Flores is a fascinating and beautiful island, long hidden in the shadow of its more famous neighbour, Bali. The island of Flores is finally emerging as a unique destination of its own. Situated in the province of East Nusa Tenggara, Flores is a long island that has some of the world’s best kept secrets. A chain of volcanoes stretches the lengths of this 450 km long and narrow island, creating complicated v-shaped valleys and knife-edged ridges – terrain that was near impenetrable until recently and has separated the island into many distinct ethnic groups. Visit the lair of the Komodo Dragons and spend time to marvel at some of the wonders of Flores, such as swim in pristine lakes and waterfalls, dive at one of the 50 spectacular dive sites, go kayaking among craggy coasts and mangrove shores, explore mysterious caves and be warmly welcomed by the island’s people in their rituals, dances, and daily life
Mt. Kelimutu National Park is the smallest among six national parks in the stretch between Bali and the Nusa Tenggara islands. Its size obviously does not matter much when it offers one of the most spectacular wonders that nature has to offer. There are three lakes on the mountain sharing the same name, Kelimutu, meaning ‘the boling lake’.
Each has its own colors and a local name. But all are believed to be the resting place of departed souls. The westernmost lake is named Tiwu Ata Mbupu, meaning ‘the lake of old people’. The middle one is called Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai, or ‘the lake for young men and maiden’. The eastermost is called Tiwu Ata Polo, or ‘the lake for evil spirits’. The colours of the lake is keep changing.
Scientifically speaking, lakes change colours due to subaqueous fumaroles. Scientist believes that these are the result of minor phreatic eruption in ancient time. The phenomenon here, however, are of particular interest to geologists since the three lakes present different colours but are yet located on the peak of the same volcano.
Located on the north coast of Flores island in the Ngada district lies an archipelago that forms a unique, paradisical sea garden, called the 17 Islands Riung Marine Park. This cluster consists of islets whose waters are rich in biodiversity, sandy white beaches and crystal clear blue waters where you can dive in and swim among the colorful and varied coral beds.
One of the most popular attractions, for which these islands are famous is the ‘Rose of the Sea’, a renowned underwater phenomenon, which can be seen around several of the islands. Below the ocean’s surface you will find clusters of sea roses waving mesmerizingly in the current. These are in fact a collection of giant sea hare eggs that, bound by membranes, together form red petals like giant red roses waving in the sea.
For the most part, Riung is still quite hidden from the crowds of tourists, partly due to its remote location and the challenging journey to reach this destination. You will frequently see tourists walking shirtless through this small town, enjoying the sun and the tranquility of it all.
Aside from having one of the best Marine Parks in Flores, it has a very laid back, no-rush ambience. But the friendliness of its people help to create the peaceful, neighborhood-like atmosphere which makes for a quiet getaway, very different from the more well-known and more frequented tourist destinations like Jakarta, Surabaya, or even Bali.
When travelling to the island of Flores, do not omit to put Kampung Bena, – or the traditional village of Bena – on your must-visit itinerary. Located some 18 km from the town of Bajawa, here time seems to have passed over Kampung Bena, where until today villagers still faithfully follow megalithic traditions, where sincere friendliness to strangers comes from the heart, where all around the village you will see vestiges of an age-long gone when large stone monuments to ancestors were an inseparable part of daily life. The megalithic village of Bena is one of Indonesia’s rich living cultural heritage that can still be enjoyed to this very day, but should also be carefully preserved.
Safely protected in the shadows of looming Mt. Inerie, the Village of Bena in the district of Bajawa, is one of a number of traditional villages on the island of Flores that still embrace the awe-inspiring megalithic culture until today. The town of Bajawa itself is completely surrounded by mountains and a tourist attraction in its own right because of its cool mountain air.
Life in the village of Bena seems not to have changed since the megalithic age some 1,200 years ago.
In general, the inhabitants of Bena live from agriculture tending to the many green gardens planted on the slopes of deep valleys surrounding the village. They communicate with each other in the Nga’dha language. Most villagers are Catholic. Nevertheless, they still follow the ancient believe in ancestor worship, its rituals and traditions.
