Once a placid fishing village, Labuan Bajo grew up into a popular tourist hub and the starting point to most of the attractions in Flores. Except for its importance of having an airport and being the gateway to the Komodo National Park, it is the main starting point for all travellers heading to the central jungles.
Labuan Bajo is the place where to organize your trip around West Flores. You can either rent a scooter in Labuan Bajo and travel around the region independently or book a tour in town.
The nearby hinterland offers tropical waterfalls, caves, ethnic villages and good trekking opportunities.
10 THINGS TO DO IN LABUAN BAJO
1. Accommodation on the hill – stay in one of the hill-top guesthouses with these views – that will really make a difference! Most of them have their own restaurant where you can enjoy home-cooked meals and beers for reasonable price
2.Fish Market – Remember to pop into the Labuan Bajo fish market; try the local seafood and Bintang beer
3. Sunsets – Labuan Bajo is renowned for its magnificent sunsets, and some of the best spots for watching them is the Amelia Sea View (Love Hill). OUR TIP – Paradise Bar is a great spot for socializing and a few sunset drinks
4.Manta Point – swim with manta rays and giant turtles (tours can be arranged at one of the local dive centres)
5.Caves – visit the Batu Cermin ‘mirror caves’ in the morning – when the sunlight creates wonderful images & Batu Rangko cave where you can swim in turquoise underground waters
6.Waterfalls – Cunca Rami is a gorgeous tropical waterfall to swim in and you can stop by the Sano Nggoang Lake (a full day trip ). If you are a fan of the cliff-jumps, Cunca Wulang canyon and waterfall is the place to be; a 1-hour jungle trek leads to a 7- and 12-metre high jumping platforms.
7.Warloka village – rent a scooter and drive to the fishermen village of Warloka, it is a place of historic importance (several Bronze-aged artefacts were found here
8.Melo Village – take a trip to the nearby settlement where you can watch the famous Caci performance
9.Snorkelling & diving – from the pier, you can take a boat tour the best diving and snorkelling sites in West Flores: Bidadari Island, Seraya Island, Sabolo Island or Kanawa and Sebayur Islands. You can optionally take a long trip to the 17 Island National Park (Riung).
10. Komodo National Park – take a boat tour to the Rinca, Komodo and the insta-famous Padar Island and meet the Komodo Dragon (various tours can be booked at your guesthouse or at any travel agency in town)
Local cuisine – Try the local cuisine at one of the seaside town taverns (a secret tip for serious ‘food adventurers’ – try dog meat if you dare, there is a couple of warungs along the Soekarno Hatta street where you can join the locals – no matter how controversial, eating dog meat is a big part of the Florenese culture!) Ask at your guesthouse to direct you to one of these taverns..
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The dry season in Flores Island runs from May till September and it is the best time to travel.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Labuan Bajo.
Flights usually depart from Denpasar/Bali or Jakarta/Java. (see https://www.garuda-indonesia.com/)
Pelni ships are quite popular means of transport between the Indonesian islands, especially with the local people and independent travellers. (see https://www.pelni.co.id/welcome?lang=en)
For all international flights check out www.skyscanner.com or www.momondo.com
Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive useful articles and special offers. This monthly email is sent out on the first of every month.