Seraya Island, Indonesia

AWESOMENESS!Our relative measure of how cool this place is. COST$ = cheap $$$$$ = resort TRAVEL TIMEEstimate of how long a round trip here from California would take TRAVEL DIFFICULTYHow much effort to get here? "Low" is hop on a plane and the resort picks you up. "High" is hitchiking in a foreign language
great $ 3 day moderate

Seraya's combination of idyllic island setting coupled with a strong flavor of Gilligan's Island make it a real gem in our memories. Seraya is a small island that sits just off the major island of Flores in the Indonesian chain. It is home to a small Muslim fishing village on one end and a dozen or so bungalows on the other. That's it, and without strong motivation, the two worlds don't collide.
The bungalow setup is everything you want in a Gilligan Getaway. Beautiful sand, excellent snorkling right off the beach, electricity for at night and only a handful of other tourists to bother you. There's even a restaurant that sometimes has the food on the menu.


This is a what a resort should be. You get a thatched bungalow on a pristine beach or powdery white sand. There's more than enough room for the few tourists who can stay here and the only violation of your personal space is going to be caused by the family of barking deer who roam free on the island or the untamed children of the French guests in the bungalow next door... The bungalows are nicer than many hotels we stayed at in Indonesia. They are true thatched huts open to the world with no windows. But they do have a clean bed, attached outdoor bathroom and a pleasant patio. With a little effort, you can borrow and setup a hammock between the bungalow and nearest palm tree. There is only power for a handful of hours at night, but it was more than sufficient for lighting and charging our electronics. There is running water for shower and toilet when the power is on. During the day, you flush the toilet with buckets of seawater. Too cool. The restaurant is a big covered patio sitting on the beach. They have a decent menu of squid, fish, chicken, fries, toast, pancakes, fried noodles, etc. but you just never know what they'll actually have. We went three days without fish or bread! You can go into Labuan Bajo on Flores with them any day to pick up supplies yourself, but we could never justify leaving paradise just for a snack. Labuan Bajo itself is a pit of a port town without much to buy, so it's best to bring your snacks from Bali or elsewhere. Seraya's beach surrounds on a small bay that hosts really excellent snorkling. The water is clear and shallow for about 50 yards off the shore and then it dives down a wall into a still shallow channel that separates Seraya from the next island. With tanks rented from Flores, you could spend a bit of time diving here. Off the beach, the island rises to rolling hills that separate this little piece of paradise from anything else going on. It's about a half hour walk over the hills to get to a scenic overlook of active the fishing village. When the restaurant is out of fish, you can swing by here to pick up fresh catch to have cooked up.

Practical Matters

Getting There

On paper, this is easy. From Bali, it's a quick flight to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. Take a taxi into town just 15 minutes away and then arrange the 1 hour boat ride out to the island.

Staying There

This is where it gets sticky. The island is managed through the Gardena Hotel Labuan Bajo. There is a phone number on the Seraya Island website. Try to book a bungalow ahead of time, but I have trouble believing they'd know what to do if you called. Definitely try, though, as you'd rather not be stuck in Labuan Bajo for the night. The usual story is to go to the Gardena Hotel when you arrive and ask for a room at the island. It was handled completely randomly when we were there in 2007. They didn't know if there were rooms available until the daily supply boat showed up at 10am either with departing guests or not.

There is a similar setup to Seraya on another island called Kanawa. We met someone on Seraya who had also been to Kanawa and enjoyed it. They are booked from a shack just down the street from the Gardena Hotel.

Nearby Attractions

Komodo National Park

Labuan Bajo is the starting point for taking a cruise out to Komodo and Rinca islands to see the Komodo Dragons. This can be arranged in Labuan Bajo as a day trip, or you can set up cruises or dive trips ahead of time and use Seraya as the filler. We did a 4 day dive cruise and had a great time.

Flores Island

There are a few other sights on the big island of Flores, notably the "three colored crater lakes" of Mount Kelimutu.

The Rest of Indonesia!

The whole country is at your fingertips once you're this deep in.


Labuan Bajo hotel photos , including Seraya and Kanawa. Maybe it is possible to book with them?
Moana Dive Boat. Beautiful boat and great on-boat owners. We'd definitely go back to them.