Flores, Nusa Tenggara

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.

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.

Map of Flores in Indonesia

Map of Flores

Why go

Volcano Mountain at Flores Indonesia

Volcano Mountain

Visit Flores for the almost untouched island, where you can trek to see 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.

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.

Kelimutu Three colored Lakes Indonesia

Kelimutu Three Colored Lakes

Komodo Dragons in one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in IndonesiaKomodo 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.

Island hopping – take a trip to Komodo Islands and check out the many islands, such as Padar Island, Rinca Island and Bat Island and the beautiful beaches such as Pink Beach and Manta Point.

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.

Swim in Waterfall Pool, Flores

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.

-> Find the best hotel deals in Flores with Booking.com *

What and where to eat

If you are in Ende, remember to try out the Kopi Ende, they are coffee beans roasted with ginger and then brewed as the usual coffee drink.

How to get there

By flights

Airport at Maumere, Flores, Indonesia

Maumere Airport

Fly into the main airport at Maumere, with daily flights from Bali and Kupang.

There are also daily flights to Labuanbajo from Bali and Lombok.

By Boat

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.

Labuanbajo, Flores

Labuanbajo

By land

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.

How to get around

Take the ubiquitous Bemo (minibus or minivans) around the island, it will guarantee an experience.

Paddy Fields in Flores

Paddy Fields in Flores

Photo credits from top: Burmesedays, Gabriel, NeilsPhotography, david.james.harris, Gabriel, leafbug and Gabriel

Related Articles:
Maumere, Flores
Tri-colored Lakes at Mount Kelimutu
Komodo Boat Trip from Lombok to Flores

More Flores Travel Guide

Komodo National Park, Flores – Diving, Pink Beach and Accommodations

Being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, Komodo National Park in Flores is one of the must visit places in Indonesia.

The park is situated in the Wallacea Region and identified by WWF and Conservation International as global conservation priority area.

Where is it

Komodo National Park is in Flores, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. It is located in the center of Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Flores.

Komodo National Park Map, Indonesia 

Komodo National Park Map by Burmesedays

 

 


 

Why go

It is the home to the Komodo Dragon, known as Ora to the Indonesians, and as a refuge for many other wild terrestrial species, with mixture of Asiatic and Australian origins. It is also rich marine life, consisting of over 1000 species ranging from reptiles like sea turtles to mammals like dolphins and whales, and also 250 species of reef coral. There are even chance of sighting flying foxes (fruit bats) at night across star-filled night sky.

Komodo National Park, Indonesia 

Komodo National Park. Photo by leafbug

 

 

When is the best time to go

It is tropical all year round thus always good to visit but it has more rain at the end of the year and could be really hot during August/September.

What to see

Komodo Dragon Indonesia 

Komodo Dragon. Photo by Millzero

 

The Komodo Dragon of course, touted as the living fossil. Walk around them upclose and personal but be forewarn and beware as there are reports that they can be dangerous if agitated.

 

There is also other varieties of wildlife like the Timor deer, wild horses, wild boar, buffalo, long-tailed macaques, palm civets, fruit bats and Rinca rat.

Pink Beach – Besides the Komodo dragons, little is known that there is a secret beach here which is known as the pink beach (known as the Red Beach by the locals).It was named as such because the sands are pink in color, mainly composed of corals, broken shells and calcium carbonate from the marine life that lends to its color. It is said that there are only 7 beaches in the world that have pink sand. Coupled with its unspoiled nature and the ethereal pink sands, this pink beach is indeed an experience to be had. Being sort of a secret and of the unbeaten track, you will find the beach uncrowded and that you can swim and sunbath in peaceful bliss.

What to do

Dive to immerse in the rich marine life and coral reefs. It could be strong currents but the viewing is still amazing. Diving in Komodo National Park brings high chance of rare marine life and coral reefs.

  -> Check out Komodo liveaboard diving trips *  

Snorkel at the Pink beach, where you can have a chance to swim with sea turtles, manta rays and rock-hole island among incredible arrays of corals and fishes.

Camping and kayak – if you got enough of watching Komodo dragons or wildlife, fret not as you can do more outdoor activities like camping and kayaking. With kayak, you can even explore more places that are too narrow for the boats to get to, which undisturbed, are naturally rich with reefs and fishes.

Trekking – you can also trek around the islands discovering wonderful views of the sea and nearby islands

 

Komodo National Park, Indonesia - Eagle Sea 

Eagle at the Sea, Komodo Island. Photo by leafbug

 

 

Where to stay

You can find guesthouses within the park itself or you may choose to stay in Loh Liang (Komodo Island) or Loh Buaya (Rinca island). Else better budget and choices would be in Labuanbajo where you can take a trip to the park in the day. You may also choose to stay in the motorboat that takes you to the island as they do come with cabins and rooms. Many tourists had good reviews on Komodo Resort * just next to the Komodo National Park.

  -> Find the best hotel deals near Komodo National Park*  

 

Komodo Dragon walking 

Komodo Dragon walking. Photo by Richard Liblanc

 

 

What and where to eat

Most people come here for the activities and not really the food as it is limited in choices but there are some budget eateries nearby the park headquarters in Pulau Rinca.

