Stretching east from Bali lies Lombok, Sumbawa, Moyo and Flores – these isles host a wealth of interesting sights above land. The famed islands of Komodo National Park are known for the endemic Komodo dragons, respected by locals who believe they descend from one born to a dragon princess, centuries ago.
Rolling hills and mangroves in the north give way to craggy mountainous terrain in the central region, while in the south, Horseshoe Bay is about as close as you can get to Jurassic Park with cliffs shrouded in cloud and the force of the Pacific Ocean pounding the coast outside the cove.
With an official count of more than 1,000 types of fish and 260 types of corals, the warm tropical waters of Komodo National Park are one of the most species-rich underwater environments on earth. One of the wonderful things about this underwater playground is that around 60% of its dive sites are also suitable for snorkeling with their shallow, fringing reefs. Surfers can explore the surrounding islands of Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba and Rote for perfect waves.
DAY 1: LABUAN BAJO
You will be met at Labuan Bajo airport by the yacht’s crew and transferred to the harbour, a 15-minute drive. Once you have settled in onboard, the yacht will depart Labuan Bajo and cruise to the outskirts of the National Park while you enjoy lunch on deck. If time allows, go snorkelling or try a check dive before you watch the sun go down with a cocktail. Dinner will be served under the stars.
DAY 2: GILI LAWA LAUT
Today the yacht will anchor on the northwestern edge of Komodo, near the Gili Lawa islands. These two islands are home to Komodo's most famous underwater sites including Castle Rock, Shotgun, The Passage and Lighthouse. Pitch up on a stretch of golden sand between underwater pursuits. A steep trek will reward you with stunning vistas over the surrounding islands, stretching into the distance.
DAY 3: PADAR ISLAND
Set between Rinca and Komodo in the central region of the national park lies the picturesque island of Padar. A sheltered bay on the southeast side of the island makes for a beautiful anchorage in the shadow of dramatic craggy peaks. Central Komodo’s nutrient-rich waters attract shoals of schooling fish on current swept walls renowned as some of the best coral reefs in Indonesia. This bay is a wonderful spot to try watersports, relax on the beach or take a tender cruise into the mangroves to spot birdlife
DAY 4: RINCA ISLAND
Lesser known than neighboring Komodo Island, Rinca is an excellent place to observe Komodo dragons, as well as the monkey population and an array of birdlife. This morning, stroll through the park with a ranger and catch sight of the famed Komodo dragons. This afternoon, submerge at underwater sites in the channel between Komodo and Flores, such as Tatawa Besar and Kecil, relax on a sandy beach flecked with shells or explore nearby coves and try some watersports.
DAY 5: SOUTH RINCA
South Rinca is home to Horse Shoe Bay (Nusa Kode), where fierce Komodo dragons patrol a beach backed by thick forest inhabited by monkeys, deer, wild boar and fish eagles. The landscape here is markedly different to that of central Komodo, with sheer peaks rising into whirls of cloud. Underwater spots here include macro-heaven Cannibal Rock. This is an exciting area to take the tender out for a cruise along the dramatic rock formations
DAY 6: MANTA POINT
Today, you will have a chance to visit a Manta cleaning station. Swim surrounded by Manta rays as they circle you in an underwater ballet. This area offers one of the most active underwater landscapes in Komodo with vibrant soft and hard coral gardens home to large numbers of fish. After lunch onboard, spend the afternoon beach combing or cruising mangroves and hidden coves on the tender, or relax onboard in the sunshine
DAY 7: SEBAYUR
This morning, the yacht will arrive at Sebayur Island. This is a great spot for a relaxing castaway day; at Sebayur Kecil you can dive with black-tip reef sharks, groups of tuna, and green turtles diving from the surface. The afternoon can be spent enjoying watersports in quiet bays or reclining on a deserted sandy beach backed by the Komodo hills, as the day draws to a close with cocktails and dinner with a view over a final spectacular sunset.