Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Indonesia's Remote Islands

Clamber up a volcano, live on a boat, paddle between mountainous islands and hang out with Komodo Dragons

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Trip Ref #9963

Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Indonesia's Remote Islands

Clamber up a volcano, live on a boat, paddle between mountainous islands and hang out with Komodo Dragons

DURATION

10 nights

LOCATION

Indonesia

ANNUAL LEAVE

8 days off work

SEASON

May-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Ngurah Rai (Bali) International Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Guesthouse · Homestay · Boat

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

No experience is needed but you should feel comfortable on the water and able to hike for up to three hours at a time.

Hike sacred Mount Kelimutu at sunrise and see the shifting shades of its unique, colourful crater lakes

Discover Indonesian tradition and culture first-hand in remote villages and agricultural communities of Flores

Kayak and snorkel pristine waters teeming with marine life from a live-aboard boat in the Komodo Islands

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Rebecca, August 2022

    Cannot recommend this enough. The best trip I have ever been on, I am still reeling from it. It was my first time travelling in Asia and I was blown away by the experience. A perfect mix of physical adventure and cultural insight - Gusti was very experienced and knowledgeable and I learnt a lot. For me the highlight was Snorkelling and swimming alongside a turtle, I felt like I was alone in the world with it. It was magical! I loved all of our time on the boat - the scenery, the swimming, the kayaking, sunsets, the food! And the trek and stay in Wae Rabo, meeting the community there was an special moment. Hard to choose, it was all brilliant.

    Christine, August 2022

    We thoroughly enjoyed a real adventure with MBA. Flores is a stunning island to explore from the scenery, to the wildlife, to the people. By foot, boat, kayak and snorkel we saw pink beaches, wild jungle, bustling coral reefs and mighty komodos. Our guide, Gusti, was knowledgeable and patient as he expertly wove our western expectations with the laid back local way of life, exemplified by the phrase "there's UK time, and then there's Flores time". 10/10

    Christine, August 2022

    I highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for adventure. There is something different to experience everyday, the local food is delicious and the local people are so friendly and inviting. By going to less touristy areas we really felt that we could experience the culture authentically

    Harriet, August 2022

    This was my first trip with Much Better Adventures and I am already thinking about my next one. I loved this trip and would definitely recommend it to others. Highlights included the Wae Rebo experience which I thought was fab and a unique experience. Further highlights included the going on the boat. I enjoyed everything about the boat - the food, kayaking, snorkelling, landscape from the boat. Throughout the tour, the guide told us about the culture and lives of people from Flores, which gave us a better understanding of what we were experiencing. This trip was an adventure, full-on a lot of the time, and an amazing experience.

    Bonnie, August 2022

    This trip was amazing! The hiking, kayaking and snorkelling were all really well organised and a great way to experience and engage with Indonesian people, culture and wildlife. A great team and a great adventure - thank you Gusty and the team!

    Robyn, August 2022

    This trip was a fabulous experience. It was very busy and you need a sense of adventure. It's rustic and earthy, but in the best way. The people we met were delightful and the places we visited were amazing. From the first sun rise at mount Kilimutu to the last sunset at Flying Fox island it was action packed and filled with adventure, I enjoyed every second. I'd recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip starts as every morning is an early start, be prepared for long journeys by bus and some fabulous experiences.

    Pete, July 2022

    This was a varied and interesting trip, led by a very capable and friendly guide in Agustin. The accommodation and meals on Flores were good, however our boat and crew as well as the meals on it were excellent. The boating, kayaking and snorkelling through the Komodo NP were a highlight, but did really enjoy the sights and cultural exposure of the whole trip.

    Tom, July 2022

    We loved our trip to Indonesia! Flores is a beautiful island and we got to see a lot of it. All activities were great. Wae Rebo and the boat stay were particular highlights

    Included

    Internal flights

    2 internal flights from Bali to Flores and back

    Guides

    English-speaking local guides

    Accommodation

    4 nights in a hotel/guesthouse, 3 nights on a live-aboard boat, 1 night in a convent, 1 night in a homestay, 1 night in an ecolodge

    Meals

    Munch on tasty food throughout

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in between

    Permits

    All permits and entry fees

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    Some meals as described

    Tips for your guides

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Hotel in Central Bali

    Arrive any time on Day 1

    Ends

    Hotel in Central Bali

    Depart any time on Day 11

    Transfers

    Transfers are only included if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 11. If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange airport transfers for an extra cost. See the Optional Extras section for details.

