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Labuanbajo is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
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Labuanbajo Travel Guide

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Labuanbajo, also spelled Labuhanbajo or Labuan Bajo, is a small city at the tip of Flores Island in Indonesia.

It is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island to see Komodo dragons and the surrounding sea is idyllic for diving and snorkeling.

Nearby Seraya Island is a great opportunity to do some diving and snorkeling and every evening at Kalong Island thousands of flying fox bats put on an amazing display.

Komodo National Park

Komodo is famous for the Komodo Dragons.

Komodo National Park encompasses a lot of water and islands west of Labuanbajo. If you want to go to Rinca or Komodo islands, or dive in the park you will have to buy a 3 day park pass for US$15. Money from such user fees goes into conservation efforts.

Komodo Dragon, Komodo National Park  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Scuba diving within the park is excellent, probably one of the best in the world. Mostly because of higher biodiversity than any elsewhere in the world. There are three main dive operators that offer day dives as well as live aboard opportunities: Bajo Dive Club, Dive Komodo, and Reef Seekers. Be aware that the currents at some sites can be quite strong.

Rinca Island

Rinca Island (Indonesian: Rinca Kecil or Rinca Pulau) is a more convenient place to see Komodo Dragons than Komodo island. Some dive operators might be convinced to combine a stop at the island with a days diving. There are big dragons that are often right in front of the pier when people arrive.

Kanawa Island

Kanawa Island (Indonesian: Pulau Kanawa) is considered as one of south east Asia's most idyllic islands, fully surrounded by spectacular reef with thousands of fish species, turtles, corals and reef sharks, sometimes it is possible to see some mantas just around the arrival jetty. Kanawa island is just 10 km away from Labuan Bajo (about 1hr with a local boat or 10 minutes with speed boat) and located just at the boarders of Komodo National Park. Guests can stay for affordable price (Rp 200.000/night inclusive of transportation and breakfast) in standards bungalows (14 of those on the island) and enjoy meals at the Starfish cafe. In Kanawa island guests can enjoy most breath-taking sunrises and sunsets, about a kilometers of untouched white sand beaches ais available for sunbathing and walks. Lands on Kanawa island have been recently purchased by PT Kanawa Island, a new company controlled by bali based developer PT Mercury, which has the plan to develop an eco-friendly luxury resort on the island, bringing high end class and standards to the area of komodo.

Panoramic view of the harbor as seen from Labuanbajo  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Seraya Island

Seraya Island (Indonesian: Seraya Kecil or Seraya Pulau) is an idyllic island and a great opportunity to get away from civilization and do some snorkeling and diving. Seraya is little more than a small, arid island outside of the Komodo National Park with a few bamboo huts for tourist lodging, a restaurant, and some villagers who let their goats graze on vegetation. The island’s cove is protected from the sea providing calm and clear water for snorkeling. At low tide the coral is exposed and local fishermen walk on the reef in search of prey. Rowboats can be rented and taken to nearby islands for snorkeling and diving. Make sure to run up to the top of the hill behind the resorts and check out the sunset. The lodges on the island do have showers, but running water is only available a few hours a day. The resort on Seraya is operated by Gardena hotel in Labuanbajo and a stay on the island can be booked at Gardena’s front desk. This costs 150,000-175,000 for a bungalow and you are charged 20,000 pp each way.

Labuanbajo is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Kalong Island

One of the more spectacular displays of nature in the area is at Kalong Island (Indonesian: Pulau Kalong; also spelt Kalung), which literally means "Flying Fox Island." The name is quit appropriate as the island is home to thousands of Kalong, or giant flying fox bats. Boats to Kalong can be chartered from Labuanbajo for around $30 for a return ride, including a snorkeling stop at a nearby island before you reach Pulau Kalong. Your boat will situate itself next to the mangrove island and at dusk literally tens of thousands of flying foxes emerge from the mangrove island and move over your boat towards Rinca Island. For the entire colony to emerge will take roughly twenty minutes of continuous waves of bats passing over your boat. The boat ride to/from Labuanbajo will take roughly one hour.

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