Labuan Bajo is the capital (ibu kota) of Manggarai Barat, the most visited district of Flores. In the last decade Labuan Bajo has expanded from a small, a little bit touristy town into a booming place a la Bali. Most visitors who come to Flores, unfortunately only come here mainly for diving and snorkeling and to see the komodo dragons. Sometimes only for a few days, so they miss the beauty of the interior of Manggarai Barat, and further beyond. Don't get me wrong, the scenery off the westcoast of Labuan Bajo including Komodo, Rinca and Padar is downright a fairytale to go around. Breathtaking, amazing, superb to use some superlatives. But..Flores deserves more than Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park only.

Said that Labuan Bajo itself is not really nice but the surroundings, the views and the sunsets are gorgeous.

The town, especially the seaside stretch along Jalan Soekarno Hatta, is full of shops, eateries and agents who intend to take you to the national park.


If I have to mention one attraction in Labuan Bajo it is the sunset. Paradise Bar, only a few hundred meters uphill is a perfect place to sit down, have an icecold beer or maybe a mixed moke and wait for the moment when the sky turns into amazing colors.... Click, click, click..... be prepared with a full battery and a memorycard with enough space. Paradise Bar also serves cocktails and cashwenut wine. In the towncentre Puncak Waringin is also a nice viewpoint, not only for sunset.

Another place to see the sunset is on Pede beach, south of town. Park yourself in the public area or walk up a little north to find the perfect coconut tree or boat for the perfect close up.


In the last 15 years Labuan Bajo has changed from a small messy town into a booming the place to be. After Sail Komodo in 2014 projects doubled every couple of months with the peak a few years ago. The waterfront has changed into a mediterranean scene, well at least a wanna be. The huge (and ugly) Meruorah hotel has been built for the rich and famous and soon a Marriot will be opened north of town. Eateries, shops and agents are the streetscene on Jalan Soekarno Hatta, the mainroad along the seaside. Does this sound like Canggu or Ubud?  Yes, indeed. I don't have any numbers ready but as far as I can see I think Labuan Bajo receives at least 95% of all tourist on Flores, both domestic and international.

I was in Labuan Bajo last April  2024) and I was shocked by the crowds and the traffic jams on the mainroad, the fully booked hotels. And summer hasn't arrived yet.
New roads have been built to the north and to the south to Golomori, the latter probably because of the ASEAN Summit of 2023. 


Labuan Bajo alone hosts the most hotels of the island. Including the penginapan there are maybe more than a few hundred (comparing to 20 years ago when there were only a hand full). Some are in the centre but many hotels had to find a place south of town at Pede Beach or north at Wae Cicu. As the lower part of Labuan Bajo is fully full, hotel owners now find their patch more inland. Accomodation is relatively expensive in Labuan Bajo.

Only a part you can find on bookingsites. In summer prebookings are advised. First book your hotel, then your flight.

See also


You won't get hungry in Labuan Bajo as it is the only town on Flores where you can find other than Indonesian food. The fancy restaurants in Labuan Bajo are for some reason often Italian. A good one is La Cucina. The last one has become so popular that they had to expand their restaurant, unfortunately because of that the view on Labuan Bajo bay is blocked now. But the food is excellent. Labuan Bajo also has two branches of Bangkalan restaurant (also two in Ende and one in Ruteng). There is one on Jalan Soekarno Hatta and one near the airport. Try their "soto sate", goatmeat- or chickensoup with sate. Senja Eatery serves local Manggarai food.

On Pasar Kuliner in Ujung the north of town you can choose your own fish and other seafood to be grilled. The stretch of a few hundred meters along the seaside is full with food and tables. In the meantime the area and the foodmarket has been renovated and is back in operation again on the original spot along the seaside. Rather expensive for Indonesian standards.

Flores has it's own typical food described in the link below, however in Indonesian. 



