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.
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.
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.
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).
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.