Komodo. You certainly heard the name, well-known thanks to the lethal Komodo dragons!

Komodo is a national park located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. It is not only famous for the dragons but also for scuba-diving: the marine environment is home to wonderful and unique marine species. Beautiful pink sand beaches, great snorkeling sites, amazing drift diving and wonderful sunsets, Komodo Island is definitely a must in the region for all divers!

From Singapore, you need 4 days at the very minimum to reach Komodo as there are only very early morning flights from Bali, Denpasar. A longer stay is probably a more relaxing option, especially if you are planning to dive.

Singapore to Komodo journey details

The best period to visit Komodo and avoid the rain season are the months of April, May, June, July, August, September and October. Refer to the chart in the sidebar for details about the monthly average rain volumes and rainy days.

Connections from Komodo

From Singapore, you can combine your trip to Komodo Island with Bali (flight 1h35 minutes) since you will have to make a stop in Denpasar airport anyway. 

Getting from Singapore to Komodo

There is no direct flight from Singapore to Labuan Bajo. You will need to make a transfer in Bali – Denpasar airport and to take a  flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo airport. There are many direct flights from Singapore to Denpasar (Bali) but flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo are early in the morning and are not available every day of the week.

Getting there: Garuda Indonesia – Singapore to Denpasar 7:50 AM – 10.40 AM (2h50 flight) and then Garuda Indonesia – Denpasar to Labuan Bajo: 1:45 PM – 3:20 PM (1h35 flight).
Coming back: Garuda Indonesia – Labuan Bajo to Denpasar 1:15  PM – 2.35 PM (1h20 flight). Denpasar to Singapore – 7.10 PM – 9.45 PM.

Return ticket from SGD 400. Get your ticket NOW to enjoy the best fares.



Getting from Labuan Bajo airport to City Center

The airport is located 2km (10 minutes) away from Labuan Bajo city center. Arrange the transfer with your hotel or pick a local taxi driver, who will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport. A new airport is currently under construction… 

Where to stay in Komodo?

You will find hotels and guesthouses in Labuan Bajo.

Depending on how much peace you are looking for, you can book a hotel in the center, close to the restaurants and diving centers (which is very convenient since you will have to wake up early to be to the pier). You can also choose hotels a bit further away from the center and have your own private beach, you will reach Labuan Bajo center in 10 minutes by car. You can check out this hotel with a nice pool and view.

Or book your hotel with

To see & to do in Komodo

When visiting Komodo, you will need to pay national park entrance fees depending on your activities. Typically these are paid at the office in Labuan Bajo, or upon arrival at the parks offices inside the park (Rinca and Komodo). The entrance tickets are valid for three days. Here is an idea of the various prices and fees:

  • Entrance fee Rp 20,000 (conservation fee)
  • Local Area Tax Rp 50,000 (paid to the local villages and communities)
  • Snorkeling Fee Rp 60,000 (for trips inside the park)
  • Diving Fee Rp 75,000 (for any dives made inside the park)
  • Photo camera fee: Rp 50,000
  • Video camera fee: Rp 150,000
  • Ranger/guide: Rp 80,000 (per group)

Diving

Rely on one of the numerous diving centers of Labuan Bajo to organize diving trips. Most people go to Komodo to dive. You will find great varieties of fishes, untouched coral reefs, many turtles, black-tip and white-tip reef sharks… You can even meet manta rays and admire their peaceful swim! Be careful, Komodo is well known for diving but also for its strong currents. Be prepared, you will have more fun if you are an experienced diver. There are many spots there to do drift diving. The average price for one dive is USD 25.

Snorkeling

Warm, crystal clear waters will invite you to try snorkeling. You can arrange a trip to discover the underwater world in Komodo: multicolor corals, various fish species… You will be amazed to see how much the marine life offers!

Beaches

Don’t forget to be lazy on the pink sanded beaches and admire the many islands of Komodo National Park.

Meet the Dragons on Komodo or Rinca Islands

Another reason to go to Komodo is to meet the well known Komodo dragons! You will find the famous beasts on Komodo or Rinca islands. Book the trip with an agency in Labuan Bajo: you can chose a  day trip or you can spend a few days in bungalows on one of the islands. Trips are often combined with snorkeling or diving. You will take the boat to go to one of the islands (Komodo is approximately 3 hours30 by boat, Rinca 2 hours). Once on the island, you will have a guide and he will protect you from dragons thanks to a… wooden stick!

It is better to reach the islands in the early morning to make sure you will find the Komodo dragons. Other animals are also in the park: bears, wild horses, buffalos, dears, jungle chickens… but they will hide in the forest once it becomes too hot.

The guides will give you the choice of the trek you want to follow: Many paths go around the islands. They are great opportunities to admire the beautiful landscape, fauna and flora. You will be transported to another time and world and feel like in Jurassic Park!

More info to prepare your trip

Internet access is available in most restaurants, diving centers, guesthouses and hotels.

What to pack for Komodo

Your main bag

That’s the one you leave at the hotel. Ideally you want to avoid checking in your luggage when flying. So check the weight and dimensions for hand carry luggage with your airlines (some airlines will allow only 7kg, some will allow up to 10kg). From head to toes.

