Due to the stretched time limit, we spent in Flores only 6 days, but if you can - stay longer. We both love Bali and honestly didn’t expect Indonesia had anything better to offer.
IT DOES. Flores is spectacular (see more photos of Flores here), and we hope to go back there one day.
To learn more about the places in Flores we liked the most, click on a specific picture.
And if you want to know how to see all these places in less than a week, see our detailed itinerary here: How to plan a trip to Flores, Indonesia.
Although Komodo National Park is located on separate islands, the gate to the kingdom of dragons usually leads through Flores.
The most popular boat trips reach only Rinca, as Komodo Island is located much further to the west and getting there in most cases requires spending a night or two on a boat. It is possible, however, to see both islands during one day – we did it (see how here: How to plan a trip to Flores, Komodo and Rinca) and it wasn’t exhausting at all.
The scenery of Komodo Island is spectacular (don’t miss the viewpoint over the bay), and you’re very likely to see many species of animals there. Plus you’ll get a chance to swim, snorkel or dive among the pristine Indonesian corals (see Pink Beach below).
But let’s face it – you came here to see the dragons. And it is said that they are easier to spot on Rinca Island. Also because the lizards are the regulars to the rangers headquarters (they come lured by the smell from the kitchen).
We can’t decide which island we like more. Each is interesting, and both should be listed in everyone’s itinerary.
Click here for more photos of the Komodo National Park
No trip to Flores is complete without Kelimutu. Three beautiful caldera lakes will meet you at the top of the trekking path, each time surprising you with their colors (which vary on a periodic basis). The surrounding scenery is breathtaking (not only figuratively – at certain spots the air is full of the fumaroles) and makes your camera glued to your hand. Besides being a paradise for photographers, the volcano is a perfect destination for those who enjoy walking. Occasional encounters with the monkeys will definitely spice up the stroll.
Besieged by the tourists (but usually only in the morning), this beautiful place is everyone’s favorite. Don’t try to skip it, even if you’re repelled by the crowds. Just wait patiently under a tree for the buses to leave and then start your exploration. Chat with the locals, admire their craftsmanship (especially the famous ikat weavings) and take a rest on the hill near the Virgin Mary grotto. The village is all yours now. At least until the next coach comes.
Harder to reach than Bena, Gurusina village makes a quieter destination for those in search of the traditional spirit of Flores. Located in the fairy tale surroundings, it will get you feel a part of a film set. Not to be missed!
The rice fields triangular in shape are typical for Manggarai culture and widely spotted in Ruteng area, but undoubtedly the best place to see them in full splendor is the Cancar hill. It is private property, so before a climb (a short one) you’ll be asked to pay a reasonable fee. The fields are not always spotless green (they weren’t when we visited them), but nevertheless all year around impressive.
Although Pink Beach is located within Komodo National Park, it will take you to another (reef coral) dimension of what the island has to offer. Not dragons this time, but the leaf scorpionfish, crocodile fish, blue ribbon eels, to name just a few. You haven’t expected this of Komodo, have you?
Located near Bajawa, but far away from the tarmac (and thus almost free from the visitors), this traditional village is best accessible by a motorbike. The regular cone of the nearby volcano is the most characteristic feature of its landscape. If you’re lucky you might witness a special ceremony (sometimes really cruel, involving live animals) or be invited to one of the traditional huts.
If a visit to Kelimutu is on your itinerary, don’t forget to explore a nearby Wologai village. Although visible from the tarmac, it is located on a small hill and requires to take a short detour. Ask your driver, he will know. Wologai recently went through a fire and the residents are in need of funds for the restoration. Keep it in mind when you give the donation.
For more photos of Wologai click HERE
Tiny little Puu makes up with its name and constitutes a nice side trip on your way to Cancar hill, especially if you don’t have time to visit one of the famous villages near Bajawa. Just negotiate a value of the “voluntary donation” paid at the entrance, as the elders have a tendency to overcharge the visitors.
You’ll see it from a car if you travel between Ende and Bajawa and you won’t be impressed. The famous blue pebbles are scattered among the gray ones and will be noticed only if you take a stroll along the shore. What makes the beach interesting is the people who collect the stones and segregate them according to their size.
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