Flores; from East to West

The name Flores is originally Portuguese, Cabo das Flores, meaning Cape of Flowers. This volcanic island is 375 km long, narrow and rugged and is one of the least visited parts of Indonesia. The terrain has made road construction tricky and also contributed to the large diversity of Flores cultures. There are five main ethnic groups in the island, and several local languages. About 1 million people live on Flores and about 85% of them are Roman Catholic.

Duration: 12 days / 11 nights, Number of pax: 2, 3-6, 7-10, Type of Transport: Van, minibus wooden boat, Type of Accommodation: Hotel, wooden boat with deck class or cabin, Grade of Difficulty: Moderate

Hightlights: Textile, Volcanoe, Hiking, Stay with family in traditional village, snorkeling, and encountering the Komodo Dragons in their habitat.

Day 1. Arrive in Bali    We will stay somewhere around Kuta which is close to the airport.  

 Hotel in Bali: Harris Hotel Tuban, Jalan Dewi Sartika, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, T +62 21 3152858. https://www.harrishotels.com/en-US/Tuban

 Day 2: Denpasar-Maumere on Flores   A 1.5 hour flight will bring you from Denpasar to Maumere on Flores. The name Flores is originally Portuguese, Cabo das Flores, meaning Cape of Flowers. This volcanic island is 375 km long, narrow and rugged and is one of the least visited parts of Indonesia. The terrain has not made road construction easy. That is also the reason for the large diversity of cultures, as communication has been difficult. There are five main ethnic groups in the island, and several local languages. About one million people live on Flores and about 85% are Roman Catholic.

Maumere is one of seaports and gateways to enter Flores, situated on the northeastern of the island. In 1992 the town was hit by earthquake which followed by 20 m high Tsunami. This disaster cost thousands of lives and hundreds of buildings. Land along the coast was swept away for almost 30 meters. Maumere today has recovered and most buildings are reconstructed.  Maumere is home for Lamalohot people with distinctive language and culture. The town has been one of the centers of Catholic activities and mission on Flores since the arrival of Portuguese Dominicans some 400 hundreds years ago. You can take a walk to the nearby fishing village called Wuring or swim from the beach in the front of our hotel.

Hotel in Maumere: Sylvia Hotel, Jl. Gajah Mada 88 , Maumere, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Phone: +6238221829, Mobile: +62 812 161 729 84

Day 3: Maumere-Moni   By public bus to Moni, 90 km (3 hours) along the winding road through villages, farmlands and plantations.

Moni is a small town at the foot of Kelimutu. The area is inhabited by the Lio-people, famous for their tradition of ikat weaving. Ikat means to tie or bind. Before the treads are woven together, the pattern is tie-dyed (bundled och colored) on to the treads. Only the untied threads will take the colour. The intricate patterned work of Flores is well known all around Indonesia. Most of women in the villages around Moni have learnt from their mother about how to make this weaving. In the afternoon you can walk to a nearby village to witness women weaving ikat in various pattern and designs. One village you can visit is Jopu.

 Hotel in Moni: Kelimutu Eco Lodge, Moni Village, Flores, Contact: Mr. Gede Anjasmara, Email: supervisor@ecolodgesindonesia.com,Telephone: +62361722775/+623614719383, Mob: +6281338485855,  www.ecolodgesindonesia.com

Day 4: Moni-Kelimutu   The highlight in Moni is Mount Kelimutu with its three volcano craters. The craters are filled with water of different colors depending on the mineral content. To see this nature wonder, we have to start early in the morning by car driving uphill for about 13 km along a winding road. The rest is by walking for about two kilometers to the view point. We hope for clear weather because you will see a breathtaking sunrise with three crater lakes of different color as foreground. Stay for a while at this view point and before the sun hits you start walking back to Moni through small patches of forest, villages and plantations of coffee, macadamia, clove and rice fields.

Enjoy the sound of bird called Bare-throated Whistler, a birds that can make at least 2-3 different lovely sounds.

Moni weekly market is very interesting place to visit. It is on Monday and Tuesday. You can also take a public transport called bemo and go as far as the bemo goes. You may stop anywhere and explore the place and then take another bemo to another village.

