The Best Things To Do In Komodo, Flores

There are may fun things to do in Komodo, Flores.

Komodo and Rinca islands, in Indonesia, really are the definition of tropical islands, and Komodo National Park is a must-see on any trip to Indonesia. At an easy boat ride from Labuan Bajo, Komodo and Rinca will surprise you with their tranquil seas, the sandiest, whites beaches, lined by lush vegetation. 

This post highlights the best things to do in Komodo, Flores and shares some tips to make the most of it.

Looking wistfully at the dramatic wedges of rock jutting out of the turquoise sea
Staring in the distance at the dramatic scenery – photo courtesy of Jeremy Goh @g0ldeng0h

8 Great Things To Do In Komodo, Flores

Spot the Komodo Dragons in Komodo National Park

One of the best things to do in Komodo is definitely spotting the Komodo Dragons. The best place to do so is actually in Rinca. Once you get to the hidden dock of Koh Kima is the hidden dock, a trail will take you to the camp of Loh Buaya, and you will immediately start spotting the famous Komodo Dragons who literally own the island (around 2000 live on the archipelago of Komodo, Rinca, Gila Motang and Flores).

Those komodos look so scary that it is said that the legend of the Chinese Dragon takes after them. And scary indeed they are. These giant lizards, locally known as ora, can reach a whooping length of 3 meters and weight up to 170 kg, and feed on the insects as well as the buffaloes, goats, monkeys, boars and deers that also live on the island.

hunting komodo
Sticking his forked tongue out, hunting for food – komodos are scary!

They are proper predators, who patiently hide to ambush their prey. So determined they are in their hunt, that they wait around till their meal of choice dies from the strong bacteria transmitted through their saliva once they bite.

Don’t be fooled by how lazy the dragons look when they slowly walk around, sticking their forked tongue out. That is a sign that they are smelling around for food, and knowing that they can ran as fast as 40 km per hour should be a good enough deterrent to keep at a good distance. Indeed, although the komodos prey of choice are buffaloes and deers, incidents have been reported during which humans have been attacked.

GOOD TO KNOW: Rinca island is also populated by an impressive number of monkeys!

GOOD TO KNOW: Komodo National Park is also home to bats. The best time to spot them flying in the sky is at sunset.

Practical Information

Tours of Komodo National Park normally start in Labuan Bajo (Flores), with departures in the early hours. It is a full, yet pleasant and eventful day and you should expect to stay out for a good 10 to 12 hours.

Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as such there are several fees to be paid for its protection and maintenance. They are as follows:

ENTRANCE FEE – Used for the conservation of the area: 150000 Indonesian Rupiah (roughly $11 USD). Please note that the fee on Sundays and national holidays is $18 USD.

LOCAL AREA TAX – It goes to the local community: 100000 Indonesian Rupiah (around $7 USD)

SNORKELING FEE – For trips inside the national park: 50000 Indonesian Rupiah (around $3.50 USD)

TIP: Make sure to wear comfortable clothes, hiking shoes, a hat and a swim suit if planning to snorkel, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which is common in such hot weather.

Guided tours of Komodo National Park

Multi-day boat trips around Komodo National Park are one of the best things to do. You get to experience the local pristine nature, enjoy the silence of the ocean, eat delicious food and experience a glorious sunrise from the boat. Several depart daily from Labuan Bajo – you can book yours here

GOOD TO KNOW: Guided multi-days boat tours also depart from Bali. Check them out here.

things to do in Komodo
The stunning Padar

Take in the amazing views from Padar

The best place for views in Komodo National Park is by far Padar, the third largest island. Incidentally, Komodo Dragons live there too. Anyways – it is undisputed that one of the unmissable things to do in Komodo is hiking all the way to the viewpoint in Padar. It’s challenging, but you won’t regret it.

GOOD TO KNOW: There is a 150000 Indonesian Rupees ($10 USD) to visit Padar.

Komodo National Park
The blistering sun didn’t keep us from hiking to the top

For more views, hike Komodo

Another place to explore for perfect views is Komodo. You will need a guide for that, as although the trail is easy to follow there are komodo dragons and the last thing you want is being attacked. 

There are a number of hiking trails in Komodo, all starting from Loh Liang and varying in length and difficulty – from the 1 hour easy trek through mostly flat trails and in good shade, to one that takes roughly 4 hours and is a bit more difficult, if anything because of the blistering heat and completely exposed to the sun.

The hike to the steep hill of Gunung Ara, the island’s highest peak at 538 meters above sea level, will reward you with amazing views of the bay below.

Pink Beach
Beautiful Pink Beach

Visit Pink Beach

No trip to Komodo is complete without visiting Pink Beach – AKA Pantai Merah. Located at about 30 minutes boat ride from Komodo island, the beach actually is pink, much like some of those we have here in Sardinia.

Tiny coral fragments mixed with the golden powdery sand give it a slight pink color. What makes the place even more beautiful is its complete isolation (there are no buildings on this small island) and the shallow yet pristine water that have perfect visibility and that really are a paradise for snorkeling. 

With the incredible marine life, Pink Beach is a perfect spot for snorkeling and swimming. Boat trips there will usually include any snorkeling equipment you may need.

