Komodo Island: Visiting the Giant-Size Dragons of Indonesia

Knowing the fact there are over 15,000 islands in Indonesia, it might get quite overwhelming deciding which island to visit. But if you’re looking for one island that really has it all for the adventurer – I’m talking everything from eccentric pink beaches to swimming with manta rays to the ever so popular Komodo dragons, then Komodo Island (aka: Pulau Komodo) is definitely the place for you.

The juxtaposition of the rugged nature with the gorgeous scenery is enough to make you want to spend a few days discovering everything that the island has to offer. Also–it gives you a chance to see DRAGONS. Not the mythical kind. We’ll get to that in a second! But what I can tell you now is that the number of incredible wildlife, flora, and fauna is simply fascinating.

Komodo Island: Visiting the Giant-Size Dragons of Indonesia

About (Pulau) Komodo Island

Komodo Island has several places where you can dive to spot manta rays, pretty cotton-candy pink beaches, unique flora and fauna, in addition to the 5,700 dragons that live there. This incredible island is perched within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which means it came to be because of past erupting volcanoes. You’ll actually get to see it too–there is the grand backdrop of giant brown and green volcanic mountains emerging from the middle of the ocean, and the unreal scenery that comes with it. Located in the East Nusa Tenggara province, east of Java and Bali. It is mostly well-known for being the largest island of the UNESCO recognized Komodo National Park, and home to the Komodo dragon.

It’s also one of Indonesia’s best-kept hidden gem. It is not over-ridden with tourists, yet it brings you everything you need. It’s pretty much got the whole package – if you’re thinking azure beaches, you’ve got it, ancient species roaming around, also got it, lush hills acting as majestic backdrops to colorful corals? Yup!

Relation To Komodo National Park

The Komodo National Park is actually made up of three main islands (and a bunch of smaller ones): Komodo Island (mentioned above), Rinca Island and Padar Island. Though the dragons are the stars of all the isles, the Komodo National Park is actually a World Heritage Site because it goes way beyond just the dragons, like the Instagrammable Padar Island hike that boasts a view of three different colored beaches.

What is a Komodo Dragon?

Well, simply put: It’s one of the most dangerous, ferocious lizards in the world. This carnivorous creature can easily grow up to 300 pounds and 10 feet long! Plus, they are not exactly known for being friendliest of animals. But don’t worry, your guide will keep you protected with a stick. Yes, just a stick. 

Fun (or not so fun) fact: A lot of the Komodo Dragons that were transferred to Rinca Island were relocated there because they injured too many people on Komodo Island. And they can smell blood up to 12 miles away. Yikes! 

Activities Near or on Komodo Island

So now that we’ve gotten seeing the biggest lizard in the world out of the way, here are a few more things you can see and do in the area:

  • Scuba Diving:

If you’ve ever scuba dived before, then you are in luck! One of the most beautiful dive locations is located near Komodo, and if you’re planning on diving in the Komodo marine reserve, then you don’t even need to plan your trip around a certain season. Diving there is possible all-year-round. If you’d prefer to see the renowned manta rays, then December to March is the time to go. If you’re just looking for great diving conditions, then March through October works great. Finally, for the best under water visibility, make sure you visit from November to January.

If you want a little action added to your trip, then hop on a live-aboard and get ready to explore. You’ll be able to venture off deep and actually get close to some of the most stunning dive sites from around the world, and you’ll be able to get views of the islands from right where you are.

  • Snorkeling

If diving or live-aboarding are too complex for you and you still want to explore the coral reefs and get up close and personal with the marine life, then try snorkeling. It’s definitely as incredible as you could imagine – think miles of brightly colored corals, manta rays, exotic marine life and more. Make sure, however, that you are an experienced swimmer.

  • Pink Sand Beach

Have you ever seen pink sand?! Most probably not. There are only seven pink-beach sands around the world, and this one is one of the best. It’s a natural wonder that you can’t miss out on. The contrast of the strikingly crystal clear waters with the baby pink shades of sand is wonderful and creates the perfect photo backdrops! Of course it goes without saying that this is the best place to go to for snorkeling.

  • Bat-spotting on Pulau Kalong (Fruit Bat Island)

If you don’t get creeped out, stay overnight in a motorboat (which is, well, creepy enough!) and get ready to spot thousands of bats above you at dusk!

Getting to Komodo Island

There are plenty of ways you can visit Komodo Island, but the most popular method is by using a tour service. They operate around all the islands of the Komodo National Park and you can choose from plenty of services, packages, and amenities. Make sure you do your research, read all the reviews for the tour you’re choosing and just don’t rent a boat on your own as it’s not safe. Cheaper boats will literally have you sleeping on the deck and taking care of your own needs, while more expensive ones come with modern cabins and even air conditioning.

Here are a few highly rated Komodo tours and companies:

If you’re boarding an international flight, the island can be reached via Jakarta or Bali. From either of the two cities, you can take a domestic flight to Labuan Bajo (also known as Komodo Airport) in Flores, which is the hub for Komodo tours. A flight from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo will take about 2.5 hours while a trip from Bali will only take one hour. Another alternative route popular among backpackers is a multi-day trip by boat from Lombok.

It might not seem easy at first to get to Komodo Dragon Island, but it’s quite simple. But, it’s not a good idea to go to Komodo if you’re not about that active life – trust me! You’ll need good shoes and a better stamina to explore the island, and if you’re up for it, you can even bike around. Plus it isn’t just about the flora and fauna you get to see there – it’s also about the experiences it gives you. There are plenty of things to do and see so make sure you don’t miss adding this destination to your bucket list.

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3 thoughts on “Komodo Island: Visiting the Giant-Size Dragons of Indonesia”

  1. This looks like such an adventure, I’ve been wanting to go there for so long, hopefully I’ll manage to since I now live in Bali :)


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I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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