Komodo is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. Being part of a vast archipelago, the main means of transport to Komodo and the Lesser Sunda Islands are by plane and by ship.
The main reasons to travel to Komodo National Park are the unique Komodo Dragons, the spectacular beaches and the fabulous marine life.
Use our Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands Transportation Guide below for all the information you need to know about getting to and around Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands. Further information about the exciting things to see and do in Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands can be found in our Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands Destination Guide and Komodo & Lesser Sunda Islands Tours page. Our Indonesia Country Guide will tell you more about travelling to and around Indonesia.
Most of the larger islands are connected with Jakarta by air. The domestic airline carriers are AirAsia (QZ), Garuda Indonesia (GA) and Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MZ). Europe and the USA are not connected by direct flights and visitors travel through Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) or Singapore. The London-Jakarta flight takes over 16 hours while the London-Denpasar flight takes about 18 hours, including the stopover time.
The main airports in the Lesser Sunda Islands with frequent domestic flights as well as some international ones are Denpasar (Bali), Mataram (Lombok), Maumere (Flores) and Kupang (West Timor).
Denpasar's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is Bali's main airport. Located 13 km (8 miles) to the southwest of Denpasar's city centre, it can be reached by bus or taxi in approximately 30 minutes. Taxis from the airport also go to Kuta, Nusadua, Sanur and Urud. You can fly to Bali from major cities in Indonesia (Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar etc) or from major cities in Asia and Australia.
There are daily flights connecting Bali (DPS) with Labuanbajo (LBJ) and Maumere (MOF) on Flores island and also to Waingapu (WGP) and Tambolaka (TMC) on Sumba island. Merpati Airlines (MZ) flies daily to Maumere (MOF) and it flies by turn to Waingapu (WGP) and Tambolaka (TMC) on Sumba island. Daily flights from Bali to Maumere always has a transit either in Waingapu or Tambolaka airport.
The daily flight connection between Bali and Labuanbajo are served by TransNusa Air and Indonesia Air Transport whilst Merpati airlines serves the route four times a week.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.
The main ports of Indonesia are Belawan (Medan), Benoa and Padang Bai (Bali), Sekupang (Batam) and Tanjung Priok (Jakarta). There are frequent ferry services between Bali and Lombok. Connections between Lesser Sunda Islands and Indonesia's other islands, though, are limited to the occasional PELNI ferry sailing between Makassar (South Sulawesi) and Flores.
Komodo can be reached by boat either from Labuanbajo on Flores island or from Sape on Sumbawa. The shortest way to reach Komodo National Park is to take boat from Labuanbajo. It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Rinca and 3.5 hours to reach Komodo from Labuanbajo. Whilst the sail to Komodo from Sape takes about 8 - 9 hours sailing.
You can reach Bali with direct buses from all major cities on Java as well as Lombok, which use ferries to cross over. These services are cheap and easy, but can be quite slow, so flying may be a better option.
Labuanbajo - the gateway to Komodo National Park is accessible by car or bus from Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. It takes two days to reach Labuanbajo from Bali by land transport as it have to cross Lombok and Sumba with three times ferry connection.
Getting around by road is relatively easy in Komodo and Lesser Sunda Islands. Indonesia practises left-hand driving. Most of the main roads connecting important towns are well paved. Road conditions to the small villages on the islands are rather poor. It may be wiser to hire the easily available chauffer-driven vehicles.
Jam karet or "rubber time" is the Indonesian concept of time! Long journeys that involve more than a single connection should not be tried in a single day. Most bus fares are fixed and relatively low. Air-conditioned buses are more expensive and spacious. Long-distance routes are frequently serviced by night buses. Tickets are best booked in advance. Bus travel however, can be quite harrowing as buses tend to get overcrowded and drivers are usually reckless.
A large range of live-aboard boats carry passengers to the Komodo National Park. Round trips to the park take off from various places such as Bali, Labuan Bajo, Bima and Lombok.