How to get to Komodo from Bali – Labuan Bajo International Airport Guide

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If you’re planning a trip from Bali to Komodo and are wondering if Labuan Bajo international airport is the right place to start, this article will include everything you need to know. You may be torn between taking a boat from Lombok to see Komodo or starting off closer to the park in Labuan Bajo. Luckily, there are several ways you can get to Komodo National Park depending on your budget, how much time you have and what you want to see along the way.

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how to get to komodo indonesia pink beach clear water

Where are Komodo Island and the national park (map)

Komodo Island is only one of many islands located in Komodo National Park. Some of the most well-known include Padar Island, Rinca Island and Kalong Island. The national park is located between the islands of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, also called Flores. It sits east of both Bali and Lombok and north of Sumba.

southern Indonesia Map bali Lombok Labuan Bajo Komodo National Park
Map of southern Indonesia

Why you should visit Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia, crystal clear waters and large areas of untouched nature. There are plenty of things to do and see in Komodo and the nearby town of Labuan Bajo. You absolutely need to visit highlights like Padar Island, Rinca Island, Kanawa Island and, of course, Pink Beach. Some of the main reasons to visit Komodo include:

  • Seeing endangered Komodo dragons – the largest lizard in the world – in the wild
  • Snorkelling at some of Indonesia’s healthiest reefs
  • Living on a luxury boat on a budget as you sail through the national park
  • Swimming with swarms of manta rays and dolphins
  • Taking photos on pink beaches – no filter needed!
Indonesia flag Phinisi boat tour Labuan Bajo

When is the best time to go to Komodo?

The best time to go to Komodo National Park is in the dry season which lasts approximately from June to September. July and August are definitely the most popular tourist months and Komodo will be very crowded, much like other popular areas of Indonesia such as Bali. This is largely because the weather will be hot and sunny with very little rain.

If you prefer a quieter experience it might be advisable to visit the national park during the shoulder season, which lasts from April to May and October to November. During this time, you might encounter the occasional storm but the weather will still be mostly sunny.

Between the months of December and March, the weather in this part of Indonesia is very stormy with rough seas and frequent rain. While some visitors go scuba diving during this time, the majority of boat tours cease operations because of the weather conditions.

Komodo dragon Rinca Island national park wildlife Labuan Bajo
Komodo dragon on Rinca Island

How much time do you need to see Komodo?

Komodo National Park is large and it takes some time to get from one attraction to the other. If you’re short on time, you could plan a day trip boat tour from Labuan Bajo to the park but it’s highly recommended to choose a multi-day liveaboard trip instead. Plan to spend around two to three nights on a boat to make sure you have enough time to see the main sights. You’ll also most likely need at least one day in Labuan Bajo before you depart on the boat trip and another one once you get back.

This means you should plan to spend at least three to four days on your Komodo trip in total. If you’re not short on time, five to six nights will be even better to make sure you’re not rushing too much. This will allow for plenty of time to get to know Labuan Bajo and the fun things you can do there.

Where is the best place to stay to see Komodo National Park?

Most people who are visiting Komodo choose to stay in the small town of Labuan Bajo which is located close by on East Nusa Tenggara or Flores Island. While Labuan Bajo is small, it’s very tourism-oriented with a growing selection of hotels and hostels available for all budgets. There are also a handful of resorts located on islands closer to the national park. These are mostly luxury properties with elevated prices. More budget-friendly options will be available in Labuan Bajo. Some of the best hotels include:

Photo courtesy of La Boheme


Budget – La Boheme Bajo

Popular hostel in the heart of Labuan Bajo known for its social atmosphere and budget-friendly dorms. Stay here to meet other travellers and plan fun boat trips to Komodo together.

Price range: 7€ – 30€ per night

Agoda
Hostelworld


Mid-price – Le Pirate Island

Island glamping resort with beachfront accommodation just a short boat ride from the national park. Enjoy a few quiet days and get back in touch with nature at Le Pirate Island.