How to get there

By sea – there is a ferry/boat service from Sape in Sumbawa or Labuanbajo in Flores, twice a every week.

By air – the best way is to fly to Labuanbajo from Denpasar, Bali without the need to transit on another flight or boat. Sky Aviation serves regular flights on this route.

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach 

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdia

 

 

How to get around

The park is not that huge so most places can be cover on foot. Else you may charter private boats around as there are no public or regular boats.

Safety

Komodo Dragon Defense Stick 

Komodo Dragon Defense Stick. Photo by david.james.harris

 

Stay safe as the Komodo dragon do have histories of attacking human. So beware and do not get too close, and always stay close to your guide and listen to warnings. While out trekking to find them, a pole is very useful not only as a support but also in need as a weapon for defense. Komodo Dragon’s bite is suspected to be venomous and can cause massive blood loss, therefore, it is wise to stay alerted and safe.

 

Recommended tours *:
Komodo Liveaboard diving

Related articles:
Komodo Boat Trip from Lombok to Flores
Tri-colored Lake of Mt. Kelimutu, Flores
Maumere, Flores
Flores Travel Guide

1 month / 30 days Travel in Indonesia Itinerary

Q: I will be traveling a month (30 days) in Indonesia, cause that’s the maximum days in visa requirement, so what itinerary is best for the making my trip worth it? I know this is quite a general question as I understand Indonesia is huge. I will be flying into Jakarta as starting point and do not have an exit point yet, so can be flexible.
– Billy

Answer:
I agree it is a really general question indeed. What kind of things are you interested in? Cultural? Historical? Beach? Relax? Diving? But anyhow, you can always do a mix and match of our Indonesia Itineraries. For a start, below is a suggested itinerary for you for 1 month / 30 days traveling in Indonesia:

Day 1 to 3 – Jakarta

As you will land here in Jakarta, plan to stay at least one or two night to explore this capital city of Indonesia. It is the epitome of a mega city in Asia and well worth the hustle and bustle to get a feel of it. This city had many hidden treasures and it is well known as a shopping haven. It is also famous for its nightlife.

-> Check out our Top 10 Things to do and Must See in Jakarta and also our 3 days Itinerary in Jakarta

-> Find the best hotel deals at Jakarta with Booking.com *
Jakarta Skyline at Night, Indonesia

Jakarta Skyline at Night. Photo by yohanes budiyant

Day 4 to 7- Yogyakarta

Jump on the train and ride the only extensive train network in Indonesia from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. This city is also one of my favourite spot in Java, and if anyone is to ever ask me where is one place to see in Java, this would be it. Here you will have access to the largest ancient Buddhist temple Borobudur and the ancient Hindu temple Prambanan. Besides, the food here is amazing and there are also castles and parks to check out.

-> Check out our Top 10 Things to do in Yogyakarta

-> Find the best hotel deals at Yogyakarta with Booking.com *

Borobudur at Central Java Indonesia

Borobudur at Central Java

Day 8 to 10 – Mount Bromo

After that move on to Mount Bromo at Eastern Java, one of the a must visit places in Java. Here you will hike for a sunrise view over the famous Bromo volcanic crater. After that, get down have some breakfast and then trek onwards to the mouth of the crater. There is also a Hindu temple to visit on the way there. From here, head on to Banyuwangi to catch a bus to get over to Bali.

-> check out our Guide to Hiking Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia

Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia. Photo by Kai Seidler

Day 11 to 21 – Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands

Spend up to 10 days here to explore Bali’s must visit places. Here you can relax at some of the best beaches of Bali, eat the best foods, catch the famous Kecak Dance performance, visit some of the best temples in Bali and also any of the top activities in Bali.

-> Check out our 10 days itinerary in Bali

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, Bali. Photo by melburnian

If you want, you can also split the days with Lombok or Gili Islands, which are recommended if you are looking to dive. Lombok is the sister to Bali but minus the tourist crowds. Gili Islands would be your remote paradise islands, with no motorized vehicles on land and untouched seas for you to explore.

-> Find Bali hotels deals at Booking.com *

Day 22 to 28 – Komodo Island, Flores

Hop on a Komodo boat tour from Bali to Flores that includes exploring remote islands or fly directly from Bali to Komodo Island. Here you will come face to face with the famous Komodo Dragon, not many of its kind left in the world. Here you will also find the best diving sites in Indonesia, with rich marine life and coral reefs.

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach

Komodo Dragon walking at the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdia

Day 29 to 30 – Jakarta

Return to Bali from Komodo Island and from here you may fly out via Denpasar international airport. Do some last minute shopping before heading out, either flying back to Jakarta for a transit or to other international places that Bali airport serves.

Comfortably counting all the travel days, this itinerary will take up about almost a month. There are also some buffer times if you want to do some sidetrack or stay longer in any places. This covers basically from cityscape to cultural and historical, beaches and nightlife of Indonesia. It includes the regions of Java, Bali, Lombok and Flores. With this, you would have covered most of the best of Indonesia, but rest assured there are more to explore next time when you come back!

Related articles:
3 Weeks Itinerary for Islands of Indonesia
2 Weeks Travel Itinerary in Indonesia
3 Weeks Travel Itinerary in Indonesia