flores island



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Tour de Flores Labuanbajo, Flores

           Lavalon SeaView Hostel and Cafe Kupang "Well come to the tour de Flores"
Phone: +628123770533 Email: lavalonbar@gmail.com
Double Room Rp160.000 with Fan, Hot shower Ac Rp270.000, Dorm Rp70.000 Including Breakfast Banana Pancake with Honey

Flores is an exceptional scenic island, located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and Alor . To the southeast is Timor . To the south, across the Sumba strait, lies the island of Sumba and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is the island of Sulawesi.

The name Flores is Portuguese and means 'flower' as the Portuguese were the first Europeans to colonize East Nusa Tenggara. They eventually sold it to the Dutch.

Flores measures 17,164 square kilometer, is heavily treed with forests and is mountainous, rising to 2,399 m. above sea level. The island is divided by strings of volcanic mountains into several regions with distinctive languages and traditions. The largest town is Maumere.

The western part of the island is mainly of Malayan origin whereas the eastern part is mainly inhabited by people of Papuan origin.

HOW TO GET THERE

Flores (Maumere or Labuan Bajo) can be reached by aeroplane from anywhere in the world, with one plane change via Denpasar Bali.

2 or 4 day boat tours from Lombok and 7 day boat tours from Bali to Labuan Bajo pass through Rincah/Komodo and other  surrounding islands.

Prehistory

Among the prehistoric inhabitants of the island were small-proportioned humans (classified as Homo floresiensis in 2004) that may have evolved from Homo erectus and lived on Flores as recently as 13,000 years ago. Some scientists, however, believe that remains are those of micro cephalic modern humans who also suffered from dwarfism. Much later under the rule of Sulawesi princes, Flores came under Dutch influence c.1618. The Dutch gradually gained control of the island, although Portugal held the eastern end until 1851 and the natives were not completely subjugated until 1907.

Flores Man

In September 2004, at the Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, Paleoanthropologist discovered skeletons of a previously unknown hominid species. Homo floresiensis, affectionately termed hobbits after the small characters in the Lord of the Rings, appear to be miniaturized versions of Homo erectus standing about one meter tall. They may have existed until as recently as 11.000 BC.

Flores Man
Flores Man
Local reports of elf people, the Ebu Gogo, or the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, have caused speculation that Flores man may have survived into the historical period, or even to the present. The discovery has been published in the October 28, 2004, issue of Nature magazine. Flores was also a habitat of the extinct Stegodon dwarf elephant until approximately 18,000 years ago.

#TRAVELERSFLORES (ONE)
Flores – September 2019
Flores is an absolute dream with many different landscapes and so many things to see. I arrived by boat from Lombok to Labuan Bajo (the 4 day 3 night liveaboard with Wanua Adventures was a grea time and stops at Komodo, Rinca, Padar Island, Pink Beach, etc). Labuan Bajo is the diver’s mecca, so to speak, the main road lined with dozens of different dive shops. Diving here is quite expensive – around 2.3 million per day (3 dives), but extremely worth it. The reefs around Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Rinca are so vibrant and alive. You’ll be sure to see multiple sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, and about a thousand different species of fish. You can also do liveaboards that go for 2 or 3 days for a fixed price. Stay at Ciao Hostel, located up on a hill above the town with a spectacular view of the marina. The rooftop 12 person dorm (outside with mosquito net) will set you back 100,000 while the 6 or 8 person dorms (inside with AC) are 150,000. The hostel has a rooftop bar (although there’s beer sold on every level), a restaurant, and does movie night where you’re able to vote for what you want to watch. I spent a full day just lounging in the bean bags in the lobby with the resident hostel kitten, Madu! If you’ve been missing Western food and are looking for a break from nasi and mie, there’s a great burger spot called Burger Time and an Italian restaurant, La Cucina. The owner is Italian and the pizzas and pastas are incredible. If you’re on a budget, not to worry – traditional warungs are everywhere. Mama’s was really delicious and right on the main road as well.

