Komodo Island Tour: 3 Days, 2 Nights of Magic!

There are cool trips, and then there are magical experiences that etch lasting memories on your soul. Our Komodo Island Tour undoubtedly falls into the latter category. This was not just a travel adventure, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the Komodo National Park. Allow me to offer a piece of advice here, if you are able, consider splurging a bit.

Komodo Island Tour - on a boat for 3 days and 2 nights

There are private boat tours and group boat tours available. If it’s within your budget I’d strongly recommend a private boat tour as it allows you to deviate from a set itinerary and beat the crowds. It’s an investment in memories that will last a lifetime.

Setting sail on our 3-day Komodo Island Tour

Like most of the magical places in the world, it was a bit of a trek. You first fly to Denpasar airport in Bali (we had a 12 hour layover in Sydney) and then take a short flight to Labuan Bajo Airport. Finally you travel to Komodo National Park by boat. It’s time to enjoy 3 amazing days touring the Komodo Islands.

Splurge for a private boat for sailing around the Komodo Islands if it's within your budget

Our adventure to this land of dragons, pristine beaches, and exquisite marine life began with our pickup at Labuan Bajo airport. We were advised that the key to making the Komodo Island Tour truly special lies in choosing the right boat.

Take a deluxe or luxury boat tour if a private boat is out of your range

Landing at Labuan Bajo Airport, with its stunning aerial views of the Flores Sea and its islands, immediately immerses you in the adventure that awaits in this gateway to Komodo National Park. The airport is small and you immediately feel the tropical heat when you land.

The drive from the airport to the harbor is brief and you can sneak a glimpse of daily life and the natural ruggedness of Flores Island. As the harbor comes into view, you’ll see an armada of traditional phinisi boats at anchor and the vast, blue sea you’ll be exploring in no time. Make sure you ask your driver to stop at a supermarket if you want to pick up provisions or beverages. From landing to boarding your boat, the transition is pretty seamless – and remember the locals are really helpful. The kids act like runners and will direct you to your boat – just ask.

Here is the itinerary we followed for our 3-Day Komodo Island Tour

Day 1: Kanawa Island, Manta Point and Padar Island 

We arrived at the boat and settled into our cozy cabin. We soaked in the panoramic views of the surrounding islands. We headed for Kanawa Island, nestled within the pristine waters of Komodo National Park.

Luxury boat dining room, on the way to Komodo Island

This small island has a powdery white sand beach and is teeming with vibrant coral reefs and crystal-clear turquoise water filled with marine life.

kanawa island in the komodo national park

Snorkeling at Kanawa Island on our Komodo island 3 day tour

The kids loved the snorkeling

Our underwater adventure continued at Manta Point, where we swam and frolicked with graceful manta rays in the turquoise water.

At manta point, visiting the manta rays at komodo island

In the late afternoon, we headed to Padar Island to watch the incredible orange and pink sunset, and also get an early (4am!) start for our morning hike to the summit of Padar Island to watch the sunrise.

Sunsets in the komodo national park are amazing

Sunsets are incredible in the komodo national park

Day 2: Padar Island, Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Taka Makassar, Kalong Island

Padar Island

We weren’t particularly excited when we were told wake up was at 4 am, but the Padar Island hike made the early morning worth it.

sunrise hike to padar island summit is incredible

Padar Island sunrise

The trail up to the summit was steep and dark at first, but as the sun slowly began to rise we could hardly believe the views. The sky was painted with various hues of pink and orange, and our early morning grumpiness faded away.

Padar island hike with kids - all the way to the summit to watch the sunrise

Sunrise in the komodo national park

We reached the top of the summit and soaked in the incredible sunrise bouncing over the bays and islands below. It was pure magic. Sometimes, nature showing off is the best alarm clock!

sunrise on Padar island - you can see white, black and pink sand beaches from one spot

Pink Beach

The Pink Beach was next on our agenda – you can see in the background in the picture above. It’s special for the unique, rose-tinted sand caused by the blend of white sand and red coral fragments.

Pretty in pinnk beach around the corner from Padar island

Viisit the pink beach in the komodo national park

It felt extra special to be the first people to set foot on the beach, allowing us to fully appreciate the tranquility and pristine beauty. The crystal blue water, vibrant coral reef, and the distinct pink hue of the sand was a picture-perfect paradise.

Crystal blue waters in the Komodo national park's pink beaches

More pink beach, with kids

Komodo Island

But the highlight of our entire journey was visiting Komodo Island itself. As we stepped onto Komodo Island it felt like our own Jurassic Park adventure with real-life dragons.

