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Gili Lawa Darat Hike In Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Starr Earls



Welcome to the breathtaking Gili Laba Darat hike in Komodo National Park, located in the idyllic Labuan Bajo region. This adventure will take you on an unforgettable journey through pristine landscapes, stunning vistas, and encounters with unique wildlife. Gili Laba Darat, also known as “Gili Laba Island,” is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.


As you embark on this adventure, you will not only witness the magnificence of the national park but also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity that Komodo National Park has to offer. From the awe-inspiring panoramic views to the chance encounters with the legendary Komodo dragons, this hike promises an experience of a lifetime.


This article will guide you through the wonders of Gili Laba Darat, offering essential information to prepare you for the hike and insights on what to expect along the way. Get ready to discover the untamed beauty and the hidden treasures of Komodo National Park as we embark on this thrilling adventure together.


Background of Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park, located in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a renowned ecological hotspot. Established in 1980, it covers an area of approximately 1,733 square kilometers, including three major islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, along with numerous smaller islands.


The national park is famous for its population of Komodo dragons, the largest living lizards on Earth. These ancient reptiles, known for their fierce nature and prehistoric appearance, draw tourists from around the globe to witness their remarkable existence in their natural habitat.


Aside from the iconic Komodo dragons, the park is home to an incredible array of marine life, making it a haven for divers and snorkelers. The crystalline waters surrounding Komodo National Park boast vibrant coral reefs, diverse fish species, and even manta rays and dolphins, providing a captivating underwater adventure.


The terrestrial landscapes of Komodo National Park are equally enchanting. Towering volcanic peaks, lush jungles, and pristine beaches create a dramatic backdrop for exploration and adventure. The park offers a variety of hiking trails and trekking opportunities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning natural beauty and observe the unique flora and fauna that thrive in this remarkable ecosystem.


Preservation efforts and strict regulations are in place to protect the delicate ecosystem of Komodo National Park. The park plays a crucial role in the conservation of endangered species, such as the Komodo dragon and several bird species. It serves as a model for sustainable tourism, providing a balance between environmental preservation and visitor experience.


With its extraordinary landscapes, rich biodiversity, and cultural significance, Komodo National Park is a destination that promises awe-inspiring adventures and unforgettable experiences. And nestled within this natural wonder is Gili Laba Darat, a hidden gem for hikers seeking to explore the park’s wonders on foot.


Overview of Gili Laba Darat

Gili Laba Darat, also known as “Gili Laba Island,” is a small but spectacular island located within Komodo National Park. This enchanting destination offers a hiking experience like no other, with its stunning panoramic views, unique rock formations, and crystal-clear waters.


What sets Gili Laba Darat apart is its iconic viewpoint, which allows hikers to witness a breathtaking vista that encompasses the surrounding islands, turquoise bays, and the vast expanse of the national park. The panoramic view from the hilltop is truly awe-inspiring and is the highlight of the hike.


The island derives its name, “Gili” meaning small island in the local language, from its relatively small size compared to other islands in the park. However, don’t let its size deceive you, as it is packed with natural wonders awaiting discovery.


The hike to Gili Laba Darat is suitable for hikers of various skill levels, making it accessible to both beginners and seasoned adventurers. The trail is well-defined and moderately challenging, encompassing a mix of uphill climbs, gentle slopes, and rocky terrain. It typically takes around 1 to 2 hours to reach the summit, depending on your pace and fitness level.


As you ascend, you will be greeted by stunning rock formations that have been shaped by the forces of nature over millions of years. These unique formations, coupled with the contrasting hues of the blue sky and the vibrant greenery, make for a visually captivating journey.


Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view that will leave you in awe. From the top, you can see neighboring islands, such as Padar Island and Komodo Island, as well as the azure waters that stretch out to the horizon. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings and snap some photos to capture the breathtaking vistas.


Aside from the mesmerizing viewpoint, Gili Laba Darat is also known for its pristine beaches, where you can take a refreshing dip in the clear waters or simply relax in the warm tropical sun. It’s the perfect place to unwind and experience a true paradise.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique adventure, Gili Laba Darat promises an unforgettable experience that showcases the immense natural beauty of Komodo National Park.


