Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia – Day 1

Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - wonderful Kelor Island - Two Worlds Treasures

After 6 months of waiting, we finally did the island hopping in Flores, Indonesia. We went there last June and rent a pinisi – a traditional Indonesian sailing boat – for 3 days and 2 nights, together with my sister’s family and her friend’s family. There were total of 11 people in the group plus our tour operator. It was the first time for all of us and we were so excited.


Location: Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia.

Visited: June 24-26, 2017.

Our Accommodation: a pinisi (traditional Indonesian sailing boat) called Kajoma IV.

Our Activities: Island hopping, trekking, snorkeling.

Tour Operator: Wil Jo (62-8111262222)

Our Stories:


Island Hopping Day 1 – Kelor Island

What a beautiful morning to start our island hopping from Labuan Bajo harbor. A dinghy was waiting for us at the harbor with two crews ready to transport us and our luggage to pinisi (the sailing boat). They had to do two trips because of the number of people in our group.

My family went on the first trip and we were surprised once we stepped into the sail boat. It’s clean, spacious, and welcoming. The crews greeted us with big smiles. Immediately we explored the boat with ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ following us to every corner.


After the second group arrived, we assigned the bedrooms between us. We got the one on the main deck while others stayed in the lower deck. The sail boat has four bedrooms with a bathroom in each room. It has hot shower and basic toiletries as well as towels. The AC in our bedroom was cold. It’s apparent they turned it on long before we arrived on the boat. (You must understand most businesses in Indonesia are stingy on this one).


When the boat started leaving the harbor area, Patris, the Dive Master began to explain about the island hopping and what islands we’re going to visit and the activities we’re going to do for Day 1. He also explained about snorkeling with all the equipment needed. It was also the first time for all of us, too. Well, I did it once in 2001, so it didn’t really count.

Our first stop for the day was Kelor Island. It’s an uninhabited island located about an hour from Labuan Bajo harbor. Here we supposed to hike to the top, but due to a couple of people in the group were afraid of heights, we only went half way. Even that, the view was brilliant. White sandy beach met with light blue water that gradually changed to deep blue sea color. Amazing!


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Kelor Island from top - Two Worlds Treasures
Kelor Island from the top of the hill

We could see a group of people who arrived before us snorkeling around the beach. I heard Kelor Island was one of the spot for it, but we didn’t do any for Day 1. We would do it on Day 2 and Day 3.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - people snorkeling at Kelor - Two Worlds Treasures



Island Hopping Day 1 – Rinca Island

From Kelor Island we continued to Rinca Island to see the Komodo dragon. Rinca Island is one out of 4 islands in Flores where you can see Komodo dragon right at their natural habitat. It took about 1,5 hours to get there.

But first, it’s time to eat lunch prepared by Chef Juna and his assistant. Seafood salad, fried fish, fried chicken, mixed vegetables, and French fries. They’re all delicious. My picky-eater son even ate the fried chicken. He put his thumbs up.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - lunch - Two Worlds Treasures
Delicious lunch prepared by Chef Juna (photo credit: Wil Jo)


Finally, we arrived at Rinca Island. Because the body of the sail boat was quite big, we couldn’t moor closer to the shore. Just like at Kelor Island, we went to the island with the dinghy. But we didn’t need two trips because there’s no suitcases anymore.

To see the Komodo dragon in Rinca Island, we entered through Komodo National Park called Loh Buaya. The entrance fee was 95,000 IDR (8 USD) for locals and 170,000 IDR (13 USD) for my foreigner husband. We also had to pay 80,000 IDR (6 USD) for the ranger but this fee was per group.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - welcome to Rinca Island - Two Worlds Treasures
Welcome to Komodo National Park


It’s been said that when a woman got her period, she can’t enter the park. Komodo dragon can smell blood from a few feet away. But I’ve read also that it’s fine if the person walks and stands within a circle of others. And that’s what I did. All the way from the U.S. and couldn’t see the dragon? No way!

