwatering falafel, delicious baba ghanoush, and healthy salads. LaBajo Flores Coffee is the place to sip in all the experiences over a cup of fresh and aromatic Indonesian coffee.
4 Days with the Walking Dead of Sulawesi (Coming Soon)
1 Week in Java amongst active volcanoes, largest Buddhist monument, and mythical Crater Lake (Coming Soon)