East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia – In Padar Island, the climb may be a bit tough, but the view from the top is definitely worth it! The third largest island in the Komodo National Park was our first stop for our third day in Flores.
The mountain is waiting
Taking a speedboat from Labuan Bajo port, we stopped by a few meters from one of Padar Island’s beaches. The rugged brown peaks loomed before us, intimidating in the harsh heat of the midday sun.
We were promised a short hike, one that will give us the best vantage point for photographing Padar’s beauty. After transferring to a smaller boat, that is when I finally realized how steep the climb would be.
Muttering motivational words to myself, I steeled my resolve and followed the others. The start of the trail was really tricky, making us slip from the loose soil. Soon enough, we were covered in dust, trying to make our way to the first flat area by holding on to thorny green bushes along the way.
Huffing and puffing, we took our time to enjoy the flattish area by hydrating and taking lots of pictures and videos. Thankfully, the hike became a bit easier from here on. The sun was still our biggest enemy even when the trail is clear and the slope easy.
Glancing at the peak, I saw that some of our friends were already far ahead, looking like ants near the top. I gotta hustle but already I can feel my legs burning.
Halfway through was another flat area facing the cove we came from. Even the view from here is already magical which resulted in another photography break. From the edge, one could clearly see how clear the turquoise waters are, a contrast to the dry savannah of Padar Island.
Padar Island views
We trudged on, until we got to the first viewpoint. A rocky outcrop shaded by a lone tree. The view from here stunned me for a few seconds before I remembered that I have to take a hundred photos of its every angle. I knew that no photo or drone video will compare to the panorama before me, but still, it is a good way to remember this moment, forever etched in my travel memories.
Although no longer inhabited by the Komodo dragons, Padar Island‘s main draw is its breathtaking views. Each cove hiding a different colored beach (white, black, and pink). The rise and fall of its brown peaks. Different shades of blue blending with each other.
It was beauty as far as the eye can see. Perfection. It was the stuff that our travel dreams are made of. I can wax poetic, but I’m sure you get the drift. Hopefully the images will give you an inkling.
I haven’t climbed a lot of mountains, but surely this is one of the most scenic view I have seen so far. Views that you will remember for days.
📍Indonesia: Padar Island, Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ Feeling like Khaleesi waiting for Drogon, eager to return to King's Landing. 😂 But seriously doesn't this look like Westeros? Or even Middle Earth? Let me hear the #LoTR and #GoT fans here! 💜 . #PSwanderlust #wonderfulindonesia #tripofwonders
Suggested Reading: I’ve Found God in Padar by Celineism
It’s not easier going down
After taking turns having our picture taken by the outcrop, I looked up to see if I can still make it farther. The ascent to the summit reminds me of the one in Pico de Loro, albeit a little shorter. I tried my best to reach the top but after a few slips and dirty knees, I gave up.
Although some would say that going down a mountain or hill is easier than going up, that has not been the case for me. I always dread the going down part. Thankfully, Vindhya was there to help me along with the rangers who helped us survive the slippery slope to get to the coral beach.
Riding the small boat back to our speedboats, I looked back at Padar Island with a mixture of relief and longing. It was hard to say goodbye to such beauty, but Rinca Island is calling!
Quick Guide to Padar Island
Best months to visit: April – November
Best time to go: Sunset/Sunrise
Nearest airport: Komodo Airport (Labuan Bajo/LBJ)
Flights: Garuda Indonesia, Kalstar Aviation
What to pack: sunscreen, lots of water, photography gear, small backpack
What to wear: hiking footwear, light colored and breathable top (long sleeves if you’re going in midday)
Other notes: there are no man-made facilities in Padar Island
How to get a boat tour: there are many boat/tour operators along the main street of Labuan Bajo to choose from
Here’s a video from our last day in Komodo National Park:
Disclosure: This is part of the Trip of Wonders 2016 to Wonderful Indonesia sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia. However, all biases, comments, and opinions are still my own.
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What do you think of the views from Padar Island? Will you go?