Komodo Island Travel Tips

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If you have been to Komodo Island before, please share your experiences, ideas and feedback (Hotel, Excursions, General Feeling,…) in the comments section below, by doing so you will help fellow travellers to plan their next trip ;)

In this page you will find practical information to plan a scuba diving trip to Komodo Island:

Komodo Island Photos

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The Komodo National Park is one of the pure jewels of Indonesia. Its specific landscape and fauna makes it a unique destination for adventurous travellers and nature lovers. It is a marine reserve with dozens of wild islands inhabited by the world famous Komodo Dragon! Komodo Dragon on Rinca Island near Labuan Bajo Komodo Dragon on Rinca Island (Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachdian/5418187901/) Liveaboard Diving in Komodo National Park is considered by some as the best diving location in Indonesia and even one of the best spots in the world by many people for big fishes and amazing underwater life. Crystal clear water, a lack of pollution, huge schools of fishes, pelagic fishes everywhere, sharks galore and the wonderful manta ray all year round make it a dream diving destination! Also this part of Indonesia is a bit off the touristic track (the banana pancake trail!) but is still easily accessible from Bali. To plan my trip I usually use this guide book as they have great maps and give a good overview of the Komodo, Labuan Bajo and Flores island.

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Komodo Island as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

I have been staying in the Gardena Hotel. It is a simple and basic hotel but very cheap. You have also nice villas to rent in Labuan Bajo or a beautiful resort.

Activities and excursions in Komodo Island

Komodo National Park is mostly a diving destination with not a lot of tourist infrastructure. The attraction here is the incredible nature, so it is possible to do other things during your stay or for the non divers such as:

  • Go trekking the Islands hills and the Kelimutu Volcano
  • Go to see the world famous Komodo dragons
  • Explore the typical flores Island (eg Python cave)
  • Go Snorkelling on a day trip cruise

There are a few travel agencies in Labuan Bajo which can organize all your excursions.

Kelimutu Volcano Lake Flores

Kelimutu’s blue and dark lakes (© Amre Ghiba)

Best time to visit Komodo Island

It is possible to enjoy the Komodo marine reserve all year round.

  • Dry season from April to December, average temperature of 26°C.
  • Rainy season from January to March, average temperature of 28°C.

The best time to visit Komodo National Park is between April and December during the dry season. The weather is very nice, not too hot with very little to no rain. The rainy season sometimes starts early in December, so if you don’t like getting wet plan your trip before.

You can spot the Komodo dragon all year round. However, the mating season runs from July to August and the nesting season from September to November and spotting the dragons is not as easy during these periods.

Health and Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Komodo Island, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this travel insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and cover all of those “risky” activities (Diving, Trekking, Surfing, Snorkelling, etc.).

Where is Komodo Island located in the world?

Komodo Islands are located in Indonesia between the islands of Lombok on the West and the Flores (Labuan Bajo) on the East.
Have a look to the Komodo Island map.

Komodo Island map

map of the komodo island

How to get to Komodo Island?

Exploring the Komodo National Park is very easy but you need to go to Bali first to get a plane or a boat.

There are 4 ways to discover the park:

  1. Fly from Bali airport to Labuan Bajo located on Flores Island. Labuan Bajo is the best base to explore the Komodo National Park. From there you can go diving with one of the local dive centre during daytrips in the marine reserve.
  2. From Labuan Bajo you can get a diving Liveaboard to take a tour of the Komodo islands and the best diving sites.
  3. You can charter a boat in Labuan Bajo and make your own private cruise around the Komodo Islands, perfect for discovering the archipelago and for snorkelling.
  4. From Bali, you can take a Liveaboard which will take you to a splendid diving cruise around Lombok Island and the Komodo marine reserve.

Hot Tips

  • Flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo are operated by small companies with small planes. The flight is very scenic so be sure to get a window seat to get a glimpse of the spectacular views!
  • Small planes are often full so it is better to book your seat in advance. Otherwise, for the more adventurous and the ones who are travelling on a tight budget you can take the public ferry from Bali to Labuan Bajo. It will take about 3 days and the journey is an adventure in itself.


Getting Around

Once you are in Labuan Bajo, you can discover the wild Flores Island by local bus but the journey can be rough and it is better if you can speak some Indonesian language. The best way is to hire a car with a driver for a very fair price in one of the local travel agencies.

If you want to discover the Komodo marine reserve, you can:

  • Go scuba diving and snorkelling with local dive centers. The boat ride to the diving sites can be quite long, up to 3 hours but very scenic.
  • Get a liveboard for a few days to cruise around the Komodo Islands and dive the best spots.
  • Arrange your own cruise in Labuan Bajo. Everything can be easily arranged by local travel agencies. You will have your own boat and your own crew for a very fair price! Enjoy ;-)

Going to check out the huge Komodo dragons is a must do for anybody travelling in the area. The best places to spot them are on Rinca and Komodo Islands. It is easily possible to go there during a day trip from Labuan Bajo or during a diving trip between two dives. Great surface time!

