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This adventurous, 8-day inclusive voyage of discovery aboard the 24-passenger Ombak Putih or the 12-passenger Katharina offers a cross-section of remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the legendary Komodo Dragons. As always, there will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard will add yet another dimension to your nature explorations.
After flying from Bali in the early afternoon, you will be transported to a beachside resort just outside of the port town of Labuan Bajo, the gateway to the Komodo National Park. You will have the afternoon free to relax and unwind with a swim or a snorkel, or even a walk around the town. It’s also an opportunity for those unfamiliar with snorkelling to have a lesson with our tour leader. In the evening, you will enjoy sunset drinks on the beach before dinner with your fellow guests as you get better acquainted for the voyage ahead.
After breakfast at the resort, at about 9am you will leave the resort for a trip to the village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After your visit to Melo you will return to Labuan Bajo where you will get your first glimpse of your splendid pinisi boat.
You will have plenty of time to settle in and get acquainted with the crew and fellow passengers as you cruise to the island of Kelor. Once there, you can enjoy a swim or a snorkel, kayak, or have a little bit of fun on a paddleboard. You will also have the option of visiting the adjacent island of Kukusan where you will meet a settlement of ‘sea-gypsies,’ the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea. At around sunset you will be able to witness the departure of thousands of flying foxes departing their roosts to feed, and later that evening you will cruise to Komodo dragon country.
Today you will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island where you will have a ranger-led nature trek in search of Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so you may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills along the walks, the scenery is breathtaking.
In the afternoon, you can go snorkelling in the rich waters of Siaba Island and then later you will head to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here you will swim and snorkel, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons.
When you wake up, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. You will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, you will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. You may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids, and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms.
During lunch, you will head to Makassar Reef, where you will look for manta rays, and if you are lucky enough to spot them you will go snorkelling with these gentle giants. You will then head to Gili Lawa Darat for some snorkelling and a hill climb to watch a magical sunset, then will get our toes in the sand for a beach barbeque.
You will wake up off the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 metres above sea level.
After breakfast, you will go ashore to a small hamlet, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffaloes, which you can see swimming in the sea. You will then snorkel on both a nearby reef and a location on the north of the island where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, a most interesting sight.
You will then proceed to the island of Banta and its pure white sand beach, for an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling, and hill climbing for the fit.
Today you reach the strange and mystical volcanic island of Satonda with its beautiful coral gardens along the coastline. Satonda has a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather.
Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, you will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks.
From Satonda you will cruise to the island of Moyo where you will moor off Labuan Aji village and walk to Diwu Mba‘i waterfall. Here, youcan swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water.
Returning to the sea, you will find time for snorkelling on the reef, and later relax under the stars aboard the ship.
Moored off the coast of North Lombok, you will have breakfast and then go ashore and then head off by bus or car into the interior of the northern side of the island to the traditional village of Senaru. Here, you will be taken on a tour, by one of the local women-guides, of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices, which will give you an insight into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people.
Your mellow adventure will then lead you down a well-trodden flight of steps through the tropical forest to Sindang Gila, a roaring 40-metre tiered waterfall. The small gravel beach and flat rocks at the base of the falls are a meeting place for the local people, and if you want you can take a dip under the full force of the intense flow. Your walk will continue alongside an old irrigation canal offering panoramic vistas of rice fields stretching towards the sea. The area around Senaru and Bayan was the birthplace of Lombok’s unique Wektu Telu belief system in which ancient animist practices are combined with Islam.
If you have time, you will visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls. Said to have been founded in the 16th century, this is the oldest mosque in Lombok. You may also see some weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills.
After lunch on the boat you will set off west in the direction of Gili Air, one of three popular holiday destination islands, arriving sometime after 3pm. Here you will snorkel and swim and perhaps have a visit to this popular tourist island, before having a last night party with the crew on board.
You will wake up off the coast of Bali under the majestic gaze of Mt Agung, Bali’s mother mountain. Here you will go for a final snorkel and swim before heading south along the coast to your disembarkation point of Amuk Bay.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $4,270|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!