LABENGKI ISLAND IN SULAWESI – A COMPLETE TRAVEL GUIDE

pulau labengki, labengki island

Labengki Island is an untouched paradise and one of Indonesia’s most best-kept secrets. I consider myself one of the lucky few to have had the chance to explore Labengki Island before it becomes another popular tourist destination in Indonesia.

Here is a complete guide to Labengki Island, including how to get there and what to expect!

 

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WHERE IS LABENGKI ISLAND

Pulau Labengki is an island located off the Southeast coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia. From the mainland, it is approximately a 2-hour boat trip to reach Labengki Island.

 

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HOW TO GET TO PULAU LABENGKI

The most efficient way to travel to Pulau Labengki is to fly to Kendari Airport, which is the nearest city to Labengki Island in Southeast Sulawesi.

Most flights will fly to Makasar in West Sulawesi and here you will have to transfer flights and fly to Kendari in Southeast Sulawesi.

The flight from Makasar to Kendari is around 50 minutes. When you arrive at Kendari Airport, a taxi will cost 100,000 Rupiah ($7) for a 30-minute ride into the city.

From Kendari City you will have to take a car to the boat harbor that takes 1 hour and then a boat to Labengki Island which takes approximately 2 hours depending on sea conditions.

It’s definitely not the most ideal route but this is currently the only way to reach Labengki Island.

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PIN LOCATION OF LABENGKI ISLAND

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pulau labengkiLittle Labengki Island

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR TO PULAU LABENGKI

This region of Southeast Sulawesi is still very much undiscovered and there is next to no tourism, which means at this point there are limited options to book a tour to Labengki Island.

After hours of research, I managed to find a local travel company called Fun Adventure that was able to organise a trip for 3 days and 2 nights to Pulau Labengki and Sombori Islands.

I contacted the tour company via Whatsapp one week prior to my trip to Sulawesi to organise and confirm everything. Their Whatsapp number is +62 821 3989 9009 and they are very quick to respond when you message to inquire about booking a tour to Pulau Labengki.

Alternatively, you can book a tour through their website by Clicking Here.

The cost of the tour was around 4,000,000 Rupiah ($275) which includes transport to and from Kendari to Labengki Island, 2 nights accommodation in a small homestay on Little Labengki Island, a 3-day island-hopping itinerary including a day trip to Sombori Island, 3 meals per day (rice, noodles, fish) and drinking water.

pulau labengki, labengki islandLabengki Island

 

WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE PULAU LABENGKI & SOMBORI ISLANDS TOUR

On the tour, the following locations you will get to visit on Pulau Labengki and Little Labengki Island are the Goa Cave Swimming Pool, Blue Lagoon, Pasir Panjang Beach, Kimaboe Hill + Teluk Cinta (view of a love heart-shaped lagoon) and The Lighthouse.

The day trip to Sombori Island includes the Sombori Island Lagoons (Grandma’s House), Sombori Hill + Kayangan Peak (viewpoint similar to Raja Ampat), Berlian Cave and Mbokkita Island.

Full Blog Post ∼ Sombori Islands

 

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO ON PULAU LABENGKI & LITTLE LABENGKI ISLAND

 

1. Goa Cave Swimming Pool

Located in the center of Little Labengki Island is the Goa Cave Swimming Pool. Rainwater drips into a limestone cave that is filled with stalactite rock formations.

This rainwater has created a crystal clear and fresh mineral water swimming pool inside the cave.

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pulau labengki, labengki islandGoa Cave Pool – Pulau Labengki

 

2. Labenki Island Lighthouse

On the southern side of Little Labengki Island is an old rundown lighthouse that sits perched high on a small cliff. There is a rickety spiral staircase inside that you can climb to the top at your own risk.

Gasp in awe at the amazing panoramic views of Little Labengki Island from the top of the Lighthouse.

 

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pulau labengki, labengki islandLabengki Island Lighthouse

pulau labengki, labengki islandInside the Labengki Island Lighthouse

 

3. Blue Lagoon

Across the channel from Little Labengki Island is Pulau Labengki Basar, meaning Big Labengki Island.

