By Dian Hasan | July 6, 2010
When an area’s primary inhabitant is the world’s largest monitor lizard that is touted as the dinosaur’s last descendent, you know that this must be a very unique destination indeed. Rugged and remote, to say the least, with untouched natural beauty that belies its picture postcard image. For intrepid adventure travelers who are game for a true Robinson Crusoe-like experience, this setting can be enjoyed even further with a stay in traditional thatch-roof huts that sit on the beachfront.
Welcome to your own paradise isle: Seraya Island, just off of the famed Komodo Island, east of Bali, Indonesia. A true escape from the ordinary!
Seraya Island is located off West Flores, 11km from the small port of Labuanbajo, and takes approximately one hour to reach by boat. Accommodation and transport to the island can be booked through the Gardena Hotel in Labuanbajo.
The collection of just 10 huts built on the beachfront with unrestricted views of the sea… and your neighbors, though everyone tends to keep to themselves. Each hut has a bed wrapped with mosquito netting, a cupboard to store any belongings and an attached bathroom. Since water is only available when the generator is turned on in the evening, you’ll have to make do with using a bucket (and a quick trip to the sea!) to flush the loo. There’s only one restaurant on the island, managed by a small family who also take care of the island. You’ll need to order your dinner earlier on in the day and for certain items, at least one day in advance. It couldn’t get any more adventurous than that!
The entire island can be explored just under two hours. For the best views, simply trek uphill to the small peak behind the huts for a stunning view of the entire island. And a favorite spot to watch sunsets.
The crystal, clear water and shallow reef stretching 60m around Seraya is ideal for snorkeling. At any given time, you’re guaranteed to see some starfish, silver dollars or even sea snakes! Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your gear, you can rent out fins, mask and snorkel directly from the restaurant.
Other local inhabitants also include a lone deer and mountain goats that will, if you’re not careful, will eat anything you keep outside to dry. You’ve been warned!