Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Indonesia's Remote Islands

Paddle between and explore mountainous islands. Live on a boat, hike a volcano and hang out with Komodo Dragons.

I'M UP FOR
Kayak Journeys
DURATION
10 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Active
LOCATION
Indonesia
SEASON
June, August
NEAREST AIRPORT

Why it’s much better

  • Kayak and snorkel crystal clear waters over pristine coral
  • Eyes peeled for turtles, manta rays and friendly reef sharks
  • Hang out with Komodo Dragons, the largest lizard on the planet
  • Get involved with an important turtle conservation project
  • Paddle your way around uninhabited islands and sleep on a 1.7km deserted beach
  • Visit remote traditional communities and learn about their way of life
  • Soak up the sunrise, sunset and stars from your private liveaboard boat
  • Spend the night in a convent and enjoy dinner served by nuns
  • Hike up Mt Kelimatu to the brightly coloured volcanic crater lakes

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • Guides Expert, English-speaking local guides
  • Internal flights 2 internal flights from Bali to Flores
  • Accommodation 3 nights in a hotel, 3 nights on a liveaboard boat, 1 night in a convent, 1 night in a traditional village, 1 night in a guesthouse and 1 night beachside camping
  • Meals All your food (apart from 2 x dinners)
  • Transfers All airport transfers
  • Permits All permits and entry fees
  • Equipment All camping equipment
  • Happiness Guaranteed We’re so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it
  • Feel Good Vibes We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Perfect for

Those keen to visit a largely untouched pocket of wild Indonesia while encountering a myriad of animals and cultures on the way.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Dinner on Day 7 and Day 9
  • Alcoholic drinks

This trip is designed for those of average fitness. You should feel comfortable kayaking for a couple of hours at a time however the boat is always close by, should you need it. No previous kayaking experience is needed, but you may benefit from some upper body strength to enjoy it more. You do not need to be an experienced hiker, although you should be able to hike for up to 4 hours on steep and uneven terrain.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Indonesian food varies greatly by region, but there is one thing you can always depend on finding: rice. You can expect to eat a range of curries, noodle dishes and soups. All Indonesian dishes are prepared by combining the four main tastes groups of salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Nasi Goreng is a popular dish that is often served with a spicy ‘sambal’, a chilli-based paste that you will find everywhere.

Most dietary requirements can be catered for, just double-check with your host upon booking if you have a specific request.

Your luggage can stay with you for the trip and will be transported with you. If you are staying on longer in Bali, you can leave some things at the hotel at the beginning of the trip, if needed.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

Our group adventures are adult only. However, if you would like to bring children along this can be arranged by requesting a private trip with the host. This trip is suitable for children from age 12 only. They must be fit for hiking, but the boat is always available while kayaking should a break be needed.

Tips are not included in the trip cost and are not expected by the crew. If you have extra support throughout the trekking element, there may be an expectation for a little something. Small gifts from home are always appreciated instead.

Clean drinking water will be provided throughout from 20ltr dispensers. Please pack your own reusable bottle, it will be well used.

Many destinations require a visa and for your passport to be valid for 6 months minimum. Up to date advice for UK citizens can be found here.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Indonesia, have a read of the FCO pages here

Bags

  • Daypack (35+ litres) for overnights and hikes

Clothes

  • Fleece jacket or similar lightweight jacket for the evenings
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts (men and women are expected to cover knees in villages and small towns)
  • T-shirts (men and women are expected to cover shoulders in villages and small towns)
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimwear (acceptable to wear while kayaking and on the boat, no need to cover up)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or hiking shoes (worn-in)
  • Sandals
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

Sleeping

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner if desired

Other

  • Shawl, sarong or scarf (for temple or traditional village visits, can be bought locally)
  • Padlock for luggage
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellant
  • Suncream (reef-friendly only!)
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (1 ltr capacity)
  • Quickdry towel

Our host does a lot of work with the local community and has set up a project that donates reading glasses where needed. If you have any knocking around, or can source a couple of pairs from a charity shop, they will go a long way.

Got a question not covered here? Contact the host.

