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.
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
- 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
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.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
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.
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.
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.
Dates & Prices
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