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Flores is an Indonesian island and part of the small Sunda Islands. Politically, Flores belongs to the Indonesian province of East Nusa-Tenggara and offers about 1 million mainly Christian inhabitants a home. Labuan Bajo is due to its location on the edge of Komodo National Park the hub in the west of Flores. There is an international airport with fast connections to Bali and many tour operators that offer adventures into the Komodo National park or in the interior of Flores. We did not spend too much time in Labuan Bajo, as we have been on a Komodo Island Tour for two days with Flores XP. Here you will find information and pictures of our 2-day Dragon Tour with lots of dives and great animal encounters.
The journey to Flores is in most cases via Labuan Bajo Airport. The small airport is served mainly via Bali and Jakarta, but also occasionally from other Indonesian airports such as Ende, Surabaya, Maumere, Praya or Bajawa. Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air fly directly from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo. There are several options from Bali, the flight takes about an hour. The approach to Labuan Bajo over the volcanoes of Indonesia and the islands of the Komodo National Park is one of the most beautiful so far.
Since mostly domestic flights arrive in Labuan Bajo and there is not much going on at the small airport, the entry formalities do not take too long and you can enter the legendary island and start the Komodo Trip.
Various transport service providers are already at Labuan Bajo airport, behind the luggage belts and in front of the exit doors. The trips from the airport to the city or to the accommodations are offered at fixed prices. You buy the ride in the airport building at the transfer desk and are assigned to a driver. After about twenty minutes by car you will reach the lively Labuan Bajo, from where you will start your trip to Komodo.
There are no public taxis in the city, only minibuses that stop at open doors or private individuals who offer their services / tours. But you will always find someone who can get you where you want to go for little money. Just ask in the restaurant or in a shop.
Of course you can also rent a scooter and explore the area with it. This is particularly useful if you are planning more shore dives and have to come from the hotel to the diving school.
Of course, Labuan Bajo is not only the starting point for trips to the Komodo National Park, but also for tours inland of the island of Flores. The highlight is the Kelimutu volcano.
Many providers offer one- or multi-day tours to the breathtaking islands of the Komodo National Park.
We chose the 2-day Dragon Tour with Flores XP. Here you can find our travel report about the time in one of the still relatively untouched destinations in Indonesia.In retrospect, we realized that we should definitely have booked a longer Komodo trip because we would have loved to visit Padar Island, spend more time on Rinca with the Komodo dragons and, above all, the sensational diving spots.
The Komodo National Park is a real wonder of nature. Large and small volcanic islands, which glow in all shades of green and brown, lapped by the Indian Ocean on one side and the Pacific on the other. Buffalos, monkeys, birds and above all the legendary Komodo dragon roam the islands and represent the highlight of every Komodo trip - at least over water.
Under water, Komodo really shows what it can do. Fascinating coral reefs, magnificent manta rays with incredible wingspan, sharks and a wealth of fish that we have never seen anywhere else. The dives are usually not easy, because there is almost always more or less strong current. But that is exactly the reason for the incredible biodiversity and beauty of the Komodo National Park.
For your reassurance: There are also nice diving spots near the shore and in bays, where you can dive relaxed and flow-free.
When the day comes to an end, Komodo has a very special surprise at sunset. Hundreds of thousands of fruit bats rise to the sky and fly with the setting sun behind them from Komodo National Park to Flores. In search of food, the bats spend the night on the main island and return to Komodo National Park at dawn.
This spectacle is one of the highlights of our Komodo trip. One of the many providers will be happy to help you organize a tour. The flying fox spectacle is usually included in the multi-day tours. Do not miss out on this one.
We spent the night on an island with very cool accommodations. Should we take a trip to Komodo again, we would probably book a longer tour and spend the night on the ship.
Since Flores is an Indonesian island, Indonesian rupees (IDR) are used to pay. There are several ATMs in Labuan Bajo. Most pay out no more than 2.5 million rupees (€ 150). You can usually choose between 100,000 and 50,000. The maximum amount can become important if you have to pay cash for a multi-day tour.
The boys on the ships are also happy about a little something as a tip. But nobody takes it off your shoulders if you just say thank you. Despite the many tourists, the price level is still relatively low compared to Bali or other hotspots.
In any case, make sure you have enough cash - possibly even before arrival - because the clocks in Flores are a little different. In terms of infrastructure, Flores is not comparable to Bali or even the megacities like Jakarta or Surabaya. It is rather a sleepy small town that is bursting with dive centers and tour providers. You can already hear it out. The city itself is not a pearl, but the starting point for every Komodo trip from Flores. Everything around it is like nothing.
If you spend one or more nights in Labuan Bajo before or after your stay in the national park, the accommodations on the somewhat northern Waecicu peninsula are most suitable for beach holidays, diving from land and snorkeling.
Labuan Bajo is particularly interesting for those who like spectacular coral reefs and big fish and want to see the last dragons on earth. Since we are one of them, the Komodo Trip blew us away and we definitely want to come back. Next time we stay longer and take a look at the interior of the wonderful island of Flores.