14 Days – 13 Nights – Includes two night’s hotel accommodation in Candidasa, Bali. US$3425 per person
This is our longest trip in terms of sea miles, so we have added extra days to our 2018 itinerary, so guests to have the opportunity slow down and enjoy the adventure. Covering over 600 nautical miles (almost 1,200 kilometres) we depart from Bali and head East. Stopping briefly at Gili Trawangan for last minute shopping, we then head into the islands of West Nusa Tengara. Most travel is done at night, so we can swim, snorkel and adventure during the day.
Once we arrive in Komodo National Park, we hit all the “tourist” areas such as Rinca to see the dragons, and Pink Sand Beach to shop for Komodo pearls, and carved artefacts. But we also seek out isolated islands, not mobbed by others, to enjoy the underwater wonderland. Travelling back to Bali, we continue our exploration of small villages, and tiny islands with our final days in the “forgotten” islands of south west Lombok.
Our final day sees us crossing the famous “Wallace Line” in Lombok Strait, an adventurous snorkel under the Buitan cruise ship pier, a last lazy lunch, and transfer to Bayshore Villas for your two nights stay in Candidasa. It’s a full two weeks of land and sea exploration, in luxury accommodation, with 12 and amazing crew, and a cruise director, to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
In terms of places explored, adventures enjoyed, and miles travelled – this is without a doubt – our best value trip.
At 2pm, board the Aliikai in Serangan Harbour, Bali. You have a chance to settle into your room, before we cover safety aspects of travel at sea. We set sail at 3.30pm. (Note: this departure time can be delayed to accommodate people arriving on the 3pm flight from Australia.)
Dinner will be served as we head up the coast of Bali, and cross over the Lombok Strait to Mentigi Bay, Lombok.
After breakfast, we test out our snorkelling equipment in the calm waters of Mentigi Bay. Safety regarding snorkelling from the tenders will also be covered. Once everyone is confident in the water, and with their equipment, we cross to Gili Trawangan.
Before lunch we snorkel over the Gili Meno wreck and see the magnificent hard coral on the western side of the Meno “wall.” Lunch on board, and afternoon at your leisure to explore either Gili Trawangan, or Gili Meno. It’s the last chance for a shop – for the next 11 days, we are far from civilization.
Around 4pm we will do a snorkel along Gili Trawangan to spot the turtles feeding. Lacking the hard coral beauty of Gili Meno, Trawangan does have some very interesting sea life, and of course, large, grazing, gentle turtles. At the sun sets behind Bali, we head east on our adventure. We travel overnight to Pulau Moyo.
Dawn sees us arrive in Pulau Moyo. A small village on an island that is 95% national park. There is one resort, one village, and not much else! Before breakfast we will snorkel on Angel reef. About a kilometre out to sea, this coral mass rises from the ocean floor. If we are lucky we may see reef sharks cruising far below us. Back on board for breakfast, before we go ashore to visit one of the two waterfalls Moyo is known for.
One is a gentle 45 minute walk through bamboo groves, to a small waterfall where you can swing out on a rope and drop into a deep pool below. The other is accessed only by motor bike, and then a 15 minute walk into a deep gorge where opaque turquoise pools rest under a large waterfall. Lunch on board, and the afternoon at your leisure. You may wish to have quiet time on board with a book, or find a deserted beach with a shady tree for some down time.
A late afternoon drift snorkel along the edge of the island finishes off our time in Moyo. We travel overnight again, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to star gaze as we are far from any ambient light.
In the morning, we will have arrived at the small village of Wera in Sumbawa. It is a traditional Bugis village. The Bugis are a sub-ethnic group of Indonesians that migrated over the land bridge from China, and settled in south west Sulawesi. They are boat builders, and for centuries they pillaged and plundered the English and Dutch trading boats who were attempting to profit from the spice trade. “Beware of the boogie man” is a direct reference to the Bugis.
