My opinion is maybe biased because I fall in love with Le pirate concept and style (hotel, restaurant and boats…) but I assure you that if you like island hoping, snorkeling, see some mantas, turtles, paradise beach, lost sandbar und amazing sunrise and sunset from a boat, you will LOVE the 4 days/ 3 nights Explorer cruise with Le Pirate.
I think that the main great point of this cruise is that the itinerary is carefully prepared in order to be at the right place at the right moment (tide, stream, etc…).
Itinerary – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Day 1: Rinca – Padar
First day, we leave Labuan Bajo at 10am and after 2 hours we reach Rinca island for little trek to see the Komodo dragons. This is bit disappointing because they are around the locals kitchen and not in the nature at all. But well, you are pretty sure to see some of them and it is quite impressive. A guide made us do the “middle trek” supposed to last 1h but it is much shorter. He gives some details about the dragons and nature around.
It seems you cannot go without a guide thus the fee for it and entering the park is 250 000 per person.
After this, we take again the boat to reach Padar island for sunset. Honestly if you can, try to go BEFORE the sunset to see the nice beach and colors of the island. For sunset it is a bit disappointing.
Day 2: Pink beach – Taka Makassar – Batu bolong – Manta point – Gili Lawa
At 6 am the boat starts and we wake up one hour later in the amazing Pink beach. There is apparently different pink beach in the Komodo Park. This one was actually a beach only at low tide. And was amazing! The colors are crazy; the mix between the turquoise of the water and the pink of the beach is incredible. Great start of the day!
As soon as the tide is up, we leave and go direction Batu Bolong for some snorkeling. It is a famous diving point and it is also super nice for snorkeling. It was so full of fishes and we even saw a turtle coming up to breathe!
After this stop we go to Manta point (also busy diving site) and we are lucky we see a manta right when we arrive. So nice…!
Taka Makassar is right next to Manta point and is a sandbar; just sand and crystal clear turquoise water. One more amazing spot! And perfect one for some more drone pictures.
The boat brings us then to another Manta point close to Gili Lawa and there we saw so many of them… It was incredible! And as if it was not enough, dolphins showed up when we started to leave by boat. This is when you realize how rich the nature is in a well protected national park. And how lucky you are …
Day 3: Gili Lawa sunrise – Mauwan – Siaba besar – Sebayur – Kalong Island
The third day started really early at 5 am in order to be at 6am at the top of hill of Gili Lawa to see the sunrise. Unfortunately, I got sick and could not get to the top. Anyway my sisters did and brought me some nice pictures.
After sunrise, we head to the little island of Mauwan which has incredible beach and which is also a nice snorkeling spot.
The two last stops are snorkeling in Siaba besar and Sebayur. It is nice spots with always amazing corals and fishes.
For sunset we stop in a little island/ mangrove of Kalong, famous for flying fox, and it is really impressive. There is a continuous flow of them coming out and flying away, hundreds and hundreds of it. It makes a pretty nice effect with the sunset lights.
Day 4: Little paradise sandbar – Kelor
On day 4, we will do the most awaited sandbar from the trip that I will call ‘little paradise sandbar’ (Impossible to find its name… probably because it doesn’t exists at high tide).
But this one, wow, so amazing! There is only our boat and we can enjoy this tiny tiny island, the crystal clear water and jumping from the boat. This was one of the best memories of the trip.
As soon as the island is covered again by water, we leave to Kelor Island for our last stop and lunch on the boat (very sad…)
There are a lot of Boats doing this liveaboard experience on more classical Indonesian boats. One thing we could notice is that most of them have a generator for electricity which makes a crazy noise during the night, even for us when we stayed close to them. Do not hesitate to ask the crew to go in a calm area far from these boats.
Budget- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Budget with Le Pirate is actually not so high for 4 days with food included. It is 7 000 000 for one cabin (2 pp).
There some additional fees for drinks (not water) and the national park fees. The fees are random depending on the spots visited on which days. We paid 350 000 per person and the Rinca Guide fees 250 000.
Review – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
To summarize, this experience on the boat was one of the nicest I’ve ever had. The landscapes are incredible, the underwater even more… The boat is well designed, super nice for pictures, with all facilities you need (fresh water shower, speakers for music), good food and nice crew, the supervisor of the boat speaks English and goes with us to all activities (treks, snorkeling, etc…)
So I guess you understood that if you want to spend 4 days in paradise, it is the boat to be!