Location

View map

Your journey begins in well-connected Bali before a quick hop onto Flores Island. Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, a group of mountainous islands in the eastern half of Indonesia. This chain of islands is part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ and contains several active volcanoes.

Start point

Bali Hotel

Your adventure begins at the hotel in Bali. You are free to check in after 2pm. There will be a briefing at 6pm before heading out for an optional group dinner. The exact hotel will be confirmed pre-departure.

Airport transfers are included if you arrive on the start day, so please let your host know your flight times.

Finish point

Bali Hotel

Your adventure ends at the hotel in Bali. Airport transfers are included, so please let your host know your flight times.

Please note, transfers are only included if you arrive or depart on the start and end days of the trip. If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange airport transfers for an extra cost.

What to Expect

Day 1: Welcome to Indonesia

Your private transfer will whisk you off to your hotel in Bali. If you’ve got time and energy, there’s plenty to explore nearby. Or, if you’d rather relax, there’s a beach close at hand.

Join the group and your guide later for dinner at a local restaurant, where you can sample Indonesian cuisine and get to know your fellow adventurers.

Day 2: To Komodo National Park

Head back to the airport for a short flight to Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores - the main entry point to the Komodo National Park. You’ll meet your boat crew before heading to Rangko beach to explore the ‘secret’ cave nearby. Dense with stalactites and stalagmites, the cave contains a deep turquoise pool that’s perfect for a quick dip. Then you’ll jump into your kayak to begin your island-hopping journey. Overnight on the boat tonight, don’t forget to look up and take in the blanket of stars overhead.

Day 3: Island-hopping and Manta Ray tracking

Your first full day on the water. Exactly which islands you visit will depend on the tidal currents of the day. You’ll be kayaking and snorkelling through the Coral Triangle, the richest marine concentration on earth. Migrating Manta Rays, dolphins and turtles pass through daily and over 1000 identified coral and fish species live in this magnificent wild hot spot.

Time and tide permitting, you’ll also have the opportunity to view the famous flying foxes of Kalong Island. The entire island is covered by dense mangrove forests. The forest comes alive at dusk as thousands of these incredible animals take flight, heading to the pineapple and mangrove plantations on Flores island.

Day 4: Day of the Dragons

Early rise this morning as you head to Rinca island in pursuit of Komodo Dragons. The world’s largest lizard, averaging between 2 and 3 metres long, con only be found on a handful of islands in the National Park. You’ll visit Komodo Dragons on Rinca island in the best possible way - by trekking through the centre of the island with a guide from the local village. Seeing these animals in their natural habitat is a once in a lifetime experience.

Then there’s time for some more kayaking and snorkelling, before spending your final night on the boat, soaking up another dramatic sunset at sea.

Day 5: To the Turtle Conservation Centre

A boat-based breakfast will fuel you for some further turtle-spotting and snorkelling around Bidadari Island, before heading back to Labuan Bajo for the next steps in your journey. You’ll drive through the tiered rice fields of Western Flores passing vanilla, cinnamon and coffee farms.

Pante Hera, the home of the only turtle conservation centre on the island. This is truly off-grid living: there is no electricity, no phone signal and definitely no light pollution. The turtle centre is on the shore of a 1.7km beach that doubles as a nesting ground for Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles. They do important work to protect these species.

Day 6: The Traditional Village of Wae Rebo

It’s an early start today, as you set off along the beach scouting for new turtle nests. The local staff will teach you the process for when you find a nest. Plus you’ll have the chance to lend a hand with some of the projects being conducted. You’ll also visit the hot springs nearby for a soak.

After lunch you’ll start the trek to Wae Rebo. This traditional village can only be reached by footpath and upon arrival you’ll be welcomed by the elders. Located in an ancient volcanic caldera, the village still operates under traditional pre-colonial systems. With wild-harvest Luwak coffee beans served for breakfast, this is a treat for all the senses. Wae Rebo is a true example of successful community-based tourism - the locals are able to use your visit to supplement their traditional agricultural lifestyles, so many customs and traditions are kept alive. You’ll bed down for the night in a traditional house at 1200m.

