Rinca Travel Guide

While it’s part of Komodo National Park, the lack of the word ‘komodo’ in this island’s name does not indicate a lack of Komodo dragons. In fact, Rinca Island one of the best places to spot these peculiar Indonesian creatures.

Rising out of a stretch of water between Sumbawa and Flores, Rinca Island is surrounded by turbulent waters that once made it difficult for explorers to visit. Fishermen and sailors who did land on Rinca were not surprised to find these massive reptiles, just the kind of monster expected in seas like this.

Visitors usually arrive from Flores Island, but there is plenty of sea to cross. Hiking trails on Rinca Island are closed to independent trekkers. Guides are required for all hiking and sightseeing, as a handful of unwary walkers have been caught off guard by the speed and power of the Komodo dragons.

Diving or snorkeling in the offshore coral gardens is also worthwhile. National park status (since the 1980s) has protected the reefs from the ravages of dynamite fishing so the diversity of marine life is well worth exploring.

Getting There & Away

Rinca is the closest island to Labuanbajo and can be reached by boat in about two hours. Most tourists see Rinca on a daytrip. From Labuanbajo, passengers can connect to Denpasar, Bali (a 1-hour flight), where a regional airport shuttles Indonesia’s visitors to and from Jakarta’s international airport (among other Indonesian destinations).