Riung on Flores Island is famed for being home to the remarkable 17 Islands National Park. Though, when I say famed, I really only mean among Floresians. In fact, not many tourists know about Riung in Flores, which makes it one of the most exciting off the beaten path locations in Indonesia. In this guide, I share all of our tips and recommendations for Riung, including how to book a tour of the 17 islands.
*Before You Travel to Riung, have you got your travel insurance sorted? Cover yourself for the unexpected, read why you really need travel insurance, or get a quote from World Nomads.
How to get to Riung, Flores
Depending on the direction of your route, then it is likely you are travelling from either Moni or Bajawa. Although travel in Flores can be tricky due to windy roads in bad condition, Riung is certainly accessible from both. And hopefully, this information will help make things that bit easier for you.
FROM MONI, there are two options:
We recommend taking a private car to ENDE, where a bus leaves daily at 2pm to RIUNG. You should pay no more than 100,000 IDR/pax and the journey is around 1.5 hours. Private cars can be booked through the Ecolodge in Moni.
There is also the option to take a public bus to ENDE for around 20,000 IDR/pax; however, they are often unreliable & extremely busy.
*Tip – For more information & a recent time table for the buses, you can inquire at the tourist information centre in MONI village.
When you arrive in ENDE, you need to make your way to the WEST BUS STATION, where the public bus to RIUNG leaves daily at 2pm. The price should not be more than 50,000 IDR/pax and the journey time is around 4 hours.
*Tip 1 – Be aware of local guys hanging around the bus station, who will tell you that there is no bus to Riung. They will then try to charge you extortionate rates to take you there themselves
*Tip 2 – For more information & a recent time table for the buses, you should enquire at the tourist information centres in MONI village or ENDE town.
From MONI you can take a private car. If you can find 4-6 people, then the price is quite reasonable at around 1.2million IDR for the car. This can be organised through most of the guesthouses in the village, or the tourist information centre.
FROM BAJAWA, there is a daily bus to RIUNG around midday. The price should be no more than 50,000 IDR/pax and the journey time is around 4 hours. For a private car with driver from BAJAWA expect to pay around 500,000 IDR
*Tip – For more information & a recent timetable for the buses, you should inquire at the tourist office in Bajawa Town.
Where to Stay in Riung, Flores
There are a number of guest houses in Riung Village; however, not all of them can be found online.
We stayed at NIRVANA BUNGALOWS which we can highly recommend. Although, to make a booking you need to contact them via what’s app. You can contact Tam on +62 813 3710 6007.
At flashpacker prices, the bungalows in NIRVANA are premium in comparison to others in the area. Each has air con in the bedroom, and a western style bathroom with warm water. For peace of mind, you are also able to padlock the bathroom door should you wish to leave any valuables in the room.
Other reputable guesthouses in the area include SANGRIA & PONDOK SVD. There are also camping options on some of the islands and prices for this can be found below.
For more places to stay in Riung, check the latest prices here.
The 17 Islands in Riung, Flores
Many travel to Flores for a Komodo National Park Tour; however, for the opportunity to experience something unique, include the 17 Islands on your Flores Itinerary.
For us, Island Hopping the 17 Islands in Riung, Flores felt like a miniature version of The Philippines. Pristine beaches, azure waters, & enchanting views welcomed us at every turn. And with the islands in such close proximity of one another, it allowed us to maximise our time enjoying them, rather than spending it on the boat . The area is also perfect for snorkelling, with the waters boasting an abundance of coral & marine life.
If you’re looking for an off the beaten path adventure, then Riung in Flores will not disappoint. Due to this village being a little tricky to get to, even the few tourists that come to Flores, tend to skip it. And in our opinion, it is a mistake. The area is completely unspoiled, and you’ll be lucky to spot more than a handful of tourists during your time there.
We were fortunate enough to enjoy this experience with some incredible local people. Despite the language barrier, they tried their best to communicate & get to know us. And they even invited us to join them for the incredible lunch they cooked on the beach. In return for a few dozen photographs with their family of course.
How to Book a Tour for the 17 Islands
There are a number of ways to book a tour of the 17 Islands, in Riung Flores; however, you need to be careful if you book privately with the boat captains. We were fortunate enough to meet a local family in Flores, who was able to recommend a reliable friend of theirs to take us to the islands. Honestly, we had a fantastic experience and highly recommend using them.
To book, you can contact ICHA via What’s App – +62 812-3926-0555. Icha speaks good English and will be happy to help organise it for you. The price will be around 500,000Rp for the boat, including lunch.
Alternatively, many of the guesthouses can also organise a boat for you. Please see prices below:
1 Day Boat Tour: 500,000Rp for the boat including lunch.
2 Day-1 Night Camping Tour: 2millionRp for the boat including meals.
1 Day Boat Tour: For 4-6 people, the price is 400,000Rp/pax including lunch & entrance fee.
Additional Costs: 100,000Rp/pax – Tourist Fee for Entrance to National Park
DOCK MAP LOCATION
Which Islands to Visit in 17 Islands National Park
As we only had 1 day for island hopping, sadly we didn’t have time to visit all of the islands. The islands we did visit absolutely blew us away, though I’m sure all islands in the National Park are equally beautiful.
We wished we could have spent a lot longer there on the remote beaches. Worlds away from the beaches you find in Bali or Lombok, this was as close to a desert island experience that we’d ever had!
Here are some photos along with the names of the islands we visited.
RUTONG ISLAND (with the View Point)
What to Bring for 17 Islands Tour
Bring cash to pay for the entrance fees at the port! Unsure of what you might need to pack for your adventures in Riung? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Check out our backpacker essentials, for a packing list of items that we carry with us on every adventure.
Here are some items that we recommend taking to make your visit to the beaches & waterfalls more comfortable:
- Comfortable shoes for the hikes
- Water shoes to wear in the water – We Recommend: 2 in 1 Water/Hiking Shoes.
- Waterproof Bag to protect valuables – We Recommend: Waterproof Dry Bag-10L/20L/30L
- Bathing suit & towel for the obvious – We Recommend: Microfiber Travel Towel
As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly. We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there. There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller, check out the Eco-Travel essentials here. It is our duty as travellers, that we reduce our footprint where we can, here are some tips:
- Be careful with any rubbish that it doesn’t fly overboard. Keep it secure until you can dispose of it properly.
- Do not leave anything on the islands, or take anything away – unless you’ve purchased it from a local supplier.
- Wear Reef Safe Sunscreen.
- Try to avoid touching anything underwater.
- Carry a Steripen or iodine tablets to sterilise water: This not only limits your usage of single-use plastic but also saves you money too!
Well, that concludes our guide to the 17 Islands in Riung, Flores; however, if you have any further questions we would be happy to help. Please leave them in the comment section below.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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Hi Girls, thank you for the post, really interesting.
One only thing, star fish dies when they ate pull out of the water and touched by humans as we have bacterias they don’t, so they should not be touch and this should be included in the travel responsibly part of the post.
You’re completely right! We were more naive to this kind of thing back then – but I will be sure to make some changes to this article soon!