Day 7: A Night in a Nunnery

Leaving Wae Rebo, you’ll descend back down to lower ground before driving to Ruteng. The drive takes you from sea level through 4 distinct ecosystems, including the lush mountain forests of Manggarai at an elevation of 1800m. You’ll have a short leg-stretch through some rice fields before stopping off at a local market, selling wares from the surrounding villages. Your overnight spot is the local convent, Susteran St Maria Berdukacita. The convent was opened up to visitors to give nuns and students the chance to practice hospitality and to meet different cultures. Your dinner will be served by nuns and it’s likely that you’ll wake to the sound of singing practice.

Day 8: Countryside Cruising

Starting early from the convent, you have the option of a short cycle ride to a viewpoint with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The 2 hour ride is mostly downhill or flat, with a 20-minute medium ascent. It’s the perfect way to take in the sights, smells and sounds of local village life. For those not so keen to pedal, you can always hop in the bus and enjoy the view with slightly less effort. Continuing your journey by private bus, you’ll visit the jungle-flanked Lake Ranamese and stop at one of the traditional Arak (alcohol) distilleries before reaching Bajawa for overnight.

Day 9: Sunrise Hiking and Matriarchal Culture

An extra-early start today as you’ll start trekking straight from the guesthouse. On this 3+ hour trek you’ll visit the forests, fields and traditional mountainous villages of the Ngada culture. Ngada is one of the few cultures in Indonesia that is matriarchal, so all property and assets passed along matrilineal lines. Exploring the traditional villages of Bena, Luba and Gurusina, you will learn about this culture firsthand. Descending to the coastline, you’ll hike east to Moni Village for dinner. You’ll overnight in an ecolodge in Kelimutu, our final overnight stop on the island of Flores at the base of Mt Kelimutu.

Day 10: Kelimutu Crater Lake Hike

The Kelimutu volcanic crater lakes are best seen as the sun rises behind them, showing off their unusual colours. The lakes vary from dark red to light green, each depending on the volcanic activity and the level of acid. The lakes of Mount Kelimutu are considered to be the resting place for departed souls, locally referred to as “the lakes of evil spirits”. You’ll climb 800+ metres through different ecosystems as the sun creeps down to the horizon. After grabbing that essential ‘I climbed a volcano’ selfie, you’ll hike back down before heading to the airport for your return flight to Bali for a final goodbye dinner.

Day 11: Goodbye Indonesia!

Enjoy your last tropical breakfast, before pick up and private transfer to the airport for your return flight.

Accommodation

In Bali you’ll be staying in a locally-owned hotel, either in Pantai Sanur or Pantai Mertasari. Both are close to lots of great places to eat and explore, but also close enough to the airport for our early start on Day 2.

You will spend 3 nights on a liveaboard boat. The boat has 4 twin-berth cabins and a large 8 berth cabin. All cabins are air-conditioned with sea view windows. Each bunk has privacy curtains, a light and a power source. There are several hot water bathrooms throughout the boat, as well as a large platform for relaxing or wildlife spotting.

At the turtle camp you will stay in a local ‘pondok’. These are basic raised platforms with a roof and tent inside that overlooks the sea. On a clear night you may prefer to bring your mattress and blanket outside to the platform and fall asleep to the sounds and smell of the sea.

Your night at Wae Rebo will be spent in the same manner that the locals sleep - that is, in a large communal room in one of the main traditional thatch buildings. There are shower facilities, but you should be prepared for a basic set-up. Pack earplugs if you think they may be needed!

The night in the convent in Ruteng is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. The rooms are twin-share, simple and exceptionally clean and the doors are locked at 9pm!

One night will be spent in a simple guesthouse in Bajawa. The rooms are basic and clean and will be twin-share.

Your last night on Flores will be spent in Kelimutu Ecolodge. Set in beautiful gardens on the edge of a rainforest, in a valley of rice paddies, this is the perfect spot to set off to explore the crater lakes from the next morning.

Private Room Upgrade If you would prefer a private room this can be arranged for all nights excluding the night at Wae Rebo (and in case of heavy rains at the turtle camp where the inside rooms will need to be shared if tents cant be used). If you would like to confirm a single room for all other nights, including a single cabin on the boat, please request with your host upon booking. These are subject to availability so cannot be guaranteed.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Equipment · Financial Protection · Guide · Happiness Guarantee · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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