travel | labuan bajo


Labuan Bajo is a small fishing town located at the western end of Flores, in the Nusa Tenggara region of East Indonesia and gateway to the Komodo National Park.  This little port town is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island, home to famous komodo dragons.  Diving, snorkeling and islands hopping in the Komodo National Park are also famous activities for tourists who visit this island.

My children and I only spent three days in Labuan Bajo, which was very short I know.  So, as expected we didn’t see as much as we would like.  But, not to worry, we are planning to come back there again on a road trip from Lombok, one day, fingers cross!  While the father of my children and his two brothers spent four nights on a dive boat,  my boys and I had a fun-tastic four days in Bali surfing, water-booming, and eating yummy food before we flew to meet the rest of the crew.

 Where we stay


We stayed at Golo Hilltop Hotel, only about 10 minutes drive from the Komodo Airport.  The hotel is ok, not posh but not shabby too. Just comfortable should I say.  There’s no tv in the room but full on AC and fan, and the bathroom is clean and spacious but the shower is not so strong.  The view from the rooms upstairs is spectacular because it’s located quite up in the hills.., but the stairs! Oh my my my! In a positive way, it’s a good exercise for your thighs and legs! Also the view from their restaurant where you have breakfast, ( and if you want lunch and dinner ) and from the pool side is just gorgeous, especially when the sun is setting and cold Bintang in hand! 🙂

beautiful sunset

IMG_5309rest and relax

IMG_5464stairs to our rooms

If you fancy a bit more posh type accommodation, try Pelataran Komodo, is a bit out of Labuan Bajo and of course way dearer.

How we get around

To get around Labuan Bajo, such as from our hotel to the main town where the restaurants are, you can walk (about 45 minutes, and not 15 minutes like I was told by the receptionist at the hotel, thank you!) or get a bemo or little van that can fit 8 to 10 people.  First night, because we were told it was ONLY 15 minutes walk from the hotel so we did our walk in the dark and dusty street and actually it took us more like an hour because we got a little lost and weren’t sure where to go.  When we finished our dinner it was almost 10.30pm and the street was very empty.  Lucky, there was one motorbike (ojek) so we asked him to get us back to the hotel.  Because there were four of us and only one motorbike, he had to do two rounds.  First trip was twin#2 and I, and then he returned to pick up my husband and twin#1. I felt sorry for him as I think the motorbike nearly died trying to get my husband up the hill 🙂 🙂 After that night, we always asked the receptionist to get us a bemo because there were 8 of us so I don’t think motorbike trip would work good :p

What we do

Rinca Island

our local wooden boat

IMG_9804the dive boat that my husband and his brothers lived for 4 nights

Since basically we only have two full days in Labuan Bajo,  the next day we rented a wooden medium size local boat and off to Rinca Island to see the dragons.  Rinca is slightly smaller than Komodo Island and easily done in a day trip.  From Labuan Bajo to Rinca Island it took us about 2 hours, as it was a slow boat as well, but that was ok as it was beautiful scenery and calm clear sea. We stopped to pick up my brother-in-laws who were still on the dive boat somewhere near Rinca Island.  The komodo dragon only can be found in Komodo Island, Rinca Island, and Gili Matong. It is not very easy to find the dragon in the bush, but our tour guide knows the spots where the dragons sun-bathing, it’s near the camp kitchen 🙂  He also showed us where the females dig huge burrows to lay their eggs.  I think I had high expectation of this lizard thing. I thought they would be so big in size and so many.  In fact, they were not that big and only a few around.  According to our guide, komodo dragons can smell blood within 5 kilometers, so women who are having period are advised not to visit the island.  In case you are chased by the dragon, you should run zig-zag  or try to climb a tree, as they can only run straight and can’t climb trees…. at least that’s what our boys had read somewhere.

IMG_9822the view from the Rinca Island

IMG_9855can you spot the dragon!?

IMG_9847some skulls….

After Rinca, on our way back to Labuan Bajo, we detoured for snorkeling around the Mawan Island hoping to see some Manta Rays. The wind had sprung up and the trip was a bit windy, rough and wet with spray.  To our disappointment there were none, maybe because the current was so strong and seas rough at that time. So we moved to another protected spot, and oh my God lots and lots of colorful fish swimming around like crazy with bright, colorful corals surrounding you.  Very beautiful!


