Wonderful Labuan Bajo

On the westernmost tip of the Island of Flores, the town of Labuan Bajo, or also spelled Labuhan Bajo, sits peacefully with many wonders waiting for you to explore. Labuan Bajo was only a small fishing site that today has flourished to become the gateway to many exotic destinations in East Nusa Tenggara.

The extraordinary interest of travelers to the existence of the Komodo dragons who are locally called ora is a valuable alluring factor that amplified by its superb national park.

The Komodo National Park was listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1991. It is home to fascinating wildlife, both on land and underwater. The park consists of Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Padar Island and numerous smaller islands around them.

Labuan Bajo is known as the city of sunset. You can find plenty of vantage point to enjoy every end of the day with a spectacular sky.

There are some interesting destinations that you can discover inside the city. The Mirror Cave is located only 4 kilometers away from Labuan Bajo. This cave was founded by Dutch archaeologist in 1951, who concludes that Labuan Bajo was once located under water.

The local name for the cave is Goa Batu Cermin. In some parts, you can see some stones with reflective character, thus become the name of this natural wonders.

Another stunning wonder you might also want to check out is Rangko cave. Have you ever swim in a cave-lake before? Here’s your chance!
You can also explore the paths to Cunca Rami and Cunca Wulang canyon waterfall!

Bukit Cinta, Puncak Amelia, and Puncak Silvia are all vantage points, not far away from Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo. You can enjoy some spectacular view of the island and the open sea at sunset.

For the culinary feast, you can head right to Kampung Ujung and experience the delicious local food center for dinner time in Labuan Bajo.

Labuan Bajo becomes more romantic with the growth of that ideal holiday spot. Wooden cottages with thatched roofs camouflaged by shrubberies and towering trees up in the sloping township, overlooking an idyllic harbor, is the perfect elements of an unforgettable experience.

For some adventurers, Labuan Bajo can be that ideal getaway. With choices of land and sea to conquer, it is no wonder that Labuan Bajo is seeing more and more visitors coming every year. Try the liveaboard experience, where you get to live on board for several days, to visit gorgeous islands and dive into the stunning wonders of the ocean.

Padar island is fast becoming a new favorite place for a traveler to visit. With outstanding panorama, it is indeed somewhere you should put on top of your travel list, while in Labuan Bajo.

There are three majorities of ethnic groups, namely the Manggarai, Bima, and Bugis. Living side by side with them are people coming from other parts of Flores, like Ende, Ngada, Maumere, Chinese descendants and more from all over Indonesia. You can meet some of the locals in their beautiful village of Labuan Bajo. The Melo village, in West Manggarai is known as one of the tourism villages that travelers would come by.

Welcoming ceremonies and traditional dances will greet you warmly upon your visit. It is a beautiful village, located around 40 km from the heart of Labuan Bajo. Don’t forget to stop by and get to know them!

If you are looking for places to stay in, stroll along the Wae Cicu beach, where lines of hotels and resort are available overlooking the best view.

You can also find amazing accommodation on nearby islands, like on Bidadari or Seraya.

Get There

Labuan Bajo is accessible by air, land, and sea. Its favorable location on the Island of Flores and entry port to the Komodo islands make Labuan Bajo a potential growing destination, aside from its rich agricultural potentials.

By Air

Flying to Labuan Bajo is possible for the Komodo Airport is open for operation. Transnusa Airlines are directly connecting Labuan Bajo with several cities in Indonesia, such as Denpasar, Kupang, Ende, and Mataram. With connecting flights, Labuan Bajo is also connected with Kalabahi in Alor. It also connects with Bajawa, Sikka, Manggarai, and Larantuka via Ende, Kupang, Maumere, Ruteng, and Tambolaka. Please go to its website for more detailed flight schedules.

Overland

An overland trip across the Island of Flores is possible but costly, connecting Labuan Bajo in the westernmost part to the renowned destinations in the eastern part. 

A bus from Denpasar, Bali, would probably go to Mataram in Lombok. From there you are set to take a long overland adventure on the bus to Bima, Sumbawa. In Bima, you will resume the exhausting trip to Sape. As you kiss the land in Sape, you can take a ferry to  Labuan Bajo.

By Sea

It is very convenient if you join one of the liveaboards serving Komodo and Flores. Many travelers come home satisfied after a week or longer on one of these around eastern Indonesia, as they get wise enough to choose the package, perfect timing, and best spots.

Make sure the time of visit and weather condition fit one another. Never speculate on one aspect that will put you hapless.

There are several schedules for a ship to depart to Labuan Bajo. Tilongkabila ship from PELNI is cruising from Makassar in South Sulawesi to Labuan Bajo. Leuser ship departs from Tanjung Perak, Surabaya in East Java. From Benoa seaport in Bali, you can also take the Leuser to get to Labuan Bajo.

Wilis ship will depart from Makassar, and will also take you from Larantuka in East Flores to Labuan Bajo. As for other specific and updated details of ship schedules, you can find them in www.pelni.co.id

Get Around

Ojek or motor taxis, bemos – a local van, rented cars with guide driver, travel agency cars and buses are all available to get you around Labuan Bajo.

Make sure you check for a trusted source to rent cars or local guides. You can also find information from your hotel, about the best way to get around.

Courtesy : Indonesia Travel

Komodo National Park

WANUAADVENTURE.net – Komodo National Park is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Established in 1980, initially the main purpose of the Park was to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and its habitat. However, over the years, the goals for the Park have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine. In 1986, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, both indications of the Park’s biological importance

Komodo National Park includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller islands creating a total surface area (marine and land) of 1817km (proposed extensions would bring the total surface area up to 2,321km2). As well as being home to the Komodo dragon, the Park provides refuge for many other  notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. Moreover, the Park includes one of the richest marine environments including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, seamounts, and semi-enclosed bays. These habitats harbor more than 1,000 species of fish, some 260 species of reef-building coral, and 70 species of sponges. Dugong, sharks, manta rays, at least 14 species of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles also make Komodo National Park their home.

Threats to terrestrial biodiversity include the increasing pressure on forest cover and water resources as the local human population has increased 800% over the past 60 years. In addition, the Timor deer population, the preferred prey source for the endangered Komodo dragon, is still being poached. Destructive fishing practices such as dynamite-, cyanide, and compressor fishing severely threaten the Park’s marine resources by destroying both the habitat (coral reefs) and the resource itself (fish and invertebrate stocks). The present situation in the Park is characterized by reduced but continuing destructive fishing practices primarily by immigrant fishers, and high pressure on demersal stocks like lobsters, shellfish, groupers and napoleon wrasse. Pollution inputs, ranging from raw sewage to chemicals, are increasing and may pose a major threat in the future.

Today, the PKA Balai Taman Nasional Komodo and PT. Putri Naga Komodo are working together to protect the Park’s vast resources. Our goals are to protect the Park’s biodiversity (both marine and terrestrial) and the breeding stocks of commercial fishes for replenishment of surrounding fishing grounds. The main challenge is to reduce both threats to the resources and conflicts between incompatible activities. Both parties have a long term commitment to protecting the marine biodiversity of Komodo National Park.