On the westernmost tip of the Island of Flores, the town of Labuan Bajo,or also spelled Labuhan Bajo sits peacefully: a small fishing site with surprisingly comprehensive tourist facilities. The central logic for its wide range of amenities is the extraordinary interest of travelers to the existence of the Komodo dragon, locally calledora, if not for its superb national park that encompasses some 80 islands.
Facing two important islands – Rinca and Komodo – the only habitat in the world for the mythical and endangered species, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), the town of Labuan Bajo acts as a transit port and a destination to Flores’s newly discovered interior. The town at the most western end of Flores provides a place to stock up on groceries and other necessities for those traveling on liveaboards to the islands or further east. Prior to entering the Indonesian version of Jurassic Park, travelers will seek for important information in and around this busy port.
Aside from the assortments of good tourist accommodation, the town itself is quite poor in functioning infrastructures. Expectations should, therefore, be curbed to a moderate level, especially when going on a city tour on your own, where you will find the town somehow pretty simple. Fortunately, it is quiet so that heavy traffic is unlikely. Although watching a colourful sunset over the romantic bay from a restaurant on a hill is quite a stunning experience.
To most travelers and to westerners who own many businesses here, the developing town is somehow favorable and even romantic. The view on wooden cottages with thatched roofs camouflaged by shrubberies and towering trees up in the sloping township, overlooking an idyllic harbour, make an evening conversation with traveling partners an unforgettable experience. For some adventurers, Labuan Bajo can be an ideal getaway.
Real dragons spurt no fire, have no need to fly and cast no magic spells. But still, one look from them might make you speechless. The Komodo Dragon (Varanus Komodoensis) is an endangered secies which can only be found in the Komodo National Park (KNP) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Because of the unique and rare nature of this animal, KNP was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
The park includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, and many smaller islands together totalling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. At least 2500 Komodos live in this area.
Komodo National Park has a rich and amazing underwater sea biotica. Divers claim that Komodo waters are one of the best diving sites in the world. It has fascinating underwater scenery. You can find 385 species of beautiful corals, mangrove forests, and seaweeds as a home for thousands of fish species, 70 types of sponges, 10 types of dolphins, 6 types of whales, green turtles and various types of sharks and stingrays. Or you can do some diving activities in Komodo Island.
The sea around Komodo Island offers vibrant colors and exotic marine life which enchant divers and snorkelers alike as endless schools of fish ride the waterways rushing up from deep-sea vents, below them the seabed is covered with a thick carpet of fluorescent and marine invertebrates, an underwater photographers paradise
The waters that surround the island are turbulent and teeming with unparalled marine life. A marine reserve has recently been established and this reserve is largely undocumented and remains unexplored. Komodo National Park (KNP) was established in 1980. It was declared as a Man and Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site in 1986. KNP includes three major islands – Komodo, Rinca and Padar and numerous smaller islands together totaling 41,000 ha of land contains 132,000 ha of marine waters.
The corals in Komodo National park are pristine, with Mantas, sharks, turtles, dolphins, dugong, many pelagics, to the tiny pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, frog fish, you name it we’ve got it. The sites vary from gentle easy coral slopes to heart pounding adrenalin rides, from the warm waters of the Flores Sea in the north to the chillier waters down south in the Indian Ocean, the underwater terrain is so varied with sheer cliff walls, pinnacles, sandy flat bottoms, underwater plateaus, slopes, caves, swim-throughs, channels, all with varying colours, sizes and types of coral both hard and soft.
A clear blue sky above, with fluffy white clouds drifting lazily across. Rolling green hills, covered luxuriantly in thick vegetation, interspersed with high, rocky cliffs. Calm, clear waters, tinted by the colorful corals beneath its surface, and alive with the movement of a hundred species of marine life. Last, but not least: a stretch of soft sand, but not white, not black, but PINK!
Pink Beach, or Pantai Pink, as it is aptly named, is one of seven pink beaches on the planet, and is just one of the many amazing features of Komodo Island that make it truly a Natural Wonder of Nature.
