Flores is such a big and undiscovered island; one can hardly write about it if you didn’t spent at least a few months there. I admit, I didn’t stay that long, but I’ll share all the info I gathered during my stay.
Flores has many airports. We used 3: Labuan Bajo (starting point for Komodo), Bajawa (south shore and kind of in the middle of the island and Ende (starting point for Kelimutu). Worth mentioning is also Maumere further east and on the north shore. They have good flight connection to Bali or Lombok, check also Jakarta or other cities of interest in Indonesia.
We arrive to Flores by boat from Lombok. Yes, you read right, from Lombok. It’s quite a long ride with 3 nights and 4 days, but with beautiful stops on day 3 and 4. Keep in mind that the sea can be very rough and the waves big – I was never before so sea sick. You can get more info about this in the vlog from this looong and exchausting boat trip.
You have different options: by public transport (bus), fly, hire a driver, drive yourself, drive with a scooter.
Public transport is existent, but rare and quite slow.
Around Labuan Bajo we rented a scooter for around 100k IDR for 24 hours.
From Labuan Bajo to Bajawa we flew with Wings air. Because we had problems with direct bookings on the Wings air website, we booked the tickets on ticket.com. We used the same website and airline later from Ende to Bali (with a 20 min stopover in Labuan Bajo – you can stay on the plane, don’t worry).
For the first time we also hired a driver. We payed around 3,5mil IDR for 3 whole days with pick up from the airport in Bajawa and drop off in Ende. If you book a driver for longer, the daily rate gets better.
You probably read many reviews about the roads in Flores. I was prepared for the worst. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. And don’t believe if you read that’s you can’t drive at night. Without driving after dark, we could never done that road trip.
Another idea (and possibility we saw) is to rent a scooter and drive from Labuan Bajo to Maumere – we saw ads for this in Labuan Bajo – ask around if you’re interested about this.
Flores’ infrastucture is not as developed as on Bali or Lombok, but you can find good places to stay. In Labuan Bajo we tried 2 guest houses (Buan nuit and Green prundy), as we were too late for a normal double room in the city center. There are a bunch of hostels if you’re looking for really cheap accommodation.
During our road trip our driver chose the guest houses – all were ok, clean and with breakfast (for about 300k IDR per night for 2).
We were there in peak season and booked only 1-2 days in advance and were still able to get good accommodation.
Ok, this is a topic I really wanted to talk about. On Flores is a long tradition of eating DOG meat. When you get it offered on day 1 and your driver raves about how delicious it is, you have to get over this shock. And our driver had to get over the shock, that we don’t eat meat😊 and everything else I told him about how family dogs are treated in our country (what do you mean dog school?, The dog lives in the house and sleeps on the couch? etc.) If you are more interested in this horrible topic, visit this informative site.
Anyway – be aware that if you see a stall with the letters “RW”, this means they sell dog meat. Maybe it would be good if you skip eating meat for the time of your visit (it will be also good for your body) or maybe just