Flores

1. Why to go: Flores – into the wild, visit the dragons
2. What you need: Equipment and packing list
3. How to go to Flores
4. When to go: The best travel time for Flores
5. Where to stay in Flores
6. What to do in Flores

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©Kjersti

 

1. Why to go: Flores – into the wild, visit the dragons

Flores is a very beautiful island that has been hidden in the shadows of its more celebrated neighbor Bali for long, but the island and sea of Flores is currently becoming an unique destination of its own. You’ll see the captivating Komodo dragons, Komodo island, visit and trek Rinca island. Here are some reasons why you must visit Flores.

Kelimutu

The countrysides in Flores are really unique e.g. the three colored Kelimutu crater lakes. Those are located about 50 km East of the city Ende in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. This is one of the fascinating places to visit in Flores and even the world. This location encompasses an active 1,690 meters high volcano with three different-colored mineral lakes on its peak and the national park.

©pcalapre

Batu Cermin

Another highlight is Batu Cermin cave also known as ‘mirror stone’. This cave based in dark stone hills can be found at West Manggarai, an outskirt of Labuan Bajo. The name was gotten from a scenario when the sun rays enter the tunnel through a hole. Than it bounces on the stone walls which also reflect small lights to other areas inside the cave just like a mirror. It is located about 4 km from city center in the East of Labuan Baja harbor.

Wae Rebo and Bena

Also the historical villages are great to see like Wae Rebo or Bena. The cultural village of Wae Rebo, Ruteng lies in the indigenous village of Flores located in the Manggarai district which is about 1200 meters high above sea level. Ruteng 7 cone shaped houses have been in existence more than 19 generations to shelter its people. People living in these houses that epitomize the people’s cosmos carry out their daily activities far from the maddening crowd. Visiting the traditional Bena village situated in Bajawa means to go back to the Stone Age. The village harmonizes two parallel rows of traditional, high thatch-roofed houses. Ngadhu and Bhaga are visible in the center of the village. These pairs of shrines represent the clan’s ancestors –one for each clan of the village. Megalithic formations in the village center is another unique feature beg the eyes.

©Andrea Nanni

Moreover Flores Sea is a paradise for diving and snorkeling. It’s a special recommendation for advanced divers because it’s a pity to start your first required diving lessons in a boring swimming pool next to Flores’ rich underwater world.

©ead72

 

2. What you need: Equipment and packing list

Camera with extra battery and memory card, insect repellent (Flores is Malaria area), medications and copies of prescriptions, swimsuit, diving or snorkeling equipment, especially bathing shoes, a pair of flip-flops, substantial pair of shoe, a couple of T-shirts, shorts and/or skirts, tank tops, dresses; light long-sleeved top that goes with anything and everything, your bank and credit card (Notify your bank before going and alert them to your approximate itinerary). In Flores it makes sense to have enough cash because there are only a few ATMs in Labuan Bajo city. Please don’t forget your travel documents and if you intend to drive a car or motorbike take your international driving license with you.

 

3. How to go to Flores

The best way to travel to Flores is via Bali. Garuda offers direct flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo. The plan is to open a new direct connection from Singapore to Labuan Bajo.

 

4. When to go: The best travel time for Flores

Indonesia has two seasons: A wet season and a dry season. As a result of the size of the country, while traveling in Indonesia the more east you go the longer the dry season tends to be. The good news for travelers going to Flores is that it enjoys a very long dry season that extends from April to November since the town is at the most easterly end of Indonesia. The wet season normally runs from December to March. The northern region of Flores is the driest with little or no rainfall especially in the northeastern part making visiting possible all-round the year. The Western Flores can also experience very heavy rainfall.

 

5. Where to stay in Flores

There a only very few options to stay in high-end resorts in Flores:

Plataran Komodo Beach Resort
Seraya Hotel & Resort

 

 

6. What to do in Flores

Meet the Komodo dragons: They are the heaviest and biggest lizards in the world. This creature has thrived in Indonesia’s harsh climate since ancient times with their length up to three meters weighing more than 120 kilograms. Their bite is very infectious and deadly whereas they depend on their tongues in detecting preys because their hearing is not that developed. They feed on almost anything for example deer, carrion, pigs, humans, large water buffalos, etc.

©Vladimir Wrangel

Dive or snorkel in Komodo National Park: Komodo National Park is popular for its dragons, but its underwater world is truly fascinating: Colorful Reefs bursting with life, sharks hunting within large schools of fish and mantas ray circling beautifully overhead. The best coral sites are shallow and mantas often feed at the surface, making for interesting snorkeling as well. Indeed, strong currents are what bring all of this life to Komodo, and more experienced divers find diving much more enjoyable.

©Dudarev Mikhail

Watch the sunrise at Mount Kelimutu: The volcano of Kelimutu is one of the biggest landmarks of Flores. It looms over lush valleys, an enchanting sight from the ground, but a trip to its peak unmask its true treasure – multicolored lakes. The colorful pastel waters look particularly emotional in the early morning rays of the sunrise. The peak is a little walk from the car park which you can access by the motor. Of course, resolute travelers could enjoy a stroll down past cascading rivers and local villages around.

©Alice Nerr

See the spider web rice fields: Rice paddies are the most common in Bali and other locations in Asia, the paddies in Flores are particularly unique. Here, patches exist in different shades of rich green. Those splayed out from a central point, growing gradually smaller until they concentrate in the center of the ‘web.’ Apart from being incredibly stunning to the eyes, these fields have a purpose. Every section belongs to another family. Everyone meets here at the end of the day to enjoy tea and conversation together thereby promoting camaraderie between the families in the village.

Comments 7

  1. Flores is just beautiful! Would love to visit it, and the fact that it’s close to Bali was unknown to me! But now I know!

  2. I have heard mixed things when it comes to those dragons! I have always wanted to see them in person but they always seem to be one of the most feared creatures. And from what I read, very dangerous! The are itself looks amazing and it is any wonder why they choose to live there 😀

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