We spent 10 days in Labuan Bajo which gave us enough time to do some day trips on local boats, enjoy a nice hotel and go diving!
WHAT TO DO IN LABUAN BAJO ?
Open Water in Labuan Bajo ( with elearning)
After a lot of research, I decided to register at Flores diving center to pass my Open water. Honestly I was not super reassured with the idea of diving but i jut discovered something, for sure scary at the beginning, but amazing! Flores diving center instructor were great and I loved it. I had a lot of hesitation because i read a lot that Komodo is not ideal for beginners because of strong currents, but it was totally fine.
And i was lucky because I was alone! So I was able to pass all skills in one day and enjoy the second day in beautiful spots. To do all the skills, we were in a small bay near Labuan Bajo and then first dives were on a small island a little bit further.
The second day, I was on the boat with a group doing fun dives so I did the same spots than them and it was totally magic! The first dive was at …. A famous spot for turtles and it was full of it !! We must have seen almost 10 turtles! All this in the middle of amazing coral gardens… so beautiful! I realized then the difference with snorkeling.
The second spot was Manta Point where there was a strong current and even though we did not see a manta, only a ray eagle and two small sharks, it was a nice experience to be carried away by the current.
Even if snorkelling is not like diving, we still realize the state of corals and seabed by simply snorkelling and after doing the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, Komodo was for me the most beautiful seabed that I’ve ever saw.
Theorie Open Water – eLearning
For the theoretical part of the Open Water, I had a lot of hesitation to do elearning because I could not find an opinion about it. I finally did it and since I was alone for the practice, it was ideal. It saved me a day on the spot to enjoy and not stay locked to study.
But there are some disadvantages. I think that finally it takes more time than on the spot, I am pretty sure that i spent more than 8 hours on it.
And second negative point, the price. The school reduces the price a little when doing elearning, but not as much as its price! The school reduced by about 50 euros while elearning costs 170 euros! So if you are short on the budget with enough time on the spot, for sure it doesn’t worth it. And of course it remains very theoretical on the computer. I do not think it’s worth the training done by an instructor. It’s hard to know what will be really useful or not.
So to conclude on the elearning I think it is a good option if you really want to enjoy more on the spot and one more day is important.
DAY TRIP FROM LABUAN BAJO
There are many agencies in the main street which offer day trips. We wanted a private boat to go exactly where we wanted and not an organized tour that do a lot of spots that are included in the explorer cruise with Le pirate.
For one day and two people on the boat we paid 1,000,000 IDR and for one day and 4 people, 1,500,000 IDR. We got this price by negotiating a long time…. We heard it’s cheaper if you go directly to the port and ask the boats but often they do not speak English so can be hard to explain where you want to go.
So the first day we went to kanawa island and kelor island and the second day we wanted to make mauwan, taka makassar and kanawa. But the captain did not understand anything, the instructions given to him were not clear and he could not understand us so we couldn’t go to Taka makassar.
For this price there is a lunch box (really not good) so it’s good to bring snacks.
Kanawa is really great. The beach is beautiful with a nice view on the surrounding island and full of sea stars! We have been there twice and it really worth it.
Kelor is also very pretty and you can climb up to have a great view (or fly the drone to get the same :))
SUNSET IN LABUAN BAJO
Le Pirate Deck is a nice spot to see the sunset (in June at least). There is an interesting happy hour and cocktails are very good as well as appetizers.
4 DAYS/ 3 NIGHTS LE PIRATE EXPLORER CRUISE
Where to sleep in Labuan Bajo ?
I will not recommend this hotel to Labuan Bajo. Our room was nice but very small and there was a terrible smell coming from the shower. When we informed the reception, they just had sprays for good smell which improved the situation only temporarily …
The small huts of the Pirate are super cool and a convenient place to sleep in the center of Labuan Bajo. It is small but very well arranged.
Vila Domanik is THE beautiful hotel of Labuan Bajo. So we tried it for 3 nights. The hotel is very isolated, but there is a free shuttle to go and come back from the city center. It’s really super quiet compared to the main street of Labuan Bajo and there is a lot of space. The rooms are very nice with a superb outdoor bathroom. But you should not be too afraid of animals! Several times there were big spiders in the bathroom and also a giant gecko in the room. Fortunately there was a large mosquito net around the bed.
Otherwise the pool is really beautiful, overlooking the bay, very very nice and relaxing. The only downside is that depending on the season you do not have the sunset. In June, we did not get it. Too bad since it seemed to be one of the highlights of this hotel.
Where to eat in Labuan Bajo ?
One of our favorite places to eat at night. There are a lot of choices (burger, mexican, indonesian, etc) for a price that remains correct. Burger and nachos are super good.
The best pizzas I have eaten in Indonesia! The restaurant is super cozy even if a bit crowded and the pizza with eggplants is really delicious.
We went to Wae Mola mainly to enjoy the pool in the afternoon. And we nibbled a few things including the chocolate cake that is definitely the best I have ever eaten !! Fondant, crispy and a bit caramelized, just delicious!