I was traveling with a few friends so we decided to rent a car to travel to across Flores. This proved pretty difficult, and we spent a few hours bouncing back and forth between tourist info shops negotiating prices. We settled with Christopher Tours and paid 5,000,000 for a full week of travel. You are able to rent scooters as well, with it being more expensive if you wish to take it one way and leave it in Maumere instead of returning to Labuan Bajo. The main road through Flores is steep and winds, but it is well-paved. If you do stray from the main road, be prepared for lots of gravel and potholes – not fun, especially if riding with a backpack.
Our tour started in Labuan Bajo and was initially as follows (we made a few changes):
Note: I am including all entrance fees/prices to the attractions, do not pay more than this! They will try to get more out of you everywhere, do not give in!
Day 1: Wae Rebo Village (stay overnight)
Day 2: Todo Village, Spider ricefields, Pu’u Village,
hotel in Ruteng overnight
Day 3: Ranemese lake, visit arrack processing plant, Bena village, hotel overnight
Day 4: Soa Hot Springs, Riungs 17 islands overnight
Day 5: 17 islands (hotel overnight)
Day 6: Blue Stone Beach, hotel in Moni overnight
Day 7: Kelimutu for sunrise, Koka Beach, Maumere

It is possible to take more time to do all of this, we just had to be in Maumere in one week because one of us was flying out. The attractions are pretty spread out and it’s a long time in the car. There were some days we were pretty tired and wished we had a full day to just be in one town and walk around.
Wae Rebo was one of the highlights of the trip. It’s a traditional Manggarai village situated high up in the mountains. It’s a 3 hour hike to go up (2.5 if you have someone drop you a bit higher up for 40,000. Do not pay more than this). We were swindled into using a guide (200,000) but it isn’t necessary to have one (the locals will tell you otherwise). Just start walking, the path is clearly marked. We spent the night up there because we thought it made more sense financially – it’s 325,000 per person to spend the night (including dinner and breakfast) and 200,000 just to enter the village, even if only for 10 minutes. It was actually a lovely experience, all the tourists eating together and sleeping in one of the big huts (not the most comfortable). I was weary at first having been to so many “traditional villages” that are actually just big tourist traps, but this was different. You actually get a glimpse of their day to day life – drying coffee, picking passionfruit (the most delicious I’ve ever had), cooking inside their huts with the open kitchen, children playing. There is a 40,000 donation when you enter – this is given to the head of the village and he does a welcome prayer before you are “accepted” into the village (don’t take photos before this happens). Give this when you get inside the village, right before the main hut. Our guide was a crook and asked for 50,000 from multiple groups, took us all inside as one group, donated the 40,000 and pocketed the rest. We spent the night and started out descent after breakfast the next morning.

Our next stop was Todo village and in all honesty, I would skip it. Especially after coming from Wae Rebo, it was just a smaller, underwhelming, version of it. They charge you 60,000 to enter because you had to wear the traditional dress. It was fun but it felt so touristy – the welcome ceremony felt forced, with the head of the village pocketing the money and just walking out after. There weren’t really people anywhere and no glimpse into daily life. We rushed through the tour and were on our way.
The spider ricefields are a fun 20 minute stop! The walk up is about 5 minutes (10,000 per person upon entrance) and the view is spectacular!
Next was Pu’u Village in Ruteng (25,000 per person). We loved it (the huts and general layout are much different than Wae Rebo or Todo) and a walk around the entire place took us about 30 minutes. There are old women sitting on all the porches chewing betel nut, weaving, and selling little bracelets.
We stayed at Centro Hostel in Ruteng – comfy beds, clean, scalding hot showers (!!!!) and breakfast included for 100,000 per person. Eat at Kopi Mane for dinner. Boni, the owner, is adorable and full of knowledge on the surrounding area. Plus his ginger tea is the best I’ve ever tasted! It’s pre-brewed with lemongrass, cloves and a whole bunch of other spices.

