Getty Images/iStockphoto

Komodo & Rinca Islands

Parked neatly between Sumbawa and Flores, the islands of Komodo and Rinca are the major draw cards of Unesco-recognised Komodo National Park. The islands' jagged hills, carpeted with savannah and fringed with mangroves, are home to prehistoric Komodo dragons or ora, the world’s largest lizards.

Padar Island, conveniently positioned between Komodo and Rinca, is a highly prized photography perch, gifting those who climb the stairs an outlook of three perfect bays that transition from aquamarine to sapphire blue.

These isolated islands are surrounded by some of Indonesia's most tempestuous waters. Warm and cold currents converge and breed nutritious thermal climes and rip tides that attract large schools of pelagics, including dolphins, sharks, manta rays and blue whales. The coral here is mostly pristine. With some of the best diving in the world, it's no surprise that liveaboards ply these waters between April and September when diving is at its finest.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Komodo & Rinca Islands.

Featured videos

Top 10 best value destinations to visit in 2020