Labuhan Bajo is situated on the western coastline of Flores and is definitely the most touristy city of the whole island, with all its advantages and disadvantages. Although there is a wide variety of accommodations from which to choose -- including Labuan Bajo hostels -- and most amenities like ATM, banks, money exchange, tourist information, internet cafes are available, this is definitely not the place to experience authentic Flores culture.
The city itself was built around a rather ramshackle fishing village, which still gives the place a strong character with a huge traditional market and fishing boats coming in and out the whole day, but today luxury hotels dominate the scenery with almost more European restaurants than local eateries. However, the true beauty of the place is shown by its amazing natural treasures. All over the bay, tiny green islands emerge over the truly turquoise water and the sunsets are just fantastic from anywhere in the city.
Most tourists arrive here for two reasons. First of all, this is the point where all the boats trips start from to the famous Rinca and Komodo islands, which are the only places to observe the rare Komodo dragon. Boats trips are for one, two, or three days and might include excursions to other islands around. The other reason is that the world under the water here is breathtakingly amazing, and an abundance of snorkeling and diving companies cater for those who are eager to experience it.
However, those who are planning a beach holiday might end up disappointed as the beaches are either full of rubbish or are owned by the different resorts and therefore inaccessible. Also, travelers to the city should make sure to protect themselves against malaria as it is not a rare illness here.
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