Preparing for the Hike

Before embarking on the Gili Laba Darat hike, it is important to make adequate preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for the adventure:

  • Physical Fitness: The hike to Gili Laba Darat requires a moderate level of physical fitness. It involves uphill climbs, uneven terrain, and can be challenging at times. It is recommended to engage in regular exercise and build endurance prior to the hike. Stretching exercises and cardiovascular activities, such as jogging or hiking, can help prepare your body for the trek.
  • Pack Light: It is crucial to pack light for the hike to Gili Laba Darat. Carry only the essentials, such as water, snacks, sunblock, a hat, a camera, and a light rain jacket. It is advisable to use a comfortable backpack that distributes the weight evenly, allowing for a more comfortable hiking experience.
  • Footwear: Choosing the right footwear is essential for a safe and comfortable hike. Opt for sturdy hiking shoes or trail running shoes that provide good traction on uneven terrain. It is important to wear shoes that have been broken in and are comfortable to prevent blisters and foot discomfort.
  • Weather and Climate: Komodo National Park has a tropical climate characterized by high humidity and periods of rain. It is recommended to check the weather forecast before your hike and dress accordingly. Lightweight and breathable clothing, moisture-wicking materials, and a waterproof layer are ideal for the hike.
  • Hydration and Snacks: It is important to stay hydrated throughout the hike. Carry an adequate amount of water and replenish it whenever possible. Additionally, pack some light snacks such as energy bars, nuts, or fruits to keep your energy levels up during the trek.
  • Insect Repellent: As with any outdoor adventure, it is essential to protect yourself against mosquitoes and other insects. Apply an effective insect repellent before the hike to minimize the risk of bites and potential discomfort.
  • Local Guides: While it is possible to hike Gili Laba Darat independently, it is highly recommended to hire a local guide. They possess invaluable knowledge of the area, can point out wildlife, and ensure that you stay on the designated trail. Additionally, hiring a guide supports the local community and contributes to the sustainability of tourism in the area.

By making the necessary preparations, you will be well-equipped to take on the Gili Laba Darat hike and fully enjoy the stunning beauty that awaits you along the way. Remember to respect the environment and follow the guidelines set by the park authorities to ensure the preservation of this natural treasure.


The Hiking Route

The hiking route to Gili Laba Darat begins at the small village of Labuan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo National Park. From Labuan Bajo, you will take a boat ride to reach Gili Laba Island.


Once you arrive on the island, you will start the hike from the beach area. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, ensuring that you stay on the designated path. As you begin your ascent, you will be surrounded by lush vegetation, including low-lying shrubs and towering trees.


The initial part of the hike is relatively gentle, allowing you to warm up and get into the rhythm. As you progress, the trail gradually becomes steeper, requiring a bit more effort and concentration. You will navigate through rocky terrain, ensuring you have proper footing throughout the hike.


As you climb higher, you will notice the unique rock formations that adorn the landscape. These geological wonders have been sculpted by nature over time, creating a fascinating backdrop for your hike. Take your time to admire their intricate shapes and textures.


After a challenging but rewarding ascent, you will reach the summit of Gili Laba Darat. The panoramic view from the top is simply breathtaking. You will be treated to a sweeping vista that showcases the surrounding islands, the crystal-clear waters, and the untamed beauty of Komodo National Park. It is the perfect spot to capture stunning photographs and create lasting memories.


After taking in the beauty of the summit, you can choose to explore the sandy beaches that fringe the island. Dip your toes in the clear turquoise waters or simply relax on the beach, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings. It is a well-deserved reward after the exhilarating hike.


When descending, take care to maintain your balance and watch your step, as some parts of the trail may be slippery. Make sure to follow any instructions provided by your guide and take your time to enjoy the views on your way back down.


Overall, the hiking route to Gili Laba Darat offers a well-defined and manageable trail for hikers of various skill levels. The combination of stunning landscapes, unique rock formations, and the rewarding panoramic view makes it a memorable and worthwhile adventure within Komodo National Park.


Sightseeing and Wildlife Spotting

Exploring Gili Laba Darat not only offers stunning vistas but also provides exciting opportunities for wildlife spotting. As you hike through the island’s diverse landscapes, keep your eyes peeled for the unique flora and fauna that inhabit this pristine paradise.


One of the main highlights of wildlife spotting in Gili Laba Darat is the chance to catch a glimpse of the legendary Komodo dragons. These ancient reptiles, known locally as “ora,” are the largest lizard species on Earth. With their fierce looks and powerful presence, encountering these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience.


As you hike through the island, you might come across other fascinating creatures such as wild boars, deer, and unique bird species. The island’s diverse array of plant life provides a habitat for numerous bird species, including cockatoos, eagles, and parrots. Listen for their calls and keep your eyes up to spot these colorful avian residents.


