Komodo Island, beyond The Dragon

Photo by: Fajarudin; Text by: Kornelya

Komodo Island is known as the place of the habitat of Komodo Dragon.  The Komodo Dragon is the mascot of the island, but is not the sole object of tourism.  Not many people know that it also has a beautiful and spectacular underwater paradise around it, with crystal clear waters, and deep blue surface reflecting the sky.  And there is much beauty and scenery in the island and its environs, with landscape, flora and fauna, as well as in the trip itself, that draws the adventurous traveler.

How to get there: There are regular flights five times a day from Denpasar to Komodo Airport at Labuan Bajo.  From there, you continue by boat to the island, either by a variety of regular fishing or work boats, yachts or by charter, depending on whether you arranged through a travel agent or whether you plan to find services as you go, and depending of course on how adventurous you feel.

While, the government expects tourists to take official charter boats which cost as much as $400 overnight for 2 people, including three meals, there are unofficially less expensive alternative with privately charted fishing or work boats.  Sad thing, it means or would mean, only people who have money and connection can see the wonders world of Komodo.  There is no fixed schedule and fare of regular or official boats to Komodo Island that is announced to the public, and quality, safety and comfort can vary.

Please be careful to find a competent guide, both for the boat voyage, and for your time on the island.  Most charters, officially or privately contracted, provide guides.  However people go, they can be proud of seeing something that they never seen and experienced. I believe many Indonesians, even from the neighboring island of Flores have never had a chance to be on the island to experience its wonders.

Where to Stay: There are many hotels with a range of prices, and amenities, but if you want to stay cool, and sleep well in the expected heat of Labuan Bajo, a hotel with air conditioning is a choice, with price range of Rp.150,000 – Rp.1.500,000,-.  Jayakarta Hotel, Bajo Beach, Flores Beach, Hotel Felix are hotels with international standards of service and accommodation.

Local restaurants, some associated with hotels, provide a range of food choices.  Scuba diving equipment can be rented on the site or included, if you purchase the package through a travel agent.  Please be sure you have a competent guide, referenced through your hotel or travel agent, if you plan to do any diving or snorkeling.

Try the adventure!  We are waiting for you in Komodo Island. Please help to vote for Komodo as one of the 7 wonders world. www.new7wonders.com.

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