Indulge your senses in the natural beauty and exotic charm that is Komodo Island. Relish the seclusion of a deserted beach on an uninhabited island, with not a soul in sight save your own travel team and guides. Take a moment to appreciate panoramic views of turquoise seas, green rolling hills, blue skies and fascinatingly pink sands. Aside from the obvious relaxation amidst this picture perfect scenery, Komodo is not short of interesting activities to partake in.
Once you have finished taking in the magnificent surroundings, take a dip in the waters and uncover the marine beauty that Pink Beach has to offer. Amazing corals of all shapes and sizes jut from the sea bed, many even visible while still aboard your vessel.
Obviously snorkeling and diving have become a sort of compulsory activity while visiting this beach. The corals of the Pink Beach’s underwater gardens are in excellent condition, with hundreds of species of both soft and hard corals, and thousands of species of fish. Pink Beach is a terrific choice for snorkelers and beginner divers as even the shallow waters are home to an abundance of species to keep you more than entertained. Of course, there is much more to see the deeper you venture.
The island of Kanawa only some 15 kilometers from the growing fishermen’s town of Labuan Bajo on Flores, is fringed with a bed of coral reefs teeming with colorful fish all around. Its turquoise water is exceptionally calm and clear. Swimming and snorkeling are most popular family activities here. Dive down the sea from the jetty, and meet schools of fish that cloud the stilts. Hours would pass so quietly as you are busy with all of these beach activities.
The island of Kanawa has two bulging hills with fantastic panorama from its hilltop. Covering only 32-hectare or less than 80-acre land, the island is a hideout from the hidden, yet so close to the burgeoning harbor of Labuan Bajo.
There is nothing you can do on the island, except everything that the water and the land of the national park around it have to offer. The observation of the Komodo dragon, the water buffalos of Rinca, the male and female palm trees, the savanna of Monkey Mountain in Rinca, and the scenic landscape of the national park are equally astonishing. Moreover, diving and snorkeling in crystal clear waters are just a short walk away when you stay on Kanawa instead of Labuan Bajo.
An Italian citizen has rented the property from a local and brushed the entire island with his natural touch. The 14 wooden bungalows built here camouflage the fantasy of a paradise on earth. Amongst sparse beach vegetation that grows between a rocky hill and turquoise water, the eco-friendly property is a delightful ambush. People do not wish to leave too soon. It’s a seamless haven.
The Starfish café is part of the resort, a hang out place to read the travel book, or share stories with the entire world. There are also diving enthusiasts who love to share their latest engagement with the mantas, the wobbegongs, the whale sharks, or the pigmy seahorse found in the diving spots around the island. The music usually turns to become lively during the evening after a time-lapsing moment passing the unworldly episode of a golden sunset.
Klayap team will be ready at the Ende Airport or Maumere Airport holding a signboard with your name written on it.From the airport, we will start the trip to Moni Village as the gateway to get to the three different colour crater lake of Kelimutu.
Once we reach Moni, we will first check in to the Hotel that Klayap team has prepared. We will have our dinner at the local restaurant.
Early morning call and get ready to Mount Kelimutu. To reach the summit of the Mount Kelimutu isn’t that difficult, it is reachable within 30-45 minutes trekking. he journey to the summit of Mount Kelimutu is about 30-45 minutes trekking.
We will watch the sun rising over Kelimutu from the summit, lights up the Kelimutu Crater which consist of three crater lakes that has different color from one to another. Amazing view not to be missed! After that, we will go back to hotel for our breakfast and get ready to check out.
Next, we will go to Riung islands. Before we get there, we will stop at Panggajawa beach where we will see million blue-ish color stones found around the beach. We will also see how the locals do the selection on the stones before exporting it to many other countries. Reach Riung and check in to the hotel that Klayap team has prepared.
We will start the exploration at 17 islands Riung Marine Park. First, we will go to Ontoloe Island to see the flying foxes and then spend time around the island for swimming and snorkeling! After enjoying Riung Marine Park for a while, we will get back to the hotel and enjoy our free time in the evening.
*Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will get ready for exploring Riung Marine Park in second session. We will visit some of the main Island in Riung and certainly we will explore the beauty of underwater world in Riung Marine Park Sea.
At noon, we will get back to the hotel for check out and head to Bajawa. Towards the evening, we will arrive at the Bajawa and then check in at the hotel that Klayap has reserved.
*Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (B, L)
After breakfast at the Bajawa Hotel, we will check out and head to Bena Village. On our way to Bena, we will see the scenery of La and Inerie mountain that sacred by Bena tribes people. After we arrive at Bena Village, we will see one of the culture and tradition of megalithikum which still exist and maintained by Bena tribes people. From Bena Village, the trip will continue to Denge Village, a village we will transit before trekking to Wae Rebo Village.
On the way, we will visit a few interesting location. One of them was to see one of the great irrigation system which managed by Cancar and Lembor people. If you see this irrigation system from far, it will look like spider webs!. Interesting!
Beside that, We will see the process of making traditional alcohol which comes from Palm trees in Aimere Village.
At Labuan Bajo, we will check in at the 4 star hotel that Klayap has prepared for us.
*Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will check out and head to the harbor. The first spot we will visit is Rinca Island or Komodo Island. After arrive in there, we will do some trekking around the island to see the World’s Largest Lizards: Varanus komodoensis or more familiar called Komodo. The trekking will be accompanied by Ranger of the Komodo National Park.
After finishing trekking in Rinca or Komodo Island, we will go back to the ship for lunch on board. And then go to the Pink Beach. At Pink Beach, we will enjoy the beautiful beaches that have sand-colored in pink. Spend our time for swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing on the beach! After enjoying the Pink Beach, you will continue the journey to Padar.
Plus, enjoy the sunset in Flores water above the ship. Amazing! Dinner will be carried on board. Dinner on the boat! The evenings will be free time, enjoy the silence of the night in the middle of the ocean, or want to hold a party on the boat? Why not..Just do it!
Simply tell us what you want to request during your trip, then we will make it happens.
*Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (B, L, D)
If we are lucky, we will enjoy a beautiful sunrise in the middle of the sea in the morning. Before start trekking to explore the Padar island, we will have breakfast on board. After arrive at Padar Hill, we will enjoy the beautiful landscape of this island from the heights.
After enjoying the view from the height of the Padar island, we will return to the ship and head to Kanawa Island. Before exploring Kanawa Island waters, we will have lunch on board with a menu that Klayap has prepared.
Finished breakfast, we will explore the waters of Pulau Kanawa. Swimming & Snorkeling Time! After that, we will return to the ship and right away go back to Labuan Bajo.
In the late afternoon, we will arrive in the port of Labuan Bajo and check in to our hotel in Labuan Bajo. It will be free time for us in the evening, to roam around the small town of Labuan Bajo.
*Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will have free time and enjoy the hotel facilities and then we will check out and visit the Mirror Cave at Labuan Bajo. Go to the airport and see you again next time!
*Meals: Breakfast (B)
• 6 nights accommodation
Kelimutu Crater Ecolodge (1 night)
Homestay Riung Islands (1 night)
With Air Conditioner
Homestay Bajawa (1 night)
4 Star Hotel at Labuan Bajo (2 night)
Komodo Boat (1 night)
Share Cabi/Room (2 person in 1 room); With AC; Toilet inside the cabin
Inclusive of fuel costs, parking & toll fees, and drivers’ expenses
• Explore Flores Overland
Kelimutu Crater Lakes
and many more
• Explore Riung Marine Park
• Explore Flores Oversea
Komodo Island | Rinca Island | Kanawa Island | Padar Island | Pink Beach
• Snorkeling equipment
Inclusive of mask, snorkel, fin and life jacket
• Ranger at Komodo Island
• Meals as stated in the itinerary
• All permits, entry fees and activities stated in the itinerary
• Mineral water during the trip
• Guide and/or Tour Leader
We are travel planner and tour organizer based in Indonesia.