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Komodo Island For First Time Visitors

First Time Visitors Komodo Park

Among some of the most beautiful places in Indonesia, Komodo Island is hands down one of the best to visit, not your typical Bali.

In the last few years, I was fortunate enough to visit Komodo Island several times for multiple tourism reasons, which most tourists want these days.

I came here to see the Komodo Dragons, experienced some trekking, explored my photography, did some scuba diving, and did some bird watching.

Therefore, these beautiful islands are highly recommended to visit if you want something other than Bali or Lombok. Just to let you know that Komodo Island and its surroundings are not your regular developed tourist islands.

Komodo Island For First Time Visitors

For anyone who has never been here, you are in luck, and this article highlights all the key important factors for the first time visitor to the Komodo Islands.

First of all, Komodo Island is not the island where you will be staying at as it is a national park that consists of multiple islands making up the Komodo National Park.

Map of Komodo Island Labuan Bajo
Map showing where Bali, Lombok, Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island is located

Your port of entry will be a town called Labuan Bajo, which is located on the west-most of Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara. Please see the map above to know where this is located at.

This is where everyone who visits Komodo will be staying at, and there are numerous choices of accommodations available which I have also listed below.

Please also note that there are numerous kinds of tours available to Komodo National Park, and you should only take the legal and registered tour company ones due to safety.

The cheaper tour packages are usually run by unlicensed tour operators and can be quite dangerous. And if anything happens, you will not be covered by any insurance. Remember this carefully.

Komodo National Park Island

Taman Negara Pulau Komodo
The main Komodo National Park sign at the entrance.
For the first-time visitor, Rinca (Pronounced Ring Car) Island will be the first place that tours will bring you to visit.

After Rinca Island, your next destination on the tour boat will be Komodo Island which is also part of the Komodo National Park.

It is here where you will have your lunch, on a raised eating area. You may encounter some Komodo Dragons and other wildlife along the walk but fear not as the park rangers will be with you to make sure nothing happens. 

While having your lunch, take note of your surroundings as these mighty dragons will most definitely be seen around the lower floor trying to get up, but the good old park rangers will be there to fend them off.

In any case, your lunch will be disrupted due to simply wanting to get a closer look at the dragons or even attempt a distant selfie with them. After lunch, a beach trip is planned for Pink Beach.

Pantai Merah Pulau Komodo
The unique Pink Beach at Komodo Island - Photo by TripTribe

Pink Beach at Komodo Island

One of the unique experiences is visiting Pink Beach or Pantai Merah, which is on the other side of the main Komodo Island.

A short boat ride will bring you here, and it is here where you can sunbath, swim or snorkel at one of seven pink beaches in the world.

For those who prefer to hike, you can do so by heading up the main hill here, and you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the overall beach from up above.

The beach gets its name from the red coral that washes ashore for the curious on why it is pink. You will be amazed at the beautiful marine life here, which is rich with soft corals and abundance of colourful coral fishes for snorkelers.

Usually, the tour operator will ask if you are doing snorkelling as the gear will be prepared. One more thing, when the boat lands on the beach, you may get your feet wet, so slippers are in order, or simply remove your shoes and hand carry them for your hike.

Read my article about scuba diving at Komodo Island for any divers heading here, as it is one of the most beautiful places for divers.

I also have a Komodo Island dive trip review from my two visits here, where I scuba dived at various dive sites.

Pulau Padar Komodo
Check out this amazing photo on top of Padar Island by Faelasufa (www.faelasufa.wordpress.com)

Visiting Padar Island

Most tour packages already include Padar as one of the islands to visit, and this island is perfect if you love photography or landscapes.

The catch is - you need to trek up a hill, sounds easy, but let me just say, it was one of my hardest treks uphill, so I only managed halfway on my first try.

Update: I understand because of the popularity, they installed stairs and railings at some of the hiking points in 2018/19. This makes climbing up easier, I guess.

But those in my group managed to reach the peak, and the photos are astounding, and the second time around, I managed to get to the top. See my video on Padar Island.

For our trip, we managed to reach here at about 4.00 pm for the sunset. But judging from other photos seen, it is recommended to come here in the morning to get that amazing photo of Padar Island.

Labuan Bajo Sylvia Hotel Resort
The mini infinity pool at Slyvia Hotel and Resort in Labuan Bajo
Where to stay in Komodo Island?

You cannot stay on Komodo Island as it is a national park, so everyone stays at Labuan Bajo town on Flores Island.

There are many hotels in Labuan Bajo, usually simple ones ranging from guesthouses to one or two-star hotels and several 3 to 4-star ones.