  • Short sleeves tops: your main outfit. Everybody will see them on all your pictures. You really want to take that old Mickey Mouse T-shirt? Be mindful that you will be in a different environment so it might be a good idea to adjust your wardrobe.
  • Long sleeves tops: to protect yourself from the sun (if you’ve stayed for 5 hours on a motorbike with short sleeves you know what I mean) or to enter religious buildings or to protect yourself from mosquitoes in the evening.
  • Pullover. Yes I know, you’re going to a country where the temperature never goes down below 25 degrees and you need to pack a pullover? You will thank us when you’re back. Remember that flight during which  you were freezing? Or this museum where the aircon is set to the “polar bear” temperature?
  • Short/skirt (you should be able to chose the appropriate one by yourself).
  • Trousers for the same reasons you need to take long sleeves tops. Jeans are usually not a good option. They are heavy and keep you too warm.
  • Underwear: well, you know. If you plan to walk or ride motorbikes for long hours, take something comfortable as the combination heat + friction can make you regret this sophisticated silk underwear. Cotton is good.
  • Shoes: one pair of flip flap and one pair of confortable shoes. Remember that you are going to spend most of the time on your feet. Forget about high heels and leave your Westons at home.
  • Swimsuit: even if you don’t plan to go to the beach, you never know. A nice river, a swimming pool, a heavy rain? Always have one with you.
  • Raincoat and protection for your bag. Even if you are visiting the country during the “best season”, you never know what the sky will be like.
  • Torch: take a pocket torch with you if you visit countries where the power is not reliable… Can come very handy when stuck in the dark in your room.
  • Toilet bag: Shampoo, soap, toothbrush & toothpath, deodorant, sun screen, tiger balm. Ideally, all these in miniature formats.
  • Sleeping bag liner (if you plan to stay in very cheap or dirty places, not required if you are staying in a 5-star hotel…)
  • Your IT stuff: iPad, eBook, laptop, chargers, memory card, batteries, etc.
  • Dryer sheets: they will help keep a fresh smell in your bag.

Your small bag

That’s the one you keep with you, all the time. Hence, a backpack is the best option.

  • Your passportcashcredit cards and other life saving items like your insurance card with emergency contact details. Not a bad idea to put them in a zip-lock bag  in case it rains. It will keep your documents dry.
  • Your driver’s licence if you plan to rent a car or a motorbike (some countries are quite particular about this so take it with you in case you are not sure, even for a motorbike rental).
  • Your emergency medical kit: painkillers, mosquitoes repellent, dressing/plaster, disinfectant, anti diarrhea, eyewash
  • Tissues and toilet paper (you will thank me later). Remember that in a lot of countries, you will not be provided napkins when having a meal.
  • Water – plastic bottles are a good option as they are lighter than a gourd/flask.
  • Biscuits (always buy some before you go when you are not sure what you will find. Always have “emergency” biscuit  and water in case you cannot find food around and need to recharge batteries)
  • Sunglasses: you’ll need them. Take them even if it’s raining. Weather can change very fast in the region.
  • Scarf (krama, or any kind of fabric that you can use to put around your neck, put on your head to protect it from the sun, cover your shoulders in temples, dry your sweat, etc). Can come very handy in some situation. It will not stay clean for long so it’s wise to pick a dark color…
  • Camera and its protection.

Beach pack

Remember that this one comes on top of the Regular pack (above)

  • Beach towel or equivalent (pareos / sarongs are lighter)
  • Snorkeling equipment: mask, scuba, (fins?)
  • Shoes you can wear on the beach or in the water (to protect your feet from being cut by corals)
  • Dry bag if you plan to go on a boat and want to keep your stuff dry.

Well, you will probably adjust your bag after a few trips. Remove the stuff that you have not used and add the one that you missed. Post a comment to share your tips!

Happy packing (it’s the worse part of the trip but it’s worth it…) and travelling!

Indonesia

Flag of Indonesia

  • Language: Bahasa Indonesian
  • Time zone: Jakarta, Sulawesi: GMT + 7, 1h ahead of Singapore;
    Bali has no time difference with Singapore
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Phone: + 62
  • Electricity: 220V 50 Hz

Immigration and airport taxes on arrival

  • If you are eligible you will need to pay for a visa on arrival. The price is USD 25 or the equivalent in other currencies. It is valid for 30 days. Check as it may vary (some airports charge 22 EUR, some others 25 EUR).
  • If you travel to Bintan, Batam, or Karimun, you can get a 7 day Visa on Arrival for USD 10.
  • On busy weekends, expect to wait for quite a while at the immigration counter.
  • Make sure your notes are perfectly clean and without any note or stain. USD bills must be from 2003 or more recent. Coins are not accepted. Change (if any) is given in Ruppiah.
  • On departure, you will need to pay the airport fees. These fees are not included in your tickets when you book your trip (hence the price difference between the inbound and outbound flights to Indonesia). They vary from one airport to the other. They are usually around IDR 150,000 per person. You need to pay these in Rupiah

National Public Holidays in Indonesia

2015

Day Date Holiday
Thursday January 01 New Years Day
Saturday January 03 Maulidur Rasul
Thursday February 19 Chinese New Year
Saturday March 21 Hari Raya Nyepi
Friday April 03 Good Friday
Friday May 01 Labour Day
Thursday May 14 Ascension Day
Saturday May 16 Isra Miraj
Tuesday June 02 Waisak Day
Thursday July 16 Cuti Bersama
Friday July 17 Hari Raya Puasa
Saturday July 18 Hari Raya Puasa
Monday July 20 Cuti Bersama
Tuesday July 21 Cuti Bersama
Monday August 17 Independence Day
Thursday September 24 Idul Adha
Wednesday October 14 Muharram
Thursday December 24 Cuti Bersama
Friday December 25 Christmas Day

* check the exact date as it varies from one year to another, check this website for other years.When Public Holidays falls on a Sunday, the following day will be Public Holiday.