How do you get to Padar Island?
This was the most difficult part of our journey.. how in the world do you get to Padar Island?
First, you’ll want to fly into Labuan Bajo, the capital of the western part of Flores Island. There are daily direct flights to Labuan Bajo from the following destinations:
For us, the flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo was quick and affordable
After arriving in Labuan Bajo, it’s time to plan your Komodo National Park tour. There are two ways to get to the island: a private boat tour or a group boat tour.
GROUP BOAT TOUR
In total, 1.3 million IDR ($97 USD) for our sunrise boat tour to Padar Island.
If you plan on visiting Komodo National Park, I highly recommend taking a private boat tour through Hubert and his family.
WHEN TO VISIT THE ISLAND
Going early will also help with the heat. Temperatures in Komodo National Park swell after 9 am and the humidity makes it difficult to breathe. Allow yourself an enjoyable trek to the top by arriving early.
The entrance fee for Padar Island might have been the most confusing part of the entire trip.
Upon arrival on the island, you must visit the national park booth. This is where a ranger is collecting entrance fees. There were several fees that we were unaware of before we arrived on the island, some of which are still a mystery to us.
These fees included: a national park entrance fee, hiking fee, tourism tax, and boat parking fee; each of these ranged from 5,000 IDR ($0.35 USD) to over 150,000 IDR ($10.50 USD). In total, we each paid approximately 225,000 IDR ($16 USD) to enter the island.
PADAR ISLAND HIKE AND VIEWPOINT
Now for the really fun stuff: hiking to Padar Island viewpoint.
It will take approximately two hours to reach the island from Labuan Bajo. If you plan on going for sunrise, I recommend taking a nap during the boat ride before arriving at the island; a 3 am wake-up call is never fun.
WHAT TO PACK FOR PADAR ISLAND
• Snacks – grab these the night before departing for the island. Convenient stores will be closed when you leave in the morning.
• Light jacket – it gets quite chilly on the boat in the early morning hours.
Glancing at the peak, I saw that some of far ahead, looking like ants near the top.
Halfway through was another flat area facing the cove. Even the view from here is already magical which resulted in another photography break. From the edge, one could clearly see how clear the turquoise waters are, a contrast to the dry savannah of Padar Island.
Padar Island views
We trudged on until we got to the first viewpoint. A rocky outcrop shaded by a lone tree. The view from here stunned me for a few seconds before I remembered that I have to take photos of its every angle. I knew that no photo or drone video will compare to the panorama before me, but still, it is a good way to remember this moment, forever etched in my travel memories.
Although no longer inhabited by the Komodo dragons, Padar Island‘s main draw is its breathtaking views.