Places To Go in Flores
Komodo National Park Located at Manggarai Barat
Komodo national park offers more than just its prehistoric Komodo dragons (varanus komodoensis). Explore different adventure treks around Komodo and Rinca Island or explore off-the-beaten-trails along the slopes of Mount Ara and the Poreng Valley, which is situated 580m above sea level. This scenic area will surely dazzle with its rich diversity of exotic fauna, wild orchids and tropical plants. Be sure to immerse yourself in the enchanting underwater world in the Komodo National Park. Going beneath the sea, Flores underwater world opens up to reveal a diverse and colorful parallel universe of marine life. Komodo National Park is a home in the west hosts remarkable dive sites and is home to over 1,000 species of fish and more than 350 reef- building corals. Be it muck diving, night diving, snorkeling, or simply enjoying this pristine hideaway, Flores offers a mind-blowing underwater thrill that makes it like second home for dive enthusiasts.
Dive site of central Komodo Island, Manggarai Barat
Dive Type: wall
Reef type: Hard and soft coral encrusted rocky will
Pink Beach is a delightful dive and one of the most popular spots in the park. The pristine Pink Beach gets its color from red coral fragments, and is located near the trekking area on Komodo Island. The shallow reef begins just by the beach, and is perhaps one of the best snorkeling sites in the park, deep enough to snorkel at low tide and not to deep at high tide. Colorful clumps of hard corals lie interspersed with brilliant patches of white sand and form a haven for fish of all shapes and sizes. The life here is more typical of the southern sites and the water temperature is usually around 25°C. the predominant currents here are mild and from the south, and the sites is best dive on a falling tide. About 50m out from the beach, a small rocky outcrop is exposed at low tide and mark the ideal starting point for this dive. Follow the wall down to 18-20m, where large school of fusilier, snappers, extremely tame grouper, and many lion and scorpion fish can be found engulfing the headland. While only a small dive site, it is nonetheless very rich in both hard and soft corals, with plentiful tunicates and feather stars. Careful searching in and around the rocks can reveal frogfish, nudibranches, fire urchins, crocodile fish, crustaceans, and much, much more. Further to the northeast lies a steep sandy slope which is home to razor fish and, if you’re lucky, the extremely rare and elusive sand diver.
KARANG MAKASSAR (MANTA POINT)
Komodo National Park
Dive type: Drift
Reef Type: Hard and soft coral fringing reef
Karang Makassar is a small island off of the east side of Komodo with 2km drift dive and a series of long current-swept reefs running north to south, creating both a highway and a feeding ground for these giant and graceful rays. This is one of the ‘most do’ activities while diving and it is one of the Komodo National Park’s most famous for sighting of up to 50 manta rays.
GILI LAWA DARAT PASSAGE
Dive site of north Komodo Island, Manggarai Barat
Dive Type: Drift
Reef Type: Hard and soft coral fringing reef
The South Passage separates Gili Lawa Darat from Komodo Island and is best dive on a rising tide, when the current runs east to west creating a gentle drift out from Gili Lawa Bay, is an ideal starting point for the dive.
Follow the current, with the reef to your left, around the point. Turtles are regularly seen on this pretty coral reef. The point is great place to snorkel amongst school of fish, and deeper at 20-25m many small coral trout, large schools of anchovies, small tuna, and trevally come in to feed in the bay. Deeper still, along the bottom of the slope, fish life increases; garden eels sway and white tip reef sharks sleep on the sandy bottom. The site is large and rarely crowded; although is popular in the high season with live a boards, as Gili Lawa Bay offers a good anchorage.
