day trip Kanawa Island Flores Indonesia

Kanawa Island (Flores): What to see & do, where to stay, how to reach

After spending most of our day with komodos on Indonesia’s Komodo Island and the beauty of Pink Beach, we ended our day on the paradisiacal Kanawa Island. This island is located around 15 km from Labuan Bajo and is a popular spot for those exploring Komodo National Park.


What to see and do on Kanawa Island

The small but pristine Kanawa Island is a famous spot for snorkeling because its clear waters are teeming with marine life like stingrays, sea urchins, corals, fishes, starfish, and more. Tourists love to feed the fish by the pier. Sunset watching is also a favorite activity on this island.

Docking at the island’s jetty, the island looked deserted at first glance, complete with shipwrecks on the beach and small dry hills. I would have thought the island was uninhabited if not for the presence of bungalows and beach umbrellas on the other side.

Trying to shield ourselves from the bright and harsh sun, we made our way to the only restaurant on the island. Serving Indonesian and Western dishes, the restaurant’s prices can shock you for a bit until you realize that it is the only food source on the island.

Do take note that they don’t have Wi-Fi and only accept cash.

beach kanawa island
Chillin by the beach

Foregoing our need to drink something cold, we headed to the beach to find some shade to chill in. After dozing for a bit, we decided to join the others in the water. If not for the searing heat, I would have walked around and even climbed the hill. But, next time, maybe!

The island’s crystal clear and calm waters definitely made me happy, as I’m not very comfortable with murky waters. As Rain and I were walking around knee-deep waters, we not only saw a lot of colorful starfishes but baby sharks as well. Win!

starfish kanawa island indonesia
Look at the stars…

Tired from the day’s activities, I didn’t push through with snorkeling. Too bad really because from the other bloggers’ photos, Kanawa Island also looks like a paradise underwater.

Activities you can do on Kanawa Island aside from beach bumming and swimming include snorkeling, diving, and other water sports.

After a bit of walking around and taking pictures, we stayed for a bit in the hut by the jetty before boarding our boats. The turquoise waters along the jetty were full of sea urchins and as we were staring, baby sharks again passed by. And this time, I finally got to take a shot.

We left the island with our sun-kissed skin, hearts full of Indonesia’s beauty, and an experience to last a long time.

baby sharks kanawa island indonesia
Find the shark!



For those looking to stay overnight or a few days on the island, there is only one resort on the island – Kanawa Island Resort. You can choose from bungalows, bales, or tents to stay in.

The resort has an on-site restaurant that also offers halal options.

They also provide boat transfers to-and-from Labuan Bajo, free of charge which leaves 12 PM from LBJ, and 8 PM from Kanawa. Paid chartered boats are also available if you would like to leave on your own schedule.

The resort also has its own diving center.

Where to stay near Kanawa Island

You can also choose to stay on the other islands in Komodo National Park (Taman Nasional Komodo). Here are some options:

  • Komodo Resort – a dive resort with air-conditioned teakwood bungalows. The resort is located on Sebayur Besar island, next to the Komodo National Park border and at about 18 kilometers distance from Labuan Bajo.
  • Sudamala Resort – Located on Seraya Kecil Island, the resort offers beach bungalows and private villas, both overlooking the beach.

Most of the travelers though, either stay in Labuan Bajo or via liveaboard boat.


From Lombok (Praya), we took a flight to Bali (Denpasar) via Garuda Airlines. Travel time: 45 minutes. We then took a Kalstar flight from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo. Travel time: 50 minutes.

Make sure to choose a window seat. Landing in Labuan Bajo is one of the most scenic window views I had so far in my years of traveling.

Garuda Airlines has flights every day from Lombok to Denpasar. Kalstar Aviation also has flights every day from Denpasar (DPS) to Labuan Bajo (LBJ).

Labuan Bajo (West Flores), a small fishing town, is the jump-off point if you want to explore the islands in Komodo National Park, including Kanawa Island. The boat ride from Labuan Bajo to Kanawa Island takes 1.5 hours.

Location: Kanawah Island, Pasir Putih, Komodo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Disclosure: I was invited to join the Trip of Wonders in September for Wonderful Indonesia. Thank you to the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia. Although this is a sponsored trip, all opinions and biases are my own.

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What do you think of Kanawa Island? 

Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.


  • Indonesia has a lot of faraway islands like the Philippines. Which ever islands they are, I think they are all beautiful. And, how much guarantee I can get to be sitting next to a pogi guy if I take a window seat? Posible ba yun loves? hahaha kidding aside. You’re always great at writing. Teka nga, I’ll book a flight to Indonesia! haha Xx

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    Kanawa island does look like a slice of paradise. The sands look so pristine as if it has never been touched by the feet of humans. Love the turquoise and placid waters too. A great place to chill and do nothing ๐Ÿ™‚


    “See the line where the sky meets the sea?
    It calls me
    And no one knows
    How far it goes”

    The clear waters are calling me!! Haaays I wanna go to the beach right now. Kanawa Island is amazing. The sand, the waters, the marine life, and everything. I wish I could visit this place soon.

  • I feel like waking up the next day only to find myself in Kanawa island. No doubt, its a paradise indeed! To add up to it all you came across some baby sharks!

  • This is a beautiful island! Thank you for sharing this information. Maybe I’ll visit here when I go to Indonesia. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Haze Tolentino

    This is so nice, Dada! I will try to make it to Indonesia this year!

  • Ambuj Saxena

    Kanawa island and its resort look so fascinating! I really wanna be there! Thanks for contributing to my bucket list!

  • Indrani

    I want to get to this place right now. The water is so clear and can’t believe such huge starfish live so close to beach. I would have wanted to scoop up one in hand though I wouldn’t as they can be dangerous too.

  • I saw your first picture and immediately fell in LOVE! Great post!

  • I actually found myself nodding when I read the part about not going snorkeling hahahaha… I am also very lazy when it comes to those kinds of activities. If I don’t have to, I won’t do it lol. The sea urchins freaked me out a bit. I heard it’s extremely painful if you happen to step on them. Kanawa island looks amazing too, would to go there.

  • You definitely have to return to Kanawa island and try snorkeling. There;s a reason to go back! ๐Ÿ™‚ The water is so clear and beautiful, the visibility must be amazing in the deep as well! I have never seen a starfish before, they are so cute!

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