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 in Komodo. 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

 

 

 

 

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