Labuan Bajo: The Unknown Paradise
When it comes to talking about dive destinations in Indonesia, most of us will mention Raja Ampat (Papua), Bunaken (North Sulawesi) or the tranquil group of islands known as The Gilis (especially the famous Gili Trawangan) in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. However, have you ever heard the name of Labuan Bajo?
If you have ever heard Komodo Island, East Nusa Tenggara, so Labuan Bajo, once known as a small fishing town, is actually the most vital points for trips to the famous Komodo Island and Rinca Island, the main home to the giant Komodo dragons. Near Labuan Bajo, you can find Seraya Island, an island that offers a great diving and snorkeling opportunity that cannot be missed.
You can reach this place from Denpasar by plane as there are some national airlines that provide daily flights from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo. Alternatively, you can get there by bus or by boat. If you prefer reaching this diving destination by ferry, there are some operators, from private to government-owned operator PELNI (from Makassar or Lombok) There are two ships that depart for Labuan Bajo every 2 weeks. The best thing is all the tour boats offer the same program of diving, trekking, snorkeling and komodo tour.
For divers, of course you can find some great diving centers in Labuan Bajo. Here are some of them.
- Reesfseekers Dive Center
Dubbed as the most famous diving center in Labuan Bajo. This center offers a lot to divers, from taking you to explore the great dive sites to providing further training to improve your diving skills. There are lots of tempting dive sites that suit your need in Komodo National Park, and of course, they are incredibly wonderful sites. The prices are considered affordable, Rp. 800.000,- for 2 dives. Besides its warm and personalized service, this center also gives lectures on Indonesia’s rich marine life.
- Dive Komodo
Another top diving center in Labuan Bajo that takes you discover the untouched dive sites in Komodo Island. There are various tour packages you can choose, ranging from a single day trip to special packages including 6 to 10 dives as well as a trip to watch the giant Komodo. One or two days is not enough to explore everything!
There is also dive packages that includes accommodation, thanks to the partnership with Puri Sari Resort. The five nights package is the most recommended package as it includes three days of diving, or if you want an extended package, just send them an email. Keep in mind, the more you dive, the cheaper you get. Sounds more than just good, right?
- Bajo Dive Club
This dive center is located in north-west coast of Flores and established in 1991. There are lots of things to do, from taking excursion trips to 50 wonderful dive spots to taking a dive course with their PADI certified instructors. The prices are still affordable, ranging from Rp. 800.000,- for one dive day to Rp. 3.450.000,- for five days package (10 dives).
There are also packages that include ticket for Komodo National Park and safaris for divers and snorkelers (Komodo National Park ticket is excluded).
Keep in mind that most of the dive sites are located within the borders of the Komodo National Park, which are taken care by an environmental organization since 1995. You can participate in preserving this World Heritage by buying ticket for the Komodo National Park.