National park and dragon tour

Komodo An island in Indonesia Famous for being home to monstrous Komodo dragons (the world’s largest lizard), it’s also an incredibly scenic place with plenty of other travel experiences to offer.

The UNESCO-designated Komodo National Park includes dozens of white-colored islands and Pink sand beachesExotic mountains for trekking, coral reefs for diving, and the only place in the world where you can see Komodo dragons up close in the wild and take pictures with them!

Since Indonesia is our second home, we have toured Komodo Island several times over the years and it was always amazing.

There has been some talk by the Indonesian government about significantly raising entry fees for foreign tourists, but that idea has been officially scrapped, so now is a great time to plan a visit.

This Komodo Island travel guide and map will explain how to get there, where to stay, what to do, the best tourist deals, and everything else you need to know before you go!

Where is Komodo Island located?

Komodo Island is part of Komodo National Park, a group of tropical islands located off the coast of Flores, in eastern Indonesia.

The three main islands in the park are Komodo, Rinca, and boilerbut there are plenty of smaller islands too, so it’s the perfect place for island hopping!

The nearest town is the fishing town of Labuan Bajo in Flores, which has its own airport and several hotels and restaurants to enjoy between park visits.

How to get to Komodo Island, Indonesia

The only way to visit Komodo Island and the rest of the national park is to take a boat tour from Labuan Bajo, where the airport is located. You cannot fly to Komodo Island directly.

There are a range of flights to Labuan Bajo Airport (LBJ) daily from Bali, the flight takes 1 hour and many airlines offer ticket prices as low as US$40.

Getting to Komodo Island from Bali is easier than ever with AirAsia flying between them several times a week. You can Shop for trips to Labuan Bajo On Skyscanner.

Once you arrive in Labuan Bajo, it is possible to book a boat tour to Komodo Island at the port, or you can Book a day tour online (More on that later).

The Komodo Islands are located about 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Labuan Bajo, and the trip usually takes 3 hours by slow boat, or less than half that by fast boat.

You can take out all of Komodo National Park’s main sights (including the dragons) on a full-day tour, or it’s possible to stay on a boat and spend several days sightseeing!

How to get around the Komodo Islands

The three types of boats to explore the Komodo Islands are slow boat, speed boat or lifeboat.

A slow boat is the cheapest option and is commonly used for day tours, but you waste a lot of time during transportation because it is very slow. A speedboat is faster and more efficient, but a little more expensive.

Liveaboard tours can also be expensive, but it’s a unique experience where you can sleep in a cabin and spend several days sightseeing and taking in more of the park’s sights.

Where to stay in Komodo

There are no hotels on Komodo Island. All hotels and accommodations are located in the nearby town of Labuan Bajo.

From backpacker to luxury, you can find hotels and accommodation in Labuan Bajo to suit all budgets. However, it is a little more expensive than Bali on average, because development has not kept up with the number of tourists coming here.

We’ve included some of our recommendations for Komodo hotels below.

Labuan Bajo hotels

 

Best things to do in Komodo National Park

• Padar Island

The most picturesque viewpoint in Komodo Indonesia is located on the small island of Padar. It’s a short 30-minute trek to the summit, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views in Southeast Asia.

This is like a Jurassic Park scene. The island is shaped like a giant X, and has three bays where you can see the White Beach, Black Beach, and Pink Beach.

Each of these sand colors is very special in its own right, but seeing them all in one place is crazy. This is probably the only place in the world where you can witness this!

Although Padar is one of the smallest islands in Komodo National Park, this picturesque viewpoint has become a famous natural landmark in Indonesia, and was featured on the 50,000 rupiah note.

• Pink Beach

The Komodo Islands are home to many pink sand beaches!

Pink beaches are very rare, and there are only a few of them worldwide.

These unique beaches are a must-see when you visit Komodo National Park.

• Journey of the Komodo Dragon

Of course the main attraction of Komodo Indonesia is seeing the dragons themselves in the wild!

In this part of the tour, you will go ashore on one of the two main islands where dragons live in Indonesia (Rinca Island or Komodo Island) and take a short trek in search of dragons while accompanied by a park ranger.

For sightseeing purposes, there is not much difference between Rinca Island and Komodo Island, and many tours use these locations interchangeably. There are a lot of Komodo dragons living on either island.

You’re almost guaranteed to see at least a few dragons (after all, it’s Komodo Dragon Island), and with the help of a guide you can even take photos with them! It is an amazing experience to be able to see these animals up close in the wild.

