Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Indonesia's Remote Islands

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

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Trip Ref #9963

Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Kayak and Hike Indonesia's Remote Islands

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

DURATION
10 nights
LOCATION
Indonesia
ANNUAL LEAVE
8 days off work
SEASON
Jun, Aug, Sep
GROUP SIZE
Up to 16 people
MEETING POINT
Ngurah Rai (Bali) International Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Hotel · Boat · Guesthouse · Homestay
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

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

Included

Internal flights

2 internal flights from Bali to Flores and back

Guides

English-speaking local guides

Accommodation

3 nights in a hotel and a live-aboard boat, 1 night in a convent, traditional village, guesthouse and beachside camping

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

Alcoholic drinks

Tips for your guides

The Area

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.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Boat · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Homestay · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Guesthouse · Twin share

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, either in Pantai Sanur or Pantai Mertasari. Both are close to lots of great places to eat and explore.

On the water

You’ll spend 3 nights on a live-aboard boat in either a 4 twin-berth cabin or a larger 8 berth cabin. All cabins are air-conditioned with sea-view windows, a privacy curtains, light and power source. There are several hot water bathrooms throughout the boat, as well as a large platform for relaxing and wildlife spotting.

Turtle Camp

You’ll stay in a local ‘pondok’ – a 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 and fall asleep to the sounds and smell of the ocean.

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!

Convent

This is an experience you won't forget in a hurry. Rooms are twin-share, simple and exceptionally clean and the doors are locked at 9pm!

Bajawa

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

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.

Upgrades

For solo travellers wanting their own space, you can request a solo room upgrade for all nights except Wae Rebo, and in case of heavy rains, at the turtle camp as the inside rooms will need to be shared if tents can't be used. Please request on booking, as this is subject to availability.

Day 1

Welcome to Indonesia

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

Day 2

Komodo National Park

Take a short flight to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores - main entry point to the Komodo National Park. Get to know your boat crew and then head to Rangko beach to explore a secret cave with a deep turquoise pool that's perfect for a quick dip. Jump into your kayak and begin your island-hopping journey, before spending the night on the boat - don’t forget to look up and take in the blanket of stars overhead.

Day 3

Island hopping

Kayak and snorkel through the Coral Triangle, the richest marine concentration on earth, home to migrating Manta Rays, dolphins, turtles and over 1000 identified coral and fish species. Time and tide permitting, you’ll also have the opportunity to view the famous flying foxes of Kalong Island. The entire island is covered with a dense mangrove forest and comes alive at dusk as thousands of these incredible animals take flight as they head to the pineapple and mangrove plantations on Flores island.

Day 4

Meet the dragons

Rise early and head to Rinca island in pursuit of Komodo Dragons, the world's largest lizard. Averaging between 2 and 3 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 trek through the centre of the island alongside a guide from the local village. Do a little more kayaking and snorkelling and then spend your final night on the boat soaking up another dramatic sunset.

Day 5

Turtle Conservation Centre

Snorkel the warm waters around Bidadari Island and then head back to Labuan Bajo and drive through the tiered rice fields of Western Flores passing vanilla, cinnamon and coffee farms. Explore Pante Hera, home to the only turtle conservation centre on the island and a 1.7km beach that doubles as a nesting ground for Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles. Spend an off-grid night on a pondok’ - a raised platform with a roof and tent inside that overlooks the sea. No electricity, no phone signal and definitely no light pollution.

Day 6

Village in a Volcano

Set off along the beach as you scout for new turtle nests alongside the local staff and then lend a hand with some of the projects being conducted, before visiting the nearby hot springs for a long soak. After lunch, trek to Wae Rebo, a traditional village located in an ancient volcanic caldera that can only be reached by footpath, where you'll be welcomed by the elders and 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 and traditions alive.

Day 7

Night in a Nunnery

Yep, you read that right. Drive to Ruteng, passing through 4 distinct ecosystems, including the lush mountain forests of Manggarai at an elevation of 1800m. Stretch your legs through the rice fields, stop at a local market selling wares from the surrounding villages and then head on to your overnight spot at 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. Your dinner tonight will be served by the nuns themselves and it’s likely that you’ll wake to the sound of singing practice.

Day 8

Countryside Cruising

Choose between jumping in the bus or cycling to a viewpoint with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. The 2-hour cycle is mostly downhill or flat with a 20-minute, medium ascent, however there’s no better way to take in the sights, smells and sounds of local village life. Continue on to the jungle-flanked Lake Ranamese and stop at one of the traditional Arak (alcohol) distilleries, before reaching Bajawa where you’ll spend the night.

Day 9

Matriarchal Culture

Hiking

3hrs

Start extra-early as you trek through forests and fields to visit the mountainous villages of the Ngada people, one of the few cultures in Indonesia that is matriarchal, with all property and assets passed along the female line. Explore the traditional villages of Bena, Luba and Gurusina and learn about this culture firsthand, then descend to the coastline and hike to Moni Village for dinner. From there you'll overnight in an ecolodge at the base of Mt Kelimutu.

Day 10

Kelimutu Crater Lakes

Climb to the Kelimutu crater lakes as the sun rises and see their unusual colours for yourself, each caused by differing levels of volcanic activity and acidity. These lakes are considered by locals to be the resting place for departed souls and are often referred to ominously as ‘the lakes of evil spirits’. Climb 800+ metres through ever-changing ecosystems as the sun creeps down to the horizon and then head to the airport for your return flight to Bali and 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.

Please Note

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.

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, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

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.

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.

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.

You also do not need to be an experienced hiker, although should be able to hike for up to 4 hours on uneven terrain.

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

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!

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

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

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.

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