Kanawa Island is often tagged with terms such as gorgeous and paradise, and rightly so. This little island is almost entirely surrounded by fine white sandy beaches and fringing coral reel that offers some of the best off-the-beach snorkelling in Indonesia. The coral towards the edge of the reef about 500 metres from shore is even better but you’ll need a boat to reach it.
At low tide, you can walk right around the island. It gets a little tricky in a couple of places on the eastern side of the island but just go around these sections before dropping back down to the beach as the island is networked with trails. Sunrise or sunset viewed from the hilltop behind the resort is not to be missed.
Kanawa is one of only two places offering accommodation inside the Komodo National Park boundaries (the other is nearby Seraya Island). In years past, the resort gained itself a reputation for its rustic beachside bungalows, decent restaurant, dive shop and friendly hospitality. Prices were always considerably more than over on the mainland at Labuan Bajo for basic bungalows, some little more than pergola-style huts with mozzie nets, with limited fresh water and electricity, but the location and ambiance more than made up for it.
Sadly, recent reports from travellers indicate that the resort has deteriorated considerably since a change of management. There’s a litany of complaints – bungalows in disrepair, poorly maintained grounds, litter strewn beach, atrocious food with little or no menu choices, unreliable boat transfers, price gauging and unfriendly and indolent staff.
We haven’t been back to check it out personally, so all we can say is do your homework and check on-line reviews for yourself before booking in here to stay. Just to show we’re impartial, we’ll even give you the link to Kanawa Resort. Otherwise, you can always drop in and visit Kanawa as a daytrip from Labuan Bajo or on your wider Komodo island travels.
Kanawa Island is located just 11km east of Labuan Bajo. By slow boat, the passage takes 1.5-2 hours, or 30-45 minutes by speedboat, depending on weather conditions.
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