Komodo Dragon FAQ

  • How big is it?
    Adult Komodo dragons can reach 3 meters (10 feet) in length and weigh more than 140 kilograms (300 pounds). Males are larger than females.
  • Is it toxic?
    Some research has shown that Komodo dragon bites may be dangerous due to venom or bacteria.
  • How do they hunt?
    The Komodo dragon can smell blood from approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) away and can run at speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour (12 mph). Dinosaurs indeed!
  • what do they eat?
    A mix of deer, warthogs, monkeys, birds, goats, wild horses and water buffalo. Their favorite food is deer (Gavan rosa). They can also be cannibals at times and eat other dragons.
  • Do they attack humans?
    Yes, but rarely. Dragons don’t consider us food. These animals have killed less than ten people in the past 50 years, and all the victims were local residents of the village on Komodo Dragon Island, living in close proximity to the animals.
  • Do they breathe fire?
    No, dragons can’t breathe fire, but the early Dutch explorers of the Komodo Islands believed they could!
  • Are there Komodo dragons in Bali?
    No, there are no wild Komodo dragons in Bali. You can see captive dragons in Bali Bird Park or Bali Safari Marine Parkalthough I think it is a much better experience seeing dragons in their natural habitat on Komodo Island or Rinca.
  • Are there Komodo dragons in the Galapagos Islands?
    No, there are no Komodo dragons outside Indonesia except in zoos. The lizards found in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are marine iguanas, not Komodos. A completely different animal. They are much smaller and more tame.

Komodo Trekking FAQs

  • Is it safe?
    Yes, just stay close to your guide and you won’t have any problems. The only tourists to have been attacked by dragons were traveling alone without a guide.
  • Can I visit during my period?
    Yes, menstruating women can still visit Komodo Dragon Island (although dragons are good at smelling blood), but you’re supposed to tell the park staff so your guide can be more careful.
  • How long does the trip take?
    There is a short, medium or long trip or an adventure trip. If you’re on a day tour (island hopping), you’ll probably only have time to do the short or medium-sized excursion (both under an hour) before you head off to see manta rays or manta rays. Pink beach.
  • How easy is it to see dragons?
    You are sure to see dragons, even on a short trip, because there are thousands of them living in Komodo and Rinca. I’ve made the trip several times, and seen a lot of dragons each time. You can also spot them at the beach sometimes. Photo taking galore!
  • Are dragons narcotic?
    No, dragons are not narcotic at all! The reason they sometimes lie still is because they are digesting a large meal or resting after hunting. You may also want to sleep after eating a whole deer. Dragons are most active in the morning, but like to relax in the middle of the day.
  • Can I touch them?
    impossible! The photos in this travel blog where we get up close to Komodo dragons are perspective photos. We kept a healthy distance from them and definitely did not touch them.
  • What can I see?
    If you’re lucky on the trip, you can also see Komodo nests, baby dragons, rare birds, snakes, spiders, and more. Snake species include the spitting cobra and the island viper. It’s more than just Komodo Dragon Island.
  • Do I need advice?
    Tipping is not customary in Indonesia, but if your guide takes good photos of you, a small tip is certainly appreciated. Guides on Komodo Dragon Island don’t get paid much.

More things to do in Komodo

  • Calong Island: Also known as Bat Island, if you go here at sunset, you can see thousands of fruit bats flying in the sky.
  • Manta Point: An amazing place where you can swim with giant manta rays in the ocean. They are a little shy but not dangerous at all.
  • Taka Makassar: This is a small crescent-shaped sandbar near Manta Point. Taka Makassar has perfect white sand and clear waters.
  • Geely Lawa Darat: One of the most remote areas in Komodo Indonesia because it is located on the northwestern border of the park, off the coast of Komodo Dragon Island. It has a wonderful hill for sunrise.
  • Keilor Island: Many Komodo tours stop at this island due to its proximity to Labuan Bajo. It has a hill you can climb to get a beautiful view of Flores Island.
  • Private island resorts: As for private island resorts near Komodo, you have your choice Lu Pirate Island, Sibayor Island Resortor Kanawha Island Resort.
  • Diving: Komodo Indonesia is known for its world-class snorkeling and diving. You can see bright coral reefs and plenty of underwater wildlife here.
  • Labuan Bajo: Don’t forget to spend some time exploring Labuan Bajo City and its surrounding areas. I will cover these separately from my Komodo Island travel guide.

Map of Komodo Island

Here’s a map of Komodo Island showing all the dive sites and key areas of interest.