The next morning we were set to do Ranamese lake but our driver told us it wasn’t worth the 100,000 per person entrance fee, and he could stop off on the side so we could see it and just keep going. We’re glad he did because it was like any other lake and I would have been pretty bummed if we had paid that much to go in and see it.
Next was the “arrack processing plant” which was just a house with teenagers making arrack. They do show you the process, from climbing up the tree, to distilling to tasting. It was fun. I left with a nice 11AM buzz and a small bottle for 50,000.
Bena Village was similar to Pu’u Village, but it is worth the stop. It’s beautiful and set against the backdrop of a volcano. We wandered around and spoke with a very old women for a bit (she spoke a different dialect and didn’t seem to speak regular Bahasa). Entrance is 25,000 per person.
We were supposed to go to the Soa hot springs the next morning but asked our driver if we could go to a closer, smaller hot springs that evening instead, Malanage. We figured it’s nicer to do hot springs in th evening and that way we could have two full days on the 17 islands. It was amazing and much needed after a full day of sightseeing! We were the only tourists amongst many locals who stared at first and then went about their time there. There is one stream that is boiling and one that is freezing and they merge together to form many different pools of various temperatures. I went back and forth between scalding and ice cold and felt like a new person. The entrance was 15,000 per person ( if you go to Soa it’s 25,000). We stayed in Bajawa overnight at Lucas Lodge. There were very nice and accommodating, even putting a mattress on the floor of the room so 4 of us could cram into one room and split the cost. The rooms are 200,000 for a cold shower and 250,000 for hot shower (add 50,000 if you add the extra mattress). Breakfast was included.
The next morning we drove the 4 hours to Riung and the 17 islands. This was the highlight of our roadtrip, hands down! It’s pricey – 3,000,000 for two nights, 2,000,000 for one, but so worth it. We managed to talk them down to 2,600,000  for two nights (ask for Lokman). You basically island hop, snorkel during the day and then camp out on the beach at night (tents and mattresses are included in the price). The islands are breathtakingly beautiful – white sand and crystal clear water, and you are cooked fresh fish for lunch and dinner. If you want any beer or snacks, buy this in Riung before boarding the boat.
After breakfast after our second night we were taken back to Riung and continued on to Moni. Blue Stone Beach was really cool – the whole beach, and the surrounding area, is covered in blue stones. Most of the people living there make a living by mining them and sending them off all over Indonesia. We walked the beach for a while and had lunch at the only warung there. The seafood nasi is really good.
We stayed overnight in Moni at a place called Moni Kelimutu. Our guide knew the owner and suggested it. It was 100,000 per person per night, breakfast included.
***sidenote – your driver is going to suggest a lot of restaurants and hotels and urge you to go to them because he knows the people and if he brings tourists, he eats and sleeps for free. Usually it’s fine, sometimes there are better, cheaper places elsewhere. Sometimes he would suggest a place and we would kindly tell him thank you, but we found a different place on Booking.com. He was cool with it! We always invited our driver to lunch (usually he ate for free) and shared our snacks with him and we got along just fine.***
On the last day, we left at 4AM to start our journey to Kelimutu, the volcano with the three different colored lakes. It’s a 40 minute drive and then a 20/30 minute walk up. The entrance fee is 150,000 per person on weekdays and 250,000 per person on weekends, so try and time it correctly! There’s one main way up that leads you to the top of a viewpoint. There were tons of tourists and a railing and I couldn’t see anything. About 20 minutes before sunrise I decided to head back down and find a different spot to watch sunrise and it was the best decision I could have made. Head down towards the bathroom (the only hut visible, it has a green roof) and you’ll see a different railing heading up to a different viewpoint. You can either go over the railing towards the left, which leads towards the peak right in between the two crater lakes, or follow the railing to the right and cross over going up on the far side of the furthermost crater (I hope this makes sense, I’m trying to describe it as accurately as possible! It should be fairly easy, one look and you’ll know where the best viewpoints will be). The view was out of this world and I had the whole place to myself! No tourists, no talking, just silence and now and again the sounds of birds chirping. Once the sun had risen, tourists started walking down and some ventured over the railing as well, but sunrise was all mine and it is something I will always cherish!
Maumere is the biggest city on Flores and you will be back in “civilization.” Banks, money changing, big supermarkets, etc. Stock up if necessary. There is a big airport here that flies back to Labuan Bajo, or to a multitude of other destinations in Indonesia, including Bali and Jakarta. I caught a bemo (the little microbuses) about forty minutes east to a hostel called Sante Sante (run by a couple – she’s German, he’s Indonesian, and they have the sweetest, most gorgeous little girl!). Lena House is also right next door, which is another great hostel with little bungalows. I stayed two nights here to unwind after so many days on the road. There’s not much to do but sit in a hammock on the beachfront hostels, read a book, drink a beer and relax! We did one day of snorkeling (500,000 for a full day – try and find others to split the cost) and it was the best snorkeling I’ve done on Flores yet. There is a big sea wall and a deep drop off and just fish everywhere. The corals are also very alive and colorful. Makes for a nice day trip! We stayed in the biggest bungalow at Sante Sante that had two queen beds and it was 200,000 (three of us shared). Ask the owner, Marleno, to make you the tamarind fish curry! It’s divine and he gets the tamarinds right from the tree on his property.
If you’re not flying out of Maumere, there are boats to a few different destinations, including Alor Island, Timor and Sulawesi. If you’re looking to head to Sumba, catch a bus back to Ende and there is a boat that goes directly from there. All these boats run on specific days, so make sure you have the correct information!

