Endowed with grass covered hills rising steeply from the sea and sweeping white sand beaches, Padar Island is simply stunning. In our opinion, easily the prettiest in the entire Lesser Sunda Islands group, and certainly one of Indonesia’s top ten.
Padar Island is surrounded by coral reefs – your boat captain will know the where the best of them are. The island also has a Pink Beach, located in the sweeping horseshoe-shaped bay on the south-western end of the island. It’s much less frequently visited than the Pink Beach on Komodo Island, is bigger and in this writer’s opinion, prettier so it’s well worth a visit.
If you’re feeling energetic, take a hike to the top of one of the hilltops. Most treks are relatively short (1 hour or less return) but they can be a little steep in places. Most able-bodied, moderately fit people should be able to handle them with ease. Just be sure to wear good, sturdy footwear.
One of the most popular treks is to the top of so-called Limestone Hill on the north-eastern arm of the island. The trek to the highest point only takes around 30 minutes but there are several viewing locations on the way up. Arguably, the best of them which offers an unobstructed view of Padar’s four sweeping beaches is only 20 minutes into the hike. It’s worth continuing to the top though for rewarding views over the surrounding islands. This location is fast becoming a photographer’s hotspot and the place to witness a superb Komodo sunset.
If you’ve made it to the Komodo National Park, getting to Padar Island isn’t hard. What will be hard is tearing yourself away. Many of the tour boats include a short stopover on Padar Island in their itinerary. If you’ve organised a 2-3 day private charter from Labuan Bajo, ask your captain to include it. Padar is can also be easily done as a day trip from Labuan Bajo. By local boat, travel time to Padar is around 3 hours or 1.5 hours by speedboat. Don’t forget to arrange snorkelling gear in Labuan Bajo prior to heading out to the island.