Flores means Flower in Portuguese, and it is indeed a place exuding beauty like its name.
It is one of the Lesser Sunda islands and is still largely unexplored by travelers in terms of tourism.
If you are looking for an adventurous and explorative independent traveling, this may be your answer.
Tri-colored lakes in Kelimutu of acid volcanic water, Komodo Dragon, swim in calm pool with waterfall backdrop, enjoy your meal and mingling with locals amidst view of lush paddy fields and smoking volcanic mountain. You can even dive or snorkel off various amazing dive sites.
Where is it
Flores is located in an Island on Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, east of Sumbawa and west of Solor Archipelago. To the southeast is timor, to the south is Sumba and to the north is Sulawesi.
When is the best time to go
Go during the dry season to enjoy the full marvel of the place which is from June – October, but if you must, rainy season is possible but be prepared for muddy roads and cloudy skies that might dampen your views.
What to see
The nearest tourist attraction is the famous crater lakes known as the Tri-clored Lakes of Mount Kelimutu. The natural colors are due to the chemical reactions of minerals in the lake with the volcanic gas.
Komodo Dragons in one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia – Komodo National Park. The park is situated in Komodo Island, where you can also dive, snorkel, camp and kayak at the beautiful island.
What to do
Diving – there are several dive sites here in Flores, the most popular is Komodo Islands which one of the top diving sites in Indonesia. Diving Komodo islands are also known to many world class divers due to the Komodo National Park’s reserve that offers what every tropical diving paradise.
Surfing – there are many hotsposts around Flores that allows surfing from beginner level to advance. This is an up and coming surfing places in Indonesia.
Visit traditional villages, and stay with the local families while doing eco-friendly activities like bird watching, trekking and local dances. Also swim in waterfall pool.
Where to stay
Despite being off the beaten track, you can still find many accommodation options here in and around Flores, particularly in Maumere or Labuan Bajo.
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By flightsFly into the main airport at Maumere, with daily flights from Bali and Kupang.
There are also daily flights to Labuanbajo from Bali and Lombok.
You can also get in by Pelni boats to Labuanbajo or Maumere and other parts of Indonesia. There are also other boats like ASDP ferry from Labuanbajo to Sape. Or you may just take a sailing trip from tour companies between Lombok, Bali and Flores.
And if you are into adventure riding and photography, you may choose to take the long tedious (note: very long and tedious) way overland, a bus from Bali to Lombok to Bima and then Sape and then end with a Ferry to Labuanbajo. This journey will take more than 24 hours.
More Flores Travel Guide