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Flores is a beautiful island in the eastern part of Indonesia. Those looking to explore a more off-the-beaten-path side of the country will love a trip here. It’s far more rugged and undeveloped than Java or Bali, and aside from the Komodo National Park it’s barely a blip on the radar of most tourists. We’ll have a lot of posts and videos diving into this amazing island over the next few months, exploring the scenery, the culture, and more. For now, here’s a snapshot of what a two-week trip to the island looks like:
This is the biggest city on the eastern end of the island. It has an airport so it’s a great place to start or end your trip. The city itself doesn’t have much to offer tourists, but there are quite a few beachside hotels outside of town about 20-30 kilometers. The main activities on offer here are lounging on the beach, snorkeling/diving and climbing the active volcano Mt. Egon.
One of the highlights of traveling in Flores is seeing sunrise at Mt. Kelimutu, which is famous for its three colored lakes. The best way to do this is to spend a night in the little town of Moni. There isn’t much here save for a few guest houses and restaurants and it’s a very short drive to the mountain. If you have more time you could explore nearby villages and waterfalls.
As the capital of Flores, Ende is quite sleepy and most of the things of interest are outside the city proper. Within the city there is the former home of Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia, where he lived when he was in exile. It has been turned in to a museum. Mt. Iya is a small volcano near the city center that can be climbed with or without a guide. There are many ethnic villages surrounding the city that are well worth a visit.
Located in the central highlands of Flores, the temperature is much cooler than the low-lying beach areas. There isn’t much on offer within the town, other than beautiful views of Mt. Inerie. It mostly serves as a good stopping point between Ende and Ruteng. Outside the town there are some hot springs that are great for spending an afternoon or evening. You can also take in a few authentic villages of the Ngada minority.
Also located in the mountains, the temperature is much cooler. This is a happy stop for many tourists as it’s one of the few cities in Flores with western style restaurants. As with most other places in Flores, the main attractions are outside of the city. They include the captivating spider web rice fields and the “Hobbit Cave.”
Many people begin their Flores trip here or this is the only part of Flores they see. It is a port city that serves as the jump-off point for visiting Komodo Island. It is also a very popular dive destination with many of the companies offering live-aboard dive trips. The largest selection of pricey western restaurants as well as resort style accommodation can be found here.
We’ll have lots more on Flores in the coming months, so subscribe to the blog and the YouTube channel and check back later.