How to Travel Bajo: The Best Travel Advice You Need to Know
Labuan Bajo is a flourishing tourist destination located on the western end of Flores, in the Nusa Tengarra region of East Indonesia.
Tourists have started to flock to Labuan Bajo due to its many close-by attractions. Mainly, Komodo National Park, which is accessible by boat from Bajo’s harbour. Thus, the common name given to this town is ‘The Gateway to the Komodo National Park’.
Or it has been known as the sunset city, we have no idea why though…
Organising your Labuan Bajo trip: Getting there
The two main ports of entry are the airport and the harbour, both in close proximity to the centre of town.
Airport travel advice
The airport is becoming busier each year with around four to six flights out per day, generally coming and going from Denpasar, Bali. This is one of the main hubs of western tourism in Indonesia. And as with a busy schedule, some flights tend to be delayed and even cancelled at late notice, so please always check the day before.
Planning your baggage is also essential as like any other flights. Please remember the restrictions, such as only one litre of alcohol is permitted per person when entering Labuan Bajo.
Once you’ve landed in the airport, everything is as of Indonesian standard. Small walk to the baggage claim, wait around, grab your baggage and you’re good to go. But what gets you is the exit – you’re bound to get hit by the army of taxi men bombarding you with questions and prices. We’ll talk more about these taxi prices soon enough.
Arrive in Labuan Bajo via boat
It’s possible to arrive in Labuan Bajo via boat, but in our experience, it’s inefficient and time-consuming, unless you’re actually converting the voyage into an adventure. That’s where Wanua Adventure comes into play! These guys offer a four-day/three-night trip from Lombok to Labuan Bajo and vice versa. The whole trip involves snorkelling, hiking, and waterfalls. So if flying is too fast and convenient for you, go for an adventure!
Taxi travel advice
Wherever you find yourself in Labuan Bajo you can nearly always signal a taxi. There are a few types of taxis here and with different prices so bear with us. But, hardly any of the taxis in Bajo have any official taxi symbols on them, apart from the airport taxis. So here are the types of taxis and general prices associated with them.
Standard car: 50K IDR for a single destination trip in town.
Ojek/scooter taxi: 10K IDR for a single destination trip in town.
Bemo/local bus: 5K – 10K IDR for a single destination trip in town.
How do I call a taxi?
The easiest way to grab any one of these taxis is to flag them down with an outstretched arm on the street. If you stand there waiting long enough, you’ll have plenty of people beeping their horn at you.
This is a question! They’re asking, “Do you want a ride?”
Yes, you do! Hop in the car/bemo or hop on the scooter and away you go.
Please be mindful of some drivers asking for far too much money. This happens all over the world and it happens here. Give them the exact change and carry on with your business – they know the prices, it’s a standard here.
Alternatively, if you’re staying in a hotel, they usually provide free airport pick-ups and have their own taxis for day to day use around Labuan Bajo. So be sure to enquire before arriving.
Internet and wifi for your Labuan Bajo trip
There are two simple options here.
One option is to buy a SIM card from either Denpasar airport or from Labuan Bajo airport. You can also buy SIM cards in most supermarkets here too.
If you do choose the SIM card option please make sure your mobile phone operates on any cellular carrier’s network. Most modern mobile phones are unlocked but it’s best to check before departing.
The second option would be to use wifi throughout your Labuan Bajo trip. Most places have okay wifi but we’ve put together a top-five list of the best wifi speed spots in Labuan Bajo for you. On that note, Manta Rhei has some fast wifi too and we’ll always be happy to answer your questions.
Where to eat in Labuan Bajo
Luckily, Labuan Bajo is full of restaurants ranging from local, Italian and Japanese to Indian. If you’re looking for an in-depth description of places to go, then check out our ‘where to eat in Labuan Bajo’ blog.
But let’s talk about the average prices. Western food like pizzas, burgers, and tacos range from 60K IDR – 150K IDR per dish. Local street food can range from 20K IDR (which is delicious by the way!) to 60K IDR in a restaurant.
Things to do outside of Labuan Bajo
There are two main reasons why people flock to Labuan Bajo. The famous Komodo Dragons and the insane marine life you see whilst scuba diving in Komodo National Park.
On that note, if you’ve never dived in Indonesia before, that’s not a problem! You can always Discover Scuba with an instructor or enrol in the Open Water Course and become a certified diver.
But is there anything else to do?
Of course there is!
You can hike up to the iconic viewpoint on Padar Island.
Marvel at the lakes of Kelimutu in central Flores, and even gaze at the spiderweb fields in Cancar. Also, you can trek to Wae Robo, an old Manggaraian village, or swim in Rangko Cave in West Flores. Further adventures await through cliff jumping at Cunca Wulang waterfall and canyon.
Great travel advice, but what now?
After reading all the need to know travel advice you’re now prepared for an amazing Labuan Bajo trip.
Enjoy it and if you have any more questions send us a message or drop by the shop, we’ll be happy to help.