How to Travel to the Komodo Islands: The Best Komodo National Park Tour

Komodo National Park should be on everyone’s itinerary when travelling in Indonesia. However, it can be daunting to find reputable companies and itineraries that match your budget and wishes.

When booking any Komodo tour, make sure that you read the itinerary!! Some companies skip some of the highlights, so make sure you do your research before booking and always read the reviews.

How to Get to the Komodo Islands

The Komodo Islands are most easily accessed from the small city of Labuan Bajo, which is East of Java and Bali. Labuan Bajo’s airport is actually called Komodo airport. Most tours leave from Labuan Bajo, so this is the best place to start your Komodo tour. You can fly from Denpasar Island or any airport in Indonesia to Labuan Bajo. It is a short flight and you can find flights under $100 if you book in advance. Some people also choose to do a liveaboard from Lombok to the Komodo Islands.

Labuan Bajo

Cost of a Komodo Tour

Every tour is different, but always make sure you understand what is included and excluded. Multi day tours should all include food and non alcoholic drinks, and some tours will include the park fees and some will not.

We went with a company called Cordelia Phinisi and it was a semi-luxury cruise with a very fair price. It was $460usd for 3 days and 2 nights. This included everything like SUP boards, food/snacks, unlimited water, coffee/tea, and hotel pick up/drop off. This price did not include park fees. We went in August 2023 and the fee was 250,000 IDR on weekends and 150,000 IDR on weekdays. The cruise only goes into the park on the 2nd day, so you just pay this fee one time.

You can get a more budget cruise, and this will cost around $200usd. Alternatively, you can get a super luxurious cruise for way more or go on a diving Komodo trip, which will also be more expensive.

You can also opt for 1 day or 2 day tours. These will be cheaper, but more rushed. We thought 3 days was perfect.

As mentioned prior, you can also do a tour from Lombok to the Komodos. These tours are getting really popular, and we have heard great things about Wanua Adventure. They are around $175-$200usd and are very basic boats, but they do have a cool itinerary.

How to Avoid Scams

Unfortunately, we met a couple of people who got scammed. Specifically, we met a couple in Labuan Bajo who booked their flights and tour in Bali, and when they got to Labuan Bajo the tour company did not exist. They paid in advance for everything, and they were ghosted on arrival. It was so sad to hear and very strange considering the company booked their plane ticket to Labuan Bajo.

This being said, do not pay everything right away. Pay part of the tour initially, and the rest in the middle or at the end. Always, get confirmations from multiple parties and get insurance if you can. Always check reviews on companies too! We never book tours with companies with low review scores or under 50 reviews.

Drone Use

You are not allowed to use a drone in Komodo National Park unless you have a drone permit. The permit is 1 million IDR, it is pricey! We went for it, as our tour company included it in our price, but it is not standard. Does not hurt to ask though!

Trekking with the Komodos

Seeing a Komodo Dragon is a highlight of the tour and we were very lucky to see 5 on our trek. Trek is also a strong word, it is more of a walk. Learning about the Komodos was wild, I actually didn’t realize how terrifying they were. They have shark like teeth and venom that can kill you within hours. They are also super fast, and just scary prehistoric looking creatures. Our guide just had this “stick” to protect us, so it just seemed a little sketchy getting up close to them and trekking near them. Apparently they are docile during the day, but some of them were up and walking around, so you have this wierd feeling.

Note for Women on their Cycle

It is a bit crazy, but Komodo dragons can smell blood from a distance of 8 kms. During your menstruation period, women are recommended to be very very cautious or to not go at all. Rangers should be aware of this, as the Komodo dragons can become aggressive. I know, not the best conversation to have!

Traditional Phinisi Boats

We really wanted to go on a boat trip that had a traditional boat for our trip and a great itinerary. We ended up going with Cordelia Phinisi and was amazing, I highly recommend. They were really organized, had the best food, and made sure to being us to spots with less crowds. They had free SUP boards and kayaks for us to use, and the staff was super nice. We always had a “team” meeting to go over our day, and they really just made our experience unforgettable.

The Best 3 day Komodo Itinerary

Komodo National Park should be on everyone’s itinerary when travelling in Indonesia. However, it can be daunting to find reputable companies and itineraries that match your budget and wishes.

Not every 1 day or even 3 day tour is the same, so make sure to read the itinerary before booking! Make sure to ask questions and know what is or is not included. We went with @cordeliaphinisi and it was incredible!

Here is the optimal itinerary you should be looking for!

? Day 1

Hike Kelor Island

Snorkelling

Sunset and watch the bats at Kalong Island

?? Day 2

Sunrise hike on Padar Island

Pink Beach

Trek to find Komodo dragons on Komodo Island

Snorkel Manta Point

? Day 3

SUP and snorkel on Kanawa Island

Cruise back to Labuan Bajo and dock after lunch