Komodo is the biggest of all islands forming Komodo National Park. Which means there are other islands, so bear in mind that a trip to Komodo National Park doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to Komodo Island itself. In fact, most one-day trips reach only to Rinca Island, which is located much closer to Labuan Bajo and doesn’t require so many hours on a boat.
The simplest way to see the dragons on Komodo Island is to join an organized trip in Labuan Bajo or – if you’re rich or many - charter a boat. Actually, chartering a boat is not that costly and has many advantages (like saves you from a company of people you may not get to like – mind you, the boats are small, and the trip takes the whole day). To see our tips on how to organize transportation to Komodo National Park go to How to travel Flores smart and stay within a budget.
When you choose a trip to Komodo Island, make sure its itinerary includes a stopover at Pink Beach. The beach is picturesque, but what you don’t want to miss is the beautiful and pristine coral reef in front of it.
Your boat will dock at the concrete marina that will lead you to the gate guarded by the huge lizards. Also concrete, but if you’re lucky and vigilant (we were), you might spot the real ones basking near the beach or sneaking to the forest.
At the gate, you will be met by a ranger and escorted to the office, where you’ll have to purchase an entrance ticket. The ticket to Komodo National Park is valid one day and includes Rinca Island as well. You will also have to pay for the ranger’s assistance, as visitors are not allowed to walk in the park on their own (the dragons are too dangerous).
There are three different walking routes for the tourists in Komodo Island. The ranger will show you the map and ask you to choose one. They vary in length and difficulty level, so choose one accordingly to your time schedule. We were told that none is better than the other in terms of chances to spot the dragons.
We have chosen the longest one, anyway. Before we hit the road, we spotted more dragons near the rangers headquarters. One was the size of a small tank. We stood mesmerized.
The ranger lead us through the forest, where we saw two more huge dragons. The photo from “About us” section was taken that day in Komodo Island.
W H A T T O S E E N E X T
Besides the dragons, we saw the wild boars, Timor deer and many species of birds. We also liked the colorful wild orchids growing on trees.
The ranger took us to the hill from where we could admire the panoramic view of the bay with the marina. Plus we spotted one more dragon there – a youngster this time.
To see what else you can do in Flores go to our article What to see and do in Flores, Indonesia.
And if you need help with planning your trip, see our itinerary on How to plan a trip to Flores, Indonesia.