Komodo Island – Indonesia 2021

I flew to Jakarta from Lisbon on December 31st, arrived at the Jakarta airport right before the new year, while waiting for a bus to drive me to my quarantine hotel, the new year arrived.

After the 5 days quarantine, I stayed in Jakarta for 4 nights and then flew to Denpasar, Bali.

I did do other things around Bali before flying out for this trip, I will make another post about what I visited in Bali and around later, which happened before and after this trip.

So about Komodo, at the end of April, I decided to fly to Flores, an island part of East Nusa Tenggara province that’s nearby the Komodo National Park.

My plan was to spend the weekend on a 2-day 1-night cruise but because of the “situation”  availability was limited, so I had to get on a boat for a 3 days 2 nights cruise.

With the help of Yunan from La Nissa I was able to get on a boat that was already out at sea on Friday afternoon.

First stop was Pulau Kelor, I got there late on a small fisherman boat because I didn’t really plan properly.

The next stop was Manjarite Beach, did a bit of snorkeling, wasn’t the best but still fun, and then flew the drone a little.

The white boat is La Nissa

The plan for sunset was to go near Pulau Koaba and watch the sunset while bats fly out of the mangrove to go eat on the mainland. I wasn’t sure about this, as the bats I saw before were just small and flying without any sense.

As the first bats flew out of the mangrove island, I started to understand why they brought us there for sunset.

It was AMAZING to look at the hundreds of bats flying away.

After sunset, the boat sailed in the dark to Padar Island, one of the highlights of the Komodo National Park. We slept in the bay of Padar Island and the next morning we did the 20 minutes hike up in the dark to get at the summit before sunrise.

Amazing place, especially during the end of the rain season, where the hills are all green but you can still get a cleared sky if you’re lucky!

Just beautiful!

After that amazing sunrise, we sailed out to the island of Komodo, where the Komodo dragons, some of them, live.

The landscape is always very pretty in the area.

The best time to visit the Komodo island is during the mating season, which is around July and August. Outside of the mating season, the dragons are sleeping all day, so is not that great. Especially that if you go with an open tour like I did you can’t decide to trek on the island as the schedule is already very tight. If you are going all the way there for the dragons, make sure to book a private tour, and spend the day trekking around the island, you might be able to see much more interesting stuff.

It was still impressive to see that huge, primitive creature.

About 30 minutes on the island and let’s hop back on the boat!

Direction, “Pink Beach”, not as pink as you might think from the shore, but pretty cool views from a few meters above.

Next stop, Paluau Katangan Sandbank. I stayed on the boat and used the drone as I wasn’t really that excited to step on the sandbank.

Right after that we stopped a little further and it was time for one of the most, well probably my most amazing encounter underwater. We were dropped in the water with snorkeling gear and just let the current drag us, and coming against the current, was hundreds of manta rays.

You could see them above, under, in front, behind…it was just surreal. Here’s a video of it that was filmed by our tour guide, Aruka:

The next day was just one stop, for snorkeling and chilling and then back to the city of Labuan Bajo.
Some photos from that stop, Kanawa Island.

Very nice trip, full of stuff to do, lots of snorkeling and sightseeing. Because of the pandemic, it was very quiet in the area, happy I did it then but I am not sure how this will be when everything opens up again but I am sure it’s still a great trip to do. Might be worth it to get a group of people together and do a private tour to avoid the masses.

If you would like information for a cruise, you can contact Yunan