There’s no doubt that you’ve already seen a photo of the iconic, Jurassic landscape atop the Padar Island hike viewpoint in the Komodo National Park. In fact, if you type in “Komodo Island” in Google, it’s probably the image that will appear first.
From the summit, you’ll have a sweeping view across Padar Island and get to witness the famous multicolored beaches that surround the island.
The Padar Island Hike
Recently, the Komodo National Park has built a wooden pathway making the start of the hike much easier. From here, it’s only a short but fairly steep ascent to several grassy viewpoint hills where you can catch varying perspectives of the incredible island.
If you’ve got a camera, or even if you possess a slight interest in landscape photography, then the Padar Island hike will certainly be your type of adventure. I’m not one to usually talk up a viewpoint that’s already been photographed millions of times, but this place was so breathtaking that it’s hard not to rant. Maybe it’s better to let the pictures do the talking.
Padar Island Hike Height
The highest point at the Padar Island viewpoint is approximately 185 meters above sea level. The path is fairly steep but doesn’t require any
Padar Island Hike Difficulty
Yeah, yeah, but how long is the Padar Island hike? Don’t worry, the Padar Island hike really isn’t difficult, and anybody with general fitness shouldn’t have a problem. To reach the summit from the beach, it shouldn’t take much longer than 20 minutes.
How to Get to Padar Island
Padar Island is fairly remote and therefore will require some kind of organized boat trip to reach. This is especially true if you want to experience the Padar Island hike viewpoint for sunrise.
Below I’ve detailed some of the most popular ways to reach Padar Island, as well as how I got here.
How to Get to Padar Island from Labuan Bajo
For those already in Labuan Bajo Flores, you have the option of booking a one-day boat trip or a multi-day trip departing from the main harbor. Unfortunately, there are no public boats going to Padar Island, so booking an Island hopping tour is going to be your best bet.
There are several of these island hopping tours available in Labuan Bajo. To save money, it’s recommended to try to organize these trips with other travelers. Depending on which tour you book, you’ll get a fast (1.5 hours) or slow (3 hours) boat. Faster boats are generally better since you’ll get to spend more time on the islands.
Trip prices vary greatly depending on the season and demand. To save money and time, you can book this 4-Island day trip on a fast boat which a Padar Island hike.
Most day-trips stop at other Komodo National Park highlights like Pink Beach, Manta Point, Komodo Island and Rinca Island, so if you’re planning to visit these anyway, you’ll save money by going on the same day. Read below for the updated National Park Fees.
Getting to Labuan Bajo – You can grab a cheap domestic flight to Labuan Bajo (also known as Komodo airport – LBJ) with daily connecting flights to Denpasar in Bali for $50-$80. You can compare cheap flights to Komodo airport on Skyscanner here.
Padar Island National Park Fee 2019
The various fees in the Komodo National Park can really add up, especially if you plan on spending a couple of days exploring the area. Visiting Padar Island is quite expensive, requiring a 150 000 Rupiah for the National Park entry.
I’d recommend checking with your tour to see if these fees are included before agreeing on a price or booking. Below you’ll find a summary table of the applicable fees and charges. You can find more here.
|KOMODO National Park Entrance (Includes Padar and Rinca):||150 000 Rupiah per person|
|KOMODO National Park Entrance: (Sundays and holidays):||255 000 Rupiah per person|
Komodo and Flores Trip From Lombok
In my opinion, one of the best ways to reach Padar Island and to explore the other gems in the Komodo National Park is to take a 4-Day and 3-Night boat trip from Lombok. This is only convenient if you’re already in Lombok, but is excellent value for money, and one of my favorite tours in Indonesia.
This boat trip stopped at Padar Island, Rinca Island, Komodo Island, Pink Beach, and Long Beach, as well as some other snorkeling and island waterfall stops along the way.
If you’re interested in this trip, I’ve writted a detailed blog about it here.
MORE TO DO IN KOMODO NATIONAL PARK: PINK BEACH KOMODO ISLAND
Scuba Diving Liveaboard to Padar Island
It’s no secret that the Komodo National Park is a diving hotspot. If you’re a diver considering a liveaboard, I found that most will include a stop to do the Padar Island hike on their itinerary.
There are a plethora of Dive shops offering liveaboards from anywhere in the duration of 2 to 14-day trips.
Unfortunately, I can’t comment or recommend a liveaboard, since I didn’t go on one. However, I can recommend iDive Komodo based on their day dives. They have an excellent fleet of boats, professional staff, great food and best of all, they’re local. This means your money is going back into Flores and not overseas to German or Swedish bank accounts.
Photography and Drones
There are plenty of opportunities to capture breathtaking photos both during the Padar Island hike and at the summit. If you have a wide lens and you’d like to avoid selfy-stick wielding tourists in your shots, then I’d suggest grabbing a few shots at the half-way mark or on the first grassy hill below the summit.
Can I Fly My Drone?
When it comes to drones, many might be wondering; “can I fly a drone at Padar Island”. Legally, the Komodo National Park restricts the flying of drones without a permit in the entire park, including Padar Island. – That being said, you’d be hard-pressed to visit Padar Island for sunrise without hearing at least a few drones launching.
Best Time to Visit Padar Island
The best time to visit Padar Island and the Komodo National Park is in the Dry Season, between April and November. These months see less rain, with hot but tolerable temperatures.
The busiest time of year is July and August and therefore a great option is to visit Padar Island in the shoulders seasons of April to June and October to November.
During the Wet Season and the first months of the Dry Season, the view from the Padar Island hike is a refreshing shade of green. The later on in the year it gets, the Padar landscape dries to an almost orange color, which in my opinion is still a spectacular contrast with the blue ocean below.
Is the Komodo National Park Fee Going Up?
One viral story that has been making the rounds lately is the dramatic increase in the Komodo Island entry price. Reports are suggesting that the cost to visit Komodo Island will soar to a premium of $1000 USD for a year pass.
At this stage, it’s hard to be sure whether these changes will go ahead. However, there has been a tremendous local backlash, since the fee will only be applicable to Komodo Island, and not the surrounding islands like Padar.
Therefore, if it were to be implemented, tourism would likely steer away from Komodo Island in favor of the others. Regardless, the National Park fee will not increase, and the cost to visit Padar Island will likely remain the same.
Are There Komodo Dragons on Padar Island?
While Padar Island used to be home to Komodo Dragons, it’s no longer the case. The combination of a lack of food and hunting drove the dragons away from Padar several decades ago.
So, you won’t need to keep an eye out for any Komodo Dragons on the Padar Island hike. Instead, you’ll find Komodo Dragons on the neighboring islands including Komodo Island, Rinca, Gili Montang and Gili Dasami.
READ MORE ABOUT THE KOMODO DRAGON ISLANDS: RINCA AND KOMODO ISLAND