Price range: 40€ – 80€ per night

Agoda
Booking

Photo courtesy of Le Pirate
Photo courtesy of AYANA


Luxury – AYANA Komodo

Beautiful luxury resort located north of Labuan Bajo. Come here for a romantic getaway or a special occasion and enjoy breathtaking views of the local islands.

Price range: 230€ – 300€ per night

Agoda
Booking

Le Pirate getaway glamping experience Labuan Bajo
Photo courtesy of Le Pirate

How to get to Komodo Island

Komodo Island is just a small part of the national park which includes other hotspots like Padar Island, Rinca Island and Kalong Island. There are several ways you can get to Komodo Island and the national park and all include getting on a boat. The national park is largely uninhabited so it’s not possible to fly there directly. The islands are separate from the mainland and can only be accessed from the water.

drone shot aesthetic background white gray dots blobs shapes blue water boats walkway Guide your Travel blog

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How to get from Bali to Komodo

Bali is the first point of contact and base for many travellers visiting Indonesia. Since the country is spread out across thousands of islands, it can be a challenge to get from one place to another. The easiest way to get from Bali to Komodo National Park will definitely be to catch a flight to Labuan Bajo airport (also called Komodo airport). A variety of different airlines operate on this route and you’ll have a great choice of options. Garuda Indonesia is Indonesia’s national airline and the most luxurious carrier connecting Bali to Komodo. More budget-friendly options include Air Asia Indonesia, Citilink, Batik Air and Wings Air.

Taking a boat from Bali to Komodo

There are also options to take a boat from Bali to Komodo, although the options are limited. This is not a very common route since most people choose to go on a boat trip departing from Labuan Bajo instead. The distance from Bali to Komodo is very far and large parts of your boat trip will be spent on the water. This means long travel times and not that much time spent in the actual park. These boat tours can be compared to small cruises which means their prices are high but so is the level of service.

Unless there is a specific reason why you want to take a boat from Bali to Komodo, it’s the better choice to depart from Labuan Bajo, or at least Lombok, instead where the variety of boats will be much larger.

Blue water liveaboard boat cruise Labuan Bajo luxury travel

Can you do a day trip from Bali to Komodo?

It’s not possible or realistic to do a day trip from Bali to Komodo National Park since the islands are just too far apart. Better day trip destinations from Bali include Nusa Penida or destinations within the island such as Uluwatu or Ubud. You will need at least three days for a trip from Bali to Komodo, ideally more.

Crystal clear water Komdo National Park small boat

How long is a flight from Bali to Komodo?

The flight from Bali to Komodo takes approximately one hour, depending on the weather conditions and wind. Sometimes the journey will take an additional 15 minutes so factor in plenty of time to get from Bali to Komodo. Remember that flights depart from the Bali domestic terminal and not the international part of the airport. Since there is no need for immigration the process is much faster and you do not need to arrive at the airport as early as you might be used to.

How to get from Lombok to Komodo

There are currently no direct flight connections from Lombok to Komodo. If you are in Lombok and would like to get to Komodo National Park you’ll have to either:

  1. Take a boat or quick flight from Lombok to Bali international airport from where you can catch a flight to Komodo.
  2. Get a ferry to West Nusa Tenggara, travel overland and then get on a boat to Labuan Bajo. This will take very long and isn’t convenient.
  3. Go on a multi-day boat trip which departs in Lombok and will take you to Komodo National Park before dropping you off in Labuan Bajo.

Considering going to Labuan Bajo or Komodo National Park? Save this image to have all the important info!

How to get to Komodo National Park Indonesia summary

Boat trips from Lombok to Komodo

Boat trips from Lombok to Komodo aren’t as popular as those that depart from Labuan Bajo but they’re a great option if you want to see some of Indonesia’s most beautiful landscapes on your way to Komodo. Most of these trips last somewhere between four and five days and are one-way, meaning they will drop you off in Labuan Bajo and not return to Lombok. There are also tours that do the reverse and depart from Labuan Bajo, headed to Lombok.

