Above or underwater, the pink beach of Komodo island is a peak experience for many world travellers. Pink Beach, also known as Pantai Merah, is a beach-goer’s paradise, with its crystal waters, soft sands and backdrop of rolling, tropical hills. The colour is caused by the presence of foraminifera, microscopic organisms that contain a red pigment that when mixed with the white of the sand, create that famous pink hue.
This incredible pink sand is in some danger – the beach is said to be less pink than it used to be because visitors tend to take a bit of the sand with them when they go. You, of course, are advised not to take the sand.
Should you want to do more than relax in the sun or under the shade of a beach-side tree, not to worry. The area is renowned for its water activities. The shallow waters off of Pink Beach are home to many different species of corals and fish, making it an ideal place for beginner snorkelers and divers to explore. The reefs are close to shore and even timid swimmers have easy access to an abundance of marine life and visibility that’s second to none.
The island is most famous for its population of Komodo dragons, so don’t miss your chance to see these rare and incredible creatures. Tour operators usually offer the chance to go trekking on Komodo island, although visitors to the beach sometimes catch a glimpse of the giant lizards walking along the sand.
How to Get There
Komodo island is part of Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can only visit the park with an official guide, so most people who visit the beach do so on a day tour, or as part of an island-hopping excursion. Tour operators will generally leave enough time for both a snorkelling session and a stroll or a sunbathe on this magnificent beach. The closest town is Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, a short flight from Bali and Jakarta. You can easily book a tour operator from there – tourism is an important industry here and there are many operators to choose from.
The best times to go are April to June and September to November – the weather is milder and the fall provides better opportunities to see mantas and whales. Be prepared to share the beach with others. It’s not a well-kept secret and with such spectacular underwater scenery, the beach is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. Still, there’s a real getaway feel to the beach that won’t be spoiled by the presence of other people who are also trying to get away.
Note that as of November 1, 2019, there was still a bit of confusion in the nation’s tourism industry. In July of 2019 East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Tourism Agency head Wayan Darmawa announced plans for a one-year closure of the island to tourists, which was to begin in 2020. The closure of the island was in part a move to support conservation efforts for the island’s Komodo dragons. In October 2019, authorities changed their minds. The island can still be visited, although the ministry of the environment has suggested other changes and developments could take place, so get up to date travel info before you go!