    Travel options

    There are regular flights to Bali from major airports across the UK and Europe.

    Day 1

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Homestay · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 7 – Day 9

    Boat · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 10

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 11

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    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.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Bali

    You’ll be staying in a twin room in a locally-owned hotel in Pantai Sanur close to lots of great places to eat and explore. You'll usually stay in Swastika Bungalows Hotel Bali, which has an outdoor pool and is located close to the popular Batu Jimbar Cafe but occasionally we may use a different hotel of a similar standard.

    Kelimutu Ecolodge

    Set in beautiful gardens, this lovely ecolodge sits on the edge of a rainforest in a valley of rice paddies - the perfect spot from which to explore the crater lakes the following morning.

    Bajawa

    You’ll stay in a simple guesthouse. Rooms are basic, clean and twin-share.

    Convent in Ruteng

    Spend a night at the convent of Susteran St Maria Berdukacita. In some respects, the convent is not too dissimilar to a hotel or guesthouse on the surface but it is run by nuns who want to gain experience in hospitality. If the dynamic is right, there can be some insightful cultural exchanges. Rooms are twin-share, simple and exceptionally clean and the doors are locked at 9 pm!

    Wae Rebo

    You'll stay in the same manner as the locals - in a large communal room in one of the villages 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!

    Labuan Bajo

    You'll stay in twin rooms by default in a comfortable hotel in Labuan Bajo, within easy reach of the airport.

    On the water

    You’ll spend 3 nights on a live-aboard boat in multi-share cabins (usually 4 berths per cabin). All cabins are air-conditioned with sea-view windows, and a light and power source. There are several hot water bathrooms throughout the boat, as well as deck space for relaxing.

    Upgrades

    For solo travellers wanting their own space, you can request a solo room upgrade for all nights except Wae Rebo (1 night) and the live-aboard boat in the Komodo Islands (3 nights). Please request on booking, as this is subject to availability. See Optional Extras for prices.

    Day 1

    Welcome to Indonesia

    Check in, relax and explore the area or head to Sanur beach. In the evening head out for dinner at a local restaurant with your team and get a taste of vibrant Indonesian cuisine.

    Day 2

    Touch down in Flores

    Driving

    2.5hrs

    Hop on a flight from Denpasar to the town of Ende, located on the rugged island of Flores. Flights are usually indirect via Labuan Bajo so the total journey time is approximately three hours and twenty minutes. Meet your local guide in Ende and hop on the two-and-a-half-hour transfer to the remote village of Moni, where you’ll spend the night in an ecolodge at the base of the sacred Mount Kelimutu.

    Day 3

    Marvel at the Kelimutu Crater Lakes

    Hiking

    3hrs · 500m up · 800m down

    Driving

    6hrs

    Rise before dawn (around 04:00) and drive twenty minutes to the trailhead to climb to the astounding Kelimutu Crater Lakes. After hiking for half an hour or so, you'll have climbed over five hundred metres through ever-changing ecosystems to arrive at the summit in time to watch the sunrise. You’ll see their unusual colours for yourself, which shift and change due to volcanic activity and acidity. After sunrise, you'll descend via a series of old local 'commuter' trails and dirt tracks passing through rural pastures, rice paddies, and villages.

    Back at the hotel, you’ll tuck into a hard-earned breakfast before the long but scenic drive (approximately six hours) through the vast countryside of Flores to Bajawa, stopping at Penggajawa Blue Stone Beach for lunch and a leg-stretch. You’ll reach your hotel in Bajawa in the evening.

    Day 4

    Matriarchal culture of the Ngada people

    Hiking

    3hrs · 500m down

    Driving

    4hrs

    Start early as you trek through forests and fields to visit the mountainous villages of the Ngada people, one of the few matriarchal cultures in Indonesia, with all property and assets passed along the female line. Explore the traditional villages of Bena, Luba and Gurusina on foot and learn about life here firsthand. You'll follow paths used by the villagers, through the hilly jungle-clad volcanic landscape.

    Drive on to Ruteng (roughly four hours), stopping halfway at one of the traditional distilleries of arak, the ‘rum of Indonesia’ and for lunch nearby. You'll overnight in the convent of Susteran St Maria Berdukacita. The convent was opened up to visitors to give nuns and students the chance to practice hospitality and meet people from different cultures. The nuns can be a little shy but feel free to ask questions either directly or via your guide.

