The 5 Wonders of Komodo Island, Indonesia

Would you like to have an incredible Jurassic World Experience? Here’s the Top 5 Wonders to see in the Komodo National Park! Enjoy!

“Can I touch the Komodo Dragon? He seems quite friendly. I would like to pet him, mister” I asked my ranger friend Kefin, known from this point onwards as Komodo Kevin.

“Yes, you can pet him. But only once. Afterwards you’ll probably won’t be able to pet anything at all” he replied.

Komodo Kevin then smiled as he led us deep into the wild vegetation of this enigmatic island of wonders…

Komodo Kevin, Hero of the Komodo National Park

Komodo Kevin, Hero of the Komodo National Park

It was our first day at the Komodo National Park on our quest to spot the almost legendary Komodo Dragons of Indonesia.

Granted, they have no wings so they don’t technically count as dragons but trust me, these ancient creatures of wonders sure can pack a mean bite.

Are you ready to explore the wonders of the Komodo Islands with me? I promise you it’s going to be a Jurassic World-worthy experience my friends!

A Komodo dragon resting in Rinca Island. Komodo National Park

A Komodo Dragon resting in Rinca Island

The Wonders of Komodo National Park #01: Rinca Island, the first glimpse of the Komodo Dragon

During our first day at the Komodo National Park, we headed fresh off the plane via speedboat to one of the two islands in the entire world where Komodo Dragons dwell: Rinca Island.

One of the first thing you should know about the Komodo Dragons is that even though their bite isn’t actually poisonous, they have a lot of bacteria in their mouth so a bite from them can momentarily paralyze you.

To be honest, I would probably worry the most about their huge sharp claws but that’s just me. And yes, even if you want to go to the toilet, it is imperative for you to be accompanied by a ranger of the park who will carry a long wooden stick to protect you.

After all, you don’t want to have a nasty surprise waiting for you in the loo, do you?

The Man of Wonders at Rinca Island Komodo National Park

The Man of Wonders at Rinca Island

Rinca Island is fairly small and there are three different treks you can there do in order to spot wild Komodo Dragons (I even saw a Komodo Mom protecting her eggs) although you can probably just walk a few minutes away from the restaurant and be able to see them up close.

5 meters is the advised distance that must be kept at all times between you and the Komodo Dragons. If you’re a cheeky fellow like me you can ask a ranger to distract the Komodo from the front while you get close enough to take a good photo of them.

Granted, the Komodo Dragons we found chilling in the shade outside of the restaurant looked tame enough and used to the many daily visitors but make no mistake: these feral creatures won’t think twice to show you who’s the boss in their island.

You don’t really want to risk your life pretending to be a Pokemon Master, right?

Mom, can I keep this Charmander? Komodo National Park

Mom, can I keep this Charmander?

The Wonders of Komodo National Park #02: Padar Island, a surprising trek to an ancient Jurassic World 

After a brief introduction to the Komodo National Park, my group and I went back to Labuan Bajo, the closest city to the Komodo National Park. On the way, one could witness an incredible sunset of wonders as many bats exited their caves on the hunt for food.

The very next day, we cruised to the Komodo National Parkand did some trekking in a deserted island of the Komodo National Park: Padar Island.

Try to whistle to John Williams’ amazing soundtrack of Jurassic Park while you hike this wonderful islands and you’ll feel how you enter into a Prehistoric World!

Hiking to the top of Padar Island, Komodo National Park

Hiking to the top of Padar Island, Komodo National Park

Padar Island has no Komodo Dragons since there’s no food here for them (they normally eat deer and occasionally fish). Nevertheless, it is a good opportunity for you to enjoy amazing viewpoints of the entire Komodo National Park.

The hike to the highest viewpoint of Padar Island is fairly pleasant and shouldn’t take you more than one hour including many photo stops. From the top, you can watch the three bays of the island and be amazed at the many shades of blue in them.

Our second day of exploring the Komodo National Park sure had a great start don’t you think?

Padar Island in Komodo National Park

Padar Island, a Jurassic Park Adventure Hike

The Wonders of Komodo National Park #03: Komodo Island, homeland of this magnificent ancient creature

At last, we arrived to the mythical island of wonders: Komodo Island. Suffice to say, expectations were at an all-time high and I felt so blessed to be part of this amazing encounter with a creature that have been around since before humans even existed.

It wasn’t before long that one of the rangers spotted a Komodo Dragon searching for food at the beach. Not wasting a single second, the ranger decided to grant us an display of his bravery as he proceeded to take food out of his bag in order to feed the Komodo Dragon. Yes, you read that right!