Komodo Island

Komodo Island during dry season(© Amre Ghiba)

Scuba diving

You will find all information about sea life, best time to visit, top dive spots, etc. in our review: Komodo Island Diving

Diving Reviews for this region

Komodo Island

Diving in Komodo is all about action! It is BIG fishes land! With wonderful coral, it is just incredible diving all year round.

Komodo Island Diving Review

Liveaboard Cruises in this region

WAOW

The WAOW is a 58 meter long full luxury liveaboard. All the suites are equipped with all the built-in comfort you can imagine. The WAOW also cruises around Raja Ampat Arc … Continue reading

WAOW Liveaboard Review

MSY Damai 1

The MSY Damai 1 is a luxury diving liveaboard and one of the best in Indonesia. Only 10 guest are allowed on board to ensure maximum space and comfort for all, and plenty … Continue reading

MSY Damai 1 Liveaboard Review

The Seven Seas

The Seven Seas liveaboard is 45 meters long and can accommodate up to 16 divers. Hot water is available as well as AC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYTnfJ3vToY The Seve … Continue reading

The Seven Seas Liveaboard Review

Cheng Ho

Cheng Ho is one of the most comfortable vessels for leisurely expeditions throughout Indonesia. This 49m-long Phinisi with a cruising speed of up to 8 knots, can accommod … Continue reading

Cheng Ho Liveaboard Review

MV Mermaid 1

The MV MERMAID 1 as well as the MV Mermaid 2 start their journey from the Benoa Harbor in Bali. The vessel measures in at 28 meters long. All the 7 cabins are equipped wi … Continue reading

MV Mermaid 1 Liveaboard Review

S/Y Indo Siren

SY Indo Siren is a very beautiful boat that was constructed in Indonesia in recent years equipped with everything you may need while on board, all the comfort you will be … Continue reading

S/Y Indo Siren Liveaboard Review

MV Mermaid 2

The MV Mermaid 2 boat is 32 meters long and is suitable for up tp 16 guests. There are 8 deluxe rooms as well as 2 budget rooms. NITROX is available onboard. It has a ver … Continue reading

MV Mermaid 2 Liveaboard Review

KLM Moana

KLM Moana is a sturdy 24m-long Phinisi schooner focused on giving awesome short trips around Komodo Island. Cruisin’ at a speed of 8 knots, this liveaboard offers guests … Continue reading

KLM Moana Liveaboard Review

SMY ONDINA

The SMY ONDINA is a 32m long typical Indonesian Pinisi. This liveaboard sails through the Komodo National Park or onto Raja Ampat as well as the Banda Sea, Maluku and Amb … Continue reading

SMY ONDINA Liveaboard Review

Felicia

The Felicia is a 30meter Phinisi, mainly good for shorter trips around Komodo, particularly for touring around Komodo National Park, Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands. Thi … Continue reading

Felicia Liveaboard Review

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7 dive logs in “Komodo Island

  1. Dear sir
    I would like to know if there is boat that going from benoa ,Bali to komodo island in aug or from any other port in Bali .do I need a driver there to visit the national park and the pink beach or there are buses or any other public transfer

    • Hello Barkay! Yes there is a ferry going from Bali to Labuan Bajo in Flores. From there you can visit the Komodo National Park. The ferry takes 2 or 3 days, it is best to take a plane from Bali. There is no road, you can to rent a boat to go around the islands. Enjoy your trip!

  2. My travel date was : 30 Aug, 2012
    It was a excellent trip. I was alone and rent a boat from Flores…My suggestion please don’t miss Komodo Island because most of the travel agent suggest Rinca is good enough to see Komodo Dragon. I think scenic beauty Komodo Island is better than Rinca and Dragon size also BIG. Though I was alone but enjoyed too much. Love Komodo Island……

    • Rajib can tell you tell me more about you trip. What guide did you use? Did you do any of the available hikes? How much was it for one person?

    • Hi,
      I am giving your message reply…sorry for too late.
      1. About Rinca Island : Please try to visit in early morning:: Because Komodo dragon, Wild Bear, Wild Dear, Jangle Chicken, Special big size Pigeon and many other birds are available in the early morning but there is no doubt about Wild Buffalo is there but very few person can see them and Wild Horse is a rare case. Some places are very attraction “Panoramic view” I think most of the tourist will be happy. The route of Rinca and Komodo both is fantastic and safe.
      Komodo Island :
      - I stayed at night near by Komodo Island and it was in the boat my boat was not too small but it was very nice accommodation and tier system per cabin 2 persons accommodated and there was 3 cabins but I was alone. All boat man (5 persons) was very nice. In the boat food arrangement was good but my suggestion before living Flores informed first to boat man what you want to eat preferred fish/ meat/ egg etc.
      One thing I brought a mosquito net and medicine (Aerosol) but I didn’t saw any mosquito in Rinca and Komodo. Local people are very nice and co-operative.

      If you need any more thing please fell free to mail me.

      Thanks
      Rajib Choudhury

      What guide did you use? : I hired a local guide from Rinca and Komodo. Evey places I have to pay Rs.50,000/= for ranger/ guide. This price is fixed and I was alone.

  3. Not a problem. Sounds great. I assumed boat came with a guide. How much was the boat ride? Where did you go to book the boat?

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