Located just off the western tip of Flores in Indonesia, Rinca Island offers some of the best and most unique wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. It’s one of the few spots on Earth where you can see Komodo dragons in the wild (and it’s often overlooked in lieu of neighboring Komodo Island), and the convergence of nutrient-rich currents in the waters just off the coast create conditions for some of the best diving in the world.
The Komodo dragon, the island’s most popular resident, can weigh in at over 300 pounds (136 kilograms), and they’re easier to spot in the wild on Rinca, as tourism has had less of an impact than on Komodo Island.
The 76-square-mile (198-square-kilometer) island sits within Komodo National Park, and as such, visitors to the island must be accompanied by a guide, as the large lizards can be dangerous—and even deadly—when they (rarely) attack.
Rinca Island is extremely hot throughout the year, so always bring more sunscreen and water than you think you’ll need. April to November is the best period for seeing Komodo dragons in the wild.