No doubt you have heard a lot about Komodo Island. But, what about its neighbor: the amazing Padar Island? Being the least explored making it a must-go for those looking for an extraordinary journey. Padar is the third largest island in Komodo National Park, a home for prehistoric lizard called Komodo dragon. The population of the giant lizard has been long declining on this particular island. However, it still offers the most appealing landscape among others. If you are wondering why you should visit this place, check out several reasons below!
1. Unique Landscape
The magical scenery of Padar Island will remind you of a fairy tale. From the tallest peak after a short hike, you will get the bird-eye view of the island’s unique shape: like a giant tree lying on the lively blue sea, with its four crooked branches embracing the water, reaching out in every direction.
2. Tri-colored Beach
The crooked branches are actually ranges of jagged hills with different shape and size. Each range creates a cove with its own beach. From the summit, you will see four crescent beaches glistening under the sun. Some of them are white, while the others are pink and volcanic black, divided by chains of elevated peaks extending outward in graceful bends.
3. Best Places for Snorkeling
The eastern part of Indonesia is known as one of the richest aquatic environments in the world. The ocean holds more than a third of total marine species. It is also part of ‘Wallace Line’, a meeting point of south and north currents, resulting in an abundance of marine biota. Padar Island is surrounded by reefs rich in soft and hard corals. Both vary in shape and color. Countless fantastic sea organisms are waiting to be discovered below the surface. You will enjoy an unforgettable snorkeling experience around the amazing Padar Island beaches.
4. Trekking Experience
The topography is suitable for those who are interested in trekking while enjoying the beautiful scenery. As you ascend uphill, a glimpse of each different-colored beach will gradually peek into view. Surrounded by prairie, the trekking trail itself offers a sight of velvety green grass in the rainy season and a vast golden-brown land in the dry season. Occasionally you can see some terrestrial wildlife on the island, like wild boars and birds.
Start to hike in the afternoon when the sky is golden, or go early in the morning and watch the sunrise from the summit. The temperature will be comfortable for those who prefer less heat.
5. Fantastic Diving Spot
The Komodo National Park is well known as one of the best diving spots, especially for experienced divers. Most of them will sail from Bali or Sumbawa on a live-aboard boat and stop at several points along the way.
The diving sites close to Padar Island are Pillarsteen and Three Sisters (the locals call it Tiga Dara). Both are interesting sites to find unique species such as yellow frogfish and hump-head wrasses which are only found in Indo-Pacific sea. The Pillarsteen diving site also has a beautiful canyon and underwater caves.
The outstanding marine diversity offersan incrediblediving experience. There is also chance to spot some big pelagic fish, like Manta rays and sharks. Both photographers and videographers of underwater sea-life will find it as a rewarding journey. Researcher and marine life enthusiasts also have been coming to this place to learn about the amazing biodiversity.
6. Sight of the Milky Way
Most photographers know it is almost impossible to take a shot of astronomical features on an urban night sky. Scientists believe that one-third of the human population on earth no longer can see the Milky Way, even on a clear night. But Padar Island has no inhabitants, no light pollution. Whether you are a professional astrophotographer or a stargazer, you can look up with your naked eyes and be amazed at the black, pristine sky adorned with the sight of Milky Way.
The best time to spot Milky Way is in May to August. Between December and March, the area around Padar Island is in the rainy season. The nights may be cloudy around those months. In April, occasionally there is some drizzle, better wait until May or June to ensure the weather is dry.
7. Sunbathing at the Pink Beach
If the robust outdoor activity is not for you, Padar Island also provides a place for leisure. It has its own pink beach, pristine and clean with extremely clear water. The pink color comes from porous organisms called foraminifera and shreds of red corals abundantly found on the coast.
Sunbathing or treading along the warm water while sipping your favorite drink and enjoying the stretch of sand is perfect for your holiday. Scoop up the sand and witness it blush under the sun rays while flowing through your hand.
8. Swimming with Manta Rays
Spotting a Manta Ray is a dream of every diver. Watching it glides gracefully with its enormous cloak-like body will give a fascinating experience. Manta is a very intelligent creature. They are harmless for human, but remember not to touch them. Manta’s body is covered in protective mucous. A touch of your hand may remove their protection.
Manta point can be found close to Padar Island. Manta season around the area is from May to July. They can also be spotted in September.
9. Komodo Dragon
You can’t visit Padar Island without entering the Komodo National Park. Unlike Padar, two other large islands in the park, Rinca and Komodo, are still homes for Komodo dragon. Opt to go to Rinca, which is closer to Padar Island than Komodo, if you don’t have enough time to go to both of them.
Komodo dragon in Rinca is smaller but easier to spot, while in Komodo Island they are bigger but harder to find. Komodo mating season is from July to August. Chance of finding them is smaller during that season.
Those are nine reasons that may tickle your imagination about the amazing Padar Island. However, the list is not enough to convey the real experience you may encounter on this piece of paradise. It is better to plan your trip, book the flight, and enjoy the magnificent island by yourself!