How to plan Komodo National Park 3 days Tour
Where to see Komodo’s Dragon
Click here to read about the day 1
Day 2 – At 5 a.m. the captain is ready to go, the noisy engine is thundering but the stars are still shining in the dark sky and I’m so sleepy then I turn my face going on with my sleep. Mazstin wakes me up at 6.30 a.m. for breakfast and in front of me, I can see Padar Island, one of the most beautiful and photographed spots in Indonesia.
We are the only boat in the bay, the captain drops the anchor in the shallow, fix the ladder on the edge and with a beaming smile tell me to get off. Got the beach, after a short walk on the pristine sand, I reach the starting point of the trail that leads on the top of the hill. Nothing challenging, just a bit steep in some points, and step by step the landscape in front of me becomes more and more incredible.
Stopping at different viewpoints along the path the panorama is breathtaking and my first thought is that the island of Padar is one of those places where I could spend hours and hours staring at this view. Before arranging my trip to Indonesia, browsing the many pictures of Flores Island and the Komodo Park, this landscape immediately caught my attention…and once got the top of the hill I realize why.
On my right side the first bay with its colorful sea and white sand, on my left the round shape hills and 2 others bays, one of them called Pink Beach because of the color of the sand made of small pieces of coral. The early morning is the right time to get the top, it is not crowded, not hot and the sunlight is fantastic.
Still enchanted by this place, after 1 hour I go back to the boat start meeting the first tourists ascending to the top. Left the island, the captain brings me to the Pink Beach in Komodo Island. Here, as on the island of Padar, the sand is composed of small pieces of coral that should make the sand of pink color.
Despite the pics you can see in the local advertisement, the sand is not pink but the beach is amazing and with no doubt the best I’ve seen during my trip so far. The sea is really clear with various gradations of blue that make it fantastic and the coral reef is full of tropical fish. In this season the water temperature is not so warm, considering also the wind blowing quite often.
Anyways I can take some interesting pics and above all this time I do not have to fight with my little “tropical friends” who want to defend their holes. After having a rest on the beach enjoying the warm sun, I go back to the boat for lunch.
The next stop will be the island of Komodo, where I meet the dragons again, or at least … I hope so! As in Rinca, there is a big gate (Loh Liang gate) where I take a pic under the writing ”Komodo National Park”, then, once arrived at the ticket office, I follow a Ranger who will guide me through a forest path in search of the big lizards.
Also here a short briefing with suggestions for not having issues with these wild giants. The Ranger confirms the story of the Asian tourist I heard in Rinca, but says not to be worried because since 1974 just 30 people have been bitten by the dragons and only 5 died! With a big smile, he points the map of the paths through the forest asking me to choose one.
I have several options but it is quite hot and does not blow a bit of wind, so I choose the medium trail, a flat path that lasts about 1 hour. The choice was good because, in the end, we’ve seen 6 dragons. Not bad to be two o’clock in the afternoon since during the mating season they mainly hide in the forest and are active early in the morning. Satisfied with my beautiful hike, I greet and thank the Ranger before returning to the boat.
Last interesting visit of the day is Komodo Village, only 10 minutes cruise from the Loh Liang gate. This is a small Muslim village of fishermen, the only one on this big island, formed by colorful stilt houses and plenty of screaming children. There is an office next to the dock where we first have to pay a small fee to walk around the village.
An old fisherman comes up to me and Mazstin offering to be our guide through this genuine place. The village is very simple, formed by wooden stilt houses with a roof made of sheet metal and some mosques. Here and there some women clearing up the washing, fishermen fixing the nets and many children playing everywhere.
In the village, there are a few guest houses for the tourists who’d like to spend a night here. After an interesting visit through Komodo village, we thank the old man and go back on board. The captain leaves the dock looking for a sheltered bay where to spend the night.
The time flies and also this day is gone. Before finishing the dinner, the captain makes us a so appreciated surprise cooking a very tasty small fried sweet balls filled with…I don’t know but they are delicious! Still happy about this unexpected cake, I get my room falling asleep very quickly.
Day 3 – My last day on board goes on very quickly and I only have 2 nice stops where snorkeling. The first is Manta Point, where usually you can swim beside the big Manta. Unfortunately, the weather is cloudy and the sea is a bit rough so we cannot spot anything and directly move to Kanawa Island.
It is a small private island with a wonderful beach and a clear sea full of corals and fish. On the island, there is a resort where it is possible to spend some days in total relax. After 1 hour snorkeling, I take my rest on the beach enjoying the hot sun, then I come back on board where I can taste the last lunch cooked by the captain.
I will never forget his fried eggplant and sweet ball cakes! It is time to go back to Labuan Bajo and be ready to explore Flores Island, my trip around Komodo National Park is over!
Need to Know
|1) When to go
The best time to visit Flores Island is from May to October during the dry season. There’s a strong wind from Australia, keeping humidity levels low and making outdoor activities more bearable. I had my trip in August and crossing the mountain in the center of Flores I bumped into short rains. The rainy season is from December to March, and humidity is high. The showers are short, but intense so you won’t have to spend the whole day inside.
2) How to plan the tour
I arranged my trip a few months in advance looking for a local agency on the web. After contacting some of them, I chose Komodoblessing adventure. The owner, Mr. Maxi, was always punctual and accurate in his answer. Of course also very patient because I’m really demanding when I arrange my trips.
Other tour operators I found in Labuan Bajo
3) Where to sleep and eat
Labuan Bajo offers a good range of accommodation, from cheap Hotels too expensive ones. I slept at Bajo Beach Hotel, very basic accommodation on the main road.
Alternatively, I can suggest to you:
My favorite restaurants are Mediterraneo and Le Pirate Restaurant & Deck. If you like tasting street food go next to the fish market (Kampung Ujung) where, from 6 p.m., you’ll find several stalls selling local food. Click below to check the list of the restaurants.
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