Island hopping in Komodo

There are many organizations where you can book a tour. You will undoubtedly notice this when you arrive in Labuan Bajo. Long before the trip would take place I had read on about the organization Le Pirate Explorer. This is an organization that offers multi-day trips in the Komodo National Park. You can choose to cruise the area for 3, 4 or 5 days. To tackle it right away, we have opted for the longest tour. For about 600 euros per cabin you can book the 5 day tour, of which you sleep 3 nights on the boat of Le Pirate. So when you are two, you pay 300 euros each. The 4th and last night you will sleep on Le Pirate Island. This is the private island of this organization that is only accessible to people who use this organization. And when I look back, it was more than worth it!


During the tour with Le Pirate you will stay on the boat for several days and you will do various “activities”. The program is always different in order, as they always depend on the weather and the crowds. In any case, assume that they will choose the best for you. Below is an overview of the things we did during the tour.


The manta ray is the largest ray species on Earth. In addition, they are one of the most intelligent animals in the ocean. With a maximum wingspan of 7 meters, it sometimes looks like a small plane is swimming under you. These friendly giants find people very interesting, which gives them the chance to swim towards you. Since the rays like to live in the Karang Makassar reef, chances are that you will see them here. An experience you will never forget.


After a night’s sleep next to the volcanic island of Padar, you will be awakened around 4:30 AM for a brisk walk to the top of the rocks. This is a wonderful place to watch the sun rise. It’s also a good morning workout and you start the day nice and fresh. Once you reach the top you will be amazed at the size of the island with its strange rock shapes.


The Komodo monitor lizard is a monster, or so it looks. This is the largest monitor lizard on the planet, which even has large buffalo on its menu. On the island of Rinca you go ashore and search for these dark creatures. The chances of seeing them are quite high, as the animals often hang around the huts of the Park Rangers. Here it smells of food, which is no problem for the monitor lizards. The fact they live next to the rangers does take away a bit of the charm of the monitor lizard. Still it remains an impressive sight to see these 2 to 3 meter long beasts. They don’t really do more than that. Although it may have been made somewhat, it remains a lot more impressive than the Dutch sparrow.


One day of your trip the boat will stop at 6.00pm at Kalong Island. At that point, the sun goes down and thousands of flying dogs fly from one island to another, which has something magical about it. The sky is black with the flying dogs that barely make a sound. With the sunset in the background, this is certainly a highlight of the trip.


During the trip you enter the water several times to snorkel. Komodo National Park is often referred to as one of the most beautiful snorkeling and diving spots on earth by several major travel programs. And there is nothing lied about that. I have never seen the coral so beautiful, but especially alive. Numerous turtles can be seen in Turtle Town and the clown fish swim around your ears. You won’t get it much nicer. Another reason to go here before everything is ruined. Just watch out for the triggerfish, this aggressive fish likes to annoy people. And she does this quite well.


When you sail the boat occasionally stops on suddenly emerging sandbars. You will also go to the island of Taka Makassar. Here you are in the middle of the ocean on an uninhabited island that only consists of sand. You’ll have this island and the sea around it all to yourself and your boat mates. These are very good places to fill your Instagram feed if you like. If not, lying on your towel with a good book isn’t annoying as well.

Taka Makassar at its best


On day 4 of the tour, you will be dropped on the island owned by Le Pirate Explorer. With about 10 beach huts, this is a true paradise. You don’t have to do anything, while you can snorkel in front of the door and then roll to the bar for a nice cocktail. This island actually gives a bit of a honeymoon feeling. Not that I’ve ever been married, but you understand my point.


Book this trip in advance. It is often full a few months before the start, so be there early!

After payment of the total amount, there is an additional fee at the start for access to the Komodo National Park. I thought it was quite strange that you only had to pay this on arrival without being informed, but with this you know it. The surcharge is still about 50 euros.

If you want to bring a drone, you also pay about 60 euros extra. This “to protect” the area.

Are you interested in diving with manta rays? Then check out the blog about diving in Komodo!

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