Hotel in Moni: Kelimutu Eco Lodge, Moni Village, Flores, Contact: Mr. Gede Anjasmara, Email: supervisor@ecolodgesindonesia.com,Telephone: +62361722775/+623614719383, Mob: +6281338485855,  www.ecolodgesindonesia.com

Day 5: Moni-Bajawa   On the road again, heading to Bajawa. View on this part of the trip is combination between mountain, ravine, coastline and rural area. It will take about 5 hours depend on how often bus stops to load and unload passengers along the way. Traveling bu public bus on Flores is very interesting. The bus can be loaded with anything, vegetable, fish, goat and pig. Many passengers prefer to seat on the roof of bus although they pay the same fare as other passengers sit inside.

About 15,000 inhabitants live in Bajawa. This small town is situated in the mountains at an altitude of 1100 meters and surrounded by volcanic hills. It is the centre of the Ngada people, one of the most traditional groups on Flores. People in this area are mostly Roman Catholics but at the same time they maintain their traditional beliefs in their ancestors. Ngada people still recognize the Matrilineality, the tracing of descent through the female line. Other ethnic group that using this system is the Minangkabau in the western Sumatera.

The town of Bajawa is located around the busy and colourful market. Farmers from the area come to the market to sell their products. Try some of the exotic and fresh fruits. To visit the market is a good way to understand how the local people live, what they cultivate, what they eat etc. You can either go by foot or travel by bemo. You can also visit the hot spring in Soa about 45 minutes driving from Bajawa. When you are out walking people will ask ”ke mana?” That means “where are you going/what are you doing” You can either answer the place where you are going, or you can just say “jalan jalan” which means “just walking around”. You can also visit the coffee farmer cooperative to see coffee processing from the harvesting, drying, roasting, grinding and packaging. Arabica coffee from Bajawa is the best on Flores island.

Hotel in Bajawa: Korina Hotel, Jl. Jenderal Ahmad Yani, No. 81, Tanalodu, Ngada Bawa, Tanalodu, Bajawa, Kabupaten Ngada, Nusa Tenggara Tim. 86412, Phone: +62 (0)384 21162

Days 6-7: Trekking to the village   You will do a day trek to one of the traditional villages by the foot of the volcano Inerie (2245 m). First by car to the starting point of the trek. From there you will be trekking for about 4-5 hours to the village.You will walk on small roads or trails. The trek is not very hard and the pace will be slow, but the heat will make you slow down.

In the village, you will stay two or three people in each family. Local interpreters from Bajawa will accompany you during the time in the family, to make it possible for you to communicate with your hosts. The following day you may accompany you host family to the fields or help join them in their daily work. People in the village earn their living from farming. Vanilla, coffee, macadamia nut, and cloves are among the main crop they grow.

Traditional houses in the village are like a communal house. One traditional house holds several family members but not all of them stay at the house. The members of this traditional house will appoint one of the members, usually female, to stay and take care the house. Other member will have to support to maintain and rebuild the house. Because this traditional house is built from wood, there is the time it needs to be maintained and rebuilt. This is the time when all members of the house will gather to hold the ceremony and sacrifice pigs and water buffalos. Everybody will come with colourful traditional dress. Ethnic group in Bajawa and its surrounding areas is called Ngada People. They follow Matrilineal system. In Indonesia only two places follow this system. The other place is in West Sumatera. On Day 7:  Return to Bajawa

Hotel in Bajawa: Korina Hotel, Jl. Jenderal Ahmad Yani, No. 81, Tanalodu, Ngada Bawa, Tanalodu, Bajawa, Kabupaten Ngada, Nusa Tenggara Tim. 86412, Phone: +62 (0)384 21162

Day 8: Bajawa-Labuan Bajo   A long (about 8 hours), but scenic trip by bus to Labuan Bajo in the west of Flores. You will travel on Trans-Flores highway from central to western part. The island is 375 km long from East to West, but the highway measures as much as 700 km. To travel on Flores requires time and patience. The busses will stop many times to load and unload passengers and goods. Almost everything can be loaded on to the bus; furniture, motorcycle, and animals; chickens, goats and pigs. Mountainous topographic of the island is a big challenge to construct roads. This is why the road on this island curvaceous and it makes the speed of bigger vehicles never exceeds 45 km per hour. However this condition gives good opportunity to enjoy various sceneries during the bus trip. Busses stop for lunch at a local restaurant. We arrive in Labuan Bajo in the late afternoon. 

