Labengki Island (Pulau Labengki) is an untouched paradise and one of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets!
I consider myself one of the lucky few to have had the chance to explore this 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 when you arrive.
WHERE IS LABENGKI ISLAND?
Pulau Labengki is an island located off the southeast coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia. From the mainland, it’s approximately a 2-hour boat trip to reach the island.
HOW TO GET TO PULAU LABENGKI
The most efficient way to travel to Labengki Island is to fly to Kendari Airport, which is the nearest city to the island in Southeast Sulawesi.
Most flights into the country 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 which takes roughly 1 hour and then a boat to the island which takes approximately 3 hours depending on sea conditions.
It’s definitely not the most efficient route but this is currently the only way to reach Labengki Island.
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Little Labengki Island
WHERE 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 the island.
After hours of research, I managed to find a local travel company called Fun Adventure that was able to organize 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 organize 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. Alternatively, you can book a tour on their website.
The cost of the tour was around 4,000,000 Rupiah ($275) which includes transport to and from Kendari to the island, 2 nights of 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.
An aerial perspective
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WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TOUR
On the tour, the following locations you will get to visit on Pulau Labengki and Little Labengki are the Goa Cave Swimming Pool, Blue Lagoon, Pasir Panjang Beach, Kimaboe Hill + Teluk Cinta (view of a love heart-shaped lagoon), and The Labengki 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
THINGS TO DO IN LABENGKI
GOA CAVE SWIMMING POOL
Located in the center of Little Labengki 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.
Goa Cave Pool
On the southern side of Little Labengki 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 the island from the top of the lighthouse.
Inside the lighthouse
Across the channel from Little Labengki is Pulau Labengki Basar, which translates to 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.
Idyllic scenes at Blue Lagoon
KIMABOE HILL & TELUK CINTA VIEWPOINT
Approximately 10 minutes by boat from Blue Lagoon you can find the Kimaboe Hill and Teluk Cinta Viewpoint.
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 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.
Teluk Cinta Bay
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.
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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Pasir Panjang Beach
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, the only power source comes from a generator that is only switched on from 6 pm-10 pm, so if you need to charge camera batteries, phones, and accessories, this is the only chance you will get. It’s best to have a power bank just in case.
The population is 470 and it’s 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 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 out here on the island, though you won’t need any cash as everything is included in the tour.
WHAT TO PACK FOR PULAU LABENGKI
When visiting Labengki Island, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Indonesian sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
MORE INDONESIA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Bali Travel Guide: 2 Week Bali Itinerary
- Bali Waterfalls Guide: 7 Best Bali Waterfalls
- Bali Beaches Guide: 11 Best Beaches In Uluwatu
- Nusa Islands Guide: Complete Nusa Islands Guide
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I hope it inspires you to visit this wonderful region in Southeast Sulawesi while it is still untouched.
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!
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