Discover a real life Jurassic Park where dragons roam the lands and an underwater frontier sets the stage for some of the most exciting diving in the world.
Journey into the wild to Komodo, nature’s adventure theme park. Revel in stunning landscapes, abundant marine life and the feeling that this is a magical place where time stands still.
As far back as 1,500 AD the Latin warning ‘HC SVNT DRACONES” (here be dragons) appeared on maps around the east coast of Asia warning sailors of the ominous beasts in the region. They were first discovered by western science in 1910 and in 1926, an expedition to seek out the dragons provided the inspiration for the 1933 movie ‘King Kong’.
Today, the last remaining refuge of Varanus Komodoensis is on Komodo and Rinca islands. Within the expansive park, there is one isolated region where the mythical dragons can be observed entirely wild running and swimming in their natural habitat.
On a single dive in Komodo, one can experience what seems like a scripted nature documentary transitioning from one exciting sighting to the next. The only thing missing is David Attenborough’s commentary.
Dive with giant manta rays, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and octopodes, sometimes all on the same dive. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a whale or the elusive oceanic sunfish. Time the tides just right and experience drift dives like nowhere else.
Cradled within the hills that give Komodo its unique topographical signature are countless white and pink sandy beaches. The pink is from a tiny pink-colored marine organism called foraminifera. Take a stroll or venture on a hike up one of the islands for a better vantage point and enjoy spectacular sunset views.
The only question you’ll have is why this is not a more known destination, and why hasn’t it been developed. The park was established in 1980 around the dragons and has since grown to protect both the terrestrial and marine biodiversity. In 1986 the park became a World Heritage Site and is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to ensure it stays as nature intended.
Indonesia’s islands are home to distinct cultures as varied as the islands are vast and this couldn’t be more evident when landing in Labuan Bajo. The bustling fishing village feels a world away after just a 50-minute flight from Bali. The predominantly Catholic island stands out from its neighbors taking reggae influences from the Caribbean. Colorfully painted vans, seaside shacks and drier vegetation all combine to create a unique backdrop in the archipelago.
Perched on the edge of Komodo National Park, this diamond in the rough has experienced a surge in development in just the past few years. It’s ironic that such a place has remained under the radar for so long, despite the natural bounties that await discovery just off its shores. The airport is close to port, where you’ll be whisked away by dinghy and out to the islands to start your adventure.