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How to plan your Komodo Island tour

Komodo Padar Island Couple

In this post, we share all our experiences from our 4 days/ 3 nights Komodo Island tour. To visit this paradise was a dream of ours for a very long time, and we are thrilled and grateful that we finally made this trip. This post should help you for planning your own Komodo Island tour.

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Best time to visit Komodo National Park

It is possible to visit the Komodo National Park all year round. It has a tropical climate that has two seasons the dry season from Mai to October and the wet season from November to April. However, temperatures are pleasant all year round. We made our Komodo Island tour at the beginning of October, and the weather was perfect.

How to get to Komodo National Park

To visit the Komodo National Park, you have to book a flight to Labuan Bajo Komodo Airport. You can combine your visit, for example, with your Bali trip. The flight from Bali takes only one hour and cost us around 80$ per person. To book your flights at the best price available, we recommend either Skyscanner or Kayak.

Labuan Bajo

Most Komodo Island tours start in the Morning at the harbor of Labuan Bajo. Therefore we highly recommend you to arrive in Labuan Bajo the day before your tour. There are a lot of cheap accommodations and good places to eat here. We stayed here the night before and also after our boat trip. Which was way more comfortable and less stressful than to arrive or leave on the same day of our trip.

Where to eat in Labuan Bajo

  • Happy Banana: they serve amazing vegan Sushi and Poke bowls
  • La Cucina: very good Pizza – we usually don’t eat Pizza while traveling in Asia but this one was really worth the try
  • Le Pirate Bajo Restaurant: excellent for sunset, good views & drinks

Where to stay in Labuan Bajo

We stayed at a very basic hotel which was directly next to the harbor called Blue Ocean Hotel. The room was clean, and the location is very good. We can recommend this place.

Choose a tour company for your Komodo Island tour

The Komodo National Park can only be visited by a guided tour. There are many different tour operators offering you all kinds of different tours. You can choose the duration of your stay from day tours to overnight trips on all types of lenghts and also the comfort of the boat (private cabin, shared cabin, private tour).

We chose to go on a 4 days / 3 nights Komodo Island tour with Le Pirate Explorer, and we can highly recommend this company (this is not sponsored, we are just happy with our choice and like to share it with you). The trip was very well organized, the boat is a very cool and comfortable, nice deck to relax in between stops and the staff was amazing they did a great job. Also, the food was no problem for us vegans. You can find their rates and more information in the link above. 

We definitely recommend you to go on an overnight Komodo Island tour of at least 3 days / 2 nights because there is so much to see in the national park and it’s also a great adventure to sleep on a boat.

Budget for a Komodo Island tour

There are many different tour companies, and the prices vary a lot depending on how much luxury you choose. But we listed here our costs, which can help you get an idea of how much you have to count for a Komodo Island tour.

  • Return flight from Bali: 150$ per person
  • Cost of 3 day / 4 night tour including food: 680$ for 2 people
  • National Park / Snorkeling Fee: 30$ per person
  • Rinca Island: 10$ per person
  • Hotel in Labuan Bajo before and after the trip: 40$
  • 2 Dinner in Labuan Bajo before and after the trip: 30$

Total cost for 2 people: 1’130$

4-day Komodo Island tour

Day 1 – Snorkeling with Manta Rays and Turtles

We met our crew at the Le Pirate Restaurant at 9 am. We got a coffee and an introduction and stared our tour at 10 am. When we first came to the boat, we put our luggage (you can generally bring one backpack per person, if you have bigger luggage you can leave it at the tour operators office) into our lovely cabin and then got to know our crew better. After that we had lunch all together. We were 10 people on this Komodo Island tour, which is the average size.

The first day was all about snorkeling and spending time in the water, which we enjoyed so much. We saw huge turtles, beautiful reefs, and the absolute highlight was that we swam with Manta Rays. This experience was a dream of ours for a long time, and we were so happy that we were able to swim with mantas twice this day. They are so much bigger than we expected, they can reach a width of 7 meters, but they are also so gentle and elegant. Manta Rays are eating different kinds of Plankton and are not dangerous for people at all. We were fascinated by these beautiful creatures. Several times we came up to the surface just to look at each other and say, “wow wow wow”.

Women Diving with Manta Ray in Komodo National Park

Day 2 – Padar island, pink beach, Rinca island, and sunset at Kalong island

On the second day, we had an early wake-up call and experienced a beautiful sunrise on the boat while driving to Padar Island. Just after sunrise, we arrived at the Island and started our hike to the top where we enjoyed a spectacular view. Most tours come here for sunrise, and we heard that it gets very crowded, that is why we were happy to be there a bit later when most tours were leaving already. That is something we liked a lot about our tour company; they mostly tried to bring us to the places at other times than most tours do so that we could enjoy them with less other people.

