Padar Island Hike – Epic Day Trip From Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
The Padar Island hike in Komodo has some of the most amazing views in Indonesia, and it’s easy to do on a day trip from the town of Labuan Bajo.
This place looks just like dinosaur country, with rocky hills and giant bays and beaches that stretch out in all directions. A tour of the Komodo islands wouldn’t be complete without doing this trek!
The north side of Padar Island even has a pink beach with unique reddish sand that’s become another famous sight for tours in the Komodo National Park.
This travel guide will explain how to get to Padar Island, and everything you need to know before you go!
Where Is It?
Padar Island is located in the Komodo National Park, a group of islands in east Indonesia.
The closest city is the fishing town of Labuan Bajo in Flores, which has its own airport and plenty of hotels and restaurants.
How To Get There
The only way to visit Padar Island is on a boat trip from Labuan Bajo.
It’s about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Bajo as the crow flies, and the journey normally takes 3 hours with a slow boat, or less than half that with a speedboat.
You can knock out all the top sights of Komodo National Park (including Padar) in one full day trip, or it’s possible to stay in a liveaboard boat and spend several days sightseeing!
There are a bunch of flights to Labuan Bajo airport (LBJ) every day from Bali, with a 1 hour flight time and several airlines offering ticket prices as low as $30 USD.
Once you get to Labuan Bajo, it’s possible to book a boat tour to Padar Island at the harbor, or you can book a tour online (more on that later).
Padar Island Hike
The hike to the top of Padar Island only takes about 20-40 minutes depending on your pace.
There’s a cobblestone path all the way to the top now, but it’s still a pretty steep and exhausting climb. Along the way, there are some viewpoints where you can stop to rest as you work your way to the top for the best view.
This hike has very little shade and the sun in Komodo is pretty brutal, so plan on getting roasted on your way up the hill! Definitely bring some water.
Nowadays, park rangers are posted at intervals along the path to keep people safe. They’re friendly, but clingy. Maybe it’s because we were the only visitors at the time, but they kept trying to give us a hand with everything and smothered us with cautions to the point where it was annoying.
This is Indonesia, we don’t want to be babysat on such a simple hike! Just let us take some photos and enjoy the view!
The top viewpoint at Padar is incredible. The landscape really does look like a Jurassic Park set.
The island has a giant X shape, with three bays where you can see a white beach, black beach, and pink beach.
Each of those sand colors is pretty special in itself, but to see all of them in one place is crazy. This is probably the only place in the world where you can witness that!
In the distance you can see Komodo Island, home of the famous Komodo dragons (Padar has wild dragons too, but they stay on the north side of the island so you probably won’t see them here).
The Komodo National Park has a confusing ticket system with a bunch of different entrance fees that you pay in a small booth at Padar.
When you total everything up, you can expect to pay up to 500k IDR ($37 USD) per person for a 1 day park pass that allows you to do the Padar Island hike and the other highlights in Komodo, Indonesia.
This ticket price is current as of 2021, but seems to go up every year. I think the price is still worth it for the outstanding nature you get to see at Komodo.
Drone Flying At Padar Island
As of 2020, they don’t let anyone fly a drone at Padar Island anymore unless you pay an exorbitant 1 million Rupiah ($70 USD). I guess that’s understandable since the viewpoint gets crowded, and I’m sure they have lots of people wanting to fly drones there every day.
If you’re feeling creative, you can still get drone shots of Padar without paying if you launch from one of the many hidden bays or islands nearby where the rangers can’t see you. I may or may not know a guy who did that.
When To Visit
The best time to visit Padar Island really depends on what you’re looking for.
High season for Komodo National Park is July to August, when the weather is cooler and more comfortable, but the park is also more crowded.
The grass color changes with the seasons. It’s green in the tail end of the rainy season (January to April). By April or May, the grass color starts to turn yellow. In the summer and fall (July to November), the islands are bone dry and the grass is all brown.
Most boat tours go to Padar in the morning, when the temps are cooler for hiking and the landscape has a nice dramatic lighting. I’m sure sunsets are spectacular too!
Pink Beach On Padar Island
Padar Island is home to a world famous pink sand beach!
There are actually two pink beaches on Padar Island, and one of them is visible from the viewpoint, but the best one (with the reddest sand) is hidden in a bay on the north side of the island.
This unique beach is another must see when you’re visiting Komodo National Park, and most tours include it.
More info: Komodo Pink Beach
Best Padar Island Tour / Day Trip
If you’re looking for a vetted tour company for visiting Padar Island in Indonesia, here’s a top rated Komodo National Park day trip with Klook starting at 600k IDR ($42 USD) from Labuan Bajo.
This tour includes the top sights in Komodo like Padar Island, Pink Beach, and the Komodo Dragon safari, and their prices are very competitive based on what we’ve seen being quoted for similar tours in Labuan Bajo. The online reviews are positive too.
We’ve used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great! Highly recommended.
Book Now: Padar Island Tour / Day Trip
Where To Stay In Labuan Bajo
More Komodo Travel Tips
I hope you enjoyed these tips for touring Padar Island on a day trip from Labuan Bajo. It’s one of the best viewpoints Indonesia has to offer!
Don’t forget to check out my complete Komodo Travel Guide for more information about seeing the dragons and islands!
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