#TRAVELERSFLORES ( TWO)
There have been many people I have met on my journey in South-East-Asia who told me:
“When you go to Indonesia, you have to go to the Island Flores. It is one of most beautiful islands I have been on.” So I went to Flores to see if it is true what the people are saying.
I took a flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo. It is a touristic place because of the Komodo Dragon and all the boattours which are organized from Bali\Lombock. There are many homestays, guesthouses or hostels where you can stay and some western food restaurants. But I enjoyed also the Indonesian Food. Especially the Padang Food which comes from Sumatra. Eating this was one of the best experiences because it is a very delicious and tasty dish which comes with many different herbs and spices. From Labuan Bajo I took a boat to see the Komodo Dragon on Rinca. This Animal is one of the most impressive animals I have ever seen.
After that I went by airplane to ende. Ende is a cozy place in the center of Flores directly on the ocean. The people are very friendly and a lot of people can speak English. From Ende I went to Moni, a small village at the foot from the Kelimutu which is famous for his three different crater lakes in a different color. At Moni you have a few western restaurants as well. There are going many people to see the beauty of kelimutu. The next morning I went with a motorbike to the kelimutu and it was really amazing.                               The area around kelimutu is with a beautiful forrest and on top you can smell the sulfat in the air. I spent there three hours before I went back to Moni.
At the next day I took the local bus for 15k to koka beach. At koka beach are a few Bungalows where you can stay. The beach is very beautiful and good for some relaxing time. For dinner I had a grilled chicken which was very big.
After that I went to Maumere with the local bus for 20k. It was a two hours bus ride. There I spent two nights in beautiful guesthouse directly on the beach.
Close to Maumere is a very active Vulcan, the mount Egon. I went on top of this 1,700m high Vulcan, just with sandals. It is better to do it with shoes and I saw a few people going up. When they saw me they started laughing. I will never forget this. The trail to get on top of the Vulcan is beautiful. First you go through a forest and later it is just like a moon landscape. On the trail I had amazing views. The panorama is absolutely stunning. On top you will smell a lot of sulfat because it is active and you can see how the Vulcan is working. I took a sulfat stone with me.  
It took me in total 7 hours to get there by the motorbike, climb on top and went back by the motorbike.
The next day I was at a beautiful beach around Maumere to relax because my bones have been very tired after the hike.

I definitely wanna go back to Flores with a little bit more time because there is way more to explore.
It was a very good time when I saw a lot of beautiful things in my life.

#VISITINGFLORES
Arrive at Labuan Bajo on Flores Island, which is the most touristic town in the area. In this place you can do a lot of activities. In the surroundings of Labuan Bajo you can go to caves such as Rangko Cave (to which you have to rent a motorbike to get to the jetty, rent a boat for 300000 RP and pay the entrance to the cave 50000 RP), or closer to Batu Cermin Cave. Also one can enjoy a swim in the waterfalls, the most beautiful, although farther, is Air Terjun Cunca Rami or Air Cunca Wulang. Escape to the surroundings of the city to watch the sunset at Waecicu Beach to the north of the city or the Atlantis Beach Club to the south, both spectacular places. But the most important thing is to see the dragons of Komodo and for this you have to hire a tour that takes you to Komodo National Park, one or several days. To see the famous komodos you can go to Komodo Island, bigger and therefore difficult to see, or to Rinca Island, smaller so it easier to observe them so much that you almost bumped into them at the entrance to the village. Other fantastic places in the national park included in the tours, is Pulau Padar, for a small trekking that gives you beautiful views of the islands, and the pink beach with its crystal blue water. Of course, don't forget the diving paradise that Komodo National Park offers with its sharks, manta rays, turtles, Napoleons, precious corals and millions of fish. You can also enjoy the gastronomy by going to the night market near the port to enjoy fresh fish or seafood. On this island, being mostly Catholic, there is no problem finding beer to accompany the meal. Leaving Labuan Bajo, taking any local bus, after about 4 hours of sinuous road, you reach Ruteng, place of rice paddies, mountains and waterfalls. From there, you can stop in Bajawa, another 4 hours by bus, to enjoy its mountains and the lakes of Wawo Muda. Follow your way to Moni, another 6 hourse by bus, to enjoy The Kelimutu volcano and its three lakes at sunrise, waterfalls or rest after a long day in the thermal baths. From Moni you can return to Ende to catch a plane to go to Bali or Kupang, on the island of Timor. If you leave with the tight budget you can go by ferry from the company Pelni (care that there is only one every week) to get to Kupang, on the island of Timor.

