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Want to walk with the largest species of lizard on the planet? Komodo dragons are surreal looking reptiles who grow up to 10 feet in length and can weigh 150lbs. You can visit these magnificent animals in their natural habitat at Komodo National Park in Indonesia. We’ve put together this first-hand guide on how to plan a visit. 

RELATED: 17 photos to inspire a trip to Indonesia

Getting There
Komodo dragons are only found in Indonesia on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Padar and a few smaller islands. Traveling to Indonesia is a big trip, with most US destinations taking up to 20+ hours. However, flights to Bali are becoming more and more affordable. Most international destinations fly into Bali or Jakarta.

There aren’t direct flights to Komodo National Park, so you’ll fly into Labuan Bajo and take a boat to the park. Most visitors travel to Labuan Bajo from Bali by air (round trip flights cost around $100). It is possible to reach Komodo by boat via Lombok and other surrounding islands, but do your research and make sure to use a reputable company; every year a few boats sink or have accidents.


The floating temple in central Bali is a must | Photo by

If flying into Bali, we suggest spending at least 3 days on the island. It’s a great place to recover from jet lag and explore everything it has to offer. Laying on the beach is one of jet lag’s best cures or just relax with a $5-an-hour massage. Don’t miss the stunning rice paddies in the center of the island and the beautiful temples. A few of our favorites are Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and the Ubud Monkey Forest full of cute monkeys.

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The boat rides from Labuan Bajo aren’t bad either | Photo by

Labuan Bajo
Most tourists spend 2-3 nights in the town of Flores, which is the gateway to Komodo National Park. Most day trips depart from here and it’s best to base yourself here so you can explore the islands during the day and rest up at night.

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Seeing one of these guys should be one your bucket list for sure! | Photo by

Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is a World Heritage Site that was set aside to conserve the Komodo dragon and their natural habitat. The park is made up of several islands but the primary islands are Komodo, Rinca and Padar. Most day trips leave early in the morning and the boat ride takes 1-2 hours depending on the island. The journey is a scenic one so don’t forget your camera. Our favorite island to spot the dragons is Padar, where you can do some epic snorkeling.

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The top of Padar Island rewards you with this epic view | Photo by

There are several different types of trips to Komodo National Park. It’s possible to visit the three main islands over the course of a two-day trip, but an overnight boat trip is offered, too. If you are a diver you can even travel on a live-aboard diving boat. Prices are negotiable and should be bartered if arranging a trip while within Indonesia. The larger the group, the better price you can get. Below are 2017 brochure prices listed as a reference.

  • Speed boat: About $770 USD (including meals + snacks)
  • Wooden boat: From $538 USD  (including meals + snacks)
  • Shared boat: From $115 USD per person (shared, fixed destination, meals excluded)

NOTE: Most tours don’t include the park entrance fee of about $11 USD on weekdays and $17 USD on weekends.

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Get up close to the infamous Komodo dragon | Photo by

Komodo dragon FAQs

  • Day trips can be organized in advance or in Flores, but you don’t have to book ahead.
  • The best time to visit is during the dry season, April through November; avoid January and February, which are the wettest months. 
  • Don’t forget sunscreen; the year-round temperature in Komodo is 86-92°F.
  • Komodo Dragons can be dangerous; stay with your guide at all times.
  • Bring appropriate shoes so you can take the easy hike up to the viewpoint on Padar Island.
  • Wear a swimsuit; most day trips include several great snorkeling spots.

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Tagged: Asia, Bali

Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog
Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers

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