Recently, Komodo Island tourism is really trending. Yep, you could say Komodo Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia.
The only place to see the original habitat of rare animals, namely the Komodo Dragon.
Besides having a wealth of wildlife, Komodo Island also offers exotic beaches. Plus the underwater beauty, suitable for diving or snorkeling.
I will share my experience traveling to Komodo Island, complete with tips and guides for travel to Komodo Island.
A brief introduction to Komodo Island tourism
Komodo Island which is also known as Komodo National Park is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Usually to visit Komodo Island, the starting point is Labuan Bajo.
Komodo National Park consists of 3 main islands, namely: Rinca Island (Loh Buaya), Komodo Island (Loh Liang), and Padar Island.
Komodo Island was named one of the 7 wonders of the world by New7Wonders in 2012.
The Komodo dragon itself is one of the rare species that is almost extinct, that’s why Komodo is designated as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
The current population of Komodo dragons is more than 3,000 individuals. If you see the Komodo dragon directly, you will think that this rare animal is slow. It turns out that a Komodo dragon can move 20-30 km/hour.
Komodo has a very good sense of smell, besides this giant lizard lives independently and hunts prey independently.
When going to lay eggs, Komodo will dig a lot of holes. Only one hole is used as a place to store eggs. The other holes are just to outwit predators.
When baby Komodo dragons are born, they will climb trees to protect themselves. The percentage of eggs hatching is 95% but the percentage of these babies to survive is only 15-20%.
How to get to Komodo Island
The entrance to Komodo National Park is Labuan Bajo. You can take a direct flight from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo. If you want it cheaper, you can check the transit plane ticket in Bali first, then continue to Labuan Bajo.
Well, until Labuan Bajo just joined Live on Board Tour. You will sail on the ship for several days (2D1N/3D2N) and visit other islands such as Kelor Island, Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Pink Beach, Kanawa Island, Padar Island, depending on the itinerary.
You can also join Live on Board for 4 days, usually starting from Lombok to finish Labuan Bajo, or vice versa, starting from Labuan Bajo and finishing in Lombok.
There are ships that provide cabins or beds, there are also ships that provide a shared sleeping area on the ship’s deck. The price is definitely different. Can you try to check? 3D2N live on board package from Klook, the price starts from IDR 2 million.
For tour packages one-day trip can try to directly search on the spot, if I’m not mistaken it costs around IDR 500,000 – IDR 700,000 per person.
Usually the Komodo Island tour package by way of Live on Board includes pick-up to the port, food, guide, snorkeling equipment, and also sleeping on the boat.
It’s just that the cost does not include the National Park entrance ticket.
Komodo National Park entrance fee
In addition to the Komodo National Park entrance ticket, there are also other retribution fees that must be paid. If totaled expect don’t pay Entrance ticket is around Rp. 150,000 for Indonesian citizens and Rp. 400,000 for foreigners.
Update July 2020: Currently in the new normal era, tourists who want to visit Komodo Island must register or register online on the https://booking.labuanbajoflores.id site.
At registration on lineprospective tourists are asked to prepare documents to be validated such as a certificate from e-HAC, proof of insurance, and the identity of prospective tourists such as NIK or passport.
My experience on vacation to Komodo Island and its Itinerary
I was lucky to get a free trip because I won a competition from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism in order to promote Komodo Island tourism.
Day 1: Flight to Bali
From Jakarta we flew to Bali and immediately stayed at the Mercure Hotel. The facilities provided are very good. I thought 1 sharing room, filled with 2 people, turned out to be 1 room for 1 person.
The trip coordinator told me if I could order anything at the hotel restaurant for lunch. Wow, so luxurious. It’s different from when I’m traveling, which is always on a budget.
In Bali there are not too many events, just free time only because it is for transit and rest overnight.
Day 2: Labuan Bajo – Rinca Island – Kanawa Island
On the second day we flew to Labuan Bajo. From the plane, you can see the view of Mount Rinjani and Mount Tambora which looks stunning. “When can I climb Mount Rinjani again?”, the question crossed my mind.
One word that fits Labuan Bajo, HOT! The scorching sun and heat really have to be endured. It’s okay, everyone tanning.
Our group was greeted by residents wearing traditional clothes. I was given a special shawl made of local woven cloth.
From the airport we went straight to the port by bus and immediately took a speedboat to Rinca Island. About 45 minutes later we arrived at Rinca Island and started trekking.
Ranger guided us while explaining about Komodo. Luckily we were able to see 3 Komodo dragons that are actively preying on wild pigs.
It feels different to see animals directly in their natural habitat by seeing them in a zoo. Besides Komodo Island, I have also seen orangutans in Bukit Lawang and also visited Peucang Island in Ujung Kulon National Park which is still wild and natural.
After finishing trekking, we headed to the next island, namely Kanawa Island. White sand beaches and very exotic hills, it is rare to see a view like this.
It’s snorkeling time! It turns out that the underwater here is still healthy and good. There are many coral reefs. Under the pier there are schools of fish, it’s satisfying to snorkel here.
Day 3: Komodo Island – Pink Beach
At 5 am I woke up. Tired, lack of sleep. But I’m still excited to run today’s activities.
After breakfast, we went to the harbor again and boarded the same boat. Today’s destinations are Komodo Island and Pink Beach.
As usual, I went down first to take photos at the entrance to Komodo Island before being invaded by others. The entrance gate is made of stones with a statue of Komodo.
Trekking again. Here there are only huts for the rangers to live in. These rangers take turns using a shift system, 10 days of work 10 days of rest.
One of the rangers told me that he would rather live on Komodo Island than Labuan Bajo. He also said that now domestic tourists are increasing. There used to be more foreign tourists.
During the day the Komodo dragons just lie down, relax. Indeed Komodo is an animal that is more active at night.
We arrived at a spring that was deliberately made to attract other animals such as deer, wild boars, and buffalo.
I was surprised when I saw 5 Komodo dragons gathered at one point. Its size is larger than the Komodo dragon on Rinca Island.
Even though I was a little scared, I still took pictures with them from a distance. After that trekking for 1.5 hours.
The next destination is Pink Beach which is located on the other side of Komodo Island.
The beach is really pink! Not everything is pink but you can see the pink gradation.
There is no definite theory that explains why the sand can be pink. He said it was because the rest of the coral reefs had been destroyed.
After lunch and waiting for the food to be digested, I jumped back into the water and snorkelled. The coral reefs here are better than Kanawa Island!
Also read: Wakatobi Island Travel Guide, Southeast Sulawesi
Finally we returned to the hotel in Labuan Bajo. Sleepy, tired. I showered then sat on the balcony to watch the sun go down.
Very good, the red round sun slowly disappeared, the day turned into night.
Because it was the last day, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner beside the pool.
We sang, danced and celebrated the last day before we parted.
Thank you to Indonesia.Travel for carrying out this activity.
Thanks to our event coordinator. Thank you also to the winners who have enlivened this trip.
Tips for a vacation to Komodo Island
- My advice, try to join only open trip because if you rent a boat yourself, it’s expensive, unless you bring a group.
- Bring light clothes, hats, glasses, and sunblock because it’s so hot there.
- Keep your distance from Komodo. Don’t get too close, don’t get separated from the group, and follow the ranger’s words.
- For women who menstruate, tell the guide or ranger.
- Bring enough waterdo not get dehydrated.
Even though I go free, but I have summarized Komodo Island travel guide and tips from various sources. Unfortunately I didn’t go to Padar Island. If there is another chance, hopefully I can play on Padar Island too, please pray for me!
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