This summer we finally made it to Flores a.k.a. East Nussa Tanggara. We came here by boat from Lombok (which we absolutely loved), but next time we’ll definitely fly (check flights from Jakarta or Bali).
Flores is a loooong island – it stretches from east to west on the map. We managed to see a few places in the west and in the center, but didn’t go all the way to the east. Here are our favorite 10 places (in no particular order) we visited on our trip:
1. Komodo and Rinca island
Who hasn’t heard about the Komodo dragons? And on these 2 island you can meet them in person. The big lizards look slow and not particularly dangerous, but the looks can be deceiving. It can run very fast and a bite can be fatal, because of all the bacteria in their saliva. Still many tourists come to these islands to see this dragon. Personally I liked Rinca island more, as the whole experience was way more authentic, the trek was longer with nicer views and the guide was more informative.
2. Padar island
When we saw pictures from this island we instantly wanted to visit it. We were there for sunrise and I can assure you – this was one of my top 10 sunrises in my life. You can come here only by boat, then you hike up as far as you want to have a view you want.
If you visit Komodo National park and you have a diving license, don’t miss the opportunity to dive here. The underwater wold here is stunning. We saw mantas, different sharks, octopuses, big schools of fish etc. But be aware that the currents can be very strong, so not for greenhorns.
4. Bena traditional village
This was our first contact with traditional architecture and local people. The houses are built in 2 lines with shrines in the middle. When visiting, you’ll get a scarf around the nect as a sign of respect. The Ngada culture is on display here and it’s almost like a living museum as people still live here, they sell different hand made products. Young locals who go to school and learn English will accompany you around and explain everything you want to know and the older residents will welcome you with warm smiles.
5. Wologai traditional village
This is another traditional village built in the Lionese architectual style where people still live. The houses are made of bamboo and palm fiber and because the kitchen is inside the houses fires are quite common. In the middle of the village (the houses are build in a circle) is the main ceremonial house in which tourists are not allowed.
6. 17 islands national park
If I could imagine heaven on earth, it would probably look like this (ok, I would add a few palm trees for the feeling) 😉 Pristine white sand beaches, turquoise water, breath taking marine life and still no people. We absolutely loooveeed the day we spend island hopping on these beautiful islands.
7. Kelimutu national park
This was actually the main reason we decided to explore a little bit more of central Flores. It is fairly easy to reach this volcano – you can drive far up and then hike for about 20 minutes to the first viewpoint. The volcano has 3 craters and all are filled with water, so basically you can see 3 lakes. The special thing about this are the colors – all 3 lakes have different colors (all green and turquoise). A local woman told us that one of the lakes changes color (it can be dark red or pink), but it hasn’t changed for years.
8. Rice fields
We are obsessed with rice fields and find it as relaxing as the ocean. Bali’s rice fields are beautiful, but what we found on Flores was out of this world. The rice fields were biiig, lush green and again no people, no viewing platforms or Instagram nests.
9. Blue stone beach
This beach caught us by surprise. We spent the night here, but arrived so late, we didn’t see the blues stones. Our driver was raving about the beautiful beach but we couldn’t imagine the stones would be really that blue. We woke up for sunrise and had another unforgettable morning on an entirely empty beach.
10. Mount Inerie view point
On the way from Bena village we drove by a nice hotel and restaurant, where we “stopped for the view” as our driver said. We stood there with open mouths and admired the view of another volcano which is also the highest on Flores. We didn’t have time to hike up, but our friends did and said it’s hard work. If you’re not that into hiking, this view was also very rewarding.
Tecnically it’s not on Flores, but it’s part of many tours from Flores to the nearby islands (including Komodo, Rinca and Padar). At first we were skeptical that the beach is really pink (as we already saw a pink(ish) beach on Crete, Grece), but this one is really pink ❤
We really enjoyed our time on Flores and we tried to get out the best of it. There are still many other sights and attractions, but you need time to see them and explore more of the island as the roads are quite bad. Anyhow, the island is worth visiting and we hope we could give you some ideas what to see and awake wanderlust in you 😉