IMG_9861boats at labuan bajo harbour

Cancun Wulang Waterfall

The next day we hired a car with a driver and headed to Wulang waterfall.  From Labuan Bajo is about 30 km, not that far, but we went through a long winding, bumpy, dodgy and very steep up and down hills road.  Even the bridge had partly collapsed in some places.  We stopped at the post entrance to pay for the fee and from here we had to walk for about 1.5 hours to reach the waterfall and gorge. Our guide, Pak Thomas Munro, who is an old man and the head of the tribe of the village, walked very fast and easy while we were trotting and puffing behind him.  It was not that bad going down, but on our way back it was going up all the time. I almost felt like this was never gonna end and I just wanted to lie there and could not move.  I was drenched in sweat that my t-shirt just wet.  It was no problem at all for the boys though…..they were just as quick as a deer hopped here and there!  I think I need more “boot camp” session!

 IMG_9879view on our way to the waterfall

IMG_9870hello you…

The waterfall itself is pretty amazing.  Unfortunately by the time we got there a few local people and tourist were already there, so I felt a bit ‘uneasy’ but it was not that bad.  Of course my kids had to jump off the cliffs a couple of times. I only did it once and that was enough for me! We swam and it felt so good, so refreshing.


IMG_6344on the way back… it wasn’t an easy walk but at least I didn’t fall! :p

Where to eat

The Treetop Hill Seafood Restaurant

I highly recommended this restaurant.  The food is delicious and the service is good and quick.  From where you sit, especially if you are on the second floor you can see the harbor of Labuan Bajo.  We ate here twice and ordered the same things ; grilled fish, squids balado, long beans with chilli fish, kangkung balacan, and grilled prawns…ohhh so yummy! 🙂 Food is cheap in Labuan Bajo, by the way.

Casa Celini

We had a good Greek meals here.  The chicken Souvlaki and Gyro are to die for.  I’m impressed for little town like Labuan Bajo to have such a good food.  Though it took a while for the food to come but it worth the wait.  Going to the toilet here was an adventure and caused us no end of laughs.  You had to go through someone’s bedroom with them asleep on the bed!  We all got lost and never told the others what to expect 🙂

Made in Italy

This restaurant is quite posh and the food was average.  We did like the ‘welcome stick’ though 🙂

Where to hang out

Paradise Bar, located in the hill, it’s just walking distance from our hotel Golo Hilltop.  Paradise Bar is actually restaurant during the day and only change in to a bar on Saturday night.  Don’t expect to hear any latest dancing songs, the music choice is very 80s or 90s, I reckon. But at least in this bar you don’t need to dress up, you can wear whatever you like.  Most of them just wearing t-shirt and short and sandals 🙂

How to get to Labuan Bajo

From Bali, there are couple flights in a day operated by Garuda and Lion Air.  It’s 1.5 hour flight and very pleasant.  From Lombok, there are boats and ferry too.


Til later Flores!

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26 responses to “travel | labuan bajo”

  1. wow bagus ya tempatnya dan view nya.. mantep banget…


    1. Iya Man, viewnya masih pure cakep, airnya masih biru jernih dan ga ada sampah. Indonesia has lotsa beautiful place as long as they know how to look after it. Dan semoga si Flores ini ga berubah jadi kayak Bali ya!


  2. Casa Celini my fave jg mba, cute bgt ya tempatnya dan makanannya enak, yg punya designer gt butiknya byk di bali tp di labuan bajo seringnya dia yg masak:-)
    Treetop wifi nya cepet ha ha ha

    What a lovely trip u had!!


    1. Hahaha iya Feb, aku amazed sama foodnya. Kirain gitu di Labuan Bajo makanan bule ya biasa aza standardnya, glad itu orang2 Aussie pada happy dengan mral ya😀 Tapiii…cerita mo ke toiletnya itu ‘lucu’ dan ‘aneh’ deh. Kamu waktu ksana siang ato malem, ke toiletnya ga?