Keep in mind that these tours need to cover considerable ground in a limited amount of time so you’ll spend at least one full day on the boat sailing. There will also be stops between Lombok and Komodo so your time in the actual national park might be limited to one or one and a half days. If Komodo National Park is what you’re trying to see you might be better off choosing a boat tour that departs from Labuan Bajo, instead of one from Lombok. Flights are generally affordable and this way you’ll get to spend more time in the park and less time travelling.

Liveaboard boat tour komodo national park Phinisi boat
Indonesia Guide your Travel Blog

How much is a boat trip from Lombok to Komodo?

You can expect to pay between IDR 3 million (~ €200) and 8 million (~ €535) for a four-day-three-night boat trip from Lombok to Komodo. How much you actually pay will depend a lot on the type of accommodation you choose. Many companies offer on-deck beds or hammocks for as low as IDR 2.5 million (~ €170). You’ll be sharing a space with up to twelve other people though, with very little privacy. Private cabins are considerably more expensive.

My tip: While the ocean in Komodo National Park is generally calm, it’s much rougher on the way from Lombok to Komodo. If you’re prone to seasickness it’s best to skip this trip and go on a boat in Labuan Bajo instead.

Padar Island sunrise hike pink beach white beach black beach viewpoint
Padar Island, Komodo National Park

How to get from Jakarta to Komodo

You can easily fly from Jakarta international airport to Labuan Bajo/Komodo. Available airlines for this route usually include Garuda Indonesia, Citilink and Batik Air. Garuda Indonesia will be the most expensive option, while Citilink and Batik Air are more budget-friendly airlines.

How long is a flight from Jakarta to Komodo?

The flight from Jakarta international airport to Labuan Bajo/Komodo takes approximately 2.5 hours depending on the weather conditions. Since this area of Indonesia experiences a lot of storms there may be frequent flight delays. Be patient and book an extra night in a hotel in Labuan Bajo so you’re not in a rush.

The best way to get to Komodo Island

The majority of international visitors will choose to fly to Labuan Bajo/Komodo international airport to get to the national park. This is by far the easiest and most convenient way to reach the park and will save you time and money. From here, you can then join a multi-day liveaboard boat tour around the islands.

Phinisi boat traditional Indonesia Labuan Bajo harbour

Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport

Labuan Bajo airport (officially called Komodo airport) is the closest airport to the national park. It’s very small and despite sometimes being referred to as Komodo international airport, so far only offers domestic flights. The airport mainly consists of a modern terminal that was inaugurated by Indonesian president Joko Widodo in 2015, taking the annual capacity of the airport from 150,000 passengers to 1.5 million. The airport’s only runway has also been extended to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.

Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport flight connections, airlines and routes

The selection of available routes from Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport is limited to a handful of destinations. Post-covid some of these connections may be changing so make sure to double-check whether a route is still available. Commonly, the cities of Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar (Bali), Kupang and Ende are catered to by Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport. Bajawa, Maumere, Makassar and Mataram may also be available but are far less common.

Airlines that fly to Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport include Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia Indonesia, Citilink, Batik Air, Lion Air, Wings Air and Nam Air. Air Asia Indonesia, Wings Air and Batik Air tend to operate most frequently.

Are there restaurants at Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport?

Labuan Bajo airport has a very small selection of restaurants, limited to two or three options. Most serve a combination of Western and Indonesian food options. Prices will be slightly elevated but still reasonable. Keep in mind that this is a very small airport though so it might be advisable to eat at a restaurant in Labuan Bajo before you head to the airport.

Are there shops at Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport?

You’ll find a small book and souvenir shop at Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport as well as a minimart. The bookshop has a surprisingly good selection of reads if you need to grab a book before you depart. Other than that it’s best to get any shopping you need to do done in Labuan Bajo.

