A trip to the Komodo National Park is like hitting many birds with one stone. Not only do you get the chance to witness the komodo dragons up close, but you will also be treated to some of the most beautiful beaches on earth, possibly the best diving or snorkeling spots in the world, and generally breathtaking natural landscapes inhabited by other wild animals.
The komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a species of lizard found in the islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, and Gili Motang in East Nusa Tenggara. Growing up to three meters (10 feet) and weighing up to 70 kilograms (154 pounds), it is the largest species of lizard in existence today. The monitors roam freely for food, and to see them at a close distance may require trekking deep into the jungle, usually to their watering holes. First recorded by western scientists in 1910, the komodo dragons are said to have survived from the time of the dinosaurs, with an evolutionary development that began 40 million years ago.
If you are looking to make the most out of your stay in the Komodo National Park, other recommended activities include hiking up the gorgeous Padar Island, hopping onto sandbanks, jumping into the pristine blue water of Rangko Cave, and meeting Komodo Village’s friendly locals. Be sure to visit one of the park’s pink beaches, swim with manta rays and turtles (which are not that hard to spot when you are diving or snorkeling, anyway), and, if you happen to be outside during sunset, witness millions of bats leaving the mangroves for their foods.