Komodo dragons can only be seen on Rinca Island or Komodo Island. Labuan Bajo City (top right) is where all the restaurants and hotels are concentrated.

Is Komodo open or closed?

In 2019, the Government of Indonesia announced Plans to close Komodo Island for 2020 In order to work on its maintenance and rehabilitation. However, the idea received a lot of backlash, so they decided to reverse it at the last minute.

Many locals in Komodo and Labuan Bajo live off tourism, so its closure is a tough proposition for them. To be honest, the islands need better protection, but I’m not sure if that means they need to be closed completely. Litter cleanup can be done regardless, and some places need it.

As it turns out, Komodo National Park was closed anyway for about 6 months in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, but the park reopened in August 2020. We visited the islands again in 2021 and had a great time.

Tourist activities on Komodo were temporarily halted again for two days in August 2022, due to strikes associated with the Indonesian government’s attempt to significantly increase park entrance fees.

However, fortunately, the government relented and decided not to raise the park fees for the time being, so everything would return to normal.

Komodo Island is officially open for tourism!

Komodo entry fee

Komodo National Park has a confusing ticket system with a range of different entrance fees that you pay at a small kiosk in Padar. Here are some of the main fees:

  • National Park Entrance Ticket (Monday to Saturday): 150 thousand Indonesian rupiah (10 US dollars)
  • National Park Entrance Ticket (Sundays and National Holidays): 250 thousand Indonesian rupiah ($17)
  • Al Qassas Entertainment and Sports: 100 thousand Indonesian rupiah ($7)
  • Badar entry ticket: 150 thousand Indonesian rupiah ($10)
  • Komodo Ranger fees: IDR 120,000 per group of up to 5 people ($8)
  • Komodo Hiking Fees: 5 thousand Indonesian rupiah ($0.30)
  • Komodo Wildlife Watching Fees: 10 thousand Indonesian rupiah ($0.70)

When you total everything up, you can expect to pay up to 500,000 Rupiah (US$37) per person for a one-day park pass that allows you to do the highlights of Komodo National Park.

These ticket prices are effective from 2023But it seems to go up every year. There is no discount for children or KITAS/KITAP holders either, which is very weak. The least they can do is make the tickets last 3 days or 1 week so they are more valuable.

I think the price is still worth it given the amazing nature you see at Komodo Indonesia, but if they keep raising it, it might become unreasonable. For comparison, the US National Parks Annual Pass doesn’t cost much more, but gives you access to more than 400 national parks for one year.

New entry fees? (2023)

In June 2022, It has been announced Indonesia was planning to raise the Komodo entrance fee to 3.75 million rupiah (US$250) per person, and limit the number of visitors to the park to 200,000 annually.

This change was originally supposed to take effect on August 1, 2022, but was met with widespread protest and strike action by local tourism workers, who… Which forced the government to cancel the plan for the time being.

Most tourists who visit Komodo are not super-rich, and making a big change like this on such short notice would have been extremely inconsiderate to visitors to the park and most likely would have been a devastating blow to local businesses in Labuan Bajo as well.

Fortunately, the Indonesian government reconsidered this plan and decided not to raise the Komodo entry fee, and boat trips and all other tourist activities in Komodo National Park were resumed as before.

Towards the end of 2022, there was more talk about Komodo’s entry fees being excessively raised, which was supposed to happen on January 1, 2023. However, Indonesian news reported that this plan have been cancelled once again.

I will update this Komodo travel guide if we get more new information. I think it’s unlikely that there will be any major changes in prices, because the locals really depend on tourism. For now, tourists are welcomed in Komodo as always, and prices have not changed!

