Panoramic Views Komodo National Park
The Komodo National Park is perhaps best known for its incredible marine life and the iconic dragons. Diving and snorkeling brings you face to face with amazing healthy corals and abundant fish life. A walk through the park with a ranger will bring you a close encounter with Komodo dragons. However, one of the most overlooked activities is hiking to the panoramic lookouts in this picturesque destination.
Of course, one has to keep in mind that there are dragons in them there hills! No one wants to encounter a dragon without a ranger in attendance. Therefore we always suggest walking with a ranger to the viewpoints or sticking to islands that don’t have dragons on them. Three of the walks available in the Park are always led by rangers. Two of the walks are on smaller islands that are not home to dragons and are safe to hike without a guide. Note that all walks in the Komodo area require a certain amount of fitness and decent footwear. We always suggest that guests bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Padar Peak Panoramic View
The most famous panorama in Komodo is surely the Padar Peak. The number 1 Instagram spot in Komodo is popular for a reason. The view from the peak offers a view of 3 different colored beaches as well as all of the major islands. This hike has gone through a real upgrade over the past 10 years from a slippery track to stable concrete paths. The addition of a jetty has made the beach accessible at all tides to make life easy. This climb is popular at both sunrise and sunset as the heat is less. Although the hike can be busy, there is plenty of room at the top for everyone to take photos of the panoramic view.
Komodo Island Ranger Station
Located at the main ranger station on Komodo Island, there are 3 different walks available. Simply put, there is a short walk, a medium walk, and a long walk! The medium walk is the most popular and offers a great view over the bay and of the hills. The only problem is the obnoxious bill board perched atop of the hill! However, don’t let that ruin the view. The great thing about a walk on Komodo is the opportunity to spot deer, megapodes, snakes, and of course the dragon. All walks are led by naturalist guides who are experts at spotting animals both large and small. This is always a popular activity among photographers and birders.
Rinca Island Ranger Station
Landing at the jetty at Rinca Island is part of the fun. The wildlife spotting can start right at the jetty with a crowd of macaque monkeys or even a dragon lying on the path! A short walk across a field to the ranger station often brings encounters with water buffalo, deer, and more dragons. Like the Komodo ranger station, there are short, medium, and long walk options on Rinca. The viewpoint at the top of the hill offers a wonderful view to the north including Buaya Bay and the boats anchored within.
Gili Lawa Darat Panoramic View
Gili Lawa Darat is a small island off the NE coast of Komodo. It’s located near the famous dive sites of Shotgun and Castle Rock. The hike here is one of the most famous in Komodo with a stunning view in all directions and is a wonderful spot for sunset. This is not an easy hike as the hill is steep and somewhat slippery. This is a great spot to encounter deer at the base of the hill feeding on the long grass. For those who prefer not to attempt the high viewpoint, there is a lower and easier viewpoint from the same beach. Please note that due to a recent grass fire this hike has been off limits and we are not sure when it will open again.
Gili Banta Panoramic View
Located to the west of Komodo, Gili Banta is a beautiful uninhabited island outside of the park. This ancient volcanic caldera offers steep cliffs to the north and gradual slopes on the south. Due to it’s location out of the park it’s not as popular as a destination as the hikes within the park. This is both a plus and a minus for hikers. Lack of visitors means there is rarely anyone hiking the hills but this also means the trails are easily overgrown. There are no dragons on Banta and so the hiking is safe but also challenging. The best hikes are located on the NW, the NE, as well as starting from the SE. All of these hikes are physically demanding but well rewarding with beautiful views from the top.
If you enjoy early morning or late afternoon exercise with a reward then a Komodo hike is for you. Our crew have hiked to these spots many times and know the best times to visit. They will bring drinks and cold towels in order to make the trip more enjoyable. Be sure to bring your shoes and a camera and get ready for a wonderful view!