Sunset viewpoint Labuan Bajo
Sunset viewpoint in Labuan Bajo

When do you need to be at Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport?

This is a very small domestic airport with a limited selection of daily flights. For this reason, there is no need to be at the airport earlier than 1.5 hours before departure. One hour is most likely also more than sufficient. Make sure to check until when you can drop your baggage off though as there may be a line of people waiting. Generally, you’ll have a good chance of catching your flight even if you arrive at the airport late.

My tip: Even though security is small at Labuan Bajo airport, they’re very good at finding things like pink sand, corals or shells in your luggage. They’ve got a whole display of confiscated items so make sure to leave any illegal souvenirs at the beach. It’s better for the environment anyway!

Is there a lounge at Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport?

Labuan Bajo/Komodo international airport used to have the Drikari Lounge, a very basic lounge offering food and views of the runway. However, it is currently closed and is not expected to reopen in the near future. The lounge can be compared to a restaurant and was far from luxurious. They offered access to an all-you-can-eat buffet for IDR 110,000 (~ €7.40) per person.

My tip: Even if this lounge reopens, it’s not really worth it unless you are extremely hungry.

How to get from Labuan Bajo/Komodo airport to your hotel

Labuan Bajo airport is located very close to the centre of town and it won’t take long to get to your hotel from there. The actual distance is less than 2 kilometres, meaning you can choose to walk. While this is definitely the most budget-friendly option to get from Labuan Bajo airport to your hotel, it will be exhausting to walk in the hot weather. There is no sidewalk in some places so it’s also not extremely safe. If you have a lot of luggage it will be much easier to simply get a taxi, however, it may be a good option for budget travellers. The walk will take around 35 minutes since parts of it go uphill.

Apps like Gojek and Grab are relatively unreliable in Labuan Bajo and local taxis are much more common. You shouldn’t pay more than IDR 50,000 (~ €3.40) for the 8-minute taxi ride into town. This is an absolute maximum and you can most likely get an even cheaper price if you’re good at haggling. If you’re happy with your driver you should take his number and call him again when you’re headed back to the airport so you don’t have to renegotiate a new price.

Does Komodo have an international airport?

While the airport in Labuan Bajo is sometimes called Komodo international airport, it currently only has domestic flight routes available. While this might change in the future, you’ll have to be in Indonesia already to get to Labuan Bajo at the moment.

How to get from Labuan Bajo to Komodo

Labuan Bajo is considered the gateway to Komodo National Park and the best place to start if you’re planning your trip. From there you can reach the national park by boat which takes a few hours. There are also smaller islands that are not part of the national park located closer to Labuan Bajo.

You need to book some sort of boat tour to get to Komodo National Park from Labuan Bajo. There are plenty to choose from such as day trip excursions, sailboats, multi-day liveaboard trips and scuba diving tours. All of them depart from Labuan Bajo harbour which is located in the centre of town. You can either book your tour in advance online or find one on arrival.

My tip: Travelist.Id has a great selection of boat trips for all budget ranges available on their website.

Komdodo National Park liveaboard experience

Do you have to take a boat to see Komodo National Park?

The park is largely uninhabited with only around 3,000 people living there permanently. This means that there are only a few local villages and no road connection. There is also no airport within the national park and the only way to reach it is by boat. This means you’ll absolutely have to get on a boat to see Komodo National Park.

Top tip: Day trip boats are usually not that much cheaper than a one or two-day liveaboard. If you’re not short on time, consider spending multiple days in the park instead.

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Hi, I'm Victoria

I’m 24 years old and grew up in Germany. Right now I’m studying at a university in Scotland and am about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Full-time travel is my dream and I’ve spent the last few years slowly building my online business. Guide your Travel is technically a travel blog, but I also write about photography, social media and how you can start blogging. Don’t forget to check out my destination guides and travel tips.

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