An extension to any trip to Komodo is well worth the journey for its pristine islands, exceptional snorkelling and diving opportunities, and the awe-inspiring experience of encountering Komodo Dragons. Access is via a direct flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, which is the starting point for any island discovery. There are many ways to discover these enchanting islands and in this blog, we’ll be covering how to best go to and explore them.

Option 1 – Take A Komodo Islands Tour By Liveaboard Yacht

As the Komodo Islands are a few hours’ journey from Flores, one of the best ways to explore is by Live aboard yacht for a few nights. There is so much more to these islands than dragons – you’ll stop off on remote beaches, see contrasting landscapes, and snorkel on pristine reefs.

You could charter a traditional Phinisi Yacht for two or three nights – this can be pricey, but you’ll have it all to yourselves, with a full crew, all meals and simple but comfortable accommodation. Often these boats have 3 or 4 cabins as there aren’t many smaller options and prices for a 3-night cruise start from around £3000-£4000 per boat but this can go up to £15,000 for a luxury vessel. We’d recommend at least two, ideally three nights to see the best of the islands at a leisurely pace and most luxury yachts will insist on a minimum of two to three nights or more. We work with many different boat operators, catering to different budgets and often what we can offer it is down to availability, so we’d urge you to book as early as possible.

Another option is to book a cabin on a shared liveaboard cruise.

Plataran have a 3-day/2-night journey on their yacht Plataran Felicia, which offers regular departures for up to 12 guests sharing. Their yachts would be of a higher standard to the lead-in prices of the private yachts as you are sharing the cost with others – prices start from around £2,200 per cabin. This can be a wonderful way of exploring the islands, sharing stories of your travels with other travellers.

bugis liveabroad

Bugis Liveaboard – An initiative created by Nomad Archipelago, this ship is sponsored by Blue Alliance to support the marine environments and invest in local community development. Their 27-metre Indonesian wooden liveaboard yacht, the Bugis, has been built and designed for sustainability and her guests’ utmost comfort, safety, and fun. She is equipped with 4 simple sizable cabins, accommodating up to eight guests and can be chartered privately or you can join a regular cabin cruise. They offer 3 and 4 night cruises including the two main islands of Komodo and Rinca and 27 smaller islands. You’ll meet Komodo Dragons, swim with manta rays, discover one of the world’s pink beaches and snorkel amongst some of the Coral Triangle’s best spots. This is stripped-back, no frills luxury but is very comfortable, new and affordable – prices start from around £850 per person for three nights.


For those with a sense of adventure and a willingness to invest time in immersing themselves in the region, Seatrek offers an 8-night shared safari around the islands. Guests can choose between two ships: the Katharina, accommodating up to 12 guests, or the Ombak Putih, accommodating up to 24 guests. Both are traditional wooden phinisi ships with comfortable en-suite air-conditioned cabins, a fantastic crew, high-quality tenders, kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkelling gear. Days are filled with snorkelling vibrant coral reefs, encountering exotic wildlife like whale sharks and Komodo dragons, witnessing smoking volcanoes, experiencing history and traditional cultures, trekking through jungles and savannahs, and still leaving plenty of time for snorkelling in crystal-clear warm waters and on tropical white sand beaches. Prices start from around £4,200 per person for eight nights.

rascal voyages

Luxury Cruises Of The Komodo Islands

For a more exclusive experience, Rascal Voyages offers a purpose-built luxury vessel styled like a beach house, featuring five beautifully designed en-suite cabins. The service, food, and overall experience are elevated, with an array of exceptional activities available. While Rascal primarily offers private charters, they also have select departures offering individual cabin rates for couples willing to share with others. Prices start from around £4,560 per person for a four-night itinerary. Please enquire with our team for available dates and booking details.


3-day cruise itinerary on one of the Phinisi Yachts to Komodo Island.

Day 1


After your flight to Labuan Bajo our local agents will transfer you directly to the harbour, where you will board your yacht. This is where your adventure starts, cruising towards Komodo National Park, stopping off on one of the pristine beaches that are found in these waters. The Komodo National Park is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving and there will be plenty of stops for snorkelling. This afternoon head to Rinca Island where you’ll disembark to start trekking through the beautiful dry forest endemic to this area to explore the island with plenty of chances to see the Komodo dragons and other wild animals like deer, wild buffalo, long-tailed macaques and wild boar. The birdlife here is also prolific. Keep your eyes up as sometimes you will see young Komodo dragons clinging to the trees. You will be led through the nature reserve by a local ranger based on the island. Tonight, you’ll moor off the island of Kalong, also known as Flying Fox Island as every evening thousands of fruit bats fly out in search of their food to the nearby island of Flores. Spend the night on the boat in one of the fully equipped private cabins or if you prefer you can sleep on the deck under the stars.

