Flores is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands in the eastern part of INDONESIA, and remains a strong contender for the highlight of our travels thus far. What we really enjoyed about Flores, was the diversity in things to do & see. From prodigious volcanoes to & rugged landscapes in the East, and extraordinary islands and Komodo dragons in the West; Flores is sure to excite the imagination of any curious traveller, you can view the full blog post: ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE & ITINERARY TO FLORES
Although an element of tourism does reside in Flores (mostly in the west), it is subtle enough that visitors are still guaranteed a raw & cultural experience. The further east you go, the less likely you are to spot another tourist & the locals get super excited when meeting a BULE (Tourist)!
For 2 weeks we explored all that this marvellous island has to offer and Flores is a playground for adventure seeking travellers. Here are 12 awesome activities, that are not to be missed!
*Before You Travel to Flores, have you got your travel insurance sorted? Cover yourself for the unexpected, for example, being eaten by a Komodo dragon! On a serious note, this is, well, serious. Read why you really need travel insurance, or get a quote from World Nomads.
1. ENCOUNTER KOMODO DRAGONS
Encountering the Komodo Dragons was always at the top of our Indonesia bucket list. These dragons are the largest species of lizard in the world & due to their deadly killer instincts, are often referred to as the modern day dinosaur. Despite their reputation, tourists flock to the Jurassic Park landscapes the dragons call home, with a desire to spot them.
The Komodo National Park is the only place on earth where the dragons reside, and there are only 2 islands where you are likely to spot them – Rinca or Komodo. We decided on the latter & were fortunate to spot 6 on our 1.5 hour trek on the island. A very surreal, yet extraordinary experience that is not to be missed!
View full blog post: ENCOUNTERING THE DEADLY KOMODO DRAGONS ON KOMODO ISLAND
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK MAP LOCATION
2. CLIMB MOUNT KELIMUTU
Mount Kelimutu sitting at a height of 1,639m, is probably one of the easier volcanoes to climb in Indonesia. However the Tri-Colour lakes at the summit, also make it one of the most interesting. The three volcanic crater lakes periodically change colour due to fluctuation in oxidation-reduction rates. And depending on when you visit, you can expect the lakes to be different shades of green, blue or even red!
Many tourists visit Kelimutu for sunrise, however, we woke up to rain both mornings we were there. Thankfully we got one clear afternoon and were rewarded with incredible visibility of the lakes and surrounding landscapes. Kelimutu is a prodigious event of mother nature that is sure to fascinate all who see it.
View full blog post: MOUNT KELIMUTU VOLCANO IN FLORES
MOUNT KELIMUTU MAP LOCATION
3. VISIT A TRADITIONAL VILLAGE IN BAJAWA
No trip to Flores is complete without visiting the extraordinary traditional villages that reside the neighbouring hills of Bajawa. Ngada culture is still very much a part of everyday life for the indigenous people. And luckily for us, they are pleased to welcome visitors a glimpse into their world.
BENA Village is the most popular to visit, due to its breath-taking views & striking traditional homes. You can walk through the village and take a fascinating glimpse into how the residents live. You will find local women weaving traditional ikat, and although there are items for sale they are not pushy at all. Something we strongly admired.
View full blog post: ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO BAJAWA IN FLORES
BENA VILLAGE MAP LOCATION
4. GO ISLAND HOPPING AT 17 ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Island Hopping around the 17 Islands felt like a miniature version of The Philippines. Beautiful beaches, dazzling blue sea & alluring landscapes welcomed us at every turn.
Despite the name, this recognised national park is made up of over 20 unique islands. Each their own remote piece of paradise. According to locals, the name was given to commemorate Indonesian Independence Day, which is held on the 17th August.
If you are looking to enjoy paradise away from other tourists then this cluster of islands are not to be missed. Not only are the islands uninhabited but they are quite tricky to get to, so many visitors erroneously miss them. Do not be that guy – the journey will be more than worth it!
View full blog post: ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIUNG – 17 ISLANDS
17 ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK MAP LOCATION
5. STAY WITH A LOCAL FAMILY
There is a rich culture that resides in Flores, and the locals are very generous in sharing it with you. Whether it is in a homestay or simply staying with a family, take the time to appreciate the local way of living. It an incredibly humbling experience, of which we will never forget.
6. HIKE TO THE VIEW POINT ON PADAR ISLAND
Situated within Komodo National Park, the spectacular Padar Island is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Although the beaches of Padar are a striking feature, it is the viewpoint on the island that really steals the show. This is where the island reveals it’s truly remarkable beauty – A view that is sure to enchant any who see it.
