An Aerial View of Padar Island Viewpoint

Exploring Padar Island: Best Tips to Plan Your Trip

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So you were captivated by the dreamy viewpoint pictures of Padar Island, huh? A year ago, I was in the same boat! I saw a photo of the island sprawled out in front of two travelers and at that moment I knew I had to make the same trek.

At the Top of Padar, Komodo National Park

In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to plan your trip to Padar Island, part of the Komodo National Park archipelago in Indonesia.

Table of Contents

How Do You Get To Padar Island?
When To Visit Padar Island
Padar Island Entry Fees
Can You Stay On Padar Island?
Padar Island Hike & Viewpoint
What To Pack
Komodo Dragons On Padar Island


How Do You Get To Padar Island?

This was the most difficult part of our journey.. how in the world do you get to Padar Island? We researched everything we could find on the internet but couldn’t seem to get a clear answer. So here goes:

First, you’ll want to fly into Labuan Bajo, the capital of the western part of Flores Island. There are daily direct flights to Labuan Bajo from the following destinations:

  • Lombok (WingsAir)
  • Bali (AirAsia, NAM Air, WingsAir, Garuda Indonesia)
  • Jakarta (Batik Air, Garuda Indonesia)
  • Surabaya (WingsAir)
  • Makassar (TransNusa)
  • Kupang (WingsAir, TransNusa)

For us, the flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo was quick and affordable. We paid approximately $100 roundtrip for our flights.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll want the best bang for your buck on flights. Book your ticket through Skyscanner and use the tips in this blog post to score the best deal possible.

Padar Island Tour

After arriving in Labuan Bajo, it’s time to plan your Komodo National Park tour.

Our main concern was getting to the top of Padar Island, so we set out in search of a tour company willing to take us there. There are two ways to get to the island: a private boat tour or a group boat tour.

Group Boat Tour

When we arrived in Labuan Bajo, we walked into several small tour company offices seeking island-hopping information. After the second tour company office, we had had enough.

Unfortunately, the tour companies we talked to tried very hard to rip us off.

There were constant phone calls to “the big boss” about pricing. We never received a straight answer from anyone. This was unhelpful and felt really slimy.

If you’re curious to know the prices they were giving us for a Padar Island tour, they hovered around 2 million IDR ($140 USD) per person. This price included the boat ride and a bottle of water. Not ideal for budget travelers.. or any type of traveler in that case.

Private Boat

Frustrated, we started walking down the sidewalk in search of more information and less haggling. We were greeted by a friendly local by the name of Hubert (pronounced Uber).

Komodo Island National Park

This gentleman came up to us and explained the typical schedules of boats leaving Flores Island and what we should be getting for the price we pay.

He let us know that his uncle owned several boats and asked if we wanted to charter a private boat. The price he gave us was FAR less than the group tour boat companies. We jumped on this deal.

Hubert was extremely kind, spoke great English, provided food and water for our trip, and chauffeured us to and from our hotel whenever we needed a ride.

His genuine personality made us feel comfortable at all times; he acted like we had been friends for years rather than a slimy salesman (like the other tour companies in Labuan Bajo).

Private Boat Tour of Padar Island

The best part was that we had the entire boat to ourselves (other than our driver, Hubert’s uncle), while other boats pulled up carrying loads of passengers. We got to choose where we wanted to go, when we wanted to go there.

If you plan on visiting Komodo National Park, I highly recommend taking a boat tour through Hubert and his family. We would recommend him one thousand times over.

His prices will be far more affordable than anything you’ll find on the island, so reach out to him before you get there to set up your tour.

You can even contact him while you’re there; he can typically accommodate short notice bookings.

Contact him through his Facebook page here: Hubert Flores or his Komodo Tours Facebook Page.

When To Visit Padar Island

The absolute best time to visit Padar Island is for sunrise. Trekking to the top for sunrise will eliminate the crowds of people fighting their way to the peak.

Going early will also help with the heat. Temperatures in Komodo National Park swell after 9am and the humidity makes it difficult to breathe.

Allow yourself an enjoyable trek to the top by arriving early.

Another reason why you should plan your trip for the morning is that the ocean becomes VERY choppy in the afternoon.

The route from Labuan Bajo to Padar Island is nearly impossible to traverse after 11am. Tour companies actually refuse to bring tourists out after a specific time due to safety concerns.

Padar Island Entry Fees

The entrance fee for Padar Island might have been the most confusing part of the entire trip.

Upon arrival on the island, you must visit the national park booth. This is where a ranger is collecting entrance fees. There were several fees that we were unaware of before we arrived on the island, some of which are still a mystery to us.

A Journey to Padar

These fees included: a national park entrance fee, hiking fee, tourism tax, and boat parking fee; each of these ranged from 5,000 IDR ($0.35 USD) to over 150,000 IDR ($10.50 USD).

In total, we each paid approximately 225,000 IDR ($16 USD) to enter the island.

Note: Entrance fees are subject to change depending on the day of the week, what kind of tour you are taking, and what activities you choose to do.

Can You Stay On Padar Island?

The short answer to this question is no. There are no accommodation options on the island.

Most travelers stay in Labuan Bajo and take day trips out to Komodo National Park and the surrounding islands. There are plenty of quality hotels on mainland Flores Island.

Here are the accommodation options we recommend:

La Cecile Hotel and Cafe

We stayed at La Cecile Hotel and Cafe for several nights and thoroughly enjoyed the staff, views, food, and rooms. The rooftop restaurant overlooking the bay was to die for!

La Cecile Hotel Labuan Bajo

This is a great budget option because for two people, we paid $41 total per night and it was central to everything we needed.

