How to get there: the easiest way to get Flores Island is by flight. The airport is “Komodo National Airport” in Labuan Bajo City. You have to take a domestic flight from Bali Depansar Airport. Once at the airport there is a taxi service to the town center or other destination around Flores Island.
Labuan Bajo: it’s a small coastal town, starting point of all the cruises through the Komodo National Park. Along Jl Soekarno Hatta street you’ll find a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, minimarket, diving center and plenty of local tour operators. Here are also located some currency exchange shops and two ATM. 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. I slept at Bajo Beach Hotel, a basic accommodation on the main road.
About the trip: you have several options to choose, it is just up to you and what you like to visit. There are daily boat trips or 2Day/1Night, 3D/2N, 4D/3N boat trips around the National Park. There is also a boat tour from Komodo to Lombok Island (4D/3N). If you don’t have much time you can book in advance online contacting by email some local tour operators and obviously haggling the price. Otherwise, once in Labuan Bajo, go to the main road that is plenty of local travel agencies where you can choose your tour and get the best price. The expense is different and changes as what you want to see and for how long. The average price for a 3D/2N trip is around 1.200.000 Rupies all included, but if you are traveling alone and you can’t join a “shared tour”, you have to rent the whole boat as I did. The expense is about 9.000.000 Rupies (600 USD). It’s a bit expensive but it’s worth it.
Homestay: with no doubt the best way to enjoy the island is with a private tour, but if you like going by yourself you have the chance to stay in Komodo village, 10 minutes by boat from Komodo Park gate. In the village there are 3-4 guest-houses where you can sleep (250.000 Rupies per night) and where you can arrange your tour with a local fisherman day by day. There are also 6 bungalows inside the Komodo island park gate with a restaurant and the price is around 325.000 Rupies per night. If you want to sleep in Komodo village go straight there , at the jetty there is a small information center where you have to pay a fee and ask for your guest house . Reaching the village it’s a long way, probably about 5 hours by boat, anyways at first go at the harbor in Labuan Bajo or in some of the jetty located along the shore and ask the fishermen to get you there.
Rinca Island: It is the first island where you can meet big komodo dragons. The entrance fee ( Loh Buaya gate ) is 150.000 Rupies per day (around 15$). Once here you can go by yourself or asking for a ranger (80.000 rupies) at the ticket counter. I reccomend you to get your ranger because he can explain you interesting things about the dragon’s life and it is easier to see the wild monitor lizard. He can also tell you about the behavior you should keep because the Komodo Dragons are dangerous and in case of a bite you seriously risk your own life. There are different trekking paths: short, medium and long. The medium it takes you around 1 hour, it is flat and easy. The dragons are active in the early morning and anyway it is not guaranteed that you can spot them.
Komodo Island: It is the most famous and biggest island where the Komodo dragons live. The entrance fee ( Loh Liang gate ) is 150.000 Rupies (per day) and as in Rinca, you can get a ranger at the ticket counter (80.000 Rupies)and choose your trekking path: you have several options like short, medium, long and adventure trek. Also here I had the medium trek, 1 hour along a flat path.
Padar Island: even though a few dragons live here, it is very difficult and rare spotting them. This beautiful island is famous for the breathtaking view you can enjoy on the top of its hill. There is a uphill path starting from the beach that takes you around 30 minutes to get the top. Once there you can stare at this view for hours.
Kelor Island, Pink Beach, Pempe Island, Kanawa Island: these are beautiful islands where you can snorkeling with many tropical fish seeing the coral reef and relaxing on the beach. Kanawa is a private island with a resort where you can relax and enjoy a very beautiful sea ( http://www.kanawaresort.com ).
Kalong island: Usually all the boats stop here at the end of the day before the sunset to see the flying foxes. Immediately after the sunset, thousands big bats leave the mangrove’s trees heading to Flores Island. It is a great wonder of nature.