Written by Missy Johnston
Rinca “Komodo” Island
Board in Labuanbajo after a flight to the island of Flores. Cruise to Sabolon Island and you will really feel like you are finally away from it all, in a beautiful anchorage, with clear water, great for snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming, or perhaps near dusk try your hand at a little fishing.
Cruise to Rinca Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Park and is the only known home to the Komodo Dragon in the world. Overseen by Park Rangers, enjoy a guided walk along the many trails through the area to see the Komodo Dragon in natural habitat. Also see monkeys, wild water buffalos, deer and scores of birds. The park rangers are very knowledgeable the Komodo Dragons and other fauna and flora of the park. You will see a number of Komodo Dragons on your walk and the Dragons even might be hanging around the Ranger Station. Nearby the Ranger Station, locals are allowed to set up booths selling wood carvings and local pearls. Return aboard to sail to “Pantai Merah” (the pink beach), which is world famous for its pink sand, excellent snorkeling and diving.
Coral Seen While Snorkeling
In the morning visit the little fishing village nearby and request permission of the village elder to walk the village “streets”; children may be shy, but the villagers in general are very welcoming to visitors. After lunch cruise to Padar Island and anchor in a quiet anchorage. There are so many different things to see and do. Perhaps go water skiing, scuba diving, or snorkeling, or use the sea kayaks. The beaches are beautiful, and this is a great location for hiking and beach combing. Offering superb scenery, Padar is a great place to enjoy myriad activities like sea kayaking, water skiing, diving and snorkeling, hiking and beachcombing. The view of nearby islands from the top of Padar is stunning.
In the morning sail towards Gili Lawah Darat and Gili Lawa Laut, which is a great location in which to see sea turtles, dolphins, and even manta rays. This is also another perfect location for scuba diving and snorkeling, enjoying the water toys, or hiking ashore.
Batu Muncul offers stunning beaches with beautiful white sand. Head ashore with beach umbrellas and all of the water toys and enjoy swimming, and snorkeling and using the water toys right from the beach.
Cruise to Banta Island which is outside the National Park boundaries, to enjoy fishing and shelling. There are many bays from which to choose all with white sand beaches. Enjoy excellent diving and snorkeling and perhaps swimming with the manta rays or sea turtles. This is a great location for a beach barbecue under the glorious night sky filled with the brilliant stars of the Southern Hemisphere.
Early morning cruise to Satonda Island to swim or kayak in the crater lake of an ancient volcano island off the shore of Sumbawa Island. In the afternoon, it is your choice of water sports, including snorkeling, diving, kayak or swimming. Just before sunset head out in the tenders to little cays, which are home to thousands of fruit bats, with faces just like little foxes. As the sun sets watch these bats take flight, virtually darkening the sky, on their night flight for food.
Cruise to Sangeang and Banta Island, stopping first at Sangeang to enjoy the effervescent waters filled with tiny bubbles created by steam releasing from a volcano way underground. Enjoy swimming, hiking, and water toys. Return to Labuanbajo to disembark after a relaxing breakfast. For a flight out of the area.