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What To Expect On A Labuan Bajo Liveaboard
A large amount of liveaboards from Labuan Bajo will be departing from here to start dive tours in the Komodo National Park. Sitting on the coast to the western end of the region of Flores, Labuan Bajo was once a small fishing village. In recent years it has transformed in to a busy tourist town for visitors to the Komodo National Park and the surrounding Flores countryside. Labuan Bajo’s popularity as a tourist destination is largely due to the proximity of Komodo airport which can bring visitors from Bali and other areas of Indonesia. The town is quite busy but the attraction of Labuan Bajo is more its proximity to the National Park than the place itself.
The town is the departure point for many of the park’s tours including diving liveaboards. Many dive cruises depart from or disembark at Labuan Bajo’s port. Visitors should be aware that to go into the National Park area from Labuan Bajo they will need a guide and there is a small fee around 20 dollars for entrance. The land trips on offer are mostly for hiking, sightseeing and nature trails to see the infamous Komodo Dragons. The most popular land excursions are the Komodo Dragons spotting trips on Rinca and hiking tours of the volcanic mountains of Manggarai.
Liveaboard diving from Labuan Bajo
Labuan Bajo is in a prime position for Komodo Islands diving liveaboards, it is within reach of a huge number of the best dive sites in the region. Labuan is a few hours’ sail from Rinca and Komodo Island which means that liveaboards can reach most of the top sites in a week or two weeks long dive cruise. There are also some shorter dive tours available, some 3 or 4 days long, for this it is best to leave from Labuan Bajo to make the most of the time in the Komodo National Park.
Many of the best dive sites in Komodo such as Batu Balong and Manta Point are only an hour or so from Labuan Bajo. One of the best experiences is to begin at either Labuan or Bali and travel to the other port. This takes in a huge range of different dive sites both in Bali and Komodo National Park. There are numerous kinds of liveaboards departing and disembarking from Labuan Bajo including both the usual customised motor vessels and the beautiful traditional Indonesian sailing boats.
Getting to Labuan Bajo
There are a few ways to get to Labuan Bajo from Bali and other areas of Indonesia. The most adventurous is the three-day ferry from Bali port. There is also a speed boat from Sape in Nussa Tenggra, which takes a few hours depending on sea conditions. The other option is to take a liveaboard dive cruise starting in Bali and finishing in Labuan Bajo. This is a great option as not only do you get the maximum time diving but you also get to see both places too.
There is also an airport close to Labuan Bajo, the recently upgraded Komodo Airport, which has flights from Bali and other smaller Indonesian airports. The airport is close to Labuan Bajo, about a 20-minute walk or a few minutes in a taxi. International flights are possible to Bali as well and from there you can connect on to Labuan Bajo. If you want to save a little money, a good idea is to fly to Bima and take the bus from there on to Labuan Bajo.