The only natural habitat of the gigantic Komodo Dragons, Rinca Island is located in the eastern Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. It is one of the three major islands of the Komodo National Park along with Komodo island and Padar island and holds the UNESCO World Heritage status since 1991. It is often overlooked by tourists who primarily visit the other two islands but the lack of tourists on the island makes it an even better spot to catch Komodo Dragons living in their natural space.
The Island also offers some of the best dive sites. There are three trekking trails on the island ranging from a quick half an hour jaunt to 2 hour-long treks. Rinca Island is the perfect island for spotting Komodo Dragons without the disturbance from a massive tourist crowd. Usually, trips to Rinca Island are organized from Labuan Bajo which also has a number of hotels suiting all budgetary needs.
Loh Buaya makes the entrance of the island. It is otherwise known as crocodile bay. Every tourist who wants to take a tour of the island has to buy tickets at the office of Loh Buaya. From here you can hire a ranger who would guide your tour across the island. These tours cannot be done without an experienced ranger as Komodo Dragons can grow up to ten feet long and weigh about three hundred pounds, they are venomous and have been known to have caused several fatalities.
The island surface consists of limestone hills with wild savanna outgrowth where the Komodo dragons love to stay in. There are other species of animals living on the island like water buffalo, monkeys, forest pigs, deer, etc.
Spot Komodo Dragons
Spotting Komodo Dragons is the main purpose of visiting Rinca Island. The island is the natural habitat for these lizards and they can be found lazing around the island. It is often considered to be a better spot for the purpose than Komodo Island and Padar Island as it does not have much impact from tourists.
Trekking is a popular activity on the island. These treks are guided by rangers as there are Komodo Dragons lurking around the island. There are three popular trails to choose from. One is a 30-minute easy trek along a shaded path; second one is a 1-hour medium level trek around dragon nests and exposed Savannah; third one is a difficult one of 2 hours covering dragons, permanent waterholes, steep and exposed slopes with spectacular views.
Offering one of the best diving sites in the world, Rinca Island is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. The seas around the island are subjected to strong currents and whirlpools.