Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes Cruise

11 nights from £3,149 per person Including Flights

Overview

This intimate, seven-night cruise offers the opportunity to discover small, barely touched islands in Indonesia. Starting in Bali and ending in Labuan Bajo, this tour boasts an unsurpassable insight into the region’s ancient traditions, natural beauty and fascinating local lifestyle.

We love how much opportunity there is to snorkel on this trip. Discover beautiful coral reefs and even witness volcanic gasses bubbling on the ocean floor as you snorkel near Lombok and Satonda, or enjoy the freedom of swinging on a rope by a waterfall in Moyo Island.

Wildlife is also a huge part of this trip, with fantastic ranger-led walks across Komodo and Rinca Islands to see the incredible Komodo Dragons, and marvelling at hundreds of flying foxes in Satonda. You’ll also get a taste of how different the lifestyle can be in this secluded region, including the Bajau locals who live in stilted houses above the lagoon (TM-ST).

This small cruise offers unique experiences that you won’t find on larger vessels, making it one of our favourite immersive itineraries in Indonesia.

Highlights

  • Discover the royal water palace Tirta Gangga
  • See the Bajau ‘sea gypsies’ who live in stilted houses above the sea
  • Explore a sunken crater lake in Satonda
  • Hike to Diwu Mba’i waterfall to swim and swing from a rope
  • Make a wish in Satonda, and see the flying foxes
  • Discover a small settlement that’s only inhabited for short periods in the year
  • Encounter incredible Komodo dragons on Komodo Island and Rinca Island
Whats included?
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Checked baggage
  • ATOL protection
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Why Book with Tropical Sky?
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  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • No amendment fees
  • Low deposits
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Days 1-3

Bali

You'll spend the first two nights of your trip enjoying a restful time in Bali. Take the time to explore fascinating temples including Ulun Danu, discover bustling markets offering sensational Balinese street food, or embark on a journey to see stunning waterfalls.

Overnight: Puri Santrian Resort Sanur (2 nights)

Day 3

Bali

Today you will meet your fellow travellers and guide in a café for breakfast, before boarding the minibus to travel to Amed, a beautiful royal Balinese kingdom of forests, mountains and rice terraces in the eastern regency of Karangasem. During the journey, your guide will give you lots of interesting information. You’ll also stop in Tenganan Village, which still retains the ancient Bali Aga culture and the original traditions, rules and ceremonies.

You’ll also stop to visit the royal water palace Tirta Gangga, a beautiful place adorned with water pools, pagoda fountains and luscious gardens, while the rest of the journey sees you driving through lush rice terraces.

Soon you’ll arrive at your beachside hotel, a welcoming and traditional Balinese hotel located by the soaring volcano Gunung Agung. You’ll have some time to relax how you wish – take a dip in the pool, or wander along to the beach to soak up the sun. In the evening, you’ll have the chance to get to know your fellow travellers with a great welcome dinner and sunset drinks.

Overnight: Coral View Villas (1 night)

Day 4

Lombok

After a relaxed breakfast and some time to swim and rest, you’ll be transferred to the embark on the boat for a week of sailing around these gorgeous tropical islands. After settling into your cabin, take the chance to snorkel in the crystal-clear reefs this area is famous for before you begin to make your way across the Lombok Strait. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to learn more about the trench of water between Bali and Lombok, and the ecological boundary called the Wallace Line. You’ll enjoy lunch as you sail along the water, as well as sunset drinks later on.

Overnight: Onboard the 24-passenger Ombak Putih or the 12-passenger Katharina

Day 5

Kenawa Island – Bungin Island – Moyo Island

Today is a relaxing day, beginning with breakfast, snorkelling, exploring and paddle boarding near the pristine sands of Kenawa Island in West Sumbawa. After a light lunch, you’ll board the boat again to sail to Bungin Island, a beautiful island that’s home to a group of Bajau ‘Sea Gypsies’, who are known for living in stilt houses above the water and living entirely off the ocean. This is the second largest Bajau settlement in Indonesia, giving you the rare opportunity to discover a big part of Indonesia’s seafaring tradition. The later part of the afternoon will be spent sailing towards Moyo Island.

