LABUAN BAJO TRAVELGUIDE
Labuan Bajo is a small port town on the West Coast of Flores. It will not be small for a long time, because Flores is growing at breakneck speed. More and more tourists know how to find this beautiful island of Indonesia and they all start their journey in Labuan Bajo. It is not only the place to start if you want to explore the island further, but also the place for diving enthusiasts and visiting the Komodo National Park. The town itself is not very special, but the area is really one of the most beautiful that you will ever see. Flores really stole our hearts and this all started with Labuan Bajo.
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Transport Labuan Bajo
If you want to visit Flores, you may have to cover a considerable distance. How you get there is mainly dependent on where you leave.
By plane to Labuan Bajo
The easiest and fastest way to get to Labuan Bajo is by plane. There are flights to Labuan Bajo from different places, but the cheapest and easiest way is to do this via Bali or Lombok. A return ticket costs around 100 euros per person.
Boat trip from Lombok to Flores
Many people choose a multi-day boat trip from Lombok . This can be done with different parties, but the best known are Perama tours or Wanua Tours . The tour lasts 2 or 3 nights, stopping at different places. The boat is small but nice. You sleep and eat on board. During the day you stop at different places to snorkel, visit waterfalls or explore the beautiful surroundings of the Komodo National Park. You can sleep on the deck or rent a cabin if you want more privacy. The boat is pretty basic, but you have everything you need.
Many people find this one of the most beautiful tours in Indonesia. Our personal experience was unfortunately a little less pleasant. We chose to book the boat trip from Flores to Lombok with Perama Tours for 2 nights (100 euros per person) for the return trip. I can write a whole book about it, but here is the short (miserable) list:
- The first day was great. The surroundings of the Komodo National Park are really beautiful, but you can also visit from Labuan Bajo with a day tour.
- You are on the boat a lot and you see relatively little
- The sea is incredibly rough, which means that I have really only been in bed and have been very ill (and many with me)
- The last day was so intense that we got wet all night and we all had to sit on one side during the day because otherwise the boat couldn’t handle it. < / li>
In my opinion you see more of the area with a day tour and then it’s best to take a flight to Lombok. That way you also save time. Along the way we spotted a group of dolphins. Which was really fantastic.
With the ferry to Flores
Since we had a daily budget, we opted for the cheapest option, namely by public transport. A combination of vans and ferries, a total trip of no less than 24 hours (but it can also take as little as 30 hours). In total it costs us less than 20 euros. We were picked up at our accommodation in Lombok with the final destination being the port of Labuan Bajo. From Kuta, Lombok it is a 3-hour drive to the port. There you take a ferry to Sumbawa, the island between Lombok and Flores. A super nice, special experience. You are one of the few tourists on the boat and the locals really make it a party. You then arrive at Sumbawa where you will find a 12-hour bus ride to the other jug of the island. You arrive here early in the morning. From the port you take the second ferry that takes about 9 hours to get to Labuan Bajo. This tour is also very special. A tip, get a mattress quickly, find the shade and go to sleep on the deck. We found the trip to be excellent and secretly quite a nice experience. You must have the patience, time and desire to make this long journey.
Where to stay in Labuan Bajo
Labuan Bajo is quite pricey compared to other places in Indonesia. We found a very nice hostel where we stayed for a few days. Prefer no hostel? Do not panic! You have more than enough choice in Labuan Bajo.
Our favorite of the entire trip was Ciao Hostel. We felt immediately at home here. There is a wonderful atmosphere, everything is top-notch and it is super clean. I even saw the cleaners dust the slatted frame. On Hostel this hostel even gets a 9.1! Be quick, because they are fully booked very quickly. All activities in Labuan Bajo often start early in the morning. As a result, there is not much to do in the town in the evenings. At Ciao Hostel, something has been thought of here. You can watch a movie here every night. Every day there are 3 films on the board that you can choose from, the film with the most votes is shown that evening. You can also eat super well, there was a mini kitten, puppy and the staff is very helpful and friendly.
Dragon Dive Komodo Hostel
The Dragon Dive Komodo Hostel is also a nice accommodation. Here you also have private rooms. This hostel looks hip and hip, but there is a price tag in return. We thought it was a beautiful hostel, but way too expensive. If Ciao Hostel is full then this is definitely a good alternative.
Le Pirate has already conquered several locations in Indonesia. This accommodation can also be found on Nusa and Gili Trawangan and therefore also in Labuan Bajo. The accommodation has super cute houses and a great roof terrace with a breathtaking view of the harbor.
Where to eat in Labuan Bajo – Labuan Bajo Hotspots
Although the port town does not deserve a beauty prize, you do have a lot of nice hotspots. We have listed the best restaurants of Labuan Bajo for you:
- Ciao Hostel: Not only a nice place to sleep, but also to eat cheaply and tasty. Especially the giant hamburger is a big tip!
- Le Pirate: this place is packed every night. Not very strange, because you sit here beautifully and the food is very good.
- Happy Banana: a bit floating, but you can eat really delicious here. If you fancy Sushi then this is the place.
- Molas Cafe: if you have a little more budget than you can eat delicious food at Molas Cafe.
- Cafe.in.hit: for when you feel like a good cup of coffee
- Mediterraneo: a beautiful view and a great menu. The food is really delicious, but a bit more expensive than most restaurant in Labuan Bajo.
To do in Labuan Bajo
During the day, few people stay in the town, because there is so much to see and do in the area. Labuan Bajo is the base for countless diving trips and day tours. If you walk through the small harbor town you will come across one dive school or tour operators.
The Komodo National Park is one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world. Due to the strong current of the Komodo National park, dynamite fishing is impossible here so that the coral has remained intact. The current in this area also ensures a diverse and rich underwater life. Large manta rays, sharks, napoleon bass, hammerhead sharks, large groups of barracudas you can spot it all during diving (oh and even sea cows if you’re lucky). Although the strong currents are only suitable for experienced divers, there are more than enough options for beginners. Choose a good, reliable diving school and you don’t have to worry. We too were beginners when we went diving here and it was one of the best experiences ever.
If you go to Flores, you must of course visit the Komodo National Park. Here you will find the giant Komodo Dragons. The Komodo dragon is only found in this area. It is the longest lizard in the world and can reach no less than 3 meters. Although they are quiet during the day, it remains a predator. Because the bite of Komodo Dragon is very toxic, it is almost always fatal.
It doesn’t get any nicer than this. Most day tours combine Rinca or Komodo Island with Padar island. This was the most beautiful place of Komodo National Park for me. It is quite a climb, but once you are at the top, you have a great view of the island. Choose a spot, grab your moment and enjoy this beautiful view.
Pink beach was perhaps not as pink as we had expected, but it was one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in Indonesia. Swim among the colorful coral while the most beautiful fish swim with you. Here we saw clowfish, puffer fish and the largest moray eels that we have ever seen.
Flores has a lot more to offer
We really lost our heart to Flores. Many people only visit Labuan Bajo. This place has a lot to offer, but it is especially the rest of the island that we fell in love with instantly. The people, culture, nature it is really one of the most special places in Indonesia.