Dive site close to Labuan Bajo, Manggarai Barat
Dive type: Seamount &Coral Garden
Reef Type: Hard coral fringing reef & sandy slope
Seraya Kecil is a relaxed and easy dive, just 40 minutes travel from Labuan Bajo. This proximity to the mainland offers the exciting option of a spectacular evening or night dive. The area is also a very well known snorkel site. begin the dive on the northwest set of seraya kecil, above a sandy tongue following the slope to the north, you will discover a beautiful coral garden and small rocks littered across the sandy bottom down to 18m
Seraya kecil is a fantastic place to spot various kinds of nudi branch, scorpionfish, stone fish and other photogenic macro life. Search the gorgonians carefully for pygmy seahorses; it is an exhilarating experience to spot one of these cryptic creatures. but there is more to seraya kecil than amazing macro diving. Turtles are frequently found, and divers that descend deeper into to the channel will find a small seamount at 30m., where eagle rays, reef sharks and other big pelagic congregate. The mid-water currents can pick up in the channel, so it is better to turn around and end the dive exploring in the shallow.
Bidadari Island, which means ‘angels’ island’, is a tiny, charming isle located northwest of Labuan Bajo. This island is a water lover’s paradise and its excellent white sand beaches seem to have come from paradise, while is crystal clear and calm waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and especially learning how to dive. Bidadari Island is reachable on 15-20 minutes boat trip, comprises 14-15 hectares of land covered with hills and trees, completely surrounded by beautiful beaches.
Awarded UNESCO’s world heritage site status in 2012, Wae Rebo Village is located in Manggarai Regency and situated 1,200m above sea level. challenge yourself with a trek along Wae Rebo’s trails set in lush coffee and vanilla plantation surrounded by untouched rainforest, and densely populated by endemic birds and exotic flora. The residents of Wae Rebo Village lead a harmonious agrarian lifestyle in harmony with nature. Wae Rebo is famous for its cone shaped houses known as Mbaru Niang.
The village of Todo is south-central Manggarai offers one of the few opportunities to see the traditional ceremonial hous of Flores; in the past, Todo was also the centre of the Manggarain kingdom and the home of the royal clan.
LINGKO SPIDERWEB RICE FIELD
Lingko refers to the spider web shaped rice fields which are found in numerous places in Manggarai. The most impressive is the Lingko of Cara Village in Cancar, around 17km west of Ruteng. Lingko is a traditional Manggarain system of land possession where, depending on the family’s size, the family head divides land based on the distance between his fingers. The traditional system is still preserved and practiced today in Flores. The distribution start from the center pole (lodok) from which lines are drawn to the outer circle of the lingko, forming pie segments locally known as moso (meaning ‘hand’).
KELIMUTU NATIONAL PARK
Kelimutu National Park, the icon of Eastern Flores’ natural heritage, offers adventurous trekking trails. Travelers flocking to witness the sacred tri-colored crater lake will also get to witness Florenese Village life as part of their cross country experience in the park’s rainforest. Put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the traditional village of Pemo and Woloara, then either end at Muru Nda’o Waterfall in Moni, or unwind in the warm pool of Kolorongo natural hot spring in Waturaka.
BENA – Ngada
Bena is traditional community located about 16km from ngada’s capital city, Bajawa. It is the most visited village in the district and is famous for its impressive stone formations, ancestral shrines, Ngadanese-style house, and its traditional way of life. The village takes the shape of a rectangle and comprises 18 traditional houses in clan system. Bena people have agreed to conserve their traditional way of life, which includes preserving their ikat weaving technique. Indeed Bena is living museum as their traditions are still practiced in their daily life. Take the trekking route from Bena to neighboring villages and end the exploration at Malanaga Hot spring or Wae Roa Waterfall.
MENGERUDA – SO’A – Ngada
Enjoy yourself in the warm waters that flows from a natural spring to a river, sit under the shade of coconut trees, or take a short trek to more untouched scenic areas of the hot spring, starting from the road to Virgin Mary Cave, which is located next to the entrance to the spring. Request that a guide take you for a walk along the descending river amid rice fields to the canyon where the hot spring emerges. If you come in May-July, make sure you also catch Sagi, a traditional boxing competition.
