Kanawa Island – Paradise Just Outside of Komodo National Park

Submitted by mumunmumun on 15 June 2014   •  Destination

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Indonesia is amazing in terms of what it offers. Kanawa Island is a good example. It’s an island just off of the west coast of Flores, before the Komodo National Park waters. It’s just one of the many white-sand beach and blue-turquoise ocean islands within the vicinity. This small little island was the last spot during my 12 days West Flores trip, and boy was it the perfect spot to relax.

Kanawa Island

Snorkeling in Kanawa Island (and Diving)

Kanawa Island has its own house reef. From the port of arrival, the reefs are on the west and east part of the island. There aren’t many nice reefs just in front of the white sand beaches around the port.

Snorkeling at Kanawa island

The corals on the eastern side of the island are relatively healthy with lots of fish and colorful ones too. It’s pretty extensive, enough to keep you in the waters for a few hours. I’ve heard that the mangrove area on the west side of the island has coral sharks hanging around. We happened to see a baby shark swirling near the beach, indicating that the mangroves just might be a breeding area. It’s so nice to see a baby shark swimming in the wild. #Savesharks, people!

Did I mention I met a turtle too?

Relaxing at Kanawa Island

I can’t say Kanawa is a quiet island. It can be pretty crowded on weekends and during high seasons. It’s popular amongst travelers and they accommodate quite a few. Nonetheless, you can still wind down here.

Kanawa Island - Relaxing by the blue

There isn’t any TV or radio. You can still get phone service but you’re limited to the electricity from the common dining area. Sleeping areas are without electricity, except for the bungalows. If you’re not in the water during the day, then you must be sleeping or reading a book. You might be talking to fellow travelers, but it’s easy to slip away from the crowd. That’s just the way life is on Kanawa Island.

For a spectacular view, a short hike up to the only hill around is possible, nothing too hard or far to walk to.

Sunset Massage on Kanawa Island

If that’s not relaxing enough, then maybe a massage would do it. Kanawa Island has a massage table OUTDOOR!!! (yes, the use of caps lock is necessary) The massage table is located on their white sand beach with a rooftop. It also faces the west, which means you’ll get a spectacular orange-pinkish sunset with your rubdown. Personally, the best part is you’ll be hearing the live soft rumble of the ocean as you close your eyes and enjoy the moment. I realized this ambiance is what spa venues try to recreate.

Kanawa Island - sunset massage

A tad ashamed to admit, I skipped staying at Wae Rebo just so I can have this experience. I’m not sure if I regret not staying at Wae Rebo, as I am a big fan of massages and this was pretty awesome. The masseur, Han, is Indonesian and had learn to message people from Belgium. He’s blind but is really confident, thus a nice chat is possible if you didn’t doze off. I can’t remember how much it cost but it wasn’t more than IDR 150,000/hour.

For this massage alone, I want to come back to Kanawa Island.

Day Trips from Kanawa Island

Kanawa Island has day trips to Rinca and Komodo Island. The trips are open for staying visitors, although there is no certain schedule where they go exactly. All is upon demand. Diving trips are also available as they have their own dive center. They facilitate dives on their house reefs too just in case you prefer somewhere close. Facilities on Kanawa Island There are three types of accommodations on the island. Vindhya and I rented the tent for IDR 170,000 / night for double occupation during high season (2013). The tent was uber comfortable with thin mattresses and pillows inside. It was clean and has its own little terrace area with a rattan floor. It also had a thatched roof to prevent direct heat from the sun.

Kawawa Island day trip map

Other facilities are the wooden bungalows complete with its own hammock! This is important. But, there is a hut by the beach with two hammocks for everyone to use. The best accommodation, I reckon, is the gazebo or bale. It’s simple and is right on the beach facing the ocean. Next time!

If you rent the tent or gazebos, you share bathrooms. The bathrooms are pretty simple but clean. Showers and toilets are separated; sinks are outside of the toilets and showers. Everything is very efficient!

Kanawa Island Resort

As you may understand once you reach the island, that it’s very small. That said, the supply of fresh water is limited. So take less fresh water baths, soak in more saltwater, because, hey, you’re on an island and it’s not everyday you can have this as an excuse to a lazy life.

How to get to Kanawa Island

There is a free boat provided by Kanawa Island Resort, which departs at 12 p.m. from Labuan Bajo, and departs at 8 a.m. from Kanawa Island. Outside of this schedule, you need to rent your own boat for about IDR 200,000 / boat (2013).

Their office is just on the corner in front of Garden Hotel and Restaurant.

Phone: +62 3854 1252 +62 8133 8233 312 / +62 8135 3027 256

Email : info@kanawaresort.com

Website: www.kanawaislandresort.com

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Joachim Clasberg
6 years ago

Great post about a fantastic place. We loved it and are nowing looking for a place like this somewhere else in Indonesia. Derawan and the islands of Wakatobi looks nice, but do you have any recommendations of an island as wonderful as Kanawa?
Thanks in advance /Joachim

Wayne Griffith
5 years ago

Nice post. Wow, coral reefs really beautiful. it was a very nice place for scuba diving enthusiasts. I myself have never headed or Komodo Flores. So I do not really know exotic places there. But reading your post, it seems like a place that offers the natural beauty of a pristine and natural. Sanat very interested in visiting. will certainly provide a very extraordinary adventure. Nice share.

5 years ago

Very good island.
Sea, beach, norkelling, fishes, turtle, quit, nature.
I love this world.
In the future i want to stay- This time, all day i go and return to Labuan bajo.
You must go!! 😉
sorry for my english.

4 years ago

Kak mumun kayak hamil :O

3 years ago

Yeeaah right that Indonesia is amazing, Indonesia have 17.000 island. Kanawa island is the beautiful island yeah, many activity that you do in there. Swimming with the shark is amazing right, are you don’t try diving with manta ? that’s so amazing too. If you wanna going to komodo island again, you can stay at http://www.komodoresort.com/ you can get the best service at there, that’s more safety than stay at boat.