This is your ultimate travel guide to Flores, Indonesia. Here you can find untouched, pristine islands, Komodo dragons, magical tri-colored volcanic lakes, waterfalls in lush jungles, and scenes of paddy fields with smoking volcanoes as a backdrop. The best diving sites surround Flores; even snorkeling will bring lots of underwater delight, rich in marine life and corals.
It is a place of beauty like its name, which means flower in Portuguese. Flores has a population of 1.8 million, with people mainly from Austronesian families and other indigenous tribes. Myriads of languages are spoken here. People are predominantly Roman Catholic Christians, with some Muslims.
Flores, Indonesia Map
Where is Flores, Indonesia
Flores is located in Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, east of Sumbawa and west of the Solor Archipelago. To the southeast is Timor, to the south, is Sumba, and to the north is Sulawesi. Flores stretches approximately 360 kilometers from west to east and covers an area of about 14,300 square kilometers.
Why visit Flores, Indonesia
Volcano MountainVisit 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 the calm pool with a waterfall backdrop, enjoy your meal, and mingle with locals amidst the view of lush paddy fields and smoking volcanic mountain. You can even dive or snorkel off various fantastic dive sites.
When is the best time to visit Flores, Indonesia
Go during the dry season to enjoy the full marvel of the place from June to October, but if you must, the rainy season is possible to be prepared for muddy roads and cloudy skies that might dampen your views.
Places to Visit in Flores, Indonesia
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 the calm pool with a waterfall backdrop, enjoy your meal, and mingle with locals amidst the view of lush paddy fields and smoking volcanic mountain. You can even dive or snorkel off various fantastic dive sites.
There is Maumere for exploration of local living, fishing villages, hot springs, caves, and beaches for off-the-beaten-path. Mount Kelimutu is one of the famous attractions in Flores; Kelimutu Lake is at the summit of the craters and consists of three lakes of varying colors from each other and at different times.
Things to do in Flores, Indonesia
Diving – there are several dive sites here in Flores; the most popular is the Komodo Islands, one of Indonesia’s top diving sites. Diving Komodo islands are also known to many world-class divers due to the Komodo National Park’s reserve that offers every tropical diving paradise.
Surfing – many hotspots around Flores allow surfing from beginner level to advance. This is an up-and-coming surfing place 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 the waterfall pool.
Tourist Attractions in Flores, Indonesia
Where to stay in Flores, Indonesia
Labuan Bajo has various hotels, from affordable to high prices. Not only that but also the kinds of hotels you prefer. You can take a look at hotels based on your budget and interest. So, these are recommended stays at Labuan Bajo.:
AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach – Luxury
AYANA Komodo Waecicu Beach is a luxurious resort in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, offering stunning ocean views and a private beach. It features elegant rooms, an infinity pool, a spa, and multiple dining options. The resort is known for its exceptional service and is an ideal choice for a high-end stay in the area.
For those seeking adventure, the resort can arrange various excursions and activities, such as snorkeling and diving trips to explore the vibrant underwater world of Komodo National Park, hiking trips to nearby islands, or boat tours to see the famous Komodo dragons.
Laprima Hotel – Mid-range
This hotel has decent facilities compared to the other budget hotels. Their swimming pool is the largest there is. This hotel has a jetty to catch sunsets and watch local children fishing, playing, and swimming.
They also have various kinds of food menus consisting of Indonesian & Western foods. The price is quite affordable, starting from IDR 30.000 for each menu (approx. $2) and starting from IDR 1.000.000 for a night stay with breakfast (approx. $65). You will get the best sunset view from this hotel; make sure to book your room facing the sea – Superior Sea View / Premier Room.
Selini On The Hill Villas – Budget
If you are looking for earthy and aesthetic stays, you can book a room at Selini On The Hill. This villa has limited spaces, and you have to call them to ensure they have an available room for you. The view of this villa faces the sea and the local village called “Kampung Air.”
A tip, huge luggage is not recommended, as access to the villa is not easy. A backpack will be ideal because you must walk uphill and climb stairs.
