5D 4N Sailing Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
After one of the best yet busiest weeks of our lives entertaining 67 of our nearest and dearest for our Bali wedding, we were in need of a stress free getaway. With magnificent landscapes, vibrant reefs and fierce Komodo dragons, we decided to explore the untouched Jurassic paradise of Komodo National Park.
Our travel itinerary to Komodo National Park Indonesia:
Day One: Fly into Labuan Bajo Airport Flores. Enjoy a day in a beachside resort.
Day two: Sail to Tebolon for snorkeling, hike and swim at Pimpe, witness the flying fox migration at sunset from Flying Fox Island.
Day 3: Sail to Rinca to trek for komodo dragons, snorkel manta point, enjoy a private island stop at Bugis, watch the sunset from the Cauldron, anchor at Golden Passage.
Day 4: Early morning start to see the pink beach, search for more Komodo dragons at Komodo island, anchor at the Mini Wall for sunset.
Day 5: Full day at Nine Island (Palau Mangiatan) before returning to Labuan Bajo.
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The full itinerary: Komodo National Park Indonesia
Getting to Komodo Islands - Labuan Bajo:
A 1.5hr flight via Garuda Indonesia from Bali is Labuan Bajo, Flores airport in Indonesia. Flying often, I am typically an aisle seat preference, however this is one fight where a window seat is as must. We enjoyed a small propeller flight (heaven for an aviation lover like myself) and were treated to some of the most spectacular views upon landing.
Day One: Labuan Bajo, Flores
Where to stay : Bintang Flores Hotel
Our adventure began on Flores, spending the day in a beachside hotel 10 minutes from the airport. A full day parked on deck chairs enjoying seaside views and soaking up the sun was exactly what we needed.
Other Best Hotel deals on Labuan Bajo, Flores:
Day Two Komodo National Park Sailing: Tebolon, Pimpe Flying Fox Island
The real adventure began when boarding our privately charted home for the next 3 nights, the Alam Kaya. This charming, traditional wooden boat, with painted white exterior was built by local boat builders. For us it was a perfect and stress free way to island hop around the archipelago. It would also be possible however to take day trips to the islands from Labuan Bajo. Our boat slept up to four guests, with a nice rooftop deck, large bedroom windows and a comfortable dining table space. We were treated to three very large and tasty meals per day all included and fresh water showers at the end of each night.
Our first day included two island stops, Tebolon and Pimpe. Both with clear blue waters for swimming and snorkeling plus a little hiking trail to the top of Pimpe. As dusk approached we ventured toward flying fox island to witness thousands of bats make their daily migration between nearby islands. Watching these large creatures engulf the orange and red sun setting sky is a sight not to be missed.
View and snorkelling in Pimpe, Flying Fox Island, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Day three Komodo National Park sailing: Rinca Island Komodo Dragon trek, Manta point, Golden Passage
From Flying Fox island we set sail for Rinca to trek for Komodo dragons. We visited at the best time of year; early June, just before the crowds of peak season arrive and before the Komodo’s disappear for mating season. We witnessed a frenzy of dragons feasting on a deer caught earlier that morning. This was a heart racing experience to be standing in their territory within just a meter of their feast. Thankfully we had a local walking guide to calm our nerves and capture some great moments on camera for us. The trek included some scenic vantage points over the islands and surrounding bays. The remainder of the day was spent snorkelling around colourful reefs at Manta Point and Bugis island before witnessing sunset around the Golden Passage.
Rinca Island trek for Komodo Dragons, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Sand bar stop at Manta Point, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indondesia
Sunset at Golden Passage and Cauldron, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Day four Komodo National Park Sailing: Pink beach, Komodo Island, Komodo Dragon Trek
We next set sail for the famous Pink sand beach. Arriving early in the morning we had the entire beach to ourselves. This was my favorite of all our snorkelling spots as we were lucky enough to see a Cuttlefish, a first sighting for us both. We next headed onto Komodo island for another dragon trek. This was quite disappointing compared to Rinca, as we only spotted two very inactive dragons. In the afternoon we sailed north toward the Mini Wall where we treated again to clear waters and private beaches to relax and enjoy the evening.
Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Flores Indonesia
Day five Komodo National Park Sailing: Nine Island and back to Labuan Bajo Flores
Our final day at sea ended with a stop at the most secluded, and clearest waters of all of the trip, Nine Island. it’s hard to believe waters could get any clearer after what we’d already seen, but they did. We opted to spend the entire day here, snorkelling for hours, even spotting a turtle.
Coral Reef surrounding Nine Island, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Other tips and links:
Average trip cost for Komodo National Park flights, sailing food and accomodation : $3K SGD for two persons
Our hotel: Bintang Flores Hotel
Our boat: Alam Kaya
Bring cash: it's needed for the daily Komodo national park fees
For full details on what to pack, see our essential packing guide
Plan for the season: Trips can be weather and wind dependent, itineraries can change due to this.
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