WATUBLAPI – Sika
Watublapi village is located about 31km from Maumere. It is well known for is fine traditional ikat weaving. Whereas many other local weaving communities have switched to industrially spun yarn and chemical dyes for the purpose of saving time and money, the weavers of Watublapi still use the traditional, hand spun yarn made from locally grown local cotton, as well as local natural dyes. Visitors with a profound interest in ikat weaving could join the ikat workshop in Watublapi. The Bliran Sina weavers will teach you the skills of this fascinating handmade craft (by appointment).
LEWOKLUOK – Flores Timur
Lewokluok (about 26km from Larantuka), not only boasts beautiful countryside panoramas, but also a traditional village renowned for its exceptional hand-woven ikat. Unlike other places the villagers of Lewokluok combine the cotton thread with shells, skillfully interweaving them to form stunning ikat patterns. These textiles are true masterpieces. You can also learn about their natural yarn dyeing process here. While in Flores Timur, see also Kawaliwu, a village known for its traditional house-Korke-that still preserves its authenticity to this day.
RANAMESE CRATER LAKE – Manggarai Timur
Meaning ‘big lake’ in the vernacular, Ranamese is a 11.5 hectare crater that is located 1,200m above sea level. The surrounding rain forest creates a refreshing breeze and is great place for trekking, bird watching and spotting playful macaques. The calming water of the lake reflects the blue sky on its surface resulting in peaceful and surreal reflections. Visitors are advised to wear proper shoes for trekking around the lake.
RIUNG 17 ISLANDS – Ngada
The sub-district of Riung, located to North of Bajawa, is famed for its beautiful coral garden. The coast and the area surrounding the town of Riung have become a national conservation area, and were even given the status of national park and named pulau Tujuhbelas, or ‘seventeen islands’. In fact, the national park consists of more then 20 small and large islands. The local people, thought, have named the area ‘Riung Seventeen Islands’, a label that is easy to remember as it refers to the personification of a beautiful 17-year-old girl and also Indonesian Independence Day on the 17th of August.
WAJO – Nagekeo
Very well maintained traditional house and menhirs are the attraction in the highland village of Wajo. Easily reached from Raja (Boawae) or Nangaroro, this village has unique traditional bamboo musical instruments, which are use during traditional ceremonies and on other special occasions. A visit to Wajo will give you more insight into the local tribe of Nagekeo.
WOLOTOPO – Ende
Situated on a hill about 12km from Ende, Wolotopo’s centuries-old traditional Lio house silently reveal an ancient history through delicate patterns that are engraved on many parts of their structures. They also reflect the unique Lio tribel way of life which will fascinate many art and architecture enthusiasts. Wolotopo attracts many visitors with is captivating agrarian panoramas and its tradition of Ikat weaving., which is found throughout the countryside.
MOUNT INERIE – Ngada
Mount Inerie with its beautiful, harmonic pyramid shape, is and eye-catching peak in the Florenese ‘mountain skyline’. With an altitude of 2245m above sea level, Mount Inerie is also one of the highest volcanoes in Flores. If you would like to climb to the top, you do well to start your trip at night or in the very early morning. You will be rewarded with a magical moment when the sun slowly rises up behinds the hills. From the top of Mount Inerie, you have a stunning view that sometimes even goes as far as Sumba Island I the south.
CUNCA RAMI – Manggarai Barat
Green, exotic vegetation among mountains creates a picturesque backdrop for the trek to Cunca Rami, a waterfall with an emerald water basin located about 47km from Labuan Bajo in the direction of Werang. Combined with lush plantation that produce horticultural crops, the trek to Cunca Rami waterfall is exhilarating and an ideal trip for nature lovers of all ages.