From the entrance, we walked to the ranger station and the ranger gave us some dos and don’ts while we’re visiting the dragon. I read on the board about 3 trekking tracks on this island but we didn’t do any of it. We just walked to the houses where the rangers live. The ranger has a long stick on his hand with a Y shape on one end. It’s supposed to be their safety tool if something happens. But don’t ask me if it’s strong enough. If you go, just hope everything will be alright.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Rinca Island, ranger stick - Two Worlds Treasures
These are the rangers’ sticks


When we got closer to the houses, we saw one big dragon on top of a smaller dragon. Apparently, it’s mating season in Rinca Island.

“What are they doing?” asked my 10-year-old son in wonder.

I pretended not to hear and let my husband explained it to him.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Rinca Island, mating season - Two Worlds Treasures
It’s mating season in Rinca Island


There were at least 6 Komodo dragons we saw that day. Most of them were small. After taking pictures and watched them for a while, we left the island to continue to the next stop.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Rinca Island with Komodo dragons - Two Worlds Treasures

Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Rinca Island, smaller Komodo dragons - Two Worlds Treasures



Island Hopping Day 1 – Padar Island

Our next stop which was also the last island we visited for Day 1 was Padar Island. It’s one of the must-visit when people visiting Labuan Bajo, Flores. It has a stunning view from the top. Our tour operator said people came here for making pictures. They brought along different clothes with them and some even came for their pre-wed pictures. Crazy! Because the trek was hard. The ground was sandy, rocky, and slippery. And it’s long. My friend from Texas asked if it’s like climbing Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg. I said it’s nothing compare to Padar Island.



But all the hard work was worth it. The view from the top was amazing. I couldn’t stop praising God for his wonderful creation. And we didn’t even go all the way to the top. We stopped at the first viewing post. It was hot and humid and the sun was almost set. If we continued to the top, it would be dark by the time we had to leave the island. Besides, there were a group of people on the next viewing post. I didn’t think there would be enough room for all of us there.


Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Padar Island, from the top - Two Worlds Treasures
The famous view of Padar Island

Island Hopping Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - Padar Island, us at the top - Two Worlds Treasures

From Padar Island we headed to Komodo Island where our sailboat anchored for the night. I tried to stay up late, hoping to catch the Milky Way. But I was too tired so I went to sleep not long after we had our luscious dinner. Good night Komodo Island! See you in the morning!


How to get to Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia

– If you fly from Jakarta, there’s a choice of nonstop or connecting flight daily to Labuan Bajo, the hub to Komodo Islands. That’s where we started. We flew with Garuda, nonstop from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo for about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

– When you’re already in Bali or Lombok, there are more choices of airlines and times to go to Labuan Bajo.

– For a budget traveler, you can take a combination of ferry and bus from Bali. It takes two days though.


So, what are you waiting now? Plan your itinerary and book the ticket now. Flores is awaiting you.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 1 - b - pinterest image - Two Worlds Treasures


Continue reading our Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia stories – Day 2 and Day 3 – by clicking the related links below.


Don't forget to share
CommentLuv badge


  1. Tara says:

    Amazing pictures! I love how blue and tropical the water looks!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! The islands and water around Flores Island do look amazing. My family wants to go back again!

  2. Stacey says:

    Looks like a great trip! I’d be a little nervous about the Komodo dragons! Your pictures are stunning! Great post!
    Stacey recently posted…Take a Walk Through History in Colonial WilliamsburgMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! We hope to do it at least one more time but this time with a smaller group so we can do the trekking in Rinca Island (where we saw the Komodo dragons). Like my husband said, seeing the Komodo dragons is the highlight of our 6 weeks trip in Indonesia.

  3. laagan kaayo says:

    omg!!! thank you so much for this guide!! i’m going here this coming November! and I’m also worried with my period! you give me so much relief!! haha <3
    laagan kaayo recently posted…Top 6 Must Visit Places Outside But Not That Far From TaipeiMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You will have fun there. But remember, always stay with the ranger while in the island. Never ever wandering around by yourself. A Singaporean tourist almost lost his leg last May. They said he didn’t listen to what the ranger told him.

  4. Farah says:

    This is fantastic.. Its looks like such a nice trip.
    Farah recently posted…Let’s Talk Food: The Copper Pan Fudge CompanyMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, it was! I hope you will make a trip day in the future.

