Komodo National Park is one of Indonesia’s gems. Situated in the Wallacea Region, the park is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and a conservation priority for the World Wildlife Fund.

As the name suggests, the star attraction of this national park is the komodo dragon, a peculiar reptile found exclusively in this part of Indonesia. These creatures grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh as much as 220 pounds, making regular meals out of goats and deer. They’re fast both on land and at sea and visitors must be accompanied by a guide at all times.

There are two islands in the park: Komodo and Rinca. Both can virtually guarantee sightings, as the lizards are common. The park hosts a daily feeding practice (not for the squeamish) that usually involves a pack of hungry dragons and an unfortunate goat.

Another world of flora and fauna is found offshore of the Komodo National Park. Divers usually come on liveaboard boats as part of a package tour. Swaying sea grass, coral gardens and tangled mangrove forests host more than a thousand species of fish from colorful tropical varieties to large manta rays and plankton-eating whale sharks. Standard diving tours last a week or longer and invariably include at least a day of komodo-dragon viewing.

Accommodation in the park consists of basic bungalows and (in most cases) shared washroom facilities. The nearest city, Labuanbajo, is 2 hours away by boat and operates a range of hotels and restaurants. Most visitors base themselves in Labuanbajo and visit Komodo National Park on a daytrip.

Admission to the park is sold in multi-day passes, the shortest of which allows three days. Few visitors would have any reason to stay longer than this, as there is little to do after seeing the star attraction.

Getting There & Away

Access is through Labuanbajo, a community on the eastern coast of Flores Island. Traveling from Labuanbajo to Rinca Island takes 2 hours, while connecting to Komodo Island takes a bit longer. Both are viable places to view komodo dragons.

Labuanbajo operates a small airfield with connections to Denpasar, Bali, where a the airport offers connections to major Indonesian cities and select international cities. The easiest way in and out of the country is via onward connection to Jakarta, where the mid-sized international airport serves as a gateway to the archipelago.

Onward Travel