So you have crossed the “best things to do in Komodo” off your list–that means seeing the Komodo dragons (duh!), scuba diving or snorkeling, trekking Padar Island and getting sun-kissed at Pink Beach. (Read our Komodo Travel Guide that also has a list of all the ‘must-dos’ in Komodo)
There are still many awesome things you can see and experience. Here are 10 more best things to do in Komodo! Please keep in mind though, some of the places mentioned below are located outside of Komodo National Park, but are maximum 1-2 hours away from Labuan Bajo.
What to do: Take a speedboat from Labuan Bajo (40-50 minutes) to see the bats flying out of the island to look for food at sunset, and take awesome pictures like the featured image above! (Image credit: komodo.indonesia-tourism.com)
Kalong Island, literally meaning “Bat Island”, is an uninhabited island that thousands of bats call home. It offers such a unique and mesmerizing experience, especially complemented with the beautiful sunset that Komodo National Park has to offer. The island itself is covered by mangroves and lots of snakes, so you are not advised to go on land.
The majestic view on top of Kelor Island’s hill
What to do: Climb up to soak in the amazing view from the top and enjoy the pristine white-sand beach
Kelor is an uninhabited island with a great viewpoint, around 1 hour by speedboat from Labuan Bajo. The climb up is rather short but it is pretty steep. and unlike its more famous counterpart, Padar Island, there are no staircases. Once you’re done taking awesome shots on top of the hill, you can climb down and reach the beautiful white sand beach to chill or snorkel.
What to do: Chill on the beach, get sun-kissed and do nothing OR swim and snorkel if you insist to stay active
Kanawa Island is an amazing spot to unwind after days of scuba diving and exploring around Komodo National Park. The white sand beach is nice and clean, and the water is crystal clear! It is 1.5-hour boat ride from Labuan Bajo. There is only one restaurant on the island, so if you’re picky about your food, you might want to pack a lunch with you.
What to do: Get to know the local Bajo families, play with local kids, hike to the hilltop and chill on the white sand beach
This island is really special because you can mingle with the locals and experience a bit of their culture. On top of that, you can still enjoy the amazing views (like everywhere else in the Komodo National Park) and chill on a white sand beach. It takes around 40 minutes by boat, and you can easily spend half of your day there doing all things mentioned above.
What to do: Sunrise/sunset trekking
Arguably the best sunset/sunrise viewpoint in Komodo National Park. You can choose to do a short, medium or long trek–the longer it gets, the more challenging it is, the more rewarding the view. The climb up can be as short as 20 minutes or 1 hour long.
This is one of our favorite treks due to its proximity to some of Komodo’s best dive sites: Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, and Cauldron. It’s usually included in our liveaboard trip and is also possible to include in your day trip. A boat ride takes 3-4 hours from Labuan Bajo, but only 30 minutes from Pink Beach.
What to do: Swim in the cave’s crystal clear turquoise water and take awesome shots for your Instagram!).
Goa Rangko (goa means cave) is a beautiful cavern (or you can just call it a swimming hole if you want!) nestled in a small village 1-hour away from Labuan Bajo. It is advised to arrive by noon, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy swimming in the cave before it gets dark.
It is possible to rent your own car or motorbike to get there, but having a tour operator arrange the trip for you with a guide might be a much safer choice. The road going there can be very bumpy, and once you arrive in the village, you might have difficulties finding a boat to go to the cave if you don’t have a good grip of Bahasa Indonesia. However, most visitors agree that this place is really worth all the efforts getting there!
What to do: Enjoy the nice hike to the falls, swim and jump off one of the cliffs (7-meter or 12-meter high)!
This canyon/waterfall combo, while unique, might not offer the most spectacular view, but the hike going there is reportedly very scenic and it’s also a great place for cliff jumping! If cliff jumping and swimming is your thing, it’s still worth checking out
Getting there takes around 1 to 1.5 hours by car or motorbike, then you need to hike around 30 minutes to the waterfall. To enter the area you will need to pay a fee (around IDR 60,000-70,000/person) which will already include a guide.
Video of Batu Cermin by Youtuber Javier Cubedo
What to do: Have a pleasant walk and explore the cave!
Batu Cermin or Mirror Cave is known for the “glittery” rocks. This place is only 17 minutes away from Labuan Bajo and is relatively easy and cheap to get to. It also offers a great opportunity to take a break from strenuous activities, have a nice walk and just explore this unique cave. The cave isn’t very big and takes about 30 minutes to explore.
What to do: Have a hearty meal with affordable and tasty freshly-caught fish and seafood!
This place is conveniently located on Jalan Soekarno Hatta, in the heart of Labuan Bajo (also the location of our dive center and other major tour operators!). Needless to say, here you can find affordable and tasty seafood, in a very casual setting. A whole grouper, for instance, will cost you no more than USD 5,00.
Expect to see a very nice mix of people: local townies, local tourists, and international visitors. There are many different merchants here, so it’s very unlikely that you will run out of options!
What to do: Watch the “Caci” fight dance performance/ceremony and get an up-close look at the village’s traditional culture
Around 30 minutes away from the heart of Labuan Bajo, lies Melo Village, a scenic little village where you can watch a traditional whip fight/dance performed by a local group. To do this you will need to pay the performers around IDR 1.000.000 (~USD 70.00) for 2 hours. You can then enjoy the performance while sipping on the local wine that they serve.
Those are our top picks for the 10 best things to do in Komodo National Park and around, beyond the usual tourist attractions. You can arrange some of these things on your own by renting your own ride (only if you feel ultra comfortable driving a car or riding a motorbike on possibly bumpy roads) or ask a local tour operator in Labuan Bajo to organize these activities for you.
If you are going to Komodo mostly for scuba diving don’t forget to also check out our scuba diving day trips and budget liveaboard. If you decide to scuba dive with us and would like to do some non-diving activities, drop us an email at email@example.com and we might be able to recommend a good tour operator for you!