Ever since its promotion as one of the member of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Komodo National Park continue to charm worldwide travelers. Thousands of visitors each year are getting enchanted by Komodo’s rough and outlandish beauty. To venture in the sanctuary of last dragons on earth. Divers, travel bloggers, and wanderers alike find pleasure in following the out of beaten paths to discover the exotic ‘lost island’. One of the best way to have adventure in this Jurassic-looking islands is by booking a liveaboard trip run by Komodo tour operators. They will take care all of your needs while you can get busy getting immersed on Mother Nature’s prettiest creations.
However, once you start planning a trip to Komodo, you will quickly realise that there are HUNDREDS of Komodo tour and liveaboard operators to choose. So how can you pick the right one and what realistic expectation you can have?
Finding Komodo Tours Online VS Offline
So, here’s the thing. If you have heard about the Komodo National Park for quite a long time and has actually plan to go there, you might be more inclined to look up online and make advanced arrangements. Some travelers, on the other hand, were not having Komodo as their main destination. Some just heard it during their adventure on other part of Indonesia and decided to check it out. These kind of travellers tend to choose offline booking once they actually get to Labuan Bajo, the port town of Flores.
Online Tour Booking
Just like online hotel booking, you can have the pleasure of time to look at dozens of different Komodo tour and liveaboard with absolutely no pressure. You can browse by their websites, stalk their previous trip on their Facebook or Instagram, and even look at reviews on TripAdvisors and similar travel websites. At any time you can ask for price lists or ask them questions via emails from each operator. However, you need to be careful of scam as some shifty operators might not displaying their true boats. Some even write facilities that don’t even exist. Be careful to choose legit Komodo tour which is true to their words.
Offline Tour Booking
Some travelers just can’t trust any online tour before they meet in person. You can always go to Labuan Bajo first and go to its only main street, where dozens of liveaboard tours and diving centres line up on both sides. Here you can walk in to any tour agent offices you want, discuss on packages and prices, and even see their boats on the port. Yet you need to be wary; the competition is fierce here. You might need to deal with shouting, angry faces, broken english, or even scams if you are not careful.
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With Price Come Quality
This is the tenet you need to stick on when you are looking for Komodo tour. Five star, resort standard liveaboard trips exist—but they will costs you millions rupiah per night. Middle class liveaboard trip start from 2 to 3 millions rupiahs. For such price you will have basic hotel services like cabins, beds (sometimes bunk, sometimes double), air conditioned rooms, fresh waters, and nice hospitality. If you go below one million trip per day, you will settle for sleeping on mattress on a deck, shared bathrooms, smaller living space, and more people to share the boat with. Three times of meal a day is a default in any liveaboard trip, but the quality will highly depend on the price of the liveaboard. Just know that you get what you pay!