Day 6

Moyo Island – Satonda

The morning will be spent visiting Moyo Island’s Labuan Aji village, before hiking to Diwu Mba’i waterfall where you have the fun opportunity to swing from a rope and jump into the river pool below. Next up is Satonda, a curious and enchanting volcanic island known for the sunken crater lake that was filled with saltwater by a tsunami when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815. You’ll be witnessing the aftermath of the biggest volcanic explosion in the history of mankind which caused the ‘year without a summer’ as it had such an effect on North American and European weather.

The local people believe this island to be magical, and you’ll test this at the lip of the caldera that overlooks the mystical lake, which is adorned by trees believed to be ‘wishing trees’. Many people tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish – if your wish comes true, you are bound to return to offer thanks.

Your afternoon will be spent at your leisure – we recommend swimming and snorkelling as the lagoons are rich with tropical fish. You may also see thousands of flying foxes that leave the island at dusk to feed on the mainland. After a gorgeous sunset, you’ll leave for an overnight sail east.

Day 7

Pulau Sangean – Banta

When you wake today, you’ll be greeted with impressive views of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that soars 1,800m above sea level. Enjoy breakfast with this marvellous view before going ashore to a small settlement that’s only inhabited for short periods of the year thanks to the nearby volcano. You’ll see this settlement whilst swimming in the sea.

Next up is a trip to see the local boatbuilders building a large pinisi boat on the beach at Sangean Village – it’s an amazing process to witness. Snorkelling is the next port of call, exploring the nearby reef so see the volcanic gasses bubbling from the sea floor, before sailing to the island of Banta for more snorkelling and relaxing on the white sand beach.

Day 8

Komodo Island

Your day begins on famous Komodo Island, one of the approximately 80 islands that make up Komodo National Park. Here you will join a ranger and enjoy a guided trek through the park, spotting the elusive Komodo dragons as they bask in the sunlight. You may also encounter deer, cockatoos, wild boar, jungle chickens and wild orchids as you explore the rugged terrain.

Afterwards, you’ll board the boar again for a cruise around the coast, before stopping by Komodo village to buy intricate local handicrafts. You may have time to explore the ‘red beach’ (Pantai Merah), named for the particles of red coral that is mixed in with the sand. From here you will swim and snorkel over one of Eastern Indonesia’s most abundant reefs, which is home to vibrant coral and marine life, before heading to Makassar Reef for more snorkelling with the manta rays. The day ends with a hill climb at Gili Lawa Darat to see the sunset.

Day 9

Rinca Island

Your last full day begins with another ranger-led trek, this time on Rinca Island which is also home to the alluring Komodo dragons. Rinca is rife with wonderful wildlife, including deer, wild buffalos and monkeys. There’s lots of options for the afternoon, including snorkelling near the Siaba and Kelor Island, or visiting the island of Kukusan to discover its settlement of Bajao people who live in stilted homes over the sea.

The evening will be spent on a remote uninhabited island, sinking your toes into the sand and enjoying a fabulous beach barbeque with dancing, singing and live music.

Day 10

Labuan Bajo

Wake early for your last snorkel and swim before sailing into Labuan Bajo harbour and heading to the village of Melo to witness traditional dances and shows. After the performance you’ll have lunch on the boat before your transfer to Labuan Bajo airport for your flight back to Bali.

Overnight: Anantara Seminyak (two nights)

Day 11

Seminyak

Spend your final day at leisure on the beach in Seminyak, perfect for relaxing with a cocktail in hand while enjoying the sunset side of Bali. Closeby you have plenty of restuarant and bar options as well as some great shops to pick up some souvenirs before you leave.

Day 12

Departure Day

You'll be collected today and transferred back to the airport for your return flight.

  • International flights
  • Internal transfers and flights
  • Five nights of hotel accommodation in Bali
  • Seven nights on board Ombak Putih (24 passengers) or Katharina (12 passengers) depending on your date of departure.
  • Visit remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, smoking volcanoes, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, wildlife encounters such as snorkelling with manta rays, sea turtles and whale sharks as we ll as encountering the legendary Komodo dragons.
  • Full board with soft drinks, water, tea and coffee included
  • Opportunities to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world.
  • Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard

Amanda Hobbs
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