From the top of Padar Island, you can see that this Island has beaches of 3 different colors, black, white, and even pink sand beaches. By the way, you can fly a drone here, but recently you have to pay a commission of 1 million Indonesian Rupia (about 70 USD), which we thought is too expensive. That’s why our tip is to place your camera at a higher point and you will get a photo like ours too, without flying the drone. The commission only has to be paid at the main Islands; there are also places where you can fly your drone without paying, just ask your tour company.

Komodo Padar Island Panorama View Couple

After the hike, we went back to the boat and drove to one of the pink beaches to swim and relax. It was such a fantastic experience to see a pink beach finally. And yes, they are really pink! We asked us this many times before. The pink color of the beach comes from tiny pieces of the red coral in the sand. But sadly, the pink color is getting less. This happens because of coral bleaching, which is happening due to global warming and pollution of the ocean. This place showed us once more why we want to do our best and fight for our beautiful planet because we really wish that this paradise will last forever.

After lunch on the boat, we went to Rinca Island to visit the Komodo Dragons. The biggest lizard on the planet. One bite of a Komodo Dragon is deadly for a human. This is because the Komodo Dragons eat their prey only after the meat is rotten, and this leads to that they have bacteria in their mouth, which is that strong that it kills humans very fast. Fortunately today there is a medicine which can help, but it has to be taken quickly. But don’t worry, you will visit this Island with a very well educated and experienced guide. It was exciting to see the world’s biggest lizard.

Komodo Dragon

Just after a beautiful sunset on the boat, we stopped next to Kalong Island, where we experienced one of the most magical moments ever. The sky was full of bats flying above us. Strictly speaking, they are one of the world’s biggest flying foxes.

After that, we had dinner and a movie night on the boat with our crew. We watched finding Nemo together and it was super cozy.

Komodo Sunset Flying Foxes

Day 3 – Snorkeling, Kelor island, and Le Pirate island

On the morning of our third day, we went to some fantastic snorkeling points again as every day of the trip. We loved to spend so much time in the ocean. We have seen more beautiful fishes than ever before and all kinds of colors of corals from red to green and even blue ones.

After the snorkeling, we went on a hike to Kelor Island, where we enjoyed another stunning view over the turquoise blue waters and the hills of the other islands.

In the afternoon, we arrived at “Le Pirate Island”, which is exclusively included in the tour with Le Pirate Explorer and not other companies. But you can, of course, visit this Island from Labuan Bajo without a tour or add this to your trip with another tour, you just have to organize it yourself and pay additionally for it.

On the Island, we stayed at an adorable beach hut just in front of the ocean. It was a dream to sleep there and wake up with the sunrise. We loved the whole Island because every corner is so beautiful and with a bohemian touch. It’s such a relaxing place. Also, there is excellent snorkeling just in front of the accommodation.

We had a great night on the Island with sunset drinks, a table barbecue and the most fantastic food. The food was also very vegan-friendly, we got so much tofu to grill. After dinner we had a glass of wine by the bonfire with some of our new friends.

Komodo Le Pirate Island Beach Hut

Day 4 – Le Pirate island

We spend our last day on the Island of “Le Pirate” and had a great time. We made fruit juice without electricity, relaxed in a hammock and enjoyed the beautiful beach and crystal clear water.

In the late afternoon we they brought us back to Labuan Bajo by boat which took us about 1 hour.

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Rocio
Rocio

Hi there!
beautiful post and really nice pictures. I am also planning to go to Indonesia in October (if Covid lets me :/) and I’m thinking of doing this kind of cruise.
Were you alone onboard? or were there other couples? I’m reading some reviews and there are many bad ones. I just wanted to know a little bit more because is a high price and I’m a solo traveler.
Many thanks, take care <3

Sun Chasing Travelers
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Sun Chasing Travelers
Reply to  Rocio

Hi Rocio. Thank you very much for your lovely comment. We’re sure that you’re going to love Indonesia. It‘s a beautiful country with so much to see. We can highly recommend the Pirate Explorer to visit the Komodo National Park as we had a fantastic experience. We were a group of ten people (five couples). Four couples slept in the upper compartments and one couple in a lower one (behind the captain’s bridge). We were lucky and had funny people in our group. Compared to other boats we saw on our trip, the Explorer ships were the only ones that… Read more »

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