The boat will take you across to the Blue Lagoon which is hidden behind a very sharp rock formation at the end of one of the bays.

The water inside the lagoon is fluorescent blue and there are a few spots to do some cliff jumping!

Make sure you have a pair of closed in shoes to climb the sharps rocks up and over into the Blue Lagoon on Labengki Island. 

 

Waterproof Shoes: Definitely consider purchasing a pair of waterproof shoes! It’s likely you’ll visit at least one waterfall or partake in some watersports during your travels and these comfortable, anti-slip, quick-dry shoes are perfect for all water activities.

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pulau labengki, labengki islandBlue Lagoon – Labengki Island

pulau labengki, labengki islandIdyllic scenes at Blue Lagoon – Labengki Island

 

4. Kimaboe Hill & Teluk Cinta Viewpoint

Approximately 10 minutes by boat from Blue Lagoon Labengki Island you can find the Kimaboe Hill and Teluk Cinta Viewpoint on Pulau Labengki.

From the top of Kimaboe Hill, there are incredible views overlooking a bay of islands, bamboo bridge structures and overwater cottages.

If you have a DJI Mavic Drone, you can fly it from the top of Kimaboe Hill and capture the Teluk Cinta Bay which is in the shape of a love heart from a birds-eye perspective.

pulau labengki, labengki islandLabengki Island Tour

pulau labengki, labengki islandTeluk Cinta – Labengki Island

 

5. Pasir Panjang Beach

A deserted white sand beach lined with coconut palms and crystal blue water is the description that best describes Pasir Panjang Beach on Labengki Island.

I used to dream of places like this as a kid, and to be exploring a location such as this one with no one else around was a dream come true. I made a rope swing on one of the bent palm trees and lost hours playing around on this beach as the day came to an end.

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pulau labengki, labengki island, pasir panjang beachPasir Panjang Beach – Labengki Island

pulau labengki, labengki island, pasir panjang beachIdyllic scenes at Pasir Panjang Beach – Labengki Island

 

LABENGKI ISLAND – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

As Pulau Labengki is an up and coming destination in Indonesia there is very limited information about these islands, in fact, this article may be the first detailed blog post you will find that is written in English.

On Little Labengki Island the only power source comes from a generator that is only switched on from 6pm-10pm, so if you need to charge camera batteries, phones and accessories, this is the only chance you will get.

The population of Little Labengki Island is 470 and it is inhabited by the local Bajo people, said to be the toughest fisherman in all of Indonesia. They are also very welcoming and friendly to new visitors.

Labengki Island is home to the world’s largest clam and also the only blue hole found in Indonesia for scuba diving. A French diver made it down the blue hole to 170 meters though it is still unknown how much deeper it goes.

There is no wifi anywhere on the island and the only service you will get is from the top of the Lighthouse if you are using a Telkomsel sim card.

The food at the accommodation is very basic and only consists of fish, rice, noodles, vegetables and crackers for the 2 nights and 3 days tour. I recommend packing extra snacks and fruit before leaving the mainland.

There is no ATM machine on Labengki Island, though you won’t need any cash as everything is included in the Labengki Island tour.

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR LABENGKI ISLAND

 

Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables,  drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.

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Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.

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Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!

Get yours now!

 

Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.

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Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.

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Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.

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Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.

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Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions. 

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Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.

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Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.

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MY CAMERA GEAR

 

Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included. 

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Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.

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GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!

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Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket. 

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Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!

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Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.

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GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!

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Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.

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External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.

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MY SHOP

Before you go from this Labengki Island post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!

I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!

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FINAL THOUGHTS OF LABENGKI ISLAND

I hope you enjoyed reading this article about Labengki Island and I hope it inspires you to visit this wonderful region in Southeast Sulawesi while it is still untouched!

 

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2 Comments

  1. September 5, 2019 / 3:18 pm

    labengki island is one of the best choise if we explore SOuth east sulawesi… great adventure (y)

    • Jonny Melon
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 8:28 am

      Yes, it is so off the beaten track you will love it!

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