How to get to Komodo Island?
Komodo Island is part of the Komodo National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda chain of islands. It is famed as the home of the legendary Komodo Dragon, the largest species of lizard on the planet.
This is the only place on earth to see them in the wild, yet Komodo has so much more to offer too. Komodo Island boasts stunning and diverse terrain – from white-sand to pink beaches and tropical rainforests to grassy savannah hillsides.
It’s also one of Indonesia’s top scuba diving destinations with dozens of pristine reefs filled with a wealth of colourful marine life. As well as boasting more than 1,000 species of fish, the waters around Komodo Island are teeming with whales, sea turtles, reef sharks and manta rays.
The many islands of the Komodo National Park are picturesque and varied and the magnificent dragons are found on four different islands: Komodo, Rinca, Gili Montong and Gili Dasami. In fact, Rinca Island is actually the better option to spot the dragons in the wild, as it hosts more Komodo Dragons and is also nearer the gateway town of Labuan Bajo, so easily accessible on a day trip along with a half-day of snorkelling the reefs.
Planning a trip to Komodo Island? It is pretty easy to reach wherever you are in Indonesia. The first option is to fly to Labuan Bajo on Flores Island and then take an organized boat tour to Komodo.
The second option is for the more adventurous travellers: Taking a 3 day and 2 night boat tour from Gili Islands or Lombok heading to Flores with several stops (including Komodo) on the way. For many travellers, this is one of the best experiences for the entire Indonesia trip!
Quick Answer on Getting to Komodo
A slow boat tour from Lombok to the islands of the Komodo National Park is by far the most rewarding way to get to the Komodo Islands. The gorgeous stops on the way make it a travellers favourite when travelling through Indonesia.
If your planning is limited you can also fly to the port town Labuan Bajo which you can use as a base. Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo and the other islands for Komodo Dragon spotting, tours, snorkelling trips, pleasure cruises and scuba diving.
Accommodation options on Komodo Island and the surrounding islands are limited so most people use Labuan Bajo as a base to explore the national park on day trips. Labuan Bajo is a simple yet friendly town with a vibrant traveller scene with plenty of affordable homestays as well as more upmarket options.
Organized boat tours to Komodo Islands
A visit to the Komodo National Park is one of the top highlights travelling in Indonesia. Komodo Dragons very rarely attack humans, but their bite is venomous. This is why it is essential to have a tour guide and follow all their instructions.
Tours vary from day trips from Labuan Bajo to 4-day cruises from Lombok to Labuan Bajo or vice versa.
There are many companies offering a range of tours or liveaboard diving cruises but these 3 following recommendations are among the most trusted when visiting Komodo Island:
Perama Tours is a well-respected tour company around Indonesia. They offer a 3-day cruise from Lombok to Komodo Island for 4,200,000 IDR ($259). This includes a 3 day boat tour, 2 nights accommodation on the boat, and full board meal service during the tour.
If you are short in time, they also offer day trips from Labuan Bajo to the Komodo National Park for 1,200,000 IDR ($74). This already includes a visit to Padar and Komodo Island, as well as the famous Pink Beach and a dip into the surrounding waters.
For budget travellers to Komodo Island, we recommend Wanua Adventure. It isn’t a luxury trip, but you get a 4-day cruise from Lombok to Labuan Bajo or vice-versa for about 2,800,000 IDR ($172). Onboard accommodation is deck class. For a little more privacy, the cabin class costs 3,300,000 IDR ($203).
These rates already include all entrance fees, 3 meals per day (including vegetarian options), and unlimited tea, coffee and mineral water.
There are now many companies offering more luxurious boats for Komodo Island tours. Nyaman Boat is arguably the most popular for luxury trips. Capacity is restricted to 14 guests and you can even charter the entire boat as part of a big group. Rates start at 6,500,000 IDR ($400) per person, depending on the accommodation class you choose.
Flying to Labuan Bajo, Flores
Labuan Bajo is the main gateway by both air and sea to Komodo Island and the National Park. Komodo Airport is located just outside the town.
From Komodo Airport, you can reach the town centre in just 10mins by taxi. Fares start at 50,000 IDR ($3.20), but make sure to agree on a price beforehand.
Flights from Bali
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cost: 469,000 IDR ($30)
From Bali, flights to Komodo Airport start at 469,000 IDR ($30). Travel time is about 1hr 20mins.
Airlines serving the route include Lion Air, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, and AirAsia.
Bali’s airport is situated just south of the beach town of Kuta. You can book transport to the Airport via the Grab or Go-Jek app from most places although there are a handful of areas in Bali where the ride-hailing services are not allowed to operate.
If this is the case, ask your hotel if they can organise transport to the airport or book you a Bluebird taxi ride.
Flights from Lombok
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cost: 703,000 IDR ($45)
Since a few years, there is also one daily flight from Lombok to Labuan Bajo operated by Lion Air/Wings Air.
It currently departs at 13:55 with a travel time of 1hr 15min. Fares start at 703,000 IDR ($45).
To get to Lombok International Airport, you can either take an airport bus or a taxi.
With the airport bus, a ticket costs around 35,000 IDR ($2.30) and there are departures throughout the day from Mataram, Ampenan, Senggigi, and Selong, which is in East Lombok.
If you are staying elsewhere, you can also take a taxi or ask your hotel to arrange a ride for you.
Flights from Java
It is possible to fly to Komodo Airport from three different cities in Java: Jakarta, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cost: 1,200,000 IDR ($80)
Direct flights operating from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo are operated by Lion Air and Citilink. The travel time is around 2hr 15mins and fares start from 1,200,000 IDR ($80).
If you don’t mind taking a 4-hr indirect flight with a stopover in Bali, you can save on the airfare with a cheaper rate of 980,000 IDR ($59). Just click the link below.
The fastest way to reach Jakarta Airport from the city center is by train. Travel time is 1hr from Sudirman Baru Station to Jakarta Airport Station. Fares start at 70,000 IDR ($4.30).
There is also an option to take a cheap bus or a taxi, but we don’t recommend them because traffic congestion in Jakarta is notorious and the journey can take more than 2 hours.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cost: 630,000 IDR ($38)
The flight from Surabaya to Labuan Bajo takes just 1.5 hours. Batik Air operates one direct flight daily that departs at 11:10 from Surabaya Juanda Airport. Fares start at 630,000 IDR ($38).
The journey from Surabaya city centre to the airport takes about 30 mins by taxi or about one hour by bus, subject to traffic. Taxi rates from downtown start at 131,000 IDR ($8) and a bus ticket costs 30,000 IDR ($1.80).
Duration: 3 hours 40 minutes
Cost: 1,000,000 IDR ($60)
There are no nonstop flights from Yogyakarta to Labuan Bajo. All flights make at least one stopover in either Surabaya or Bali.
There are departures from both Yogyakarta and Adisucipto Airports. Wings Air operates the fastest flight, which departs from Adisucipto at 9:00 daily. Travel time is at least 3hr 40mins and fares start at 1,000,000 IDR ($60).
There are 3 different ways to reach Adisucipto Airport from Yogyakarta city centre: by train, by bus, or taxi. Travel time by train and by taxi is around 20mins, or it takes about an hour by bus. Fares range between 3,600 IDR ($0.20) to 82,000 IDR ($5). The train is the best option but direct trains only run once every hour. Indirect trains can take more than an hour to reach Maguwo Station, so do note which train you take and bear in mind the scheduled arrival time.
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