      1. Aku malam waktu itu mbak, cerita dong toiletnya knp ha ha ha


        1. Jadi waktu pada mo ke toilet kan satu2 perginya. Ternyata toiletnya itu masuknya harus dari kamar tidur yg mana ada orangnya😀 Orang 1 yg mo ke toilet adalah my bro-in-law. Setelah nyasar akhirnya nemu si kamar ini, ketok2, dibukain pintu oleh seorang lelaki bule yg bersamaan juga sedang zipped up risleting celananya!😂😂 Jadinya ipar gw felt very awkward masuk ke kamar itu😛 Pas giliran suami aku, dianya lagi setengah tidur jd ngasi taunya antara grumpy dan setengah ngantuk. Bayangin 6 cowoq bolak balik ke toilet malam itu, I felt sorry for him! Uda gitu 6 lelaki ini semuanya ga ada yg mau kasi info yg bener dimana dan gimana si toilet ini. Jadi tiap kali salah satu abis ke toilet, balik dengan muka antara mo ketawa dan binun hehehee…. untungnya gue ga perlu ke toilet malem itu!😀😀


          1. Huahhhahah parahhh bgt!!!!! Itu kamar tidur guesthouse nya dia ya mbak? Hahaha gak jelas bgt ya ampun….
            Btw sempet ketemu si celine nya gak mbak? Galakk bgt, dia marah2 mulu sama pelayan resto nya kl gak sigap atau gimana hahahha untung aja makanannya lumayan enak ya utk ukuran labuan bajo:)


          2. Sepertinya itu kamar tidur guesthouse Feb😀 Ga ketemu Feb, mungkin dia lg sibuk di dapur masak😉😀


  3. Waahh Riaa, aku senang baca ceritanya. Seruuu dan seolah-olah ikut diliburannya juga. Plus foto-fotonya yang baguus banget. Jadi kangen pantai dan snorkelingan juga. Itu loncat dari tebing ke airnya tinggi banget ya nampaknya. Tapi pasti seru. Simpan ah ceritamu ini. Sapa tau ntar ada rejeki kesana 🙂


    1. Terima kasih Den, seneng juga nulisnya kalo bikin pembaca jadi pengen kesana juga 😀
      Loncatnya lumayan tinggi Den, ada kali 6 or 7 meter ya 😀


  4. Mba ri….. what an awesome trip you had! Duh kebayang deh the boys pasti sweneng banget ya bisa lelompatan dari atas tebing itu trus nyebur. One of my bucket list lah ini labuan bajo. Btw, liat foto si adek pas kesana dia ketemu komodo yg gede2 banget mba…mungkin rangernya ga bawa ketempat yg banyak komodonya ya mba


    1. Dragonnya si kmarin di Rinca ga terlalu gede2 amat ya Jo, ada si satu or dua yg gede tapi rata2 medium size lah. Mungkin adiknya Jo ke Komodo island ya, bukan Rinca? Kita datengnya juga pas jam si dragon tidur2an, katanya kalo mau liat mereka ‘in action’ datanglah sekitar jam 3-5 dimana mereka lagi lapar2nya😛😰

      Iyaaa d boys bolak balik loncat dari atas tebing sampe si bapak guide bilang ke aku suruh istirahat dulu jgn lompat2 terus 😜😜😀
      Kalo ada kesemoatan kudu ke Flores Jo, viewnya masih pure cakep.


      1. Ohiya dia liatnya di.pulau komodonya. Kukira rinca itu bagian dr p.komodo


  5. aiiih serunya acara liburan keluarga ke labuan bajo, view dari hotelnya itu loh baguuuus banget….
    btw ceritamau ke toiletnya itu beneran lucu deh 🙂


    1. Iya Adhya, view dari hotelnya bagus apalagi pas sunset.


  6. Super cool. Nice post 🙂


    1. Trima kadih Frany😘


  7. So pretty! It’s next on my to-go list Ria 😍


    1. You must go there Ta. It’s very beautiful and still un-touched unlike Bali.


  8. Pemandangannya Pulau Rica bagus amaat…. Apalagi yang dari pesawat… lebih keren lagi… Padahal Feb kemarin udah mau ke sini tapi ngga jadi…huhu


    1. Next time harus kesana Firsty, bagus dey pemandangannya😀


      1. iya… mudah2an next time terwujud… itu padahal udah beli tikenya tapi dibatalkan… *nangis kejeeer


  9. seru banget bacanya Ri.
    Thanks for sharing your holiday with us👌👍


    1. Heeeeiii Deiiissss…! Ahaa glad that you commented here! It’s my pleasure to share my trip here. Thanks for dropping by!😘😘


  10. Very exciting place in one completed journal. Terkesan pengen kesana lagi deh, dulu pernah cuma sekali tapi cuma ke komodo, soalnya gowes sih dari jawa. Liburan kuliah kurang lama untuk mencicipi semua surga di Flores and surrounding islands.


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