Over the years, more resorts and higher-end hotels have been opening here in Labuan Bajo, a top-rated tourist destination.

On my most recent trip, I stayed at the Sylvia Hotel and Resort, away from the main town area and secluded with its own private beach.

During one of my other trips here in October, I stayed at probably one of the best hotels on the island, La Prima Hotel, a 4-Star property with a seafront and sunset view.

It comes with a swimming pool, spa, and proper restaurants while the rooms are very nice. You can directly book a room at LaPrima hotel in Flores.

Hotel La Pirate Labuan Bajo
The main facade of La Pirate Hotel in Labuan Bajo
You can also check out Bintang Flores Hotel, another 4-star hotel, or see my hotels in Labuan Bajo article. 

On another trip, I stayed at Le Pirate Hotel in the main town area of Labuan Bajo, which is a very unique and hipster style hotel.

Alternatively, some tours let you live on board a boat when visiting Komodo Island, and you can check with the relevant tour companies offering this service.

This is for those wanting something different as it is quite interesting, especially if you are a diver or a fishing enthusiast.

Komodo Loh Buaya
Beautiful weather for trekking at Komodo Island
When is the Best time to visit Komodo Island?

Edit November 26: While someone asked me this question on Social Media recently, I thought it would be good to have this information here.

So the best time to visit Komodo Island is from April till November, and the ultimate time is June and July as the waters are much calmer overall.

The rainy season starts from around December till early April. For the high season here, it is during the Summer months of July and August while for me, personally October and November are ideal, with the huge crowds gone.

If you are planning to visit in December, I would recommend going early for the month, as chances are the weather maybe a little better, but then again, it is mother nature.

Trails Walking Path Komodo Island
A Komodo Dragon relaxes off the main walking path.
What is the Weather on Komodo Island?

The average weather at Komodo is around 20 to 40 Degrees Celsius (68 to 104 Degrees Fahrenheit), and on the rainy season, it lingers around 20C to 25C.

Humidity is around 68% to 86%. It is always recommended to bring along a poncho or raincoat when you visit the islands as being in a tropical zone, you never know when it can rain suddenly.

There you have it, a general guide on getting to Komodo Island and what you can do around here.

First-timers should engage a proper tour guide and company as there will be local boatmen at the jetty that will offer you private tours.

Ranger Komodo National Park
A park ranger leads the way along the main walking path.
Is Komodo Island Child-Friendly?

I often get asked this question from family travellers, and the answer is yes, Komodo Island is child-friendly.

But you must always be with your child, and never let them stray out of your view when you are trekking here.

Komodo is not pram friendly, so please do not lug your prams along with your infants. I would not recommend coming here with infants or babies.

The best age for children to visit is around eight years and above. If your child is the crying type, please do not bring him or her as it will be a huge distraction.

Disable-friendly Komodo Island Park
The trails are uneven and not disabled-friendly or for old people.
Can Elderly People Visit Komodo Island? 

Yes, it is possible. The journey here is via boat, and then some trekking. If you are travelling with elderly people, then it is best to arrange for a special tour just for your family.

It is best not to join a group to save money, as older people walk slower and need time, and you do not want to slow others down.

No walker or wheelchairs, please because you need to board boats and do some mild trekking at Rinca or Komodo Island.

Elderly people need to be in walking or trekking conditions before coming here, so please take note.

Is Komodo Island Disabled Friendly?

Well, I would say no, because of the walking and trekking that is done on Rinca and also Komodo. This rules out wheelchairs, crutches or walkers.

Unless there are exceptional arrangements, you could probably only visit the main ranger's office to see the Komodo Dragons lying around there.

Other islands Komodo
One of the islands near Komodo called Gili Lawa Darat.
What else to do Around Komodo Island?

Since you have already planned to visit this amazing destination in Indonesia, you will want to know what else is there to do around here.

I have also come up with a list of things to do in Labuan Bajo, as you will be staying in this town when you visit here.

For anyone who is planning a longer trip here, you may want to also know what is there to do in Flores, as the island is really huge.

Travel Influencer Komodo Island
That's me with one of the must-take signature photos at Komodo Island National Park.
Conclusion

For first-time visitors to Komodo Island, you should be prepared to visit a place that is still original and not modernised like Bali.

You can also read my other article on how to go to Komodo Island as I have done a detailed review on this.

You can also travel here solo, couple, family, or friends and you will find that this place accepts all travellers' styles.

At the end of the day, the mission is to see the unique Komodo Dragon on two of the islands at the national park.

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