Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia – Day 3

Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - floating sea turtle - Siaba Island

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 in Flores, Indonesia: Day 3


“Mommy! Mommy! Wake up! There’s a dolphin!” screamed my son.

Hearing the word dolphin, I woke up instantly, grabbed my camera, and zoomed to the main deck. There, my husband, brother-in-law, and the children were cheering looking at the dolphins that were jumping and dancing not too far from our boat. I opened my camera lens, and agh… it’s foggy. I forgot to put the camera in the plastic bag before we went to bed. Just like yesterday.

Luckily the dolphins stayed long and I could take their pictures though it’s not that good. A lovely bonus to start our day on the last day of the island hopping in Flores, Indonesia.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - dolphin in the early morning


Our morning became more exciting when I saw the chef put pancakes and omelet on the table. My picky eater son put his left thumb up, when I asked how he liked his pancake.

On this last day of island hopping, we went to see sea turtles at Siaba Island and enjoyed the underwater world there, before we stopped at Kanawa Island. Then we headed back to Labuan Bajo, our starting point, to continue our vacation on inland Flores.


Island Hopping in Flores – Snorkeling at Siaba Island

Just like Manta rays, sea turtles in this area also live in a deep-sea. Good thing the current wasn’t that strong though it still felt cold to the body.

Not long after we started snorkeling, our tour operator spotted a sea turtle that looked like sleeping on the bottom of the sea. Then we spotted two more, where one of them looked like a coral.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - sea turtles at Siaba Island
Photo credit: Wil Jo

While snorkeling around looking for more sea turtles, one of the turtle swam to the surface. She moved gracefully and gorgeously like a ballerina. We tried to catch up with her, but we weren’t that fast.

Then we moved to the shore area to enjoy the underwater life there. Wow! Thousands of fish with different shapes and colors were awaiting us; swimming along colorful corals. It’s just amazing! I’ve never seen one like this before.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - amazing underwater - Siaba Island
Photo credit: Wil Jo
Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - wonderful underwater - Siaba Island
Photo credit: Wil Jo


Because it’s not that deep, our tour operator reminded us not to change to stand up position because we could touch the corals with our fins and it could damage them.

At one point, we started spotting a starfish. Then more and more of them with different colors. That area was like a night sky for the starfish. Amazingly beautiful!


On our way back to the boat, the corals changed shape to pencil type with shades of blue and green. Then we found Nemo! Yay!


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - finding Nemo at Siaba Island
Photo credit: Wil Jo


Island Hopping in Flores – Snorkeling at Kanawa Island

From Siaba Island to Kanawa Island was quite long. After lunch we went to the upper deck for a nap while my nephew tried on the hot tub. Remember. The sailboat had a hot tub on the upper deck.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - lazying on the upper deck


When we got closer to the destination, I could feel the atmosphere was different. Sailboats anchored here and there, and I could see tourists at the beach and in the water. There’s also a resort in this island, one of the oldest resort in Labuan Bajo and surrounding area. I think it’s also the closest one to land.

From the boat, I could see the water in front of the resort looked crystal-clear but that area was only for the resort’s guests. We went to the other side of the resort to feed the fish where the water looked darker. Yes, in this area the fish got modernized already. They like to eat bread! So, we left the boat with a plastic of bread in our hand.

Just like other places, water around Kanawa Island was still clear. We could see school of fish swimming around the dock. Once we got into the water, I couldn’t help myself for not trying to touch them. It looked easy, but I couldn’t touch them at all. They moved fast.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - Kanawa Island
Photo credit: Wil Jo


There’s a fee to get in to this island, but our tour operator took care of it. Also, we didn’t spend a lot of time here, because today was also our last day in the boat. We had to be back by 4 p.m. to Labuan Bajo.

Back to the boat, we took a shower and packed. Then I went back to sit at the upper deck, enjoying my last hours of island hopping in Flores. We felt a bit sad, but we had to continue our trip to the next destinations in inland Flores.

Slightly before 4, the captain turned off the engine. I haven’t seen the beach yet. “Is something wrong?” I thought. Apparently, because the sailboat was relatively big, we would be transported to the beach by the dinghy.

Just like on the first day, my family and I left on the first trip. It’s hard to leave but it’s about time. Goodbye Kajoma. Goodbye Komodo islands. We won’t forget. See you next time.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3 - Goodbye Komodo Islands
Goodbye Komodo Islands. (Photo credit: Wil Jo).


How to get to Flores

– 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 for? Plan your itinerary and book the ticket now. Flores is waiting for you.


Island Hopping in Flores, Indonesia - Day 3


If you miss our story from Day 1 and Day 2, click the posts under the related link below.

Don't forget to share
CommentLuv badge


  1. Mandeep says:

    Great write up and fantastic pictures!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you!

  2. Tatjana says:

    Great article. I’d love to see the turtles. It looks so amazing.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! Yes, the turtles were amazing.

  3. Carlos says:

    What a place!!! Do you know if it is possible to do scuba diving? was the boat very expensive?
    The boat really surprised me, I was expecting something a lot more traditional not with a hot tub hahaha. Very cool!!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, you can do scuba diving around the Komodo Islands. Some said it has the best spot in the world. My scuba diver friends who live in Jakarta (the capitol of Indonesia), went there back and forth. There are different kind of boats that you can rent. We met a group of divers several times. Their boat were normally the traditional ones. It looked like they booked a daily trip through travel agencies around Labuan Bajo, the home base to Komodo Islands.

  4. Sai says:

    I love how we have the same style of blogging; like telling a story. It makes me feel like I was with you during the trip 🙂

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! That’s what I want people to get when they read my posts.

  5. Zoe says:

    very nice itinerary! I would love to snorkel and see wild turtles one day!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      It was really fun! That’s our first time.

  6. Unta says:

    Such a magical underwater world! Love the photos of turtles and sea stars. 🙂

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! We wish to go back again.

  7. Varsha says:

    Interesting info and awesome photos. Thanks for sharing this hidden gem. Dolphin watching must be exciting.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You are welcome! Hope you make it there one day.

  8. Susie says:

    The underwater shots are gorgeous! I love Indonesia and it’s been too long since I last visited so this post made me want to go back right now!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! And yes, I think it’s time to go back!

  9. Lieselo says:

    Would love to go snorkeling with turtles! It looks like an amazing place!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, you have to go to Flores! It’s amazing!

Leave a Reply

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