Lucky for us, they are no longer pirates, but they do still build their boats on the beach, and the women weave cloth with distinct Bugis patterns. We explore this village, and meet with some of the boat builders. Back on board, we have a relaxing 6 hours of “sea time” before we enter the Komodo National Park.
Around 4pm we should drop anchor in a quiet back at Gili Lawar Darat. There is a fantastic snorkel to be done, and those with extra energy can climb to the top of the mountain to view the sunset. Dinner on board.
Today we have all day to explore Makassar Reef. Famous for its “Manta Alley” we drift over the top of these enormous Mantas that swim, feeding, under us. There are a number of other drift snorkels featuring both hard and soft coral, and it’s not unusual to also see sharks and turtles. Two tiny white sand atolls provide lots of photo opportunities of this magical place.
Around 3pm we move further into the park and anchor at Rinca Island, as tomorrow we go ashore to see the famous Komodo dragons.
An early 7am departure from the boat ensures we see dragons in the wild. They feed in the cool of that day, and disappear to sleep after about 10am. We will be met by a ranger at the wharf who will guide our two hour walk and protect us from any Dragon attack. Back on board, we travel to Pantai Merah, the famous Pink Beach. The sand here is a mix of crushed red coral and white sand, so when wet it takes on a pinkish tinge.
While it may be mobbed by other tourists, it does offer some of the best snorkelling in the Park. It’s also free from currents, so you are free to do as much or as little snorkelling as you want. We take drinks ashore, and under the shade trees many locals set up “shop” selling pearls, carved dragons, and other locally made products.
It’s not unusual to spend an afternoon bargaining for the best price! With shopping completed we move to our anchorage at Sabajor Besar.
The snorkelling at Sabajor is amazing. We will do a very fast drift snorkel between two islands with the most amazing coral fringing reef. Off Sabajor Kecil there are a number of snorkels we can do from the beach, or out to sea. For those who want to relax, the sand is white, and very often, totally deserted.
Late in the afternoon we move to Gili Lawar Laut for our last swim, walk, and explore, in the Komodo National Park. Overnight we head west back to Bali.
Morning finds us anchored at Satonda, across from Mt Tambora – the site of the largest recorded volcanic explosion. Satonda is a collapsed caldera (volcano) and the interior of the island was filled by a massive tsunami which created a marine lake. Devoid of life (apart from some tiny fish and a very rare algae) it’s a rare chance to swim in a marine lake. It’s possible to hike around the crater rim for a small section, and the bay is pure white sand, with colourful coral and thousands of tropical fish. It’s a bit like swimming in an aquarium.
At 11am we travel again to the island of Bedil. It’s another “sea day” as it takes us around 6 hours to get there. Bedil is almost at the end of Sumbawa, and you will be able to see the massive volcano – Mt Ringani – on Lombok as the sun sets.
Bedil is a tiny island in the middle of crystal clear water. It’s possible to walk around it in only 10 minutes. There are an old couple who live on the island, and they are always delighted to see us arrive. They snorkelling has the most amazing stag horn coral, and fringing reef on one side, while the other is sea grass and “critters.” We also explore the island of Keremat, and a visit to the stilted local fishing village is also possible.
While eating lunch we travel down the final part of Sumbawa to the island of Keramas which is situated in the Lombok/Sumbawa Strait. Very fast currents surround this island which result in diverse sea life and a fascinating mix of hard and soft coral on both sides of the island. There is a small hill that can be climbed that provides a sensational view down the strait.
Overnight we travel over the top of Lombok, and down the western side to the “secret” islands in the south.
In the morning, we anchor next to Gili Nanggu – a tiny island with a small resort on it. There has been significant coral restoration achieved on the northern side of the island, and there is also a turtle sanctuary to visit. After lunch, we move to the small island of Gili Sudak. Literally meters from Lombok, this island is tranquillity at its best.
The local resort has kayaks, SUPS that we can use, or just visit Gili Kedis – an island the size of a small swimming pool and simply relax in the warm water as you watch the sun go down.
