Things to do in Komodo National Park- 4 Day Itinerary
Komodo National Park has got to be my favorite place in Indonesia, it is truly spectacular. From the beautiful clear waters to the pristine reefs and the incredible hikes, this place needs to be at the top of your bucket list.
In this guide, I will show you everything you need to know about visiting Komodo National Park as well as some of my favorite photographs from the journey!
HOW TO GET TO KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
In order to get to Komodo National Park, you will first need to get to Labuan Bajo. Labuan Bajo is a small town located on the island of Flores. Labuan Bajo is where all of the liveaboards and day trips leave from.
In order to get to the island of Flores, you will need to fly into Labuan Bajo. If you are coming from Bali, the flight will run you around $100 USD round trip. I book all my flights through SKYSCANNER. I have never found better pricing elsewhere, I highly recommend them.
The flight was around 1 hour and had the most amazing views when we were landing! So be sure to bring have your camera ready.
HOW TO BOOK A TOUR THROUGH IN KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Now depending on your travel style, you can either book a tour in advance, or upon arrival. Thomas and I booked ours a few months in advance as it is quite a trendy company that fills up.
We booked our tour with LE PIRATE BEACH CLUB. They offer everything from cozy beach cottages to a boatel, as well as liveaboard experiences. Check out their website HERE for current pricing and availability. By the way, this was not sponsored in any way, I just really enjoyed my time with them.
If you aren’t interested in Le Pirate, there are a lot of really cool ships that sail through Komodo National Park. You can book these in advance via BOOKING.COM or once you arrive. There are plenty of boats leaving every day so don’t worry if you’re not really a planner!
WHEN TO VISIT- KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Komodo National Park is truly one of the most incredible places I have ever been.
The best time to visit is going to be just after rainy season as the mountains will still be green. The best month is definitely March. However, if you are visiting at another time it is still going to be absolutely stunning, a more extreme landscape!
WHAT TO BRING- KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
CAMERA– I know this is a given but definitely do not forget it. If you can, I would invest in an underwater camera. GOPRO is an affordable option with great quality. There are so many beautiful fish and reefs you won’t want to go without!
SNORKEL GEAR- Now most liveaboards are going to provide snorkeling gear for you, but I’m not really keen on putting my mouth on a used snorkel. HA! I definitely recommend getting your own. You will be doing plenty of snorkeling so you will get your money’s worth.
SUNSCREEN– Now this is very important to protect not only yourself but the reef as well. It is very important to get a reef safe sunscreen. It is important to get a mineral-based sunscreen and for sure one without Oxybenzone.
SNACKS- I can always have more food. If you’re like me then I would recommend bringing a few snacks. There are no shops or anything in Komodo National Park so be prepared. Le Pirate had plenty of food and that was never an issue.
OUR 4 DAY ITINERARY IN KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
We started our day around 9 am at Le Pirate Beach Club. From there we headed down to the harbor and off on to the Explorer 1. It was a 2-hour ride from Labuan Bajo to RINCA ISLAND. Here we hiked with deadly KOMODO DRAGONS, as well as deer, monkeys and water buffalo.
After our visit to Rinca Island, we headed for PADAR ISLAND for sunset. PADAR ISLAND is quickly becoming the highlight of Komodo National Park, along with the Komodo Dragons of course. Padar Island is a bit busy for sunset and is only getting more and more people but it was still nice.
After a beautiful first night sleeping under the stars, I woke with the sun and went straight for a dip in the ocean. It was still outside and we were the only boat in sight. It was so lovely. We had a great breakfast consisting of muesli, eggs, toast, and fresh fruit, it was so yummy! Once breakfast was over it was time to start our day.
Le Pirate took us straight to PINK BEACH in order to try and beat the rush, and we did! There was nobody else there. I couldn’t believe how pink the sand actually was! If you are visiting any Pink Beach, leave the sand otherwise there won’t be a pink beach left! I jumped off the boat into the clear blue waters and had an absolute blast. Basically, if there is crystal clear blue water, I am going to be a happy girl.
Once we finished up playing at PINK BEACH, we headed to swim with manta rays! Yes, we did see some, well we saw four actually! This is the second time I have been lucky enough to swim with manta rays in Indonesia. If you’re looking to swim with manta rays, you can either swim with them in KOMODO NATIONAL PARK or in NUSA LEMBONGAN.
We followed up snorkeling with manta rays with a snorkel at BATU BOLONG. Now this place is AMAZING. Batu Balong is a reef in the middle of the ocean. You will know you have arrived when you see two large stones and an arch coming out of the water, an area no more than 100 sq meters. The water here is crystal clear and beaming with life! Some of the most amazing snorkeling in my life.
We then went to several different little beaches and Island and finished up our day with a sunset hike at GILI LAWA DARAT. Now I personally prefer this place of PADAR ISLAND purely because there are fewer people and more places to escape the crowd.
As the sun began to fall below the horizon we made our way down the steep path and back towards our boat. As we got on board we had a delicious bolognese dinner waiting for us. I LOVE PASTA. After dinner, Le Pirate set up a projector on the bow and we watched LIFE. I also love space movies, so basically thee most perfect night ever.
By day three we had already visited all of the major points you think of when it comes to Komodo National Park. Le Pirate was not finished though, they took us swimming with mantas again, and then to more beautiful sand bars.
On day three Thomas was so sunburnt he couldn’t even get it the water! But fear not, I did enough snorkeling for the both of us. We did a quick drift snorkel through a racing channel before heading to MAUWAN ISLAND.
Mauwan Island is truly stunning. The sand has a beautiful hint of pink and the clearest blue water! You may be noticing a theme here in Komodo National Park, clear water, amazing beaches, epic views. HA! After hanging out at the beach for quite some time it was time to head to a spot to watch the flying foxes for sunset.
Every night at sunset, thousands of bats fly from one section of the forest to the other. It starts slowly with just a few, then rapidly increases to hundreds visible in every direction. This moment was really special to me. I felt pure bliss and happiness as I took in the pure beauty of mother nature. Sometimes forget how spectacular this planet is. I was slightly tearing up not going to lie.
On the fourth day, I woke up feeling so happy from the trip and the memories we were making. I again started my day with a jump in the ocean and some muesli. It was our last day and Le Pirate took us out of what is technically considered Komodo National Park so we didn’t have to pay another fee for the day. We had a snorkel at a beautiful pier before heading to Snake Island.
It is really hard to choose between TAKA MAKASSAR and Snake Island. Both such beautiful little sandbars with clear blue waters. I think Snake Island isn’t as popular as we were the only people there!
After hanging out at Snake Island it was time to head back to Labuan Bajo and end our trip.
I hope this post inspires you to go on a LIVEABOARD in Komodo National Park. It was truly the most incredible four days of my life! I know it can be a bit expensive but trust me it is worth every penny!
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All images in this post were taken using a variety of my TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY ESSENTIALS.