Keep a lookout for the marine life as well. Snorkeling or diving around Gili Laba Darat opens up a whole new world of underwater wonders. Explore the vibrant coral reefs and watch as schools of tropical fish swim by in a kaleidoscope of colors. If you’re lucky, you may even spot manta rays, sea turtles, and dolphins gliding through the crystal-clear waters.


In addition to the wildlife, don’t forget to take in the breathtaking natural scenery around you. The panoramic views from the summit of Gili Laba Darat provide an incredible backdrop for sightseeing and photography. Capture the beauty of the islands, the turquoise bays, and the endless expanse of the national park.


Regardless of whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of the natural world, Gili Laba Darat offers an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Komodo National Park, and let the beauty of this unique habitat leave a lasting impression.


Safety Tips for the Hike

While the hike to Gili Laba Darat is a thrilling adventure, it is important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before and during your hike:

  • Inform Others: Before setting out on the hike, inform someone about your plans, including your intended route and estimated time of return. This will ensure that someone is aware of your whereabouts and can take action if needed.
  • Stay Hydrated: The tropical climate of Komodo National Park can be hot and humid. Carry an ample supply of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike. It is recommended to drink regularly, even before feeling thirsty.
  • Protect Yourself from the Sun: Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Additionally, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and lightweight clothing to shield yourself from excessive sun exposure.
  • Wear Appropriate Footwear: Choose sturdy hiking shoes or trail running shoes with good traction to navigate the rocky terrain. Proper footwear will provide stability and reduce the risk of slipping or twisting an ankle.
  • Stay on the Designated Trail: Stick to the designated hiking trail and avoid venturing off-path. Straying from the trail can disturb the fragile ecosystem and increase the risk of getting lost or encountering dangerous wildlife.
  • Bring Snacks and First Aid Kit: Pack some light snacks to maintain your energy levels during the hike. Also, carry a basic first aid kit that includes essentials like band-aids, antiseptic, and any necessary personal medications.
  • Respect Wildlife: While encountering wildlife is a thrilling experience, it is important to maintain a safe distance and refrain from provoking or feeding the animals. Respect their natural habitat and observe them from a safe and respectful distance.
  • Stay Alert and Observe Warning Signs: Pay attention to warning signs in the park and follow any instructions provided by your guide or park authorities. These signs are in place to ensure your safety and protect the fragile ecosystem.
  • Be Mindful of Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast before your hike and be prepared for changes in weather. If there are signs of inclement weather, such as heavy rain or thunderstorms, it is advisable to postpone the hike for safety reasons.
  • Use Local Guides: Hiring a local guide is highly recommended for the hike to Gili Laba Darat. They possess valuable knowledge of the area, can lead you safely along the trail, and provide insights into the local flora and fauna.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a memorable and safe hiking experience to Gili Laba Darat while enjoying the stunning natural beauty of Komodo National Park.



The Gili Laba Darat hike in Komodo National Park offers an extraordinary adventure through mesmerizing landscapes, breathtaking vistas, and encounters with unique wildlife. As you journey to the summit of Gili Laba Island, you will be rewarded with panoramic views that showcase the beauty of the surrounding islands, azure waters, and the untamed wonders of the national park.


Komodo National Park, with its rich biodiversity and remarkable preservation efforts, serves as a perfect backdrop for this exhilarating experience. From the legendary Komodo dragons to the diverse marine life and captivating rock formations, the park presents an array of natural treasures waiting to be explored.


Preparing for the hike is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Stay physically fit, pack light, and equip yourself with proper footwear and essentials. Be mindful of the tropical climate, protect yourself from the sun, and stay hydrated throughout the trek.


During the hike, keep a sharp eye out for wildlife sightings, including the awe-inspiring Komodo dragons, diverse bird species, and marine life beneath the turquoise waters. But always maintain a safe distance and respect their natural habitat.


Safety is paramount, so adhere to the designated trail, follow instructions, and be aware of weather conditions. Hiring a local guide not only adds value by imparting knowledge but also ensures that you have a safe and well-guided hike.


As your adventure comes to an end, reflect on the stunning beauty and unforgettable memories you have made along the way. Gili Laba Darat and Komodo National Park leave an indelible mark on all who visit, offering a glimpse into the raw beauty of nature and the importance of its preservation.


So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your essentials, and embark on the journey of a lifetime to Gili Laba Darat. Experience the magic of Komodo National Park, immerse yourself in its untamed beauty, and create memories that will last a lifetime.