Day 2

pink beach

Today is dedicated to Komodo Island where you’ll trek, around 2km to Banunggulung, a former feeding ground of the Komodo Dragons and the ideal place to spot dragons. It is estimated that there are around 2000 Komodos on the island, as well as other wildlife such as wild boar, deer and buffalo. The island is also excellent for bird watchers, cockatoos and go song birds (megapodius reindwardti), among many others. This afternoon visit Pantai Merah (Pink Beach), named so because the red coral on the seabed breaks off with the tidal changes and mixes with the sand, causing it to turn a pale pink colour. Dive or snorkel in the many shades of turquoise waters – the underwater scenery is as beautiful and full of life as the one above it.

Day 3

After your last breakfast on board cruise back to Labuan Bajo and – if time permits – visit the local market and take a short tour to Batu Cermin Cave. Batu Cermin is the Indonesian name for Mirror Rock. Depending on the time of year the sun shines into a canyon between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and is reflected on the walls of the cave. This creates a stunning visual effect, so if you are there at the right time, you are in for a real treat. Depending on the flight schedule, transfer directly to the airport for your onward flight.

Option 2 – Stay in one of the gorgeous retreats in Flores and visit the park by speedboat.

Sleeping on a boat is not for everyone and can also be quite pricey. On Flores, there are some exquisite retreats to choose from, where you can base yourselves and visit the Komodo National Park on a day trip by speedboat. These smaller boats are faster than the yachts, so you’d be surprised how much you can see in a day. We have selected three very different resorts, each offering a unique stay depending on your preferred style of resort.

The first option, and an all-around favourite, is Plataran Komodo, a traditional Indonesian resort with a number of villas, some with their own pools, tucked behind Waecicu Beach. It is about 10-15 minutes from Labuan Bajo, and Plataran has its own boats offering excursions to the Komodo Islands.
For a more rustic hideaway, Sudamala on Seraya Kecil Island is accessed by a 20-minute speedboat ride from Labuan Bajo. The beach here is pristine and picture-perfect with crystal-clear waters and incredible snorkelling straight off the shore. This island is untouched and idyllic, and a stay here is off grid, with feet in the sand and simple living.

sudamela ta'aktana

In complete contrast to Sudamala, there’s Ta’Aktana. Set to open at the end of May 2024, while we haven’t had the chance to visit in person yet, it promises to be an exceptional choice for those seeking a luxurious retreat. With 70 keys including Sea Villas, Family Suites, and oversized rooms, the standout feature here is the impressive Overwater Villas. Alongside a variety of dining options, an incredible spa, pool, fitness centre, and kids club are available, making this the ideal destination for those who appreciate a wide range of amenities.

Finally, and also opening this year, Nawa Bajo is another sophisticated addition to our portfolio. Boasting 126 spacious rooms adorned with muted, soothing tones, each equipped with private balconies and some featuring infinity pools. This exclusive resort offers a specially curated program for guests to explore the breathtaking surroundings of East Nusa Tenggara. Guests have access to mountain bikes, paddle boards, and a traditional phinisi sailboat for both over and underwater exploration. With a vibrant beach club, two main pools, and two restaurants and bars, we are eagerly anticipating the opening set for June.

Komodo Island itinerary for an accommodated journey

If you’d prefer an accommodated journey we have another Komodo Island itinerary for you!

Day 1 Fly to Labuan Bajo
Fly Bali to Labuan Bajo, where on arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation for the next three nights.

Day 2
Komodo National Park (Padar and Komodo Island, Pink Beach and Manta Point)
Today’s journey starts with an early pickup from your hotel and transfer to the harbour to cruise to Padar Island, the third largest land mass within the Komodo National Park. The island is known for its beautiful but short treks, as well as offering some of the best panoramic views of the National Park.
Next, you’ll head past several small islands to Komodo Island, one of the best places to spot Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat. Trek on the island with one of the rangers who will tell you about these magnificent creatures – don’t worry, you won’t get too close. Then, head ashore to the most beautiful Pink Beach, which gets its name and colour from crushed red coral blended with sugar-soft white sand. This pristine beach is perfect for diving or snorkelling in the many shades of turquoise waters, with the underwater scenery as beautiful and full of life as the one above it.
Afterwards, sail to one of the well-known dive sites, ‘Manta Point,’* located in the west of Komodo Island. Here, you have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, or dive surrounded by Manta Rays as they circle in an underwater ballet around you, offering a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Head back to Labuan Bajo for your second night at your hotel.

Day 3 – Komodo National Park (Rinca & Kelor Island)
This morning you will cruise to Rinca Island, home to the Komodo Dragon as well as a range of other wildlife including deer, horses, buffalos, pigs and megapode. Trek through the jungle where you may spot more dragons hiding in the grassy undergrowth. The dragons on Rinca are slightly smaller than those on Komodo, but just as formidable.
Then make a stop at the island of Kelor, where you can enjoy a swim or a snorkel in the bright blue sea. Afterwards, cruise back to Labuan Bajo and transfer to your hotel for the night.

Day 4 – Back to Bali

So now that you’ve discovered the best cruises to get to and tour the Komodo Islands from Bali and the best itineraries for once you’re there, we’re here to help with any further questions!

Here is our suggested two-week itinerary combining Flores and the Komodo Island with a stay in Bali. To discover more, enquire today with our specialists on 01494 678 400.


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