I’ll admit it. I’m a boat person. My ideal vacation is sailing around in a yacht, stopping at islands, and sleeping on the boat. So when I visited Labuan Bajo, this is precisely what I did. I had 2 days of blissful cruising on board with Grand Komodo.
The top deck of the Raja Ampat Explorer was a perfect place to laze in the sun for a few hours while the captain sailed us to our first stop.
A must stop for any cruise is Komodo Island, home to 2000 of the world’s largest lizard, the komodo dragon. While they may look fairly placid, these beasts can reach speeds of up to 20km/hour, so keep your distance.
On the opposite side of Komodo Island is Pink Beach: a stunning spot for a swim, a snorkel or some boat jumping in crystal clear water. The beach gets its name from the crushed coral mixed in with the sand, giving it a pink tinge. A short 15 minute walk up the hill gives unparalleled views of the beach and the surrounding islands.
In amongst the Flores Islands is Mesa Village, a small fishing village of about 1500 residents. They have no access to fresh water, but every house is fitted with a satellite bigger than most houses do in Australia. The men venture out each day in longboats to bring in fresh water from the mainland and to catch fish from the sea. Meanwhile, the women and children do a great job of welcoming any visitors to the island like us.
Kanawa Island is a perfect stop for snorkeling, the clear water is perfect for fish and coral viewing. Or if you’d prefer the less active route, the incredible white sand is perfect for sunbaking and refreshing yourself with a beer from the beach bar while you wait for your compatriots.
Lastly, Padar Island is home to one of Indonesia’s most photographed locations. A steep 30 minute hike will take you to the top of the hill giving a spectacular panorama of the surrounding islands. It’s a magical spot to watch the sun go down and any photographer’s dream location.
Written by Luke Marlin.