GOOD TO KNOW: Komodo National Park is a great spot to admire manta rays and sea turtles too. 

GOOD TO KNOW: Another great spot for snorkeling and diving is Batu Balong.

Pink Beach
Do we look happy!?

Get on a sandbar

Scattered around Komodo you will find several sandbars – literally nothing more than a line of sand popping out of the clearest waters you can imagine. Visiting is one of the most fun things to do in Komodo.

TIP: Keep in mind you won’t find any shade there, so wear a hat!

Dive

Komodo National Park is a great place for diving. The fee for that is 100000 Indonesian Rupiah (around $7 USD), on top of which you will have to pay for equipment, the boat trip etc.

Visit Rangko Cave

Not far from Labuan Bajo, this cave has beautiful blue waters that are incredibly salty. Don’t miss it!

Go to Komodo Village

To experience a bit of local life, you may want to spend an hour or so in Komodo Village. People will welcome you with the biggest smile!

Further readings about Indonesia

Are you traveling to Indonesia? Make sure to read my other posts:

Legal Disclaimer: This article was written in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia as part of the #WonderfulIndonesia campaign. All the views and opinions expressed are my own and based on my personal experience. 

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Read about the things to see and do in Komodo Island - via @clautavani

43 thoughts on “The Best Things To Do In Komodo, Flores”

  1. Fabulous post babe.. and yes, you do look happiest on the water! Nemo is so cute! And I totally agree, no blistering heat could keep as away from such an amazing experience. Let’s all go back soon!

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  2. I defiantly didn’t know that about Komodo dragons. Kinda a scary thought running into one in the wild. Thanks for the pointers on them.

    PS. It does look really pretty there even without the “dragons”

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  3. The park entry fee is such as steal. What a lovely way to spend a day – I love that you get to see both the scary looking kommodos and the mischeivious monkeys on the tour.

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  4. I know! It really is cheap. But trust me, even if it was 10 times more expensive, it would be worth every single penny!

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  5. Based on thrill to value ratio, this has to be one of the craziest ways to spend $20 in the whole world. I was just thinking about the out-of-the-way destinations in the world that are left where people go specifically for an animal. Not many right? I can only think of a few…and now I must add it to my list!

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    • Add it, add it! Yes I know it is such a steal that one may go anyways – and trust me, it really is gorgeous!

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  6. How magical! I can’t believe you got so close to the dragons! Were you on foot when you saw them or in some sort of motorized cart for a quick run away?

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  7. Definitely going to try to get to doing this by next year. I’ve seen a komodo in the wild before but I’d love to see more of them. This has been in my list for awhile now and you’ve just proven how much I need to cross this out already!

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  8. Absolutely incredible place and totally agree with you. Also a warning, after you’ve gone diving here, everything else will pale into comparison! It’s really the best diving we’ve ever experienced!

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    • I know. I don’t dive but I snorkel and well… Sardinia is pretty amazing, but we don’t have the colored fishes Indonesia does!

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  9. Great post. I can’t say I like lezards or reptiles very much, but seeing the Komodo dragons once in my lifetime is definitely on my bucket list!

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  10. Beautiful place! However, I’m still not sure what to think about komodo dragons, I also saw them in wild, my first impression was “they’re hug” or “is it going to bite me”… 😉

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  11. Dinosaurs! That’s what Komodo dragons look like to me! What a magnificent experience. I love the juxtaposition of pristine beauty with the sinister aspect of the dragons.

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  12. Beautiful place! Thanks so much for the tips as this is on my hit list, for sure! I’m actually fascinated with the komodos, and I’d love to see them in person. They are scary, but also quite interesting and beautiful in their own, creepy way 😉

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  13. Its refreshing to see unspoiled places like this. You don’t have to warn me about not getting too close to those komodo dragons though!

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  14. I’d just go for the wildlife but the beaches would be awesome too! I’d love to get that close up to the monkeys and always wanted to see a Komodo dragon in the wild it would be so cool! 😀

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  15. Love the view from Gunung Ara. Those Komodo Dragons are very interesting. I would love to see them up close. Were you scared?

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  16. Awesome! I found the dragons to be less scary in real life as they move so slowly! But I would not want to find myself face to face with them! Komodo and Rinca were fsbulous, the area is so cool and unspoilt. I also wet diving which was great because we got to see mantas!

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  17. Wow this looks amazing! I always wanted to see Komodo dragons, these places look beautiful! Totally going on my planning radar 🙂

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  18. Wowwwww I have heard about the Komodo dragon since I was a kid and to my shame I would have not been able to locate it on a map….now thanks to you I can ! Stunning pics as always !

    Reply
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  20. Hi,
    Great Post!
    Which tour did you take? i’m just checking out a bunch of different tours online but i’d rather take one from a company that’s been tried and tested, especially since you had such a wonderful time.
    Do let me know!
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hello Sysha, you can contact Travel Sparks, I am sure they will be able to put together a great tour for you!

      Reply
    • Hi Nish, the company I used is Travel Sparks. I am sure they will be able to help you 🙂

      Reply

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