Labuan Bajo used to only be known as a dusty port and fishing village. But over the years, the city is now known as an enchanting harbor town as it is the gateway for trips across the nearby Komodo National Park to Komodo Island and Rinca Island. Both are the home of Komodo dragons. Labuan Bajo is also a great place to visit if you’re looking for a short yet pleasurable trip. There are various things you can explore as well in this town, from getting around the island to diving in pristine sites. Here is our guide to Labuan Bajo for your next travel plan.

Getting There

You can reach Labuan Bajo from Komodo Airport which is located just 2 Km from the center of Labuan Bajo. There are about four to six flights from Bali, Jakarta, and other big cities in Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air provide direct flight to Labuan Bajo. You can also reach the place by Ferry boat. It departures to the town of Bima to Sumbawa. Also, weekly or bi-weekly departures to Denpasar and Sulawesi.

Getting Around

Labuan Bajo considered as a small town, so getting around here can be easily by foot. You can also use ojek for faster travel or rent the motorcycle with fare per day. If you visit Labuan Bajo with your family and kids, there are car rentals available in the area. From companies to individually owned car rental, they are available with a driver that can be your tour guide as well.

Things to Do

1. Trekking at the forest of Komodo Island

Exploring the Komodo National Park could be included in your itinerary. To explore the place and see the Komodo dragons, you should join the group tour. The mating season of Komodo dragons is on July and August, so they are usually hard to find during that period. If you’re less interested to see the Komodo dragons, trekking at the island could be your choice as well. Enjoy the casual hike while overlooking lush greenery view and tropical air. You can trek the Mt. Mbeliling, the ideal region for eco-adventures. Manggarai’s mountains, lakes, and waterfalls offer many hiking and trekking routes to suit all experience levels of hikers. You can also trek Wae Rebo, the last remaining traditional Manggaraian ethnic village with traditional houses.

2. Diving and Snorkelling

The main charming point of Labuan Bajo is none other the pristine dive and snorkeling sites at The Komodo National Park. Named as the world’s richest marine habitats, you can experience many migratory pelagics and vibrant reefs. It is located just offshore and easily reached by liveaboard operators, although day trips may take two hours or more in each direction.

To dive or snorkeling, you can use the operators here where there are more than 25 operators available. The fare varies, starting around IDR 1,500,000 including full equipment, more than three sites, and lunch. You may choose the newer operator if you prefer the newest equipment or older operators for the most experienced. Make your own comparison by talking or consulting to more than operators and see how experienced their staffs are. Safety first, anyway.

3. Explore the islands around

Visit and explore Seraya Island while you’re in Labuan Bajo where you can see meet few bamboo huts, goats, peaceful atmosphere. At low tide, the coral is exposed and local fishermen walk on the reef in search of prey. Rowboats can be rented and taken to nearby islands for snorkeling and diving. Make sure to run to the top of the hill behind the resorts and check out the sunset. The lodges on the island do have showers, but running water is only available a few hours a day.

Another spectacular display of nature around Labuan Bajo can be found at Kalong Island which literally means, Flying Fox Island. The name is quite appropriate as the island is home to thousands of Kalong, or giant flying fox bats. Rent a boat and go the mangrove island to see yourself where the flying fox habitat is. Or, you can also use your boat towards Rinca Island and see the bats passing by above your boat.

Next page: where to eat and where to stay