No one denies the excitement of traveling as a backpacker. It is not merely about the budget, but also about blending in with new cultures, thriving in modest condition and sometimes about reinventing yourself. The most wonderful experience often comes from this long and arduous journey. When you are wondering where to go for the next challenging adventures, make sure Padar Island backpacking trip is on your list.
Located in the eastern part of Indonesia, the island offers an exotic landscape, rare flora and fauna, pristine beach with diving and snorkeling sites, and a rich cultural heritage. Moreover, a lot of interesting places lie along the journey. You may be tempted to stay more than one night in those places. The only question is: how to get there?
Jakarta is a common starting point. From here, Padar Island backpacking will be a rigorous journey. Investing enough time is the key, unless you choose to travel by plane between some points and start backpacking overland from a closer airport. However, keeping true to the backpacker spirit, let’s explore only the overland and sailing options.
Without flying, the journey can be divided into 5 shorter trips:
Jakarta – Bali
In order to cross the strait to Bali, you need to go to Banyuwangi, about 1000km from Jakarta. There is no direct train to Banyuwangi. You can opt to take the train to Surabaya or Yogyakarta, and proceed with another train to Banyuwangi.
The duration and cost vary according to the class you choose. Confirm with PT. KAI website for schedule and ticket booking. Either way, the total duration of the train trip to Jakarta to Banyuwangi will be more than 15 hours. Be prepared to allocate a full day or more for this trip.
Once you arrive at Banyuwangi, head to Ketapang Harbor which is about 15 minutes walking from the train station. Here, look for a ferry to Gilimanuk Harbor. The ship departs frequently every day and takes around an hour to cross the strait to Bali, which will cost you only IDR6,000.
Bali – Lombok
You may take the chance to wander around Bali while you are there. Gilimanuk bus station is within the walking distance from the harbor. The buses from there go to many important places throughout the island: Denpasar, Tabanan, Sanur, Singaraja, Ubud, and more. Or, if you are ready to depart, head to Padang Bai, a harbor on the eastern side of Bali.
The bus from Gilimanuk to Padang Bai starts early every day, slightly after midnight. The ticket price is IDR 60,000, and it takes four hours ride through the main road.
You will arrive in the morning at Padang Bai harbor. No need to rush since the ferry departs every hour. Choose the time according to your preference. It takes another 5 hours crossing the sea from Bali to Lombok, with the price of IDR 36,000.
Lombok – Sumbawa
Lembar Harbor is your destination in Lombok. It is located on the western side of the island. Unfortunately, in Lembar harbor the public transportation is a bit scarce. Your option is to go with chartered car or rent a motorcycle.
Be careful, Lombok can tempt you into staying longer than your initial plan. Mount Rinjani, Senggigi Beach, Mataram, and Gili Trawangan are some of the alluring places you may find hard to resist.After you are ready, head to the eastern part of Lombok, to Kayangan Harbor. Traveling directly from Lembar to Kayangan may cost you around IDR 50,000 – 100,000 per person by chartered car, with total duration about three hours.
From Kayangan Harbor in Lombok, it is time to cross another strait, to Pototano Harbor in Sumbawa.The trip takes two hours by ferry, and the price is IDR18,000.
Sumbawa – Labuan Bajo
Sumbawa Island is larger than Bali or Lombok. Traveling by bus from Pototano on the west border to Bima on the east takes around 8-10 hours and costs IDR 80,000 per person. The road is narrow and winding, with many bends and curves. However, Bima is not the end point. In order to cross the strait to Labuan Bajo, you need to take another trip to Sape Harbor.
From Bima to Sape by bus takes another two hours. If possible, take the early bus. The landscape between those cities is a rare beauty. The valley with a mist hanging over it, brightly illuminated by the golden sunrise, is a truly magnificent sight for only IDR 18,000 bus trip.
From Sape, the ferry departs once a day in the morning. The last strait takes eight hours to cross, the cost is IDR 54,000, and you will finally arrive at Labuan Bajo.
Labuan Bajo – Padar Island
Padar Island is only three hours away from Labuan Bajo. From here, there is no public transportation. You can rent a boat from the locals or join a tour by cost-sharing with other travelers. While you are there, take the chance to visit other areas of Komodo National Park, and enjoy your day by diving, snorkeling, trekking, or swimming with Manta Rays!
For the sailing trip, the common starting point is from Bali. The journey is 36 hours long aboard a ferry. You will depart from Tanjung Benoa, a harbor on the southern side of Bali. There are two options available, KM. Tilongkabila which departs in the morning or KM. Wilis in the afternoon. Both of them operate under PT. PELNI. Both also cost IDR 240,000 per person in the economy class, including the meal.
There is also another ferry from Tanjung Perak Harbor, Surabaya, namely KM Sirimau. It takes three days aboard the ship to Labuan Bajo, and costs at least IDR 418,000.
If you are departing from Lombok, you can also take KM. Tilongkabila from Lembar Harbor and sail 26 hours to Labuan Bajo. It will cost you IDR 187,000 in economy class.
Whichever journey you take, Padar Island backpacking trip will definitely enrich you with new experiences. It is a route full of wonderful places that will challenge you with lots of adventures. And, once you arrived, all the effort will be rewarded greatly. Happy backpacking!