  5. Patti Morrow says:

    I’ve never been to Flores, but it looks really pretty. The water is amazing. I’d love to do the island hopping, too.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You know what? It’s only a small Indonesian been to Flores. They know about the beauty of the island but not sure what to expect once they get there. Hopefully you will make it there in the future. You will love it!

  6. Julz says:

    Used to live in Bali an dI really regret we didn’t go island hopping a bit! But kids were a bit too small so it made it difficult for me to do it alone with them… Beautiful pics of an awesome country!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I totally understand that. My son is 10 so it wasn’t a problem at all. Next time we go, I’m sure we can rent a modest boat or share boat with others. Way cheaper.

  7. Joella says:

    You have convinced me that the way to see this place is to go island hoping by boat. The boat looked amazing and comfortable and all the islands you got to see are incredible. The views and water are just amazing and I would love to pack my bags and go right now.
    Joella recently posted…Laura Plantation – A Creole PlantationMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I know, right? I’m friends with the tour operator in fb and he kept posting pictures from Flores and other islands from his recent trips. I’m so wanting to be there!

  8. Incredible! This experience seems incredible!! I cannot believe how nice that boat was, the lounge areas and the bathrooms looked so nice! But I can only imagine how beautiful those island were in person The islands and the water just all look so gorgeous in your photos. Really great post!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! It was one of our favorite vacation time and place. We plan to go there again.

  9. Nicky says:

    That looks amazing; the water is so blue!! The boat looks gorgeous too! And good on you for not being deterred in going to see the dragons; at least they had other things on their minds, lol!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yeah, Flores is wonderful! I wish it’s closer. I feel like want to be there whenever I see our Tour Operator posted pictures from there.

  10. Frances says:

    Ahh this looks like such a fun family trip! Love that boat – so luxurious!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      It was really fun! And yes, the boat was lovely.

  11. GGG says:

    So jealous! That looks so fabulous. Are the pinisi sailing boats expensive? Any recommendations?

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      There are different sizes and prices of pinisi sailing boat. You can rent it for 2 or 3 days, even a week or just for a day trip. I like ours because it’s beautiful, plus the chef was great. Even my picky-eater son didn’t have problem. You can contact our tour operator via WhatsApp. If you scroll back to the top, you will find his cell number.

  12. Mary Beth says:

    OK, first, three islands in one day? Wow! And your aerial shots? – double wow! They are beautiful, the water is so gorgeous, and that boat looks fantastic! I’m definitely putting Komodo National Park on my list, thanks for the info!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Hope you will make it there!

  13. Those naughty Komodo dragons, hahaha! The islands are really beautiful!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:


  14. Anna says:

    Your trip looks so luxurious! And your photos are just beautiful – like a postcard!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you.

  15. Marvi says:

    Wow.. My idea of an island hopping is a day trip on a smaller boat (enough to accommodate at least 30 people) and visit islands where we can snorkel, fish feed and enjoy the water. Your’s however is way cooler! It’s like a mini-cruise! The islands you’ve visited looks really beautiful! And the views especially at Padar Island. Wow! Good to know you still went and see the Komodo Dragon despite having your period, I too wouldn’t want to miss it! 😉

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Actually, we weren’t sure the boat would be like that. You know, what’s in the pictures sometimes is not what we’ll get. And yes, the island and the views are really beautiful. I’m glad there’s nothing happened when we visited the dragon.

  16. selma says:

    what a great and useful guide 🙂
    thanks for sharing. the pics are beautiful btw.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you!

  17. NieNie says:

    It looks like you and your family had a ton of fun! The boat looks beautiful!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, we were! Visiting the Komodo Dragons at their natural habitat was the highlight of our vacation.

  18. Erin says:

    This is such a dream! The thought of visiting an uninhabited island just simply blows my mind. And I couldn’t stop laughing at those dragons hahahah! The view from the top of Padar is so stunning. I love a good hike, but that does look hard… and so worth it!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      When we saw the dragons, we were like “oh, my!” We had two 10-year-old boys and one 13 y.o. girl. Hahaha…

  19. […] For a budget traveller, there’s a combination of ferry and bus from Bali that will take 2 days to Labuan Bajo. Click the link for more information on how to see Komodo Dragons in Indonesia. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *