Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the East Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia, and it definitely deserves a spot on every traveler's list. The national park includes three main islands, Rinca, Komodo and Padar, and 26 smaller ones, and it is virtually uninhabited - save for its most famous residents, 5,700 giant lizards known as the Komodo dragons!

The national park is of biological interest because of its diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems, which also make it one of the best diving destinations in Indonesia - in fact, most people visit Komodo on a liveaboard, combining diving and snorkelling to the exploration of the stunning nature and scenery that makes Komodo National Park a truly special place.

In fact, things to do Komodo National Park don't just include the Komodo dragons, but also its beautiful beaches and blue waters. If you’re planning a trip to Indonesia, make sure you plan to stop by Komodo National Park and explore its islands! 

Here are six things you definitely want to do and visit during your trip:

1. Pink Sand Beach

If you’ve seen too many white sand beaches in your trips around the world, maybe a change of scenery will do you good. Head to the Komodo Island and be amazed by the Pink Sand Beach or Pantai Merah. The sand looks like Himalayan Salt, its pink gives it a beautiful contrast against the water’s aquamarine.

It will definitely look good on your Instagram – but remember not to take the sand home with you! Sadly, the beach has lost some of its pink hue because tourists would bottle up the sand to take it back with them. When visiting Komodo Island’s Pink Sand Beach, leave the sand alone and take the memory home with you instead.

2. Scuba Diving

Komodo National Park has a diverse marine ecosystem that will look interesting up close. Fish, marine animals and corals will greet you when you go scuba diving. You can jump into the water pretty much anywhere around the island, but if you want specific locations, here are some of the best dive sites in Komodo:

Sabolon has large schools of surgeon fish, large see fans, and beautiful coral reefs. Here, you can see devil scorpion fish, pygmy seahorse, orangutan crabs and other marine animals. Tatawa Kecil is one of the prettiest diving sites in Komodo National Park. You will find colorful coral gardens where large groupers, snappers, sweetlips and jacks live. You might also be able to spot sharks and dugongs in the area. Pengah is an underrated diving site, but you will find beautiful coral gardens here as well. Long-nosed emperors, turtles, angel fish, and scorpion fish live here.

3. Padar Island Hike

In Padar Island, there’s a hill you can hike to reach a viewpoint that offers the most breathtaking view of the Komodo National Park. On top of the hill, you can see three differently colored beaches, the Pink Sand Beach in Komodo Island, a black sand beach, and a white sand beach. It’s an easy hike up the hill and requires no equipment. It’s also a great place to take a lot of beautiful pictures.

4. Snorkeling at Manta Points

Aside from Komodo dragons, Komodo National Park is also known for its manta ray population. You can have intimate interactions with these beautiful sea creatures if you go snorkeling at the national park’s different Manta Points. If you have an underwater camera, you can even take pictures with the manta rays. They are very friendly and will often come close to snorkelers and divers.

Take caution, however, when you go to these Manta Points. There might also be sharks in the area, so ask for assistance and direction before you go snorkeling or diving.

5. Rinca Island

Despite the name, you actually have a higher chance of seeing Komodo dragons in Rinca Island than in Komodo Island! In fact, there are nature trails on this island that you can follow if you want to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Aside from Komodo dragons, you may also find deer, bush fowls, and buffaloes. 

During your visit, please don’t forget to be responsible and treat your surroundings with respect – and keep your distance from Komodo dragons! They can be aggressive, if you invade their personal space. Always follow your guide's instructions and don't get too close for a selfie!

6. Sunset at Kalong Island

Kalong Island is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. You may be able to witness thousands of flying foxes in the sky as they head to nearby Flores Island. It’s an incredible experience that you will surely remember as you end your trip at the Komodo National Park.

So, here are just some of the things to look forward to during your liveaboard experience in Komodo National Park. The dragons are indeed worth a visit - but there's so much more to do in Komodo, that you'll soon be planning a trip back!

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