TENGKULESE – Manggarai
Tengkulese Waterfall, which is also referred to as Cunca Lega is named after the nearby village. The water drops over two levels with a promising altitude. Surrounded by a lush forest and rice terraces, it can even be spotted from a distance. From Nanu Village, you’ll have to walk for about 2.5km through a beautiful panoramic landscape with soft green hills, terraced rice field, and farmers plowing the land with their water buffalo to get to the waterfall.
RII TAA ISLE – Nagekeo
Divine is the word for Rii Taa Isle, Nagekeo’s most treasured beach that is accessible only by boat (you can charter a vessel from Marapokot Harbor or from Nangadhawe Beach).it is a memorable experience to catch the first glimpse of this pristine beach that harmoniously blend with the bright turquoise sea. Enjoy snorkeling in the aquamarine water or simply relax in the peace and tranquility of the pearly white sand beach while marveling at the large flocks of black-naped birds frolicking in the waves.
BELARAGHI – Ngada
Prepare yourself for a 3km hike from Aimere to discover a village that is blessed with stunning, untouched natural beauty and rich in fascinating cultural traditions. you will find the challenge of getting there is worth taking. The Belarghi clan has been living in this village and is rarely mentioned in any travels guides compare to Bena or Gurusina. There is no electricity yet in Belarghi, so enjoy this rare moment of silence you are in Ngada district.
MOUNT EGON – Sikka
Beyond Kelimutu, there are actually more than twelve volcanoes throughout Flores that are suitable for trekking with Mount Egon being one of them. Sitting astride the narrow waist of Flores Timur, its summit reveals a crater 350m wide and 200m deep. Depending on the season, there is also a lake in the crater. Other small crater lakes can be found on the flanks of Mount Egon. Its 1703m high summit is formed by a lava dome from which puffs of smoke billow.
MURUSOBE WATERFALL – Sikka
Murusobe Waterfall means ‘dive’ (muru) ‘like a bamboo pole’ (sobe). In a free fall of 100meters, this twin waterfall will bring out the child in you, urging you to plunge with delight from one of the surrounding cliffs in to the refreshing cool water basin below. Make sure you also explore Poma, a small village amid rice fields that blossom with fairy duster calliandra and lush clusters of coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and candlenuts trees as a backdrop.
KOKA BEACH – Sikka
The long and wide white sand beach is the perfect place on the south coast of the Sikka district to relax, have a picnic, and go for a swim. Koka Beach is situated about 2.5km from the main road near Wolowiro Village in the Paga sub-district. It takes about 48km ride from Maumere and 25km from Wolowaru.
SOLOR & ADONARA – Flores Timur
Solor and Adonara are reachable by boat from Larantuka, in Flores Timur. The main tribes, Lamaholot, Adonara, Bugis and Bajo, provide a colour of diversity with a range of traditional customs, cultures, and local languages on the islands. Karawutung Village in Solor boasts berauk, an annual traditional rite. Solor and Adonara coastline is a hidden paradise with white sand beaches at Ritaebang and Riangsungai in Solor, Watotena/Ina Burak beach and also Mekobani Island in Adonara.
MBALATA BEACH – Manggarai Timur
Mbalata beach is in Kotakomba sub-district in East Manggarai, about 42km east of Borong, nicely framed by Mount Inerie to the east and by soft, hilly landscapes to the west. You can go for an easy hike or on horseback riding along the wide, grey-sand coast to the grazing land Nangarawa hill where you will be able to catch a beautiful view over the sea and the surrounding farmland
DIVING AROUND MAUMERE , SIKKA REGENCY
Dive site in Babi Island, Sikka
Dive Type: wall dive
Reef Type: hard and soft coral drop off, huge fans, little caves and overhangs and the spectacular crack
Distance to nearest town: 37.7km from Maumere.
THE CRACK is called after the 10m deep crack, a remain of the earthquake (which pulled the reef apart) and following tsunami in 1992. The crack start at the drop off and continuing land inward all along the shallow reef of Babi Island. Rumors of destroyed refd caused by the earthquake are nonsense. The crack is a perfect shelter for sweetlips, starpuffer fish, boxfish, batfish, firefish and many others which like to hide safely.