ISLA DE FLORES
Llegue a Labuan Bajo en la isla de Flores, que es la población más turística de la zona. En este lugar se pueden realizar gran cantidad de actividades. A los alrededores de Labuan Bajo se puede ir a cuevas como Rangko Cave (a la que hay que alquilar una moto para llegar al embarcadero, alquilar una barca por 300000 RP y pagar la entrada a la cueva 50000 RP),  o más cerca a Batu Cermin Cave. También uno puede disfrutar de un baño en las cascadas, la más bonita, aunque más lejana, es Air Terjun Cunca Rami o a Air Cunca Wulang. Escaparse a los alrededores de la ciudad para ver el atardecer en Waecicu Beach al norte de la ciudad o al Atlantis Beach Club al sur, ambos lugares espectaculares. Pero lo más importante es ver los dragones de Komodo y para ello hay que contratar un tour que te lleva al Parque Nacional de Komodo, de uno o varios días. Para ver los famosos komodos se puede ir a la isla Komodo, más grande y por lo tanto difíciles de ver, o a isla Rinca, más pequeña por lo que más fácil de observarlos tanto que casi te chocas con ellos en la entrada al pueblo. Otros lugares fantásticos del parque nacional incluidos en los tours, es Pulau Padar, para realizar un pequeño trekking que te da unas vistas preciosa de las islas, y la playa rosa con su agua azul cristalina. Por supuesto, no olvidar el paraíso de buceo que el parque nacional de Komodo ofrece con sus tiburones, mantas raya, tortugas, napoleones, corales preciosos y millones de peces. Así también se puede disfrutar la gastronomía yendo al mercado nocturno cerca del puerto para disfrutar de pescado o marisco fresco. En esta isla, al ser mayormente católicos, no hay problemas de encontrar cerveza para acompañar a la comida. Dejando Labuan Bajo, cogiendo cualquier bus local, tras unas 4 horas de carretera sinuosa, se llega a Ruteng, lugar de arrozales, montañas y cascadas. De allí, se puede hacer parada en Bajawa, a otras 4 horas en autobús, para disfrutar de sus montañas y los lagos de Wawo Muda. Seguir camino hasta Moni, otras 6 horas en bus, para disfrutar del volcán Kelimutu y sus tres lagos al amanecer, cascadas o descansar después de un largo día en las termas. Desde Moni se puede volver a Ende para coger un avión para dirigirnos a Bali o a Kupang, en la isla de Timor. Si se va con el presupuesto ajustado se puede ir en ferry de la compañía Pelni (cuidado que solo hay uno cada semana) para llegar a Kupang, en la isla de Timor.

Fdo. Thais Larrainzar Coghen

Administration
Flores belongs to the Lesser Sunda Islands and is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into five regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur.

Volcanoes

Flores has several active and dormant volcanoes, including Egon, Ilimuda, Leroboleng, and Lewotobi.

Kelimutu is a mountain which is famous for its "Three Color Lakes", dark brown, light blue, and dark blue. It is really a magic natural wonder. According to the people who live around the lakes the colors of these lakes sometimes change. Climb to the top of the mountain to experience a truly dramatic panorama on these lakes.

> climbing info and pictures of Mt. Kelimutu and the three color lakes

Three Color Lakes of Kelimutu
Three color lakes of Mt. Kelimutu  


Map of Flores island

Map of Flores island

 

Flora and fauna

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild. The Flores giant rat is also endemic to the Island.


Culture

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the center of the island in the districts of Ngada and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngada, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu'e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So'a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha. Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka's language and culture.
The traditional village of Bena, Ngada, Flores
Bena Village in the Ngada district  

Located in the Ngada district in Central Flores one can find the secluded village of Bena where the architecture is still traditional, with rites and customs that are remnants of the megalithic aera. > pictures of Bena village .


Religion

Flores is almost all Catholic (95%) and represents one of the "religious borders" created by the Catholic expansion in the Pacific and the spread of Islam from the west across Indonesia. In other places in Indonesia, such as in Maluku and Sulawesi, the divide is more rigid and has been the source of bloody sectarian clashes. At the coastal areas of Flores one can also find small muslim communities.

Mbaru
A ‘traditional’ village 5 hours
from Ruteng has a Kampung, a traditional an­
cestor altar composed of a raised stone burial
platform and a couple of rumah
adat (traditional houses)
Wae Rebo
Wae Rebo Village (Maggarai)

GUIDES

When you are in Labuhanbajo or Bajawa the following one guides or Tour Operator are recommended by Lavalon:

Fransiska-Sutri Phone/Fax: 6238541437
Mobile: 6281337426934


info@florescharm.com

Ervin Wali
Hotel Elizabet    
Jl: Inerie. 
phone:+62(0)38421223.

Hp.+62(0)81339193584 

Experienced guide, speaks very good English, has a good knowledge of the Ngada culture and Flores in general, can organize tours in Flores and other islands (has comfortable car) and also trekking (up to 10 days and more). Reliable.

 

PLACES TO STAY

Around Maumere:

Ankermi Restaurant and Dive Center
(Right on the beach at Watumita, 29 km east from the town of Maumere)

email: ankermi@yahoo.com


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