Komodo Accommodation: Hotels and Bungalows
Staying inside Komodo National Park can be done three ways. Overnight snorkeling boats, Diving Liveaboards, and on private boat charters. There are no hotels inside the park. There are few bungalows operated by the Park Rangers and not currently available. The most common option is the stay overnight in Labuan Bajo and join daytrips through the park.
Komodo Island Accommodation
There are some bungalows on both Rinca and Komodo – but they are owned and operated by the park. They are generally reserved for film crews and the occasional VIP. There are some resorts near the park – though not cheap, some are amazing . Bear in mind that this is not Bali and many of the amenities expected by first world travelers can not be found.
Tents are not possible as an accommodation option on Komodo or Rinca. The famed dragons of Komodo would simply enter the tents and potentially cause great harm. Dragons must be treated with respect and caution. For this reason it is not possible to do camping on Komodo.
Overnight Snorkeling boats:
This is easily divided into two categories: Local boats and professional operators.
You get what you pay for. There is rarely a truer time for this. It is with all good intentions that any of us would give our money to the local economy. We all hope for the very best. But you must be very aware of the risks you are taking. Nearly all local boats do not carry life jackets or life rifts or even life rings. It is rare to find one with marine radio, instead relying on mobile phone service. Fuel quality and engine maintenance are massive issues. Then comes the pollution from using poorly maintained engines and diluted fuel. That may or may not be an issue for you personally, but may affect where you sleep! Sleeping on boat decks might be romantic sounding, but the rains might change your mind. And if you sleep inside – are the cabins properly ventilated?
There are several professional operators offering overnight snorkeling tours. Look for amenities like life rafts and you will probably find the list narrowed to just a handful. Sorry to say that, but this is not an are governed by many laws or regulatory bodies. Combined with potentially strong currents, traveling without safety measures is foolish.
Komodo Diving Liveaboards
There are many to choose from and you stay on the boat. These are meant for the diver and rarely cater to snorkelers or non-divers. With over 40 different boats traveling inside Komodo National Park – you have a wide variety of selections. If it seems like too much – try Wicked Diving’s Komodo Liveaboard. They are ethically operated and provide training to guides from Komodo Village
In all choices with travel, please make your choices wisely. There are dozens of “travel agents” in Labuan Bajo and hundreds if not thousands in Bali. Are they just agents or are they the actual operators? Would you buy an airline ticket from someone who has never flown and has a small booth on the side of the street? Please take your time and assess each one. Also check tripadvisor reviews!!