If you ever go to Indonesia, I really recommend you to do a boat trip to the Komodo Islands. I booked this tour spontaneously and it was the best decision ever.
Living on a boat with 25 other adventurous backpackers, you can expect the most beautiful beaches, the most amazing snorkeling spots and stunning nature. The more Eastern we got, the more I felt like being on another planet. This part of Indonesia is so different compared to Bali, where I was before.
Whether you spot dolphins next to the boat, go stargazing in the night, snorkel with manta rays or get to know the Komodo dragons. This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you won’t regret.
There are various companies, that offer tours like this and I did it with Wanua. I booked the tour with my hostel on Gili T called La Boheme for 2,3 Mio. Rupiah and got a free night at their hostel in Flores. The price includes everything, also the transport from Gili T to the meeting point in Lombok.
The boat trip itself takes 4 days and 3 nights and starts every Saturday and Wednesday. Starting in Lombok, you sail all the way to Flores and stop at the most beautiful spots.
Life on the boat
The boat has about 25 to 30 passengers and about 5 staff members. For sleeping you have two options: the deck, which has a roof, but is open OR, if you’re looking for more comfort and privacy: a private cabin downstairs.
You get 3 Indonesian meals every day and free water all day. They also provide snorkeling gear, which you need a lot during these 4 days.
Showers and toilets are pretty basic, but that’s what life is like on a boat. There is also an outdoor shower, which I used the most.
The first day started early. I was staying on Gili T, a small island next to Lombok, so I had to take the local boat to Lombok at 7am. From there, we got picked up and drove for maybe 2 hours to the meeting point in the middle of Lombok.
When everybody arrived and had paid the tour, another drive to northern Lombok followed. There we got on board of our new home for the next few days.
After sailing for a while, we stopped at Kenawa Island, a beautiful small island. We jumped off the boat, swam to the beach and hiked the hill barefoot. The view from up there was amazing and I was already impressed by the nature, which looked completely different to everything I had seen before.
After “surviving” the storm in the night, we woke up early again. The first stop was a waterfall. We swam to the beach again and walked through the rainforest to get there. You can sit in the waterfall, take a shower or even climb it. After that you have some time to go snorkeling in the most turquoise water.
The next stop was a black beach, which was more for swimming than for snorkeling. Arriving at the beach, there were some locals watching us. Some people from my boat went to the local houses and tried to talk to them. They lived in really basic little huts and didn’t speak English.
In the night we were sailing the whole time.
On the third day, we woke up at Manta Point. A little bit unprepared I took my goggles and paid attention to the guide. “When I say jump, you jump!!” was the instruction. Unsure what to expect, I jumped in and got pretty surprised, when I saw 2 big manta rays gliding through the water right under me. They look so peaceful, but are so gigantic at the same time.
After this amazing experience, we sailed to the Komodo Dragon Nationalpark. If you don’t know anything about Komodo dragons, I’ll explain a bit to you.
They are really sizable lizards and only exist on the special Komodo Islands in eastern Indonesia. They can be really dangerous, because of a mixture of poison and bacteria in their mouth. When they bite you, you really have to take medicine, otherwise you’ll die.
So back to the trip. At the Komodo Nationalpark we had a little guided walking tour through the forest. There we saw them the first time and they were really impressive and faster than I thought.
In the afternoon we spent our time at the pink beach. It got its name, because the sand is actually pink due to the corals in the water. As you can think, we went snorkeling there and I personally think, that it was the best underwater life, I’ve ever seen. I was lucky to spot vibrant coral gardens and an enormous amount of colorful sea life.
You can also hike to a little viewpoint, which is definitely worth it. The landscape and the water looks unreal.
The plan for the last day was to watch sunrise at Padar Island. Unfortunately this plan got cancelled, because we had a little accident on the boat and had to sail to a hospital in the middle of the night.
But for the rest of the day we continued following our plan.
We went to another Komodo Island and visited the Nationalpark. There we could see the dragons again and did a little hike through the nature.
The last spot was a little island. We jumped off the boat a last time and went snorkeling.
In the evening we arrived at the Harbour in Flores and everybody was really sad to leave the boat.
This boat trip was an amazing experience, I can recommend to everyone who comes to Indonesia, is adventurous and wants to go a bit off the beaten path.