The wall of Babi Island is overgrown with different soft and hard coral, oyster, sponges, huge fans, etc, creating shelter for giant morays, baby sharks bedding in the caverns, pygmy seahorses, different species of nudi branchs, leaf scorpion fish, dart fish, frog fish, juvenile reef fish and dragonets.
It is easy for loosing yourself in watching the little details on the wall. Looking down, eagle rays, nuzzling around and turtles feeding on the big barrel sponges. Marple rays passing and reef sharks swimming by. Along the edge of the wall the surgeon fish group and the midnight snappers stay along with the passing mackerel and fusilier schools. The site is easy to dive as long you control your buoyancy, to stay on the right depth. Currents are mostly mild, if there is any, horizontal direction.
THE FISH SOUP
Dive site in Pangabatang Island
Dive Type: Drift Dive
Reef Type: Hard and soft coral slope, white sand bottom
Distance to nearest town: 29.85km from Maumere
Depth: 30m on the channel floor
The dive site FISH SOUP lays on the southern side of the Pangabatang Island. Pangabatang is small sand bank, located between Dambila Island and the main land Tanjung Darat. The water is pushing through the channel between Pangabatang and Tanjung Darat and therefore the current is often strong. By incoming tide the eagle ray groups are standing still-gliding in the blue water, white tip reef sharks shooting up from the deep, chasing giant trevally’s or turtles along the edge of the channel (30m-40m) where a coral reef is framing the end of the sandy bottom, before it drops. Schools of snappers, red tooth trigger fish, Wahoo, huge dog tooth tuna’s and Napoleon are gathering there, creating the famous FISH SOUP. Marple rays as well as Jenkins’ stingrays resting on the sand. Sometimes hammerhead shark is curious and watches all the traffic in the channel.
The divers swim along the channel. The drop off, starting it over 30m, is overgrown with big Gorgonian fans which offers a beautiful view from above. Continuing the dive, the divers follow the channel into shallower depth, passing afield of garden eels and blue spotted stingrays enjoying overgrown seamounts, the home for the big batfish family, and the slope with different hard and soft coral. Passing “the corner” and following the shallower channel surprising the divers with big schools of bumphead parrotfish, especially around full moon. Often we have to wait them to pass by as we cannot swim pass them, because they are to many. On the shallower slope, 145m, there is a lot of smaller fish to find. Lobsters, crocodile flathead, pipefish, pipehorse, ribbon eels, ghostpipe fish, many different nudibranchs and plenty of reef fish inhabiting this area. The current easily picks up and becomes strong.
COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
TADO VILLAGE – Manggarai Barat
Located 45km east of Labuan Bajo, Tado Village is one of the best places to get a hands-on experience of the long-standing Manggarai way of life. Rather inconspicuous at first sight, it reveals an immense cultural and traditional wealth. Tado Villagers, wearing their traditional costumes, will be happy to receive you with a traditional welcome ceremony. Tado is practicing community-based ecotourism. Tado ecotourism village also offers special-request tours that are an integral part of the village’s cultural conservation programme. The ‘ancient ritual’ tour features locally renowned Caci performers who will get you acquainted with the rituals, legends, and music associated with this famous element of Manggarai cultural.
WATURAKA VILLAGE – Kelimutu National Park
Waturaka, in a corner of the Flores countryside is a humble farming village located at the foot of mount Kelimutu. This small village has been developed so it’s ready to welcome visitors coming to experience Moni and its surrounding areas. Simple yet clean home stays are available in Waturaka. Here, you can enjoy the totally unique experience of living with local family and tasting local dishes prepared with fresh ingredients from the garden. Located nearby are two trekking trails heading to two amazing attraction, i.e. Murukeba Waterfall and Mutulo’o hot steam. Waturaka offers more than just home stays.