Was he crazy or what? And to be honest, was it crazy for me to secretly wish that I had his job even for just a moment?

Komodo Dragon, a prehistoric beast of wonders. Komodo National Park

Komodo Dragon, a prehistoric Beast of Wonders

For the first time in my life, I saw a Komodo Dragon move at full speed!!! I couldn’t believe how the same animal that yesterday was just chilling in the shade without any movement was now running even faster than Usain Bolt!!!

“If a Komodo Dragon chases after you, climb into a tree. You cannot outrun them. You cannot outswim them. You simply can’t do nothing other than hide” said Komodo Kevin.

“Why aren’t the rangers scared of dying?” I asked him. “What makes you think we’re not? It’s all part of the job. One day it might be our last day. But for now let’s just enjoy the fact that we’re alive” Komodo Kevin said.

Mankind’s biggest hubris is to think he can control nature. And once I found myself at the mercy of the Komodo Dragon, I learned that this kind of thinking will end up being our undoing.

Komodo Dragon eating fish in Komodo Island. Komodo National Park

Komodo Dragon eating a fish in Komodo Island

The Wonders of Komodo National Park #04: Scuba Diving with Mantas near the Pink Beach of Komodo Island

Once the excitement of being almost chased by the Komodo Dragon at the beach wore off, it was time to do some swimming. To be more precise, it was time to scuba dive with some of the biggest and friendliest creatures of the ocean: mantas.

Sadly, everything on this day was running kind of late (that’s what happens when you travel with more than 25 photographers, videographers and drone masters) so our 15:00 dive ended up becoming a 17:00 dive with the sky being so dark that it might as well count as a night dive.

But hey, don’t be sad for me! The corals of the Komodo National Park are incredible plus I managed to see not one but TWO sea turtles up close! Scuba Diving at Komodo was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

It was a perfect ending to a day of wonders indeed.

Sunset at Komodo Island after a day of adventure. Komodo National Park

Sunset at Komodo Island after a day of adventure

Komodo National Park has many different dive spots and you can easily spend 4 to 5 days doing nothing other than just diving. Have you ever thought of doing a live aboard diving boat in Komodo?

That’s exactly what my friend Anastasia from Gallivant Girl did during her visit to the Komodo National Park just a few days after I left.

Isn’t this Manta photo of hers out of this world???

Diving with Mantas in Komodo National Park

Diving with Mantas in the Komodo National Park

The Wonders of Komodo National Park #05: A cultural visit to the Manggarai people of Flores Island

Finally, on our last day in the island of Flores, we headed off to the hills in order to pay a visit to the Manggarai People, a colorful tribe that is indigenous to Flores and who are very friendly to outsiders.

As soon as we arrived, the Elder of their Manggarai tribe requested a meeting with the elder of our tribe (the awesome Ian Mallory from Mallory On Travel). Afterwards, the elder began the official welcoming ceremony in which we were offered a glass of sopi (a sugar palm beverage with 60% alcohol percentage).

Suffice to say, I asked for a second glass. And a third one…And no, I will neither confirm nor deny that the rumors that I filled a water bottle with sopi for the road back.

But hey, knowing me you can probably guess what happened, can’t you?

The Manggarai Warriors of Labuan Bajo. Komodo National Park

The Manggarai Warriors of the Island of Flores

After a few more drinks, the Manggarai Warriors began to perform the traditional Caci Dance. In this dance, in a warrior fight against another using a buffalo leather whip while his opponent defends with a shield of the same materials plus an arch of bamboo.

Confident enough, I asked one of the Warriors to let me participate in the Caci Dance with them. And even though I was not allowed to fight, he was kind enough to let me borrow his costume in order for me to become an honorary member of the Manggarai people.

Look at the bright smile of their Elder, isn’t he a very happy fellow indeed? We saw, we came, we conquered…people’s hearts.

Our time at the Komodo National Park was over but the memories would remain forever in our souls.

The day I became part of the Caci Dance. Komodo National Park

The day I became part of the Caci Dance. Guest Starring: Sarah Richards from Coffee With a Slice of Life

Practical information about traveling to Komodo National Park, Indonesia

To explore the Komodo National Park you can use the town of Labuan Bajo (no relation to the Bajo People of Wakatobi) as your base of operations. Direct flights from Bali take 2 hours and cost 50 to 100 USD one way depending on the season.

From Labuan Bajo, you can hire either a one day or a multi day tour (with the option of sleeping in the boat) to see the many islands of the Komodo National Park.