Labuan Bajo has also the most and biggest supermarkets of the island. Zasgo is the most fancy one (near L Bajo hotel) including a bakery and a licor shop. Roxy and Denny's have several branches in Labuan Bajo. Also Bintang Timur on Jalan Soekarno Hatta is a decent supermarket plus a lot of smaller ones. Roxy has the best collection of spirits and wine (including chianti and prosecco). There are also a few winehops on the mainroad along the seaside and near L Bajo hotel.



In Labuan Bajo are many laundries but also many of them in the tourist scene, thus higher prices. The one I prefer is Lotus Laundry, Jalan Raya Sernaru. 

Tel +62 81246798844. E-mail

They have three kinds of services.

  • A two day normal service (today you bring the laundry, tomorrow afternoon you can pick it up) for Rp 10.000/kg.
  • An expres service (kilat) for Rp 15.000/kg, bring early morning, pick up late afternoon
  • A 3 hours service for Rp 25.000/kg

They will sent an sms or app as soon your laundry can be picked up.

Another good one is Pelangi Laundry on Jalan Pasar Baru, tel +62811640670, one day serive for Rp 15.000 per kg.



Siloam Hospital (a hospital chain in Indonesia) is the best you can get in Labuan Bajo. The hospital is located near the town centre on jalan Gabriel Gampur.

They also have an oxygen chamber when suffering DCS (decompression sickness) after diving.

Website: Siloam Hospital Labuan Bajo, email:

Tel. 0385 - 2381900 (landline).  You also can make appointments via WhatsApp tel +62 811 3838323
The renovated RSUD (Rumah Sakit Umum Daerah) Komodo Labuan Bajo is 5 kilometers south of the towncentre along the Trans Flores Road and a decent second choice.



Emergency call: 1 500 911

TRANSPORT sea also



There are (direct) connections with Bajawa, Ende, Maumere, Denpasar (Bali), Jakarta and Surabaya. The flight Labuan Bajo - Denpasar goes via Komodo island on your left and the north of Sumbawa. If your are lucky you can see the Tambora volcano on Sumbawa. Ask for a windowseat on your left for Labuan Bajo - Denpasar or on your right for Denpasar - Labuan Bajo. The nicest views of Komodo are in the morning.


The funky new airport (with a lot of glass and a wavy shape which doesn't fit in the environment) has replaced the old terminal in December 2015 and is close to the towncentre. Cars and ojek (motorcycle) await you at the airport. The rate into town is Rp 70.000. Many hotels provide a shuttleservice to/from the airport/town. Outside the airport you can use Grab motorbike taxi, Grab cars aren't available yet in Labuan Bajo.


At the airport you can use the airport"taxi"s. Prices vary from Rp 70.000 (within town) up to Rp 200.000 for accomodation north of Labuan Bajo, like near Wae Cicu bach.


There are buses to Ruteng and Bajawa with Gemini around 8 am. Usually buses stop halfway for some 20 minutes.



Bemo/angkot Rp 5.000 - Rp 20.000



There is a lot of choice in Labuan Bajo, via hotels, at the airport or just on the street where drivers are sometimes calling you "transport, transport" Also check car with driver



Rp 5000 to Rp 10.000 for a ride which should be the standard rate.


Ojekdrivers in Labuan Bajo are likely to overask tourists with ridiculous prices for a 5 minute ride only. Know the rates! To take you to Paradise Bar for example or Pede Beach Rp 10.000 should be (more than) enough. Do not pay prices like Rp 50.000 as you may make it difficult for other travelers in the future. So better to download the Grab app and use Grab ojek when in Labuan Bajo.



This is a kind of shared “taxi” (a big car or minibus which runs from door to door). They run the same routes as buses. Costs Rp 100.000 - Rp 150.000. Ask for Gunung Mas.



