KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Komodo National Park is situated between Flores and Sumbawa. The biggest islands are Komodo, Rinca and Padar. Padar is famous because of the thousands of pictures from where photo's have been taken for an overview. It is one of the most beautiful areas of Indonesia.
Not so easy to answer as this very much depends on what you want to do. The cheapest tours are shared on an open deck boat for as little as Rp 400.000 per person, but since the Pandemic prices have gone up and more private boats are offered due to a lack of international tourists. There are also very luxury huge boats or speedboats for which should be paid "French cote d 'azur prices" eg millions of Rupiah. Please be aware: do not book via the internet when payment in advance is asked. This February and April a few huge scams were reported and people lost a lot of money (as high as 46 million Rupiah!)
- simple open deck boats (recommended) on shared base, up to 14 people starting
at Rp 400.000 for a trip to Rinca* and Rp 500.000 and up for a trip to Padar,
Komodo, Pink Beach and Manta Point
Again not many shared options due to the pandemic.
- simple open deck private boats for 1,4 million and up for a trip to Rinca* and 1,7
million and up for the trip to Pink Beach and Manta Point
- multi day trips shared on an open deck boat; maybe currently not available due to
- multi day trips private on an open deck boat
- speedboats for half a day, shared or private
- speedboats for a whole day, shared or private
- speedboats multi day, shared or private
- big scooners
- and anything in between
There is no need to book in advance unless you have high demands. Labuan Bajo is full of boats, agents and touts. Prices on the internet are (often too) high, a deposit is often asked (but you are not protected by law).
This is a sensitive issue. The authorities try to control everything but this is not yet of a professional standard. A lot of things you can do yourself.
- check the weather one day before
- when shopping around ask the agent about the permit for the next day
- be keen on a minimum of two engines when hiring a small open deck boat, even
- (enough) lifevests
- check communication on board (radio, mobile phones and the ability of English)
- check crew, usually a minimum of 2 or 3 people
- be aware when hiring an open deck boat with a storey on top as for the balance
the base of the boat has to be strong and heavy enough
- Keep the emergency call number with you 115
- also check this part
In case of strong winds and currents most agents cancel your trip and you will get your money back or you get offered an alternative (be keen to discuss that) like Rinca* island instead of the Komodo/Padar trip.
To be honest I do not recommend these 3, 4 or 5 night trips because for some reasons. Unfortunately safety on board is often not of an international standard. Some boats are barely seaworthy
and equiptement on board is not always sufficient and with sometimes an not adequate crew. Of course there are decent trips but you need to be willing to pay for that. When sailing on a
calm sea everything will be fine. But there are many dangerous currents and whirpools in particular near the islands of Komodo and Padar and weather can be unpredictable. There have been a number
of incidents and accidents in the past.
Due to the pandemic and a lack of tourists companies don't offer the Lombok-Labuan Bajo vv trip but only trips from Labuan Bajo.
*Rinca is closed by the time of writing (9 May 2022)