Life Force Wellness Cruise Indonesia: Flores-Komodo- Sumbawa- Lombok -Bali
After flying from Bali in the morning or early afternoon, you will be transported to a beachside resort just outside of the port town of Labuan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo National Park. There will be time to relax and unwind with a swim or a snorkel, or even a walk around the town. Its also an opportunity for those unfamiliar with snorkeling to have a lesson with our ship's tour leader.
In the late afternoon, Lindsay will offer an optional introductory/refresher stand up paddle boarding session followed by our first yoga practice on the beach. In the evening, we will enjoy sunset drinks on the beach before dinner with fellow Life Force guests as you get better acquainted for the voyage ahead.
In the morning, after sunrise yoga on the beach, we will take a private bus to the inland village of Melo. Here, local strongmen will perform the Caci, a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. The cultural group will also showcase traditional dances.
After our visit to Melo we will return to Labuan Bajo where you will get your first glimpse of the splendid Ombak Putih at her mooring in the harbour. We will have plenty of time to settle in and get acquainted with the crew and fellow passengers as we cruise to the island of Kelor. Once there, we can enjoy a swim or a snorkel in the bright blue sea, and play in the waters in a sea kayak or on a paddleboard.
In the late afternoon, we will practice yoga on the white sand beach. Another highlight of our visit to Kelor will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day. We will go back to the boat to watch the sunset and witness the bats as they emerge in a steady throng from the forest, reminiscent of a fleet of aircraft intent on avoiding radar detection, and navigating not by echolocation but by sight and smell.
Today will begin with an early breakfast as we need to be ashore by 7am at the ranger station at Loh Buaya on Rinca Island, where we will have a ranger-led nature trek in search of Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well.
From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon, we will snorkel in the rich waters of Siaba Island before heading to the gorgeous Pantai Merah red-beach, which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here we will swim and snorkel, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region's many varieties of coral and marine life. Our sunset yoga practice will take place on the red beach, or another nearby beach, with the option of SUP yoga as well if the tide is high and the water is calm.
When we wake up, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. Sometimes there are dragons on the beach, so this morning's yoga practice will take place on the boat. After breakfast, we will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for a ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons.
In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards –Indonesias living dinosaurs. We may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids, and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. During lunch, we will head to Makassar Reef, where we will look for manta rays. If we are lucky enough to spot them, we will snorkel with these gentle giants.
The boat will then cruise to Gili Lawa Darat, where we can also snorkel. With over 1,000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than the dragons. Later we will go ashore and make the 20-minute walk to the top of one of the island's hills where the horizon opens up to an iconic vista overlooking all 80 islands within the Komodo Archipelago and the island of Flores.
Our walk up the hill will be a silent, mindful meditation. The practice of conscious movement is to simply be aware of each step and breath, with the aim to bring ourselves closer to nature and connect with the present moment. The sight of the long white sandy beaches with clearly visible coral formations, the savannah-like landscape of Komodo Island, and volcanic island silhouettes in the background is a unique photo opportunity and a cherished memory for many guests.
When we're back at the beach, we will make a short five-minute ascent up another hill to a flat area with a west-facing vista, which offers the perfect sunset backdrop to our yoga practice during which we can completely surrender to nature. Our day will finish on this island, or possibly on the nearby island of Pulau Bugis, with a fun and inspiring evening of storytelling, mantra chanting, dancing and live music led by Melody and the Ombak Putih crew.
We will wake up off the coast of Banta Island with its pinkish-white sand beach. The calm water here is perfect for SUP yoga at sunrise, with the option of beachside yoga as well, followed by meditation on the beach. After this, you can enjoy a morning of swimming, snorkeling and hill climbing.
We then proceed to Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 meters above sea level. We will go ashore to a small and very simple village, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffaloes. We can see the buffaloes on the beach and sometimes even swimming in the sea.
We will snorkel on both a nearby reef and a location on the north of the island where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, a most interesting sight. Later we will enjoy sunset yoga and meditation on the black sand beach.
This morning we will wake up early off Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its center that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the year without a summer because of the effect on North American and European weather.
We will have an early morning yoga session on the boat before breakfast, and then go ashore. Local people believe the mysterious lake at Satonda to be magical; alongside the shore of the lake are wishing trees where visitors to the island tie a small stone to a branch and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. With this in mind, we will take a meditative five-minute stroll to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, and create an intention/manifestation ritual before tying our wishes to the trees. This will be followed by SUP yoga on the buoyant, still waters of the lake. This extraordinarily beautiful, serene and enchanted location, surrounded by a ring of dense rainforest, offers a truly unforgettable experience.
There will also be an option for lakeside yoga. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colorful tropical fish, so we will spend some time swimming and snorkeling off the beach. Later, we will move to Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, and walk to Diwu Mbai waterfall, where can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water. Later, we will salute the sun from the west-facing beach with a sunset yoga practice.
Moored off the coast of North Lombok, we will practice yoga onboard and enjoy a hearty breakfast before going ashore to board a private bus for a trip to the north side of the island and the traditional village of Senaru. Here, we will be taken on a tour, led by one of the local women-guides, of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices, which will give us an insight into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people.
Our mellow adventure will then lead us down a well-trodden flight of steps through the tropical forest to Sindang Gila, a roaring 40-meter tiered waterfall. The small gravel beach and flat rocks at the base of the falls are a meeting place for the local people, and if we want we can take a dip under the full force of the intense flow. Our walk will continue alongside an old irrigation canal offering panoramic vistas of rice fields stretching towards the sea.
The area around Senaru and Bayan was the birthplace of Lombok's unique Wektu Telu belief system in which ancient animist practices are combined with Islam. If we have time, we will visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls. Said to have been founded in the 16th century, this is the oldest mosque in Lombok. We may also see some weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills. After lunch on the boat we will set off west in the direction of Gili Air, arriving sometime after 3pm. Here we will snorkel and swim and pay a visit to this popular tourist island, before our sunset yoga practice on the beach. Tonight we celebrate our memorable voyage with a music and dance party on board the boat.
We will wake up off the coast of Bali under the majestic gaze of Mt Agung, Bali's mother mountain. Our final yoga practice together will take place on board or on the beach. We will also have a chance for a final snorkel and swim before heading south along the coast to our disembarkation point of Amuk Bay. Here we say farewell to our crew and take a 90-minute bus ride back to south Bali, where you have the option to extend your stay or head to the airport for your flight home. *Please note itinerary details are subject to change