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Destinations-Snorkeling and Cultural Adventures in Komodo

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After a two-year delay, we finally experienced snorkeling in Indonesia and it was well worth the wait!  We combined two Wilderness Travel trips—Komodo Dragons and Coral Reefs and Snorkeling Expedition to Cenderawasih Bay—and enjoyed time between the trips to explore Bali. 

On our Komodo Dragons and Coral Reefs adventure, our co-leader Anas met us at our hotel and we flew to Luban Bajo where we boarded the Katharina, a traditional pinisi (Indonesian sailing vessel).  The crew was wonderful; we were well fed and cared for. The crew and Trip Leaders Nita and Anas really made the trip special.

Before setting sail, we went to a traditional caci dance, where we sampled arak, a local spirit. At dusk that evening, we watched as thousands of fruit bats left their roosts on their nightly search for food.

Then there were the dragons…

 We saw quite a few dragons, both adult and juvenile, during our hike on Komodo Island. Our ranger guide had a very keen eye for spotting them. They were in the tall grass, on the beach, and in the forest. The young ones can even climb trees.

During our trip, we visited several villages, witnessing traditional dances and daily life. The women create traditional weavings on hand looms and dye the yarn with natural dyes. Such a beautiful selection of weavings, it was hard to choose one.

We visited a local school and the children sang the national anthem for us. We also brought school supplies, including swim goggles and other items for the kids, which our Trip Leaders shared among the villages. The kids loved having their pictures taken and always wanted to see them.

The snorkeling was absolutely phenomenal.

We saw gorgeous coral, sea turtles, manta rays, giant clams, and a myriad of fish. We also had an encounter with an amorous dugong who really liked our zodiac, and we were always on the lookout for pods of dolphins and pilot whales as we rode to each snorkeling destination.

We enjoyed a stunning sunset at a beautiful deserted beach.

All too soon, it was time to return to Bali. We had a few days to explore the island and visit wonderful sites before setting out on the next stage of our Indonesian adventure, snorkeling with whale sharks…

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