We move to Gili Layar, around 30 minutes away. From our base in Gili Layar, you can explore the following: Gili Gede – with its 5 star resort, and amazing massage healer; Gili Asahan – has an eco-resort with Italian coffee, Grapa, and a yoga shala on top of the hill; Gili Ringit – its aging jetty is home to millions of tiny bait fish, while a resident turtle is happy to pose for photos; and the tiny island with no name that is surrounded by pastel coloured corals. A fantastic spot for your last night at sea.
Around 5am we cross the Bali Sea and make land in Amuk Bai, Bali. After breakfast, we take the tenders to the cruise ship terminal and snorkel under its immense pier. Spooky, dark, forbidding, it is home to thousands of fish, and the swells gently rock you back and forth between large concrete pilings.
Finally, we snorkel the user friendly “Blue Lagoon” where we join back into civilization surrounded by other tourists experiencing the delights of this small reef. After lunch our tenders drop you ashore and you drive 15 minutes to the Bayshore resort in Candidasa.
Day 13 and 14
Candidasa is still the home of “old” Bali. While it has none of the bars and nightclubs of Seminyak or Kuta, this seaside town does have terrific restaurants, and is close to many old Balinese temples and Palaces.
You may want to do a cooking school at Bali Asli, or visit the Water Palace at Tirtaganga. Or maybe just laze around the hotel’s swimming pools, and reflect on your recent adventure. The choice is yours.
Included in price: On Aliikai – all meals, soft drinks, equipment, guides, local village and local government entry fees. Not included: Wine, beer, spirits, transfers to and from the harbour – and crew gratuity.
17 December, 2018
24 December, 2018
25 March, 2019
05 April, 2019
15 April, 2019
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This is the perfect vehicle for your first step “Beyond Bali.” Travel in 5 start luxury, on a traditional Phinisi Indonesian ship around the coast of West Lombok, and discover over ten different islands located just hours from Bali. A mix of deserted white beaches is the “secret” Gilis, and crowded tourist strips in the well known northern “Gili” Islands. See how much all of these islands have to offer the discerning traveller. Experience more than just Bali on your next trip! Take your first step into experiencing the wonders of Indonesia.
This is the perfect adventure for those who want to go further afield in Indonesia, but still need the convenience of departure and arrival in Bali. This is not a trip for those who want to experience places were other “tourists” mingle. Rather it’s a exploration of the islands of West Nusa Tenggara. We seek the unexplored wonders of Lombok, Western Sumbawa and islands in between. Discover hidden waterfalls, marine lakes, incredible snorkelling, and – weather permitting – swim with the whale sharks! Suitable for all ages, this is truly a unique holiday.
#CrazyKomodo – Cost & Departure: Varies (see below)
Why Crazy? Many guests who do charter Aliikai on an annual basis, only want one way trips between Komodo and Bali. Trying to fill the return trips drives me Crazy!!!!!
Komodo, and the journey there (or back – depending on the trip) is a truly unique experience. It should be on everyone’s bucket list. Sadly, many of my enquiries expect to do a three day trip, from Bali, see the dragons, and move onto another adventure. It’s simply not possible. It’s a minimum of 4 days travel just to get to the Komodo National Park. And why rush……you miss all the fun of the journey! So, yes – we do see the dragons, but there is so much more. We swim with manta rays, visit a village where they still make traditional Phinisi boats, discover by motorbike, the Princess Dianna waterfalls, snorkel with whale sharks, swim in a marine lake filled with rare algae – every day is an amazing adventure.
If you want to experience Komodo, we currently have the following trips on offer. Check back as these will be updated through the year:
15 April, 2019 – Bali to Komodo 12 days / 11 nights Cost US $2750
27 April, 2019 – Komodo to Bali 11 days / 10 nights Cost US $2500
18 September, 2019 – Komodo to Bali 11 days / 10 nights Cost US $2500
23 October, 2019 – Return Trip Bali/Komodo/Bali Cost US $3150