Colossal savannah hills dominate the island and hidden among them lie 3 individual coves, encompassing white, black & pink sand beaches. All of which form a perfect contrast with the striking turquoise shades of the surrounding ocean, so it is no surprise that the island is a hotspot for photographers.
The trek to the viewpoint is relatively easy for those of a reasonable fitness level, however after a 45 minute round trip in the blistering heat, you will be grateful for a dip in the refreshing, crystal clear water!
View full blog post: PADAR ISLAND FROM LABUAN BAJO
PADAR ISLAND MAP LOCATION
7. VISIT KOKA BEACH
Hosting a backdrop of palm trees, pristine white sand and crystal clear water, Koka Beach is a hidden piece of paradise on the island of Flores. Being somewhat off the beaten path, we shared the beach with only a handful of locals, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the beautiful surroundings.
Vast cliffs and a sand bar break up the beach into 2 separate coves; Each offers slightly different, yet equally breathtaking views. We also recommend taking a short climb to the viewpoint, where you will be rewarded with a spectacular 360degree outlook over it all.
We are always looking to discover hidden gems, and we went in search of this beach with very little information to be found online. It turned out to be one of our favourite beaches in all of Indonesia, confirming that it does pay off to take the road less travelled.
View full blog post: KOKA BEACH – A HIDDEN PIECE OF PARADISE IN FLORES
KOKA BEACH MAP LOCATION
8. SEE A PINK BEACH
This extraordinary Pink Beach resides within Komodo National Park, and is 1 of only 7 of its kind that can be found on the planet. The beach gets it’s soft pink colour due to microscopic animals called Foraminifer attaching themselves to the coral reefs. When the tiny fragments of red coral mixes with white sand as if by magic, it creates this delicious cotton candy colour.
With the powers of photo editing these days, we were unsure what to expect when visiting Pink Beach. Howev,er Pink Beach really is this pink! A unique and magical experience not to be missed…
View full blog post: PINK BEACH FROM LABUAN BAJO
PINK BEACH MAP LOCATION
9. SNORKEL AT KANAWA ISLAND
Komodo National Park is home to some of the most extraordinary islands in the world and Kanawa is no exception. Although the pristine white sand & dazzling clear waters are both alluring features of this island, it is the snorkelling here that really took our breath away. You can expect to find sea turtles, star fish & other tropical marine life just metres out from the bay.
When you’re done with snorkelling, Kanawa Island is the perfect spot to kick back and relax. Sun loungers are available to rent along the beach, or if you’re on a budget, just bring a towel and lay on the super soft sand!
KANAWA ISLAND MAP LOCATION
10. WATCH THE SUNSET ON LOVE HILL
When you’re not island hopping or diving in Labuan Bajo, be sure to check out Love Hill. Offering breath-taking views of tropical rainforests, rugged landscapes & dazzling waters, Love Hill is a popular hotspot for photographers.
Love Hill gets particularly busy at sunset, but there is enough hill space to get your own spot. As the name suggests, the beautiful views & epic sunsets make this quite a romantic experience if shared with your loved one!
View full blog post: LOVE HILL AKA AMELIA SEA VIEW IN LABUAN BAJO
LOVE HILL MAP LOCATION
11. GO SCUBA DIVING WITHIN THE KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
The waters surrounding Labuan Bajo are known for their world class dive sites, and diving remains the number 1 thing to do here. Although we aren’t keen divers ourselves, we had a taster of the underwater world when snorkelling around the National Park. We were delighted at the abundance of Coral & marine life that could be found in such shallow waters. We spotted sea turtles, manta rays & a school of barracudas, therefore we can only imagine how incredible the dive sites would be.
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
12. INFINITY POOL GOALS IN MAUMERE
If you find yourself in Maumere before or after a flight, do not miss this epic infinity pool. There isn’t much else to do in the area, but this view is certainly worth a quick stop over.
The Infinity Pool is located within CAPA RESORT hotel, and you can use it for free if buying a drink or food.
View full blog post: ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE & ITINERARY TO FLORES
CAPA RESORT MAP LOCATION
HOW TO GET TO FLORES
By Air – The easiest way to get to Flores is by air. You can get a direct flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo, west of the island. Or alternatively, you can take the same route as we did and fly direct from Bali to Maumere, far east of the island.
By Boat – You can book your boat tickets online up using 12go Asia. The more adventurous route involves 4 days, 3 nights on a live-a-board boat. This boat departs daily from Lombok and gives you the opportunity to see some of the paradise islands encompassing Flores.
While we spent over 2 weeks exploring the Island, it’s definitely doable in a shorter amount of time. This 2 week Flores itinerary covers everything.
Well, that concludes Flores bucket list of unmissable things to do. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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