We spent three nights in Labuan Bajo in May 2012 as we wanted to visit Komodo National Park. I found it hard to get decent information about activities, tours and hotels in Labuan Bajo (LB) in advance so want to share some observations with those planning travelling there.
Accommodation: there are a group of hotels along the beach to the south, billing themselves as five-star hotels – they are not! But they are much better that the backpacker-style accommodation available in LB.
Transport: The airport is close to LB so the most you will pay is 50,000 rp, and that will get you south to the Jayakarta Hotel.
Central LB: There is not much to do in town. There are three or four good-quality restaurants, and they are all bunched together near the entrance to the port. Other than that – forget it.
Day tours: Most tours to Komodo National Park offer the same things – so you may as well go for the cheapest one. Note that the Komodo Dragons are found on two islands: Komodo and Rinca. Rinca is 2-hours by boat, Komodo is more like 4-hours! Both islands have National Park offices and guides. Komodo is said to be more tropical, but I didn't go there.
Taxi drivers from the airport will be able to arrange boat trips to the national park, and it may be worth haggling with them. Otherwise, there are tour operators all down the main street of LB that will offer you good deals no matter what the time of day.
Beware: the dragons bite. A bite can cause death!
Do go snorkelling if you can. The fish and coral are spectacular.
Don't walk on the main street of LB at night – there is no footpath to or street lights. Just get to the area where the restaurants.