15 Heavenly Destinations in Labuan Bajo: Labuan Bajo is a fisherman town located in Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Though the place itself is an Icon of tourism, many heavenly destinations are not in Labuan Bajo but in the surrounding islands. Labuan Bajo stores indefinite hidden gems, from Pink beaches, private islands, spider web ricefields, ancient villages, majestic caves, to hidden waterfalls. Here are our 15 Heavenly Destinations in Labuan Bajo!
1. Pink Beach
If you think a pink beach is impossible to find and only exists in a dream, you should come to this site. Not only that the sand is pink, but the water is also crystal clear with a touch of limestone color and deep blue. The reason why the sand is pink on this beach is that the species of corals surrounding the beach is pink, so what you see on the beach are corals washed up to the shores. However, resist that temptation to bring back the sand as a souvenir, because you can get fined as much as Rp.200 million or jail time for 10 years!
2. Padar Island
This particular island is so iconic that the government decided to put it on their national currencies. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking. Consisted of the turquoise ocean and surrounding islands, this island becomes a must-visit in everyone else’s bucket lists. To reach the island you have to rent a boat for 2,5 hours from Labuan Bajo or a speed boat for 1,5 hours. There is another thing to remember though, 3 wild komodos live freely on this island! but don’t worry since there are authorities who will guard you safely.
3. Wae Rebo Village
Wae Rebo Village is another iconic site you can’t miss while you are in Labuan Bajo. The uniqueness of the village has been proven when the village received the UNESCO Top Award of Excellences in 2012. The village is located 1200 meters above the sea and there is no way you can ride a car to reach it. That is why you have to hike the trail for 2 hours. There are some unique rules to follow while you are visiting, such as ringing the traditional bell or pepak to let the villagers know they’re about to welcome a new visitor. There are ancient aspects you can witness here, such as one rule of only 7 houses allowed in one neighborhood. If you wanted to learn more, bring a tour guide with you.
4. Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is one of the most iconic destinations while you are visiting Labuan Bajo. It becomes one of the only places in the world where you can come and see this ancient reptile. This national park was built in the 1980s to preserve the last remaining komodo species. Though the lizard may seem tame, you have to keep a safe distance between them because they have venomous poison. In this national park, you can also meet other faunas, such as different kinds of snakes, lizards, bats, mouses, bats, to horses. Meanwhile, the marine species surrounding it include Manta ray, whales, and dolphins.
5. Rangko Cave
Labuan Bajo has many exotic caves to be explored, one of them is Rangko Cave. This majestic cave is decorated with natural stalactites and stalagmites all over it. And the most special part is the pool in the middle of the cave. The best way to explain it is that the ocean water sipped in through and connects the ocean with the natural pool. If you come in the afternoon, the sun will reflect the water creating deep blue color. You can feel the calming vibe and majestic ambiance once you step inside. Lastly, you can also see some bats sleeping on the roof of the cave in the middle of the day.
6. Sano Nggoang Lake
This lake is one of the most underrated destinations in Labuan Bajo. Not so many people come to visit, since it takes around 3-4 hours driving from Labuan Bajo. The road is not yet developed, making it impossible to ride comfortably. However, along the way, you would be able to enjoy the surrounding bamboo forest and friendly villagers. If you are lucky, you would be able to see the Kapu Traditional ceremony. It is a traditional way for the locals to welcome new visitors and to show friendliness. Other than that, you can hike some trails to enjoy this lake from the height, or chill by the lake. If you decide to try some trails, make sure to bird sighting, since the lush forest becomes a home for thousands of bird species.
7. Kenawa Island
Kenawa Island is a private island in Sumbawa which many people often refer to as the heaven of Sumbawa. This tiny island is pretty much isolated with no clean water and electricity yet available. However, some people decided to camp overnight to stargaze and watch the dramatic sunset. This isolated island offers a fantastic clear star view at night since there is no pollution at all. The white sandy beach also combined with crystal clear water stores rich marine species and coral reefs. So don’t forget to bring snorkelling equipment!
