Indonesia’s World Heritage Islands

May to September is the the best time of the year for a yacht charter vacation in Komodo National Park, the jewel in Indonesia’s vast archipelago of 17,000 islands.

Sail from Bali across the imaginary ‘Wallace line’ to the Komodo and beyond, where the flora and fauna of subtropical Asia make a sudden and dramatic change into those typical of Australasia. Few places in the world can match the cultural and natural diversity you will experience in the islands beyond Bali: towering volcanoes, dry savannah landscapes, quiet coastal villages, emerald seas, megalithic cultures, tribal rituals, and the infamous Komodo dragons.

The chain of islands east of Bali are known as the Lesser Sunda islands, and it was Burden’s 1932 voyage through this volcanic landscape that inspired the writing of King Kong. Here there is adventure offered all around ­ from climbing rugged mountains to peer into active volcano craters, or trekking through forests to bathe under beautiful waterfalls; or biking through rural lands to visit remote villages.

However, it is Komodo that is the centre of attention. Komodo National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, consists of 29 islands ringed with beautiful coral reefs. Home of the giant lizard ­ the Komodo dragon ­ the park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1991. The islands in the park boundary are untouched by modern development, and below water Komodo offers some of the world’s best coral reef diving. When not exploring you simply relax in idyllic bays and enjoy pristine beaches.

Komodo Highlights

  • Towering volcanoes
  • Beautiful landscapes & bays
  • World class snorkeling & scuba diving
  • Hiking to see Komodo dragons
  • Enjoying pristine beaches
  • Visit of local villages

Komodo Dragons

The park is most famous for its enormous reptiles, the Komodo dragon (Varanus Komodensis), the biggest lizards inhabiting the world today, which can reach a length of 3 metres. Komodo dragons top speed is 18 km/h, their skin is armour-reinforced and they hunt down large prey such as deer and wild pigs. They obviously don’t fly but there were indeed records made about them spitting fire in the early 19th century! Today the dragons are unfortunately an endangered species and require protection.

Komodo Facts

  • The park was formally established in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon
  • Komodo has 29 islands within the park boundaries
  • The native people of Komodo are the Ata Modo
  • Traditional folktales tell the story that a long ago princess gave birth in Komodo to twins - one a baby boy, the other a baby dragon. Since then inhabitants of the island treat dragons with respect

Komodo Weather

Komodo National Park has the driest climates of Indonesia. Komodo National Park has little or no rainfall for approximately 5 months of the year (between May and September). Most of the annual rainfall of between 800mm and 1000mm will come between the months of November to March. The hot (30C) day time temperatures of July & August are countered by cool seas and breezes.

Komodo Scuba Diving

Raja Laut is fully equipped for scuba diving. Further details and specific diving itinerary can be prepared on request.

The water around the Komodo are swept by strong currents which makes for some challenging diving but also for encounters with big fish like sharks, rays and tunas. July and August, having cooler seas and being more nutrientrich, have lower visibility but have blooming marine life.

Getting Here

The main gateway to the Komodo National Park is from the village of Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores. Labuan Bajo is an ideal port of embarkation and disembarkation for a cruise in the Komodo archipelago. The easiest way to reach Labuan Bajo is to take an airplane from Bali. There are many flights daily and the flight time from Bali is 1 hour.

Alternatively one can choose from many possible embarkation points either in Bali, or Lombok, Moyo, Sumbawa, or eastern Flores. Please contact us to find out more.

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