Komodo Island felt like a Jurassic Park adventure with real-life dragons.
Komodo Island felt like a Jurassic Park adventure with real-life dragons.

Komodo Island

The rugged landscape, pristine beaches, and seeing Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Komodo dragons in their natural habitat

seeing Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The kids were amazed at the Komodo dragons, even though they were snoozing

Taka Makassar Island

After lunch we headed to Taka Makassar, an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean where vibrant coral gardens thrive, for a couple of hours of snorkeling.

Taka Makassar, an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean  where vibrant coral gardens thrive for a couple of hours of snorkeling.

Taka Makassar in komodo national park is perfect for snorkeling.

Kalong Island (The Fruit Bat Island)

Before sunset we headed to Kalong Island, and enjoyed the sunset and the incredible spectacle of thousands of fruit bats leaving the island in search of fruit-bearing trees on nearby islands. Tens of thousands of Sunda Flying Foxes, also called the Sunda fruit bat, leave the mangrove-covered island for the mainland in search of food. These are the largest bats in the world and have a wingspan of up to 1 meter! They are easy to spot.

Komodo park fruit bats at sunset

Seeing thousands of fruit bats flying over our boat against the backdrop of yet another glorious sunset felt like something out of a dream. We tried to capture this image in time together as a family and file away as moments that matter.

Sunset in the komodo national park on a luxury cruise

Day 3: Kelor Island 

On our last day we headed to Kelor Island, a snorkeler’s paradise surrounded by crystal-clear blue waters teeming with marine life and reef sharks.

The snorketling was simply amazing at Kelor Island Komodo

Snorkeling in the komodo national park

It was the perfect ending to our island-hopping adventure. We spent the morning snorkeling, stand-up paddle-boarding, catching waves behind our boat, and relishing every moment of our island experience.

Kids will be kids. Wake surfing on a paddle board, around Kelor island

Stand up paddle boarding around Kelor Island

As we headed back to Labuan Bajo to catch our flight to the mainland, we all had HUGE smiles as we reflected on our surreal adventures.

Boating in the komodo national park

This was another magical travel bucket list experience we were able to share as a family. Komodo Island is literally on the other side of the world and a massive trek to get there, however, when you are up close and personal with those mystical dragons, there is truly nothing like it.

Final night of our Komodo island tour

There are many tour companies offering Komodo Island Tours, and after great research, we opted to go with this Komodo Tour based on reviews and ratings. And a piece of advice  –  choose your boat wisely.

Special shout out to our guide Will who took many of these beautiful photographs – I’d highly recommend him if you are planning your own trip to this part of the world.

Komodo Island Boat Tour: Hidden Gems and Travel Secrets

As with any magical adventure, a bit of prep can make the experience even more splendid. Here are some nuggets to tuck into your travel satchel before you board that boat.

1. Book Early

Booking your tour in advance can save you a heap of hassle, especially during peak season. These tours can fill up quickly and there are fewer luxury boats than economy boats, so snagging your spot early means you’re less likely to be left on the docks. Booking ahead gives you ample time to research and pick a tour that aligns with your preferences.

2. Dress to Impress

On the islands, the sun blazes, the terrain varies, and the dragons, well, they aren’t bothered by how fashionable you look. So, dress for practicality and protection: sturdy footwear for trekking, light breathable clothing to ward off the heat, a hat, sunglasses, and don’t forget sunscreen. Some of us hiked with running shoes, but some of us wore flip-flops the entire time.

3. Stay Hydrated, Stay Happy

The heat can be a bit of a shock, especially hiking up to viewpoints. Keep a refillable water bottle on hand. Many tours offer refills to keep you hydrated without adding plastic to the pristine environment. And, bring your own cocktails. Although beer and wine might not be served aboard, it won’t be included in the price. Check with your boat tour for their suggestions.

4. Befriend Your Komodo Tour Guide

Your guide isn’t just there to lead the way – they’re a treasure trove of stories, insights, and invaluable advice on how to safely enjoy the islands. They know where to look for mantas, the best spots for that postcard-perfect photo, and how to navigate each island. We absolutely loved listening to Will!

5. Embrace the Adventure, Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes, the sea is choppy, the weather changes or the mantas haven’t shown up. It’s all part of the adventure. Flexibility and a good sense of humour can turn any unexpected hiccup into an unforgettable part of your journey. Remember, it’s those stories that will have your friends hanging on your every word when you return.

Going on a Komodo Island boat tour is more than just ticking a box on your travel list; it’s about immersing yourself in the raw beauty of nature, seeing the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, and creating memories.

 

Visit Komodo island and travel with kids

I hope this helps you plan your own Komodo Island Tour!

Please reach out if you have any questions.

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About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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