Average price is 80 to 100 USD per day including meals, guides and entrance fees. Be sure to negotiate for prices in person and of course, never book anything from Bali (or elsewhere in Indonesia) since you’ll end up paying way more for the same service.

Panoramic views from atop Padar Island. Komodo National Park

Panoramic views from atop Padar Island

Where to stay in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Accommodation in Labuan Bajo is usually in a resort right next to the beach or in a conveniently located hotel right next to the harbor. Nevertheless, almost most properties have a swimming pool to freshen up your day, players!

Some of my recommendations include Plataran Komodo Beach Resort and Puri Sari Beach Hotel for Luxury Travelers and the Komodo Lodge for those traveling on a budget.

You can make a booking for this and more properties via our Affiliate Link of Wonders!

Same price for you and a small pocket money commission for this website of yours.

Sweet deal, uh?

Getting close and personal with the Komodo Dragons

Getting close and personal with the Komodo Dragons

I hope you have enjoyed this article about chasing the visiting the Komodo National Park. Don’t forget to subscribe in order to get more awesome updates and tips straight to your e-mail!

Have you ever seen been to the Komodo National Park? Would you like to? How was your experience like? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!

Until next time, my friends!

The Ultimate Komodo Island Travel Guide Indonesia Flores Asia Travel

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Disclaimer: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Wonderful Indonesia, all opinions are my own.

35 Responses

  1. Malaysia Tour Packages

    Great, that island is looking so beautiful and it is full with natural beauty. Dragon is best attraction of that place and it is looking so dangerous and so stunning photos you shared of that beautiful place.

  2. Stacey

    Wow this is crazy cool! What an amazing experience! Definitely put this on my list of things to do on that side of the world!

  3. blondemoments

    wow! those photos are amazing! love the details. i was so close last year going there as well, but i ended up having not enough time. but i guess i’ll have to come back :)

  4. Christina from Happy to Wander

    Wow it looks like you had an incredible adventure!! That view from the top of Padar Island is absolutely stunning, and diving looks like quite the experience as well. Thanks for sharing – and beautiful pics too!

  5. Caitlin

    Well this bought back some fond memories. I spent about two months living in LB earlier this year. I did my DM course there and spent many days diving in the park. I saw the dragons a couple of times, but I only paid a visit to Rinca Island. Before I knew it, my time on the island was up and I hadn’t thoroughly explored (above the water). I’m glad I got a little visual exploration through your post!

  6. Tania Mukherjee

    I read this post twice, because once was just not enough! You are such an awesome writer and photographer. I had goosebumps while reading about your encounters with the Komodo dragons! No doubt I will return again to your blog while planning my Indo travels.

  7. Maja | Mexatia

    Such an interesting post! You made me very interested in visiting the Komodo National park, I must say! The scenery is out of this world and I would love to meet a komodo. From the safe distance, of course :)

  8. kathy

    What a great read. I feel like I have to go and see these amazing creatures. I love your style of writing and your photos make me feel I have been there.
    I have bookmarked your page as this is definitely something I want to do when I get to Indonesia next year.
    Thanks you.

  9. Allison

    I’ve seen a few Komodo dragons in the zoo but nothing like this! Amazing experience! And the views from the top of the cliff are spectacular!

  10. Ray

    This is some great info, especially since I am planning a trip to Bali in 2017. Thanks for letting us know that it is much better to book tours when you are in Flores instead of Bali. I am now debating if I should just maximize my time (3 weeks) just making the most of out Bali and the Gili Islands and just come back to Indonesia for a future trip to explore Nussa Tenggara properly or try to squeeze in a 3 day trip to Komodo Islands National Park at the sake of giving up something else in Bali. Any advice since you spent 2 weeks travelling across Indonesia on this press trip?

  11. Bone Beads

    wow! that is an awesome place and it have so many good things to enjoy. Dragons are one of the best attraction of that place and stunning photos you shared.

  12. Judith

    It looks amazing!
    When exactly did you visit Komodo National Park (because of the green and nice weather)? On the photo’s the weather looks good. Was it like that all the time you spend in Komodo and Flores? Was the temperature good or too hot?
    Thanks for your reaction!

  13. Peru Tours

    Wow that is cool! What an amazing experience! Definitely put this on my list of things to do on that side of the world!

  14. I Made Suparta

    Great advanture,,Im from Indonesia but never been to Komodo island,,,I wish I could go to the islands to see nature and the wonderful of Komodo…Thank you for the information and keep update…all the best….