Explore Labuan Bajo in seek of Komodo dragons.
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
After watching the HBO series sequentially for two weeks, you may even wonder if there are still dragons remain on earth. Congratulations to you, yes there are known as Komodo located on the remote islands of East Indonesia. When I said remote, it does not mean you could not manage your own route up there. I will share every detail for you to land your own foot on the island of the dragon.
Labuan Bajo island is the nearest and most possible gates to enter Komodo Island as a solo traveler. Located only 2 hours sail from Komodo Island, this island is so well-known as a touristy area. I would talk much about Labuan Bajo since you will spend most of your time at Labuan Bajo instead of Komodo Island. Obviously, you would not stay overnight with the island full of dragons.
To reach Labuan Bajo book your flight to Jakarta or Bali and reserve a domestic flight to Labuan Bajo. There are only two airline routes the flight to Bajo which are Garuda Indonesia and Citilink airlines.
Transportation in Labuan Bajo
One thing you should note there is no public transportation in Labuan Bajo. Most of the visitors rent a scooter or book a hotel transfer to drive you throughout the island. Book your airport transfer to your hotel (if available) a day before. If you prefer to rent a bike, you can locate the dealer along Soekarno Hatta street which will cost IDR 80,000/day.
Do not worry about the accommodation during your stay in Labuan Bajo. I will give you some of the hotel's top pick lists.
Accomodation in Labuan Bajo
If you looking for the ultimate comfort and you are deep-pocketed, try to stay in Ayana Resort. 5 stars hotel which makes the most luxurious hotel in Labuan Bajo. No wonder the view is quite amazing. The room will cost from $400/night.
Fifteen minutes walk from the city center, this 3 stars hotel will cost you for $70/night. Located on the beachside will give you the impressive sunset you can watch.
This is my favorite hotel during my stay in Labuan Bajo. Located quite far from the city center, will give you the most exceptional view as you can see. This hotel has a private beach and dock! Even though the hotel is quite far from the center (10mins drive), they will give you a transfer to the city for only $3. The rooms cost are vary, starts from $40/night.
Located in the city heart, this 3 stars hotel will cost you from $30/night.
Food in Labuan Bajo.
The food in Labuan Bajo can be varied. However, when talking about Bajo food it will be concerned with the seafood. I advise you to have dinner in the night market named Wisata Kuliner Kampung Ujung, as the price is quite cheaper instead of having dinner in the restaurant. The night market is open from 5 pm to 11 pm and always full of the tourist. If you are not so down into seafood, no worries, lots of restaurant serve the western menus along the main street in the city which for sure the cost will be higher. Labuan Bajo also known as its Flores coffee, make sure you try the coffee as it is so striving from the taste and its smell.
Places to visit at Labuan Bajo
Most of the popular spot in Labuan Bajo requires you to cross by boat. Though, some areas can be reached by a scooter ride.
1. Love Hills (Bukit Cinta)
This popular hill was located 10 mins ride from the city center. If you are staying in Waecicu Beach inn it only takes 3 mins walk. The best way to visit this hill when the sunset comes. The view during the sunset will take your breath away.
2. Wae Rebo
Well, it is a shame if you missed this place during your visit. Well-known as the land above the sky, Wae Rebo offers you the iconic-structure of the traditional house located at the elevation of Eastern Indonesia. To reach Wae Rebo, I suggest you book a group tour from Labuan Bajo since the location is 5 drive hours from Labuan Bajo, not to mention that you have to hike 3 more hours to the top of the mountains. When you visit Wae Rebo, you will stay a night in a traditional house provided in Wae Rebo. Bring your jacket as the night in Wae Rebo could be harsh and enough cash as there is no ATM along the way to Wae Rebo. Wake up earlier and watch the epic sunrise on the land above the sky.
3. Rangko Cave (Goa Buaya)
Feelin good to go swimming? Try in different ways by visit Rangko Cave. Visualize swimming in a cave with deep-wide saltwater also filled with colorful stalactites. It takes 40 mins ride from the city center.
For all the places I mention below will need to sail across the Labuan Bajo island to be reached (include Komodo Islands). So I recommend you to book a group tour which most of the tour spend 1-2 days of island-hopping (depends on the destinations you choose).
4. Komodo Island & Rinca Island
These two major islands are the native habitat of Komodo dragons; Komodo Island and Rinca Island. However, Rinca Island has the most dragon population instead of Komodo Island which makes most of the tours offer a visit to Rinca Island rather than Komodo Island. The destination can be reached for 2 hours sailing from Labuan Bajo harbor. Bring your sunglasses and sunblock as the weather can be very hot when exploring these islands. Mind you step as Komodo can be very dangerous even though they are not an aggressive animal, one Komodo bite left you 30 mins to live.
5. Padar Island
"I've never seen a place like this in this world."
This island is on the top of your visit to Labuan Bajo Island. The best moment to visit is during the sunset. The blue crystal sea from the top of the hills is priceless. You need to a small hike to the top for 30mins to see the whole island. You will have to pay for IDR 100,000 ($9) as the ticket that will be used for the conservating purpose.
6. Kanawa Island
White sand beach with crystal clear sea makes this island is the top place to visit during your exploration in Labuan Bajo. Not to mention the meadow overlay on the island which will be a great background to your photo.