ASDP ferry to Sape on Sumbawa. At the moment there is only one crossing a day which should leave around 8 am but often rescheduled. Duration 6 to 8 hours. Keep in mind that the sea can be rough between Flores and Sumbawa, particularly in the rainy season.
i boats sail to Makassar and Bima.
Websites of boatcompanies are a disaster. Best is to find info via Facebook but there are often more pages so sometimes hard to find out which one to use.
ASDP on Facebook
i Labuan Bajo on Facebook
ips Labuan Bajo

The KM Dharma Rucitra 8 sails from Labuan Bajo to Maumere and Lembar (Lombok).
For schedules check this facebook page

See also stories ("This could be heaven of this could be hell")



Batu cermin, the mirrorcave is a few kilometers north of the centre of Labuan Bajo. You can hire a guide, helmet and a torch at the entrance. Inside it can be very cold inside so it is wise to take a sweater.

more photo's Manggarai Barat


Nangalili Beach

South of Lembor there is one of the most beautiful beaches of Flores. In Lembor turn left and head south for 10 kilometers, around 45 minutes. The beach is a few kilometers west with dunes and nice views in both directions. This could be a tourist destination but everything looks so clean and pristine like nobody ever comes to this place.



Half an hour from Lembor the traditional village of Toda is on your left side of the Trans Flores Road.


Sano Nggoang

This is a crater lake in the mountains, about 35 kilometers from Labuan Bajo. The quickest route is via Cunca Rami, a waterfall in the interior south of the Trans Flores Road. The road leads through forest and bumpy roads but after a few hours you are rewarded with an awesome view over the turquoise blue lake which seems to be about 500 meters deep. There used to be guesthouses near te lake but since the pandemic it is not clear if these are still in operation. The nearest decent one is Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge, 1 hour away.



Cunca Wulang is one of the many and amongst the most beautiful waterfalls in Manggarai. It is combined with a canyon. To get to Cunca Wulang follow the road to Ruteng when coming from Labuan Bajo. There is a sign along the road for the turn off which is on the left. The last part is through forest via a small road. Total driving time from Labuan Bajo is around one hour. There is an office where you can hire a guide and porter (obliged). From the parking it is 20 to 25 minutes downhill to reach the waterfall. Walking back to the startingpoint is 30 to 35 minutes as this is uphill.
Entrancefee for foreigners is Rp 50.000, the fee for the porter/guide is Rp 50.000 per group so you pay Rp 100.000 (1 person),  Rp 150.000 (2 persons), Rp 200.00  (3 persons), Rp 250.000 (4 persons) and so on. It is cheaper with a group and it is getting cheaper the more people your are. There are a few other waterfalls in the area. Tip: wear watershoes as the stones can be slippery.

Another reachable waterfall is Cunca Rami.

Rangko cave is at the northern point of west Flores, 16 kms north east of Labuan Bajo. You need to drive 30 minutes to the village of Rangko first, then hire a boat. The best light is between 13:00 and 15:00 depending on the time of the year.


Mount Mbeliling

This area is close to Labuan Bajo and an advantage for those who want to climb the mountain and/or trekking. Agents in Labuan Bajo are happy to arrange a trekking for you. Also recommended for birdwatching.



From the Trans Flores Road there is a juntion to the north. This is the road via the northcoast all the way to Reo but a very bad road and some problems to cross rivers. Nice views on Labuan Bajo bay on your way. For some reason there is a lot of petrified wood here.
Terang itself lies in a beautiful area, no real touristattractions but worthwhile a half day trip from Labuan Bajo.

Islands north of Labuan Bajo

Apart from the National Park you can also hire a boat and visit islands more close to Labuan Bajo, like Seraya, Bidadari, Kenawa or many small uninhabited isles.


Warloka Pesisir is a fishermen village and an ancient site with huge rocks (I have heard terms like Jurassic park). The village is located at sea at the opposite of Rinca island which is only 2 kilometers away. In 2017 I did the trip overland, which is only 21 kilometers from Labuan Bajo but it took 2 hours to get there. A disaster with potholes, mud and a river to cross (no bridge). However since the new road has been built it only takes 40 minutes to get there and the broken bridge has been rebuilt as well.
Around Kenari more prehistory as you can find petrified wood.

And about the road... check the stories ("Hit the road Jack")


Anne Mieke  -AM PHOTONESIA©-