Labuan Bajo was a tiny fishing village in the western part of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara. In the old times, it was famous as a fishing hub by numerous ethnic groups like Bima, Manggarai, and even Bugis. Labuan Bajo became a significant city once the tourism action around the town got massive attention.
There are around 29 islands in Komodo National Park which can be accessed from this city. Entering the park price IDR5,000 during weekdays and IDR7,500 during the weekend. For the foreigner, the entry fee is around IDR150,000 to IDR225,000.
Labuan Bajo then slowly shifted its principal function as a gateway to several tourist destinations around it. This area is blessed with many beautiful spots in addition to the rich natural ecosystem, especially its submerged biota. Labuan Bajo, a city famous for its spectacular sunsets, is the central hub to see these places.
This is the obvious one. Labuan Bajo is the best city to enter Komodo National Park. Komodo Island is approximately a four hours boat ride away from town. On this island, you can observe the unique Komodo dragon firsthand.
The dragons are wandering freely all over the island, including near the rangers’ compound. Ensure that you are always guided by park ranger when you’re there, park ranger fee is generally about IDR200,000 per group. Oh, and there’s a beautiful pink beach too on this island.
Padar Island is unique in a sense it is a hiking spot in the centre of the ocean. Padar is located between two large islands; Komodo and Rinca. It has several green hills, spiky points, and countless beaches. The hike is light and usually takes 20 minutes to complete if you can resist the impulse to respect, stop and witness the charm along the way. There are some vantage points you can reach easily on foot. Hiking fee is IDR5,000.
Diving in Search of Mermaids
As stated, The Komodo National Park is rich in biodiversity, on land or underwater. Try diving near Seraya Kecil Island, one of the Islands in this park. You will probably encounter dolphins, manta rays, and even whales. Nevertheless, the ultimate prize is the neighbourhood mermaid, the dugongs. And in the event you can’t find the mermaids, you can console yourself with vibrant coral reefs.
Liveaboard at Komodo
The easiest way to enjoy everything in the Komodo National Park is by being aboard a Komodo Liveaboard. You are living on a sailboat, free to go anywhere you like within the playground. Do you want to dive? Go to the best diving spots. Do you need to see some Komodo? Off you go to Komodo Island.
Or maybe you need to enjoy your day with fantastic vista, especially during sunset and sunrise. You can get on one of these boats at Labuan Bajo. The costs of the boats are different, based on the facility. It ranges from $160 to $600 per day.
How to get to Labuan Bajo
Access to Labuan Bajo is available via land, sea, and air. Komodo Airport is connected with several cities in Indonesia such as Kupang, Mataram, Denpasar, and Ende. Several ships are cruising to this town from Surabaya, Makassar, and Benoa (Bali). The overland trip is possible within Flores Island with cities such as Ende or Maumere.
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