Turquoise gem, Kanawa Island.

After 36 hours on several buses and ferries, we arrived to Labuan Bajo, sleepy and hungry. Our broken bodies needed rest and we decided to relax a couple of days in this port city. But just the next day we ate lunch on a small remote island surrounded with a coral reef and turquoise water. Ah, the joy of not planning 😀

Little resort.

Kanawa island is small and most of it is a hill with dry brown grass (good for watching sunset and sunrise) and in the base the resort starts. It’s not big and has a concept of going back to nature. Electricity and fresh water are limited but it’s nice to be Tent, bale or bungalow, each accommodation is neatly set, toilets and showers all in bamboo (even water comes from a bamboo pipe). The best thing about this resort is that it’s affordable (we payed 200k for the tent, breakfast included). The 1,5 hour boat from Labuan Bajo is free. I think we were lucky because we got the accommodation on the same day, this time they’re mostly full.

View from the hill.

We snorkeled every day and it was the nicest reef I’ve ever seen. We’ve seen turtles, quite a big reef shark (yikes!) and baby sharks in shallow water, and a gazillion of fish. Huge fish. Which weren’t afraid at all. Awesome!

They also have a small dive center and a restaurant. Prices of the food are expensive and being this the only food source, we had to be very mindful of our budget. We did get by with only 33 eur per day for both of us. Success!

I hope this island stays unspoiled for as long as possible <3

Blue sea.


6 Comments on “Turquoise gem, Kanawa Island.

  1. Glad you enjoyed the island, but why were you picking up sea stars? Respect marine life and keep your hands off.

  2. Hi,i enjoy very much all these wonderful pictures.
    so,my girlfriend and me plan a trip to indonesia,Banda or Kanawa,which was your favorite?
    which islands had the best snorkeling?


    • Marcus, hello! Thank you for you kind words 🙂

      Kanawa and Banda both have beautiful undamaged coral reefs with amazing sea life but otherwise are very different. Kanawa is a super small island where you can stop for a couple of days (or spend 10 days if you’re not the exploring type). It has only one small resort with one restaurant and no villages/other local people. It’s very pretty but I would say it’s a ‘vacation’ type of place. You can go around Komodo archipelago and Flores (we don’t recommend too much time on Flores).

      Banda islands are a trip by itself. You have many islands, food is cheaper and more local. You will have a lot of snorkeling, white beaches, lots of history and local cuisine with nutmeg and cinnamon. Staying on the smaller islands is so cheap. Not much tourists decide to come here. While Kanawa has only one coral reef (it goes around the island) and you have to make boat trips to get to the other snorkeling sites, on Banda you can snorkel around all the islands (and even an atoll in the middle of the sea) while staying there.

      We prefer Banda 🙂 It’s has so many coral reefs (Ai and Hatta) and almost no tourists. Let us know what you’ll decide!


    • We had Canon 100D and Tamron 18-270mm lens. Then it got stolen and we had to buy another one (iiik!).

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