REVIEW OF A PERAMA TOUR: HUNTING KOMODO BY CAMERA

When I went to Bali for the first time, one of the things on my bucket list was to see the Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat. So, it was awesome to see that there was a tour on the List that allowed me such an experience. I'm very much a planner so I booked this Hunting Komodo by Camera tour way in advance, and it cost me approximately $300~/pp that was paid via Paypal. Here's the thing though. I would've probably gotten a much better deal if I paid in person, however it would've been a last minute risk and I wouldn't have been guaranteed a spot on the boat. So I would leave this decision at your discretion. A fellow passenger paid half of what I paid, but she also slept on the deck and not the cabin we reserved. There are two sleeping options you can choose from on this Perama Tour: the deck (which is you sleeping on a mat on the boat deck) or the cabin (which are bunk beds in a tight space with a lockable door that come with a few amenities like water, snacks, and a can of beer). I'd highly recommend paying a little more to get yourself a cabin, especially if you're traveling with someone. Tip: Top bunk has a fan and gets colder at night whereas the bottom bunk stays on the warmer side.

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Now, the boat itself is sturdy and stable so I didn't feel any motion sickness from being on it for 3 days. But it's also not a cruise ship. You should think of it as like a fancier Balinese fisherman's boat. The bathroom, for example, has a small toilet with an adjoining shower head. And there are only two of these on the boat. And even though I'm a germophobe, I actually enjoyed myself on this tour. I just needed to mentally prepare myself that this experience won't be about keeping clean and that it is the journey to Komodo Island I should be caring about.

I suggest staying the night before at the Sheraton Senggigi Resort, because the Perama Tour office for pickup is right across the street. Once everyone is settled in, you hop on a bus and head to the boat. But before you actually get to the boat, you make a few stops along the way. The first was some King's summer palace in Lombok Barat, which was quite beautiful. The next stop was some Geopark where we got to walk along some rice paddies. We then had lunch at some self sustaining hotel. And before finally boarding the boat towards the evening, we visited a fishing village that had traditional Bugis Phinisi boats and historical boat equipment and tools used for boat making. 

The first stop off the boat the next morning was Satonda Island. This was one of the more memorable stops because there's a salt water lake in the middle of the island which formed from a volcanic eruption. The guide takes the group up to the lake and offers guests the option to take a swim inside the lake. I would highly recommend doing so because it was surreal and so beautiful! Another option you had after that got boring was to snorkel on the reefs that were beach side. Some of us were bored with it all towards the end of it, so bring some entertainment with you off the boat.

The next island stop was Komodo Island! A few warnings they give you before stepping on the island is that you should avoid wearing white cause it entices the dragons and also to try and cover up your body. Apparently the saliva from the komodo dragons are deadly and that we should avoid any contact with them whatsoever. We came across a lot of dragons on our guided walking tour through the island, so we were not disappointed. It was just so incredible to walk around this creature's natural habitat without restrictions, or a glass screen separating us from the animals. And these dragons were BIG, like the size of crocodiles when laying down. The journey getting here was awesome, but to top it off by seeing Komodo dragons was really memorable.

Our last stop before the tour ended was Pink Beach. This beach was also beautiful, and the pink sand from the eroding red coral reefs made the water look even more clear. I think we spent about two hours here and that was more than plenty of time.

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Overall, it was a great trip with just the right amount of time for you to be on this boat. I was very surprised I had such a great time after seeing where I was going to be spending my nights. Plus, you can't beat the value of what you get for such little money.