LABUAN BAJO IS THE GATEWAY TO KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Labuan Bajo is a small town in West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province and is the main gateway to the Komodo National Park.
Around ten years ago, this small town was only a small fishermen village, where fishermen who lived in villages around Komodo Island sold their catch. They came from villages such as Kampung Komodo near Komodo Island, Papagarang Village near Rinca, and Kampung Misa on Misa Island. They brought their catches and sold them to a famous fish market in Labuan Bajo located in "Kampung Ujung", located at the northern side of Labuan Bajo, not too far from the port.
At that time, foreign tourists only knew Bali or Lombok as a world-class tourist destination. Transportation was still very minimal and access was still difficult. There are not many lodgings in Labuan Bajo and it was only popular among domestic and foreign divers.
Right now Labuan Bajo continues to grow rapidly. The Central Government in 2019 has established Labuan Bajo as a premium class tourist destination. We can already see the number of hotels being built and tourists arriving from many countries around the world since plenty of Airlines open their flight route, making Labuan Bajo the only main gateway to the Komodo National Park.
The most famous street in Labuan Bajo is called Soekarno Hatta Road. This is the main street and there are plenty of dive centers, restaurants, budget hotels, shops, cafes, local Travel agents, ATM, banks, money changers and also supermarkets. The road is divided into three areas, namely (i) Kampong ujung Village; (ii) Kampong Tengah; and (iii) Kampong Air. Approximately the length of this main street is about 1.5 kilometers to 2 kilometers if you take a straight line from Kampung Ujung to Kampung Air or vice versa. You can walk along this street in the evening or at night. Sightings of tourists start to appear in the late afternoon because usually, they had finished returning from their Komodo Island boat tours.
HOW TO GET TO LABUAN BAJO
The easiest and fastest way to reach Komodo National Park is through Labuan Bajo. Currently, Labuan Bajo already has an airport and there are many direct flights to and from Labuan Bajo, which you can travel from major cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Bali, Lombok, Surabaya, Kupang, and Makassar. You can click on detailed information about How to Get to Labuan Bajo here.
In addition, Labuan Bajo can also be accessed by land and sea. Through the land, the route is via Bali Island - Lombok Island - Sumbawa Besar Island - and then you must cross the Sape Sea and you will arrive in Labuan Bajo. It will take a much longer time.
WHAT ARE THE TOP ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN LABUAN BAJO ?
We compile you a list of places that are worth visiting when you are in Labuan Bajo.
1. ENJOY BEAUTIFUL SUNSET AT LABUAN BAJO
Sunset in Labuan Bajo is quite dramatic. By staying at a hotel located in a hill such as Golo Hilltop hotel or Bayview Garden hotel and ask a room view towards the sunset. Or perhaps you may also look for restaurants, bars or lounges that offer sunset view balconies, such as Paradise Bar for example. The other interesting option is that you can also rent a car along with a driver (around IDR 150.000 or USD 10 one-way) and ask him to drive you to Bukit Sylvia or "Sylvia hill" and witness the sunset from there. The view is exceptional.
2. DINNER AT KAMPUNG UJUNG SEAFOOD MARKET
There is a Fish Market in Kampung Ujung (Jalan Soekarno Hatta) that offers a wide variety of fresh seafood caught by fishermen from villages around Komodo Island. At night, starting around 7 p.m, the tents were converted into seafood stalls that offer a variety of local specialties. You may directly choose what kind of fish you want and they will cook it directly.
3. VISIT PARADISE BAR. THE FIRST REGGAE BAR EVER ESTABLISHED IN LABUAN BAJO
This bar is legendary. The atmosphere of the place is similar to the old-school bars you may usually see in Kuta Bali, but what makes this place special is because of its position on the hill and directly facing the sea. The atmosphere is laidback, and those who work there are also very friendly and welcoming. Come around 4 pm or 4:30 pm while still not too crowded, and experience a spectacular sunset together with a cold beer. They also offer a wide variety of menu. If you want to continue to have dinner at Kampung Ujung seafood culinary stalls, it's just a view hundred meters away.
4. RANGKO CAVE OR GOA RANGKO
Hidden Gem and ancient. Not many people know about this place. Access is quite difficult because you have to walk far and enter the slippery cave entrance with a rope. Not suitable for small children or seniors. What's in it? You will see a small pool of crystal clear seawater, and also inside the cave, there are stalactites and stalagmites that are probably hundreds of thousands of years old. Our advice, please handle this place with care. Do not damage the stalactite and stalagmite attached in it. This cave can be reached by renting a car or motorcycle to the village of Rangko, about 30-40 minutes from Labuan Bajo.
5. BATU CERMIN OR MIRROR STONE
Batu Cermin or Mirror Stone. Also known as the Mirror cave or Goa Cermin. It's basically a cave with lots of tunnels inside. During the day, sunlight penetrates the ceiling of the cave and bounces back against the stone wall inside the cave, giving the effect of reflection. Use a safety helmet and torch because some locations in the cave are very pitch black. Better visit in the afternoon. Only 10 minutes from the Airport or 15 minutes from the main street of Soekarno Hatta.
6. BUKIT SYLVIA OR SYLVIA HILL NEAR LABUAN BAJO
In principle this is just an ordinary hill which is located near the hotel called the Sylvia hotel, therefore people call this the Sylvia Hill. What makes this place interesting is the view that goes directly to the sea and you can enjoy the sunset in Labuan Bajo more clearly. Watching the ship passes at sunset and the road to the location is already accessible. 30 minutes by walking or 5 minutes using a motorcycle or car. The hill is located near a beach called Waecicu Beach.
7. CUNCA WULANG WATERFALL
One hidden gem not far from Labuan Bajo. About 1 hour by car. Cunca Wulang is a small canyon and there are several waterfalls. You need to trekking for about an hour to reach the waterfall. Shaped like a miniature of the Grand Canyon like in Arizona, America. Your car can only reach Wersawa Village, then you continue walking and trekking for about 4 kilometers. There will be an entrance ticket there. Make sure you don't go there during the rainy season because Cunca Wulang cannot be accessed right during the rainy season.
8. CUNCA RAMI WATERFALL
One of the best waterfalls near Labuan Bajo. About 1 hour from Labuan Bajo by car. Come here in the morning and have a swim below the waterfall. You will first trek into the tropical forest. Proper access is still not available so make sure you use trekking shoes or sandals because it is quite slippery. You can also see charming green rice fields. After playing at the waterfall, the local people also sell Flores Arabica coffee and have some cup of coffee to refresh yourself before return to Labuan Bajo.
9. DESA CECER OR CECER VILLAGE
This village offers very interesting activities. You will be welcomed by the local traditional leader and take part in a customary procession in the village. Enjoy their very hard food and try their alcohol called Sopi (be careful, it's extremely strong). Next, you will be invited to watch their traditional dance and they will explain how they make their own local products, and how they cultivate vanilla, coffee, candlenut and cacao. In order to visit this unique village, you must make a reservation first.
LABUAN BAJO HOTEL
There are tons of hotels in Labuan Bajo, ranging from backpackers, medium to luxury budget classes. Laba Laba Boat's guests usually stay at Ayana Resort, Plataran Resort, Puri Sari Beach Hotel, Golo Hilltop, Sunset Hill Hotel, Waecicu Eden Beach Hotel, Sudamala Resort in Seraya and many more.
LABUAN BAJO AIRPORT
The airport in Labuan Bajo is also called Komodo Airport. The location is very close to the main street of Soekarno Hatta Road, only 15 minutes by car to our boat. To learn more about flight schedules, please click here.
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