The price of a villa starts from IDR 700.000 per night with breakfast (approx. $46). You can choose your breakfast; a pancake or a scrambled egg with a cup of coffee or tea. If you don’t want to go to their restaurant for breakfast, you can request the staff bring your meals to your room.
Best Hotels in Maumere, Flores
There are several accommodations to choose from here relative to Flores. Choices range from backpackers to mid-range hotels. The two popular places to stay here in Mauere that provide rooms in huts by the beach plus diving activities are Budi Sun Resort and Sea World Club Beach Resort *.
Coconut Garden Beach Resort – Best
This beachfront resort offers a tranquil and tropical retreat for visitors. The resort provides comfortable accommodation with various room options, including bungalows and cottages, amid lush coconut gardens. Guests can enjoy direct access to the beach, relaxing, swimming, or engaging in water activities. The resort also features a restaurant serving delicious Indonesian and international cuisine, a swimming pool, and a range of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay.
Budi Sun Resort, Maumere – Best Budget
Budi Sun Resort Maumere is a charming beachfront resort in Maumere, Flores. The resort offers comfortable accommodation with various room options, including bungalows and villas, all with modern amenities. Guests can enjoy direct access to the beach, relaxing, swimming, or engaging in water activities. The resort also features a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, a pool, and a relaxing spa. Budi Sun Resort Maumere provides a peaceful retreat for travelers seeking a serene beachside getaway in Maumere.
What to Eat in Flores, Indonesia
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.
Flores offers a variety of delicious culinary delights that showcase the island’s local flavors and cultural heritage. Here are some must-try dishes when visiting Flores:
- Nasi Bungkus: A traditional Flores meal consisting of steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves and accompanied by various side dishes. It often includes grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken or pork, vegetables, and sambal (spicy chili sauce).
- Ikan Bakar: Grilled fish is a popular dish in Flores due to its coastal location. Freshly caught fish, such as tuna or snapper, is marinated with local spices and perfectly grilled. It is often served with sambal and steamed rice.
- Sate Babi: Flores is known for its tasty pork satay. The skewered pork is marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and then grilled. It is a delicious and satisfying dish with peanut sauce and rice cakes.
- Babi Guling: A specialty dish in Flores, Babi Guling is a roasted pig stuffed with a mixture of herbs, spices, and vegetables. The skin is crispy, and the meat is tender and flavorful. It is typically served with rice, sambal, and various accompaniments.
- Kolo Mee: A noodle dish influenced by Chinese cuisine, Kolo Mee features springy noodles tossed with vegetables, slices of meat (often chicken or pork), and a savory sauce. It is a popular choice for breakfast or lunch.
- Jagung Bakar: Grilled corn on the cob is a popular street food in Flores. The corn is often roasted over an open flame and seasoned with salt or other spices. It makes for a tasty and satisfying snack.
- Brem: For a sweet treat, try Brem, a traditional fermented rice cake. It is made from glutinous rice, fermented with local yeast, and usually has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor. It is a popular dessert or snack in Flores.
How to get to Flores, Indonesia
The most convenient way to reach Flores is by air. There are several airports on the island, the main ones being Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, Frans Seda Airport in Maumere, and El Tari Airport in Kupang. These airports have regular domestic flights connecting Flores to major cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali), Surabaya, and Makassar. You can check with airlines like Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Citilink, and Wings Air for available flights.
You can also get in by Pelni boats to Labuanbajo, Maumere, and other parts of Indonesia. There are also other boats, like the ASDP ferry from Labuanbajo to Sape. Or you may take a sailing trip between Lombok, Bali, and Flores from tour companies.
How to get from Bali to Flores
To travel from Bali to Flores, you have several options. The fastest and most convenient way is to take a domestic flight from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to Flores, with airports in Labuan Bajo and Maumere being the main entry points. Alternatively, you can embark on a multi-day ferry journey, starting from Bali’s Padang Bai Port and transferring to Lembar Port in Lombok before reaching Labuan Bajo or other ports in Flores.
How to get around
Take the ubiquitous Bemo (minibus or minivans) around the island; it will guarantee an experience.