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A popular day trip from Labuan Bajo or Seraya Island, Sabolo Besar is the larger of two islands more or less directly north of
travelfish.org/location/indonesia/east_nusa_tenggara/flores/komodo_national_park">Komodo National Park.
The island has a brilliantly white sand and broken coral pinnacle on its east coast that juts out into the water and, when it isn't covered in flotsam, offers picture-postcard white sand beaches and amazing turquoise waters.
The best snorkelling is off the south side of the pinnacle -- walk as far along the sand as you can then just swim out. There is a nice dropoff (not too deep), plenty of coral and we saw multiple turtles here. The reef is a bit beaten up in places and isn't as good as Kanawa or Seraya, but it is still definitely worth getting wet for.
When we visited, there was a quite strong west to east current so you could walk down, jump in, drift back up, get out and repeat the process. The boatman warned against trying to snorkel around the island -- partly because it is quite big, but also because the currents are stronger on the backside of the island.
There is no accommodation here and as such the beaches are not cleaned regularly. When we visited the amount of trash at the high water mark was substantial, but the water was crystal clear with no rubbish to speak of.
The beach has little shade and the white sand and broken coral really reflects the light, so bring lots of sunscreen and plenty of water. Lastly, this is a popular spot for daytrippers, so try to get here early.
Sabola can be reached at least from Labuan Bajo, Kanawa and Seraya -- we visited from the latter with a boat costing 300,000 rupiah for a half day -- best try and rustle up a few people to bring the costs down.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 1st October, 2015.