8. Cunca Rami Waterfall
Cunca Rami waterfall is an untouched oasis in the middle of lush forestry in Flores. The waterfall is around 30 meters tall, creating a magnificent sight from the far. On the bottom of the waterfall, there is a small pool with refreshing water to swim. The ambiance is very calm and tranquil It is a perfect quick getaway! However, to enjoy this virgin site, you will have to ride 30 km from Labuan Bajo harbor. You also have to get ready to hike the trail for an hour, meaning you have to be fit to get through the forest.
9. Lingko Spider Web Rice Field
Probably one of the most unique and interesting sites to explore is the Rangko Spider Web Rice Fields. Unlike any other ricefields, this particular one has ricefields combined and formed a giant spider web. Though it wasn’t intentional, the view from above is majestic. This is because the locals build their ricefields according to the agricultural traditions of their ancestors known as linkgo. Each family assigned a rice field radiating from the center outward. The best place to view this interesting creation is from the Cancar Village, which is accessible by cars from Ruteng.
10. Flying Foxes Island
Flying Foxes island or the locals called it Kalong Island is a tiny island surrounded by a mangrove forest where thousands of bats habited. It is located in Labuan Bajo where you can reach it by riding a small boat. The perfect time to visit is by the sunset, where thousands of bats can be seen flying around. However, it is forbidden to step on the island. The island is infested with snakes which is why you can only watch the flying foxes moment by the boat.
11. Tengku Siwa Waterfall
Another untouched natural beauty store deep in the forest is the Tengku Siwa Waterfall located in Nggalak Village. This particular waterfall is unique. The height of the waterfall can reach 75 meters tall! With green moss surrounding the waterfall, it creates a magical vibe. You can also enjoy swimming in their natural pools. However, to reach the destination, you will need some extra effort. You can ride a bus for 3 hours from Ruteng, then walk through the ricefield for an hour. Though the route is pretty hard, you will be rewarded by this heavenly site.
12. Batu Cermin Cave
Labuan Bajo is famous for the beaches, but it is honestly packed with exotic destinations. One of them is Batu Cermin Cave. This cave was found by a Dutch Priest in 1951. The cave was underwater back then, which is why there are many ocean fossils found inside the cave. The name Batu Cermin itself translated to Mirrored Stone. That is because the walls contained a high concentration of salt, so when the sun touches the wall it creates a reflection. You can take a comprehensive tour inside to learn more about the history and the ancient fossils inside the cave.
13. Taka Makassar
This tiny little island is a heaven on earth. Located just by the Komodo National Park, this inhabited island is one of the most beautiful destinations you can’t miss. This small island can only be found when the water is shallow, once the water return, the island disappeared. This tiny island consisted of ivory white sand surrounded by emerald-colored water. The island becomes a lovely home for coral reefs and other marine species, so it is a perfect spot to snorkel. To ensure the safety of the coral reefs population, big boats are forbidden to stop here.
14. Amelia Sea Hill
Located in Labuan Bajo, Amelia Hill offers a breathtaking view of the crystal clear ocean and the surrounding islands. This hill is famous for its sensational sunset view, where you can see the sun sets on between the surrounding island. To reach the sunset point, you will have to hike a moderate trail. This hill is also very easy to access since you don’t have to ride a boat to cross the ocean. You only have to drive a scooter for 15 minutes from the Labuan Bajo harbor. You need to remember that once the sun has set, the surrounding area will be dark because there is no lampost whatsoever.
15. Kelor Island Beach and Mountain
Kelor Island is not as famous as Padar Island or Komodo Island. However, Kelor Island stores virgin beauty no one rarely noticed. Located in Manggarai, this island has an amazing view of the limestone ocean, white sandy beach, with natural trails surrounded by lush greenery. There are many activities you can do here. Since the island is barely visited, the ocean has healthy populations of corals and fishes. You can snorkel so close to the coastline! You can also hike the nature trail and enjoy a whole new perspective of the island. It feels like having them all by yourself!