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View of Flores taken at Labuanbajo  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Indonesia > Flores

Flores Travel Guide

  
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    Flores is a fascinating and beautiful island most known for the remarkably beautiful crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu. Flores is also often used by tourists as a base to visit Komodo and Rinca.

    The best and most convenient base for exploring Flores and the nearby islands is town of Labuanbajo located on the western tip of Flores. The town attracts scuba divers, as whale sharks inhabit the waters around Labuan Bajo. 

    The not-to -be-missed highlights of Flores include:

    • Mount Kelimutu with its three remarkable crater lakes, each a different colour
    • Bena village with traditional wooden houses and locals with red lips colored from chewing the betel nut
    • Snorkeling or diving in coral reefs teeming with marine life around Labuanbajo and Komodo National Park

    Colored crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu

    The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Mount Kelimutu, a volcano containing three colored lakes, located in the district of Ende close to the town of Moni.

    The most famous tourist attraction in Flores island itself is the crater lakes at Mount Kelimutu usually reached from Ende  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

    Mount Kelimutu is the obvious attraction. Beautiful at sunrise, the three mineral lakes at the top (in the craters) change colour with the changing light of the morning.  These crater lakes are in the caldera of a volcano, and fed by a volcanic gas source, resulting in highly acidic water. The colored lakes change colors on an irregular basis, depending on the oxidation state of the lake from bright red through green and blue. To enjoy the panoramic view of the three lakes, currently green, blue and black visitors must organise transport and travel from Moni, the closest town nearby Mount Kelimutu. 

    To get up to the volcano it is possible to hire a minibus, or you can simply hike. Try taking the bus up from Moni and then walking down through the gorgeous villages and climbing 127 steps to the edge of the crater.

    The access point to Mount Kelimutu is Moni, a small settlement at the foot of the volcanic Mount Kelimutu . It is a good base for a trip to the coloured lakes of the volcano. Moni can be reached by minibus from Labuanbajo. It is a cramped trip but the scenery is breathtaking. It is also possible to hire a jeep and guide to take you across the island. This is quite expensive but would save a considerable amount of time.

    Bajawa with Bena village

    Bena village known for traditional houses, Flores  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

    Bajawa is a city in the central highlands of Flores in Indonesia known for the traditional village of Bena.

    Although, clearly a tourist destination, the villages house regular people, doing everyday things. Some are weaving the Ikat, others are simply tending to their livestock, all are very happy to be photographed, but of course ask first. a 5,000 Rp donation will be appreciated.

    Here, according to megalithic tradition handed down through generations, people pay respect to their ancestors who are believed to dwell in the conical thatched roof huts called “Ngadhu” and “Bhaga”, symbolizing the spirits of their male and female ancestors. Note the huge boulders of stones and stone seats planted in front of their houses ,not unlike the ones seen in the villages on the island of Nias in North Sumatra.

    Snorkelling or diving off Flores

    There are snorkeling and diving locations along the north coast off Flores, most notably Maumere, Riung, Labuan Bajo and the Komodo National Park.

    Flores has great snorkeling and scuba diving in several locations along the north coast, most notably Komodo off Labuanbajo   <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

    Labuanbajo is the most convenient point to go snorkeling and diving in the Komodo National Park. The snorkeling within the park offers many opportunities to see pristine reefs with some of the greatest fish and coral diversity in the world.

    The Komodo National Park offer dozens of very pristine dive sites, with many migratory pelagics, vibrant reefs- making it one of the world’s richest marine habitats. The Park is located just offshore and easily reached by liveaboard operators, although day trips may take two hours or more in each direction.

    There are many dive operators that offer dive courses, fun dives and 3 day liveaboards. They have fixed pricing for fun dives at Rp 800,000 per day incl. 2 dives, full equipment and lunch (Rp 2,200,000 for 3 days). Choose one of the newer dive centers for the newest equipment, one of the older for the most experience. All are quite safe and know what they are doing, however, the currents around Komodo can be quite strong, and are not for beginners.

    




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