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9 Cool Things to do in Labuan Bajo

Most people know Labuan Bajo as the small fishing village that’s the gateway to Komodo National Park. So they tend to come for a Komodo boat tour, and fly out immediately after their cruise.

We’d recommend spending at least a week in Labuan Bajo (or even two weeks!), so that you can explore Labuan Bajo and its surroundings more. You’ll be rewarded with incredibly rich culture, great hidden caves and even a tri-coloured volcano! 

1. Diving in Komodo National Park 

Dive with Manta Rays, Sharks, Turtles and more at Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is one of the best places to dive in the world. You get to see the most beautiful coral walls, sharks, mantas, turtles and so much more here. And the best thing about diving at Komodo is: whether you’re a complete beginner (i.e. no diving licence) or are an advanced diver, there’s a dive spot for you here! 

Time required: 1-3 days.

2. Komodo Islands Boat Trip 

See epic landscapes, surreal pink beaches and wild dragons at Komodo National Park

See epic landscapes, surreal pink beaches and wild dragons at Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is one of our favourite places in the world, and feels like it comes right out of Game of Thrones. The national park is not one island, but 29 islands in total. At the islands, you’ll see ancient Komodo dragons, chill on pink beaches, hike epic viewpoints, and snorkel with giant turtles and manta rays.

To visit the park, you’ll need to take boat tour from Labuan Bajo to the main islands such as Rinca Island / Komodo Island, Padar Island, Kalong Island and Makassar Island. You can either do a full day speedboat tour that covers 6 islands, or a 2-3 days’ liveaboard boat trip that covers 5-8 islands.

Time required: 1-3 days.

3. Batu Cermin 

You’ll need to duck crawl through some of the complex tunnels at Batu Cermin but that’s part of the fun!

Batu Cermin is another cool cave that is surprisingly not crowded at all. Its name means mirror stone cave because the limestone walls glitter when exposed to light. There’s no swimming here but there’s a complex tunnel system that requires you to duck crawl through in certain areas! (Hard hats are provided so don’t worry!). Visit Batu Cermin with Rangko Cave and Sylvia Hill for a full day trip!

Time required: 3-4 hours.

4. Rangko Cave

Swim in this surreal underground lake at Rangko Cave

Rangko Cave is a hidden underground lake with crystal clear waters in gorgeous turquoise, surrounded by towering limestone stalagmites. We love the experience of swimming in the cave as it’s just incredibly secluded and peaceful. It’s perfect for photography and just getting away from the bustle of Komodo. 

Time required: 3-4 hours.

5. Melo Village 

Come to Melo Village for a glimpse into the culture of the local Manggarai people.

If you want to experience local culture when you’re in Labuan Bajo, head to Melo Village for a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Manggarai people. Here, you can witness the traditional way of life, learn about their customs, and engage with the warm and friendly locals. The opportunity to watch the Caci dance, a traditional martial arts dance unique to the region, adds an extra layer of cultural immersion to the experience.

Time required: 3-4 hours.

6. Cunca Wulang waterfalls 

See the crystal clear waters at Cunca Wulang waterfalls

See the crystal clear waters at Cunca Wulang waterfalls

If you’re headed to Melo Village, pair your trip with a visit to Cunca Wulang waterfalls! These cascading waterfalls are hidden in a tropical forest and have crystal clear waters that flow into meandering rivers. The short hike to the waterfalls is really fun, with the opportunity to jump off rocks and swim in the beautiful canyon.

Time required: 2-3 hours.

7. Sylvia Hill 

Sylvia Hill is Labuan Bajo’s best kept secret for sunset watching!

Sylvia Hill is the best kept secret for gorgeous sunsets in Labuan Bajo! The hilltop offers a stunning view of upside down hills (that look like blobby Teletubbies), the sea and surrounding islands. It’s also pretty undiscovered, so you’ll usually have the hill all to yourself for sunset! 

Time required: 1 hour

8. Visit the Fish Night Market

Visit the night fish market for fresh BBQ seafood

Visit the night fish market for fresh BBQ seafood

The Fish Market is on the edge of Labuan Bajo town, a short 10-15 walk from the harbour. This is a pretty small market with only several stalls, and is primarily catered for tourists. It is also not cheap by any means (we spent SGD $20 per person!). But the food here is yummy and fresh!

Time required: 1 hour. Opens at sunset.

9. Enjoy rooftop drinks at Seaesta

Come to the prettiest rooftop in Labuan Bajo for drinks!

Come to the prettiest rooftop in Labuan Bajo for drinks!

Seaesta is a very pretty Greek-style (think Mama Mia vibes!) boutique hostel in the heart of Labuan Bajo, and is also the party central in this sleepy fishing town. There is live music on its chic rooftop on the weekends, so just pop by and enjoy the party vibes with a cocktail or a Bintang beer!

Time required: 1 hour

Practical Tips

1. Best Time to Go 

Chances are you’re visiting Labuan Bajo because of Komodo National Park. If so, you’d want to avoid January to March which is rainy season, and where few boats will go out due to the risk of capsizing. The only boat trips that tend to go out during rainy season are the 1 day speedboat trips, and even those sometimes get cancelled.

Try to also avoid Indonesia public holidays when Komodo National Park will be crazy packed. 

2. Getting to Labuan Bajo 

  • By Flight: You’ll need to fly into Komodo airport in Labuan Bajo. There are multiple direct flights a day from Bali and Jakarta, 1.5-2.5 hours’ flight time depending on where you fly in from. Word is that direct flights will start from Singapore sometime in 2024!
  • By Boat: There’s no boat from Bali to Labuan Bajo, but you can take a boat trip from Lombok to Labuan Bajo via the Komodo Islands. 

3. Getting Around

  • From Airport to Town: Komodo airport is about 15 minutes drive from Labuan Bajo town centre, and you can easily get a taxi, motorbike or scooter from the airport.
  • Around Town: Getting around Labuan Bajo town is easy. Labuan Bajo is a small town so unless you’re staying in the Plataran or the Ayana Komodo which are further out of town, you can basically walk everywhere (e.g. the fish market, the main harbour, the main street) in 20-30 minutes.

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Welcome to Holidays From Singapore! Our blog seeks to help travellers plan their next adventure! From insightful articles, practical tips, to stories from our travellers, you can always find useful information and inspiring ideas for your new experience.

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