Hotel in Labuan Bajo: *Kalton Hotel*, Jalan. Pantai Pede No. 8, Gorontalo, Labuan Bajo, Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Phone. +62 821 4491 9365

Days 9-11: Boat to explore Komodo National Park   A wooden boat will be your floating accommodation for the next four days on your exploration to Komodo National Park. First you will stop for swimming and snorkelling. Later you continue to one of the villages within this national park. Here you will stay with the family at their simple house built on stilt to avoid from tidal as well as the Komodo lizards. For carnivore like Komodo, human is included in their preys. This is why it happened people being attacked the Komodo. It is interesting to see how people can live close to such carnivore like Komodo lizard, the world’s biggest lizard that can attain a length of 2,5 meters and weight up to 90 kg. People in this village mainly make their living from fishing

From the village you will continue to Loh Buaya on the other side of Rinca. Here you will have opportunity to do trekking along paths accompanied by park ranger. With luck you might see Komodo dragons at their hunting ground by a small stream where normally water buffalos, wild boars, and Timor deers come to drink. Other animals you might see on Rinca are feral horses, long-tailed macaque, and a number of birds. The bird called Orange-footed Scrub-fowls build nest on the ground for incubating the eggs and the female Komodo lizard often uses these nests to lay its eggs too. After being sweaty from the trekking you will have opportunity to swim. The next stop is Padar Island, one of the islands with very beautiful view from the top of its view point. It is also possible to swim from the beach of this island. From Padar island the boat will move to Komodo island. Here you will do another hiking through the paths on the island. Komodo island holds more bird than Rinca island.

A number of birds you will see on Komodo island are Yellow-crested Cockatoo, the endemic bird to Indonesia and its population in the wild is declining due to poaching, Green Imperial Pigeon, Barred Dove (endemic bird to Indonesia), Green Junglefowl (colorfull and endemic bird to Indonesia), Wallacean Cuckoo-shrike, Hair-crested Drongo (also Indonesian endemic). From Komodo island you will head for Pantai Merah on the southern side of island. Here you will enjoy swimming and snorkeling over some marvelous coral reefs and fishes. On the boat you will sleep on lower or upper deck. There is a simple kitchen where food will be prepared. There is also simple toilet at the back of the boat. Fresh water is very limited. It is used only for cooking and drinking. Every day you will get two big bottles of drinking water (3 liters). Fishing is possible. The crews on boat usually bring their fishing equipment and you can borrow it. In the afternoon of Day 11: We will return to Labuan Bajo

Hotel in Labuan Bajo: *Kalton Hotel*, Jalan. Pantai Pede No. 8, Gorontalo, Labuan Bajo, Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Phone. +62 821 4491 9365

Day 12: Labuan Bajo – Denpasar-Padangbai   Morning flight from Labuan Bajo back to Denpasar. On clear weather this part of the journey will give you a view of the clear, blue water of Komodo National Park which you explored during four days and Mount Tambora on Sumbawa Island which eruption 1815 caused devastating famine across the country and is recorded as the second biggest volcano eruption in the world. When flying over Lombok Island you will see the second highest mount in Indonesia called Rinjani on Lombok Island including its “son” emerging from the bottom of its crater. Tour ends. You may book your return flight this day after 16.00. Or you may prolong your stay for a few days in Bali.

Hotel in Bali: Puri Rai Hotel, Padangbai 

  • During the trip participants must respect and obey rules, laws and customs valid in the area/location they are visiting.
  • This itinerary is subject to change with or without prior notice due to weather condition, flight and ferry schedule change or other causes beyond organizer control (force majeure)