Somewhere in between all the diving in Komodo national park, I did a daytrip to some must-visit places. Most of those are the places that the ferry boats coming from Lombok (or the other way around) visit as well. Since I flew in and was planning to fly out again as well, I went for a daytrip. There are a lot of options: slowboat, fastboat, 1 day trip and even several nights. Comparing some of the operators learned me one thing: their program is basically all the same. So I went with East Cruise on a fastboat. Price: 70€ exclusive ranger/entrance fee’s.
They picked me up at the hostel very early in the morning (5.40) and around 6.30 am we left in the fastboat. The boat was completely full, making us a group of around 30 people. You could sit in the boat, on the back or o the front.
The guide Teddy was very cool and explained the different spots we were gonna visit. I made an overview hereunder:
1. Padar Island
We started with for me the highlight of the tour.. Padar Island. The cool thing abou this island is the shape of it. There are several different deep inland beaches which make the form of the island quite unique. You can hike up to the top viewpoint, a place to take amazing pictures!
2. Komodo Island
Next stop was Komodo island, home of the “Komodo Dragons”, a big kind of lizard that can become 3m and weighing 70kg. They are carnivors eating everything that comes in their way (even their own young). If you walk on this island you are always ‘guarded’/guided by some park rangers with sticks in case of..We had the luck to see a small dragon walking on the beach.. For a moment I felt a bit like in jurassic park.
However, most of the times they are just laying down quite lazy, but it is still impressive to see this very unique animals.
3. Pink Beach
Another very nice stop was pink beach. I visited a “pink beach” before (on Lombok), but that one wasn’t pink at all. This one was. Very nice to take some pictures, do a nap and go for a swim. There was also the possibility to go snorkeling, but I passed on this..Watching non-ocean people struggling to go on their first ocean discoveries was way funnier (Evil).
4. Taka Makassar
Another snorkeling stop.. but again I didn’t snorkel myself. Snorkeling is just not really my thing. Taka Makasar is a very small sandy ‘island’ with literally nothing on it. However it does look pretty cool. Our boat didn’t manage to stop closeby due to the tides, so I set the example and instead of snorkeling around the boat I just swam over to the island (it was close enough). Nice stop as well.
5. Manta Point
The stop I liked the least. It didnt help I dived here already 4 times and would strongly suggest to go diving instead of snorkeling here.. I totally get the point where people who never dive get all excited to snorkel with mantas… But the way this went was just pure chaos. Basically they spot mantas from the top of the boat while all the guests are waiting for the “go” to jump in the water. Imagine being the manta and suddenly 30 snorkelleres jump in the water above you.. Ofcourse they dissapear in a second. But still people seem to be happy to have the possibility to get a glimpse of the manta.. If only they knew how diving with them feels… I did one jump along but after just stayed on the boat watching the mantas from above and looking at the chaos.
6. Kanawa Island
Last stop of the day but not the least one. After arrival on this island you face immediately a kind of a restaurant bar.. Shade, cold beers,… a lot of visitors of our tour didnt even went past this point. But not me. I found another adventurous soul and we went hiking around. We found a small hidden way to what once was a great viewpoint, and it was actually simply amazing. Loved this small trip a lot and I could have hiked here way more if time would have been sufficient (we only had a bit more than an hour).
This day was a very nice day and I would suggest anyone visiting labuan bajo to do a simular trip.