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Indonesia
Where There Be Dragons
Komodo National Park, in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago, is surrounded by some of the world’s best dive sites (craters on the seafloor, 4,000 species of fish and marine mammals). But who are we kidding? The real draw here is the prehistoric, mythological-looking Komodo dragon. The largest monitor lizards on Earth, Komodos can reach a length of ten feet (roughly one Verne Troyer plus one Yao Ming), with the heft of an NFL lineman (300 pounds). The dragons, however, prefer the taste of deer to humans. Indeed, you can sidle up beside the beasts while they’re lounging on the beach or slithering through the savanna and cloud forest. Remote Lands specializes in custom itineraries, often running trips in the off-season. "On the cusp between the rainy and dry seasons—March and April—you’ll have the park all to yourself," says company co-founder Catherine Heald. Remote Lands bases clients on its own yacht and coordinates volunteer work in local schools and cooking demonstrations in a village on Flores. Working with RL’s Indonesia specialists, travelers set their itinerary, including the number of scuba dives in the Flores Sea, how often they’ll get ferried to land for dragon tracking, and what time their private masseur and chef will be ready each day.

Outfitter: Remote Lands; remotelands.com
Price: $1,000 per person, per day, including domestic airfare
Length: 4-day minimum
Departs: Year-round

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