AYANA

If you’re looking for something even fancier, head over to AYANA resort.

AYANA outdoes itself with its Komodo resort. Be sure to take advantage of their private beach, three restaurants, and four bars onsite.

Live Aboard

Another accommodation option is to stay on a LiveAboard. If you’re an avid diver, this might be right up your alley.

LiveAboards typically cost much more than a hotel and boat transfer, but the experience is out of this world.

Check out the handful of LiveAboard options in Komodo National Park by visiting LiveAboard.com.

Padar Island Hike And Viewpoint

Now for the really fun stuff: hiking to Padar Island viewpoint.

It will take approximately two hours to reach the island from Labuan Bajo. If you plan on going for sunrise, I recommend taking a nap during the boat ride before arriving at the island; a 3am wake-up call is never fun.

An Aerial View of Padar Island Viewpoint

The hike will take about 10 – 40 minutes depending on the kind of physical shape you’re in and whether you are hiking in the morning or during the day. Like I said, the Indonesian sun is brutal in the afternoon.

There are several places to stop during the hike for pictures, but just know that the higher you get, the crazier the view!

What To Pack For Padar Island

As with any hike, it’s important to come prepared. Here are some things I recommend to pack for your trek:

1. Water

2. Sunscreen

3. Snacks – Grab these the night before departing for the island. Convenient stores will be closed when you leave in the morning.

4. Light jacket – It gets quite chilly on the boat in the early morning hours.

5. Camera – we use the lightweight Canon Powershot G7X for amazing photos and videos.

6. Drone – we use the DJI Mavic Pro. Several of our photos above were taken with the drone; an amazing accessory for adventure travelers.

Want more adventure on Flores Island? Check out our post on Kelimutu National Park: How To Plan Your Trip

Komodo Dragons On Padar Island

Before we arrived, I had no idea that there were Komodo dragons on Padar Island. After a quick chat with a local ranger, I was informed that there ARE Komodo dragons on this island.

After a Short Hike to the Top of Padar

Although Komodo dragons live on this island, it is very unlikely that you will see one.

Very few dragons call Padar Island home. Not to mention, most visitors stick to the viewpoint trek or ocean activities.

Since the hike and surrounding area is situated directly in the sun, Komodo dragons do not come to this side of the island. It is far too hot for them.

If you’re looking for an up-close and personal experience with the dragons, I recommend visiting Rinca Island. We were able to see many Komodo dragons during our visit to Rinca Island.

The Wrap-Up: Exploring Padar Island

Padar Island is one of the most magical islands in Indonesia. The epic viewpoint is something most travelers can only fantasize about.

We hope this guide will help you plan your next adventure to Komodo National Park and see this incredible island for yourself.

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    6 Comments

    1. Dear Mike & Laura,

      thank’s for the great blog post!! It’s not easy to find good and current infomation about Komodo Nationalpark.

      I’ve a question, you said in the article, that you’ve been also on Rinca island. Was that a day trip too with Hubert and his family (like Padar island)? I only read about the 3D/2N tour everywhere and we don’t want to do that.

      Warm greetings from Italy

      1. Hi Lisa!

        Yes, we also did Rinca Island the day before we did Padar. We set it up with Hubert and his family and it was perfect. They will basically cater to anything you want to do. No need to book a 3D/2N tour; we didn’t want to do that either because we were leaving to hike Kelimutu and didn’t have the time.

        If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to ask πŸ™‚

        Laura

      2. What a great article, and beautiful pictures! It really helps on my researches to see Padar for sunrise πŸ™‚
        I plan to travel alone in Indonesia for 16 days.
        I’d like to share my trip between Bali (around 9 days) and Flores (6 days). I obviously want to visit the best places in Flores such as Komodo Island, Rinca island, Kadawa Island, Padar Island, snorkeling with manta rays, and snorkeling with sharks.
        I already sent a message to Hubert but he seems now too popular πŸ˜‰

        So, my question is: Do you think 6 days will be enough to do all these places? Can i visit more? There is not enough information to know if i can do all these things with 1 day tours, and if i may have time to visit something else on flores island.

        Thanking you in advance for your answer πŸ™‚

        Pauline

        1. Hi Pauline,

          6 days is plenty of time to see everything! What you’ll do is see Padar Island, Komodo Island, and Pink Beach for one day trip. Then you can make a separate trip to Rinca Island and snorkeling; we did Rinca and snorkeling the same day and it worked out really well. We even had time to do more exploration that same day but we were tired so we went back to our hotel.

          You might even consider adding a trip to Kelimutu National Park to your Flores Island itinerary. We actually wrote a post about that, too! It was amazing. You would definitely have enough time to do everything you want in Komodo National Park AND fly over to the other side of the island for Kelimutu National Park.

          If you need any more advice, don’t hesitate to reach out!

    2. Hi Mike and Laura, Great informative blog post, thank you! I will be visiting Labuan Bajo soon and want to contact Hubert Flores about possibly using his boat service to visit Padar Island. Only me going and I want to spend a day photographing that island, ridiculous price quotes from tour places were from $500 to $1000 ). I do not have Facebook do you have a phone number for him or perhaps you can send him my email: jjdoro@outlook.com

      Thank you, any assistance you can give is really appreciated. πŸ™‚

      Sincerely,
      Jim

      1. Hi Jim!

        Thanks for reaching out! Yes, he does have a number where you can contact him. Do you have the app WhatsApp on your phone? Hubert (and almost everyone else abroad) uses this to send messages back and forth. You can reach him at this number: +6282145223077

        Let me know if you have anymore questions!

        Laura

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