Other Komodo tips

  • ATM: There are plenty of ATM options spread throughout Labuan Bajo City. BNI worked great in our experience.
  • credit cards: Some places accept the card now, but many do not. It’s a good idea to keep some cash on hand for meals, taxis, and the like.
  • Wifi: A lot of hotels in Labuan Bajo still have poor WiFi connections, but they are improving every year as the infrastructure keeps up with the huge influx of tourism.
  • Cell service: Telkomsel has good 4G reception in Labuan Bajo, Komodo and even some mid islands. We used this for a hotspot on occasion when we didn’t have good WiFi.
  • Restaurants: There are a lot of good places to eat in Labuan Bajo. Some nice restaurants to check out Green cherry, PakalaAnd the kitchen. We loved it too Grilled chicken primarasanear the airport.
  • communications: The city of Labuan Bajo in Flores is small and easy to get around. You can rent a motorbike for the day for 75,000 rupees ($5 USD), or take a taxi around the city for 50,000 rupees per trip.
  • language: The locals on Flores and Komodo speak Bahasa Indonesia, as well as a little English which they have been able to learn from tourists. English proficiency is not as widespread as in Bali, so be patient and be prepared to explain things by pointing or showing pictures.
  • religion: Flores Island is predominantly Catholic, but there is also a large Muslim minority on Komodo, and there are several active mosques in Labuan Bajo. When I visited Labuan Bajo in 2018, there was a mosque using a loud speaker at all hours of the day and night, but when we last visited in 2021 we didn’t hear any mosques, so perhaps the local authorities asked them to turn it down at the volume. However, if you are a light sleeper it is a good idea to bring earplugs to Labuan Bajo in case there is a noisy mosque at night.
  • Mosquitoes: according to This Lancet study As of 2018, malaria is rare on Flores and the Komodo Islands. I have never heard of a tourist getting malaria from mosquitoes on Komodo. However, it’s still a very good idea to wear repellent while out and about, just in case. Malaria can be nasty and dangerous.
  • Drones: Komodo park rangers don’t allow anyone to fly a drone on Padar Island anymore unless they pay a hefty fee of 1 million rupees (US$70). There is no need to apply in advance, just pay the fee in cash on the spot, and then they allow you to travel.

Best time to visit Komodo

The best time to visit Komodo Indonesia really depends on what you are looking for.

You can see dragons all year round. The main diving season is March to October. The peak season for Komodo National Park is from July to August, when the weather is cooler and more comfortable, but the park is also more crowded with tourists.

The climate in Komodo tends to be drier and sunnier than other places in Indonesia, such as Bali. The main months to avoid to visit Komodo Island are from December to February, when it is the rainy season in Indonesia and the weather is not good for sailing or trekking. Generally, the only reason to go in these months is to avoid the crowds.

The color of Komodo grass changes with the seasons. It is green at the end of the rainy season (January to April). By April or May, the grass begins to turn yellow. In summer and autumn (July to November), the islands are completely dry and the grass is completely brown. The photos in this Komodo travel blog were taken in early March.

The landscape and dragons are truly stunning any month of the year, so no matter when you visit, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip. Happy travels!

Best Komodo Island Tour/Day Trip

If you are looking for a tour company to visit Komodo Island, Indonesia, here is the top-rated company Day trip to Komodo National Park with Klook Starting from Labuan Bajo.

This speedboat tour includes the best sights of Komodo Padar Island, Pink beach, Komodo Dragon Cruise, and their prices are very competitive based on what we’ve seen quoted for similar tours in Labuan Bajo. Online reviews are also positive.

We’ve used Klook on a lot of tours and activities around the world, and it’s great! Highly recommended.

Where to stay in Labuan Bajo

The future of Komodo tourism

The future of Komodo tourism remains uncertain. I’m glad Indonesia opened the park for everyone to enjoy, and I’m glad it has created jobs for locals, but further development of the islands could become a problem.

There has been some talk about A “Komodo Dragon Park” or luxury resort is being built On the island of Rinca, for example, which seems like a very bad idea.

Komodo dragons are amazing animals. They are already endangered, and their habitat is very limited. I hope Indonesia does the right thing, and chooses environmentalism instead of greed, so we can continue to enjoy this place for many years to come.

More things to see near Komodo Indonesia

There are plenty of other great things to do near Komodo Indonesia if you have the time.

On the mainland of Flores, you can visit Goa Rangku Cave In Labuan Bajo, then take a land tour of Flores from west to east and see sights such as the spider rice fields, the traditional Way Rebu village, Mount Eniri volcano and the turquoise volcanic lakes of Labuan Bajo. Mount Kelimutu.

the Kelimutu National Park It has three colorful volcanic lakes in the center of Flores, and you can see them without doing any hiking. Lakes are known to regularly change colors (to blue, green, pink or brown!) due to changes in gases and basic elements.

Alternatively, if you want to skip the Flores road trip and go directly from Komodo to… Kelimutu, you can fly directly from Labuan Bajo to Ende Airport (ENE) and visit Kelimutu from there. This trip takes 1 hour and costs about 60 USD.

Despite the lack of publicity and infrastructure, Flores is definitely one of the best places to visit in Indonesia!

My travel guide to Indonesia

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoy this travel guide to Komodo Island, Indonesia.

Seeing the dragons on the Komodo tour was one of the best parts of our visit to Flores, Indonesia.

Don’t forget to check out my full review Indonesia travel guide With more tips, information and free photos!

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