Destination Paradise

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Inhabited by dinosaur-like reptiles and featuring Jurassic-era views, Komodo Island offers a slice of paradise.

Photo: Shutterstock

Located 180km west of Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara, Komodo Island is one of three islands and many islets that make up Komodo National Park and is particularly well-known as the natural habitat of the Komodo dragon.

The Komodo Dragon is the largest living lizard and takes its name after the island. The dragons can smell prey as far as six miles away, and sprint in short bursts when attacking. Extremely dangerous, their serrated teeth that can tear away flesh and grind up bone make them fearsome predators, and the venom they emit is deadly. Each lizard has an identification tag that records its weight and size, so rangers can determine how the population is faring. Komodo dragons are fickle. They don’t like too much water or humidity. The lumbering lizards can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh 200 pounds. They might look docile as they lounge by a water hole, but that is how they deceive their victims, said Suprayitno, who works with the park’s police to ensure people abide by regulations against littering, disturbing the lizards and bomb fishing, which destroy marine life in the cerulean seas around Komodo island. 

Time seems to stands still as you take in panoramic views of the island’s turquoise seas, green rolling hills, blue skies and fascinatingly pink sand. Aside from the picturesque views, Komodo is not short of interesting activities to partake in. Once you have finished taking in the magnificent surroundings, take a dip in the waters and uncover the underwater beauty that Pink Beach has to offer. It is a terrific choice for snorkellers and beginner divers as even the shallow waters are home to an abundance of marine life to keep you more than entertained. The corals beaneath the Pink Beach’s waters are in excellent condition, with hundreds of species of both soft and hard corals and thousands of species of fish. It garnered international attention when the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign, founded by eccentric explorer Bernard Weber, shortlisted the park among its 28 finalists, which include the Amazon Basin, Vietnam’s Halong Bay, the Grand Canyon and the Galapagos Islands.

Rinca, a smaller island where the Komodo dragons can also be found, is a good alternative to crowded Komodo Island. Being less known and less visited yet more reminiscent of Jurassic Park than Komodo, it is a good place to see the famed dragon in its natural environment with fewer people. On Rinca Island, you can see these giant lizards hunting, preying or leisurely basking under the trees outside the homes of national park rangers. Aside from the dragons, Rinca Island also abounds with local wildlife including macaques, buffaloes, deer, birds and pigs. The island also offers stunning beaches and is a great place to snorkel and dive given its abundant underwater life.

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