    Day 5

    Village in a volcano

    Driving

    2hrs

    Hiking

    2hrs · 600m up · 50m down

    Spend time learning about the nun's lifestyle and perhaps pitching in with their work before hopping in the bus for the two-hour drive to the southern coast of Flores. Eat lunch in a locally-run homestay and then trek to Wae Rebo, a traditional village located in an ancient volcanic caldera reached only by footpath. You'll be welcomed by the elders and offered a drink of wild-harvest Luwak coffee. Wae Rebo is a true example of successful community-based tourism, where the locals use your visit to supplement their traditional agricultural lifestyles and help keep their customs alive.

    Day 6

    The gateway to Komodo National Park

    Hiking

    2hrs · 50 up · 600 down

    Driving

    4hrs

    Spend the morning in Wae Rebo village, then walk back down to your pick-up point for the one-hour drive to Pante Hera, where you'll stop for lunch at a homestay on a clifftop overlooking the 1.7km sandy beach and the Savu Sea. There may be time for a quick dip before hitting the road for another three hours or so, to reach the port town of Labuan Bajo. There'll be time this evening to refresh and prepare for your adventure in the Komodo National Park.

    Day 7

    Sailing around Komodo National Park

    Kayaking

    2-3hrs

    Board your boat - home for the next few nights. You'll get acquainted with your kayak and begin your island-hopping journey. Visit Rangko Beach to explore a secret cave with a deep turquoise pool, perfect for a quick dip. If time and conditions permit, plunge into the underwater world with your snorkel before spending the night on board - don’t forget to look up and take in the blanket of stars overhead. (Due to the currents and changing tides in the Komodo's, the schedule for the activities during your live-aboard is flexible and will be adjusted accordingly for your safety and enjoyment).

    Day 8

    Island hopping

    Kayaking

    3hrs

    Kayak and snorkel through the Coral Triangle. Home to migrating manta rays, dolphins, turtles and over 1,000 identified coral and fish species, it has one of the richest marine concentrations on earth.

    Day 9

    Meet the dragons

    Hiking

    1.5hrs · 100m up · 100m down

    Kayaking

    2hrs

    Rise early and head to Komodo Island in pursuit of Komodo Dragons, the world's largest lizard. Averaging between two and three metres long, these legendary creatures can only be found on a handful of islands within the National Park and in order to see them in their natural habitat you’ll walk through the centre of the island alongside a guide from the local village. Do a little more kayaking and snorkelling before spending your final night on the boat, soaking up another dramatic sunset.

    Day 10

    Back to Bali

    Depending on the flight schedule, you may have time for a final snorkel in the crystal clear waters around tiny Bidadari Island before you return to dry land and transfer to the airport in Labuan Bajo. Catch a flight back to Bali (approximately 1 hr 20 minutes, direct) for a final goodbye dinner.

    Day 11

    Goodbye Indonesia

    Enjoy a last tropical breakfast and then head back to the airport in time for your return flight home.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    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

    Other

    • Shawl, sarong or scarf (for temple or traditional village visits, these 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

    Your 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.

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 1023kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    This trip is designed for those of average fitness. You should feel comfortable kayaking for a couple of hours at a time and may benefit from some upper body strength to enjoy it more, however, the boat is always close by should you need it. And if you have enough of kayaking, snorkels are on hand if you fancy jumping in instead. The hikes are mostly two to three hours, on local jungle and village trails and dirt tracks, and although there are a few hills to climb, by large they are relatively gentle. However, the heat and humidity can make them feel more tiring than usual.

    There is a mix of double and single kayaks. The single kayaks are Kazakazi Skua kayaks which are touring kayaks, with a maximum weight limit of 160kg. The double (tandem) kayaks are "HUG" kayaks which are touring kayaks with a maximum capacity of 210kg.

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

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

    Komodo and the surrounding islands are one of Indonesia’s driest regions. The rainy season is short and tends to run from January to mid-march. April to June is a great time to visit the islands as they are full of life and extremely green post rains. Temperatures range from 26-31c and nights are usually cooler and fresh. July to August can get a little warmer and rainfall is barely heard of as things start to get hot and dusty on the island.

    Your luggage can stay with you for the whole trip and will be transported for you. If you are staying longer in Bali, you can leave some things at the hotel at the beginning of the trip if needed. We would advise you to pack light due to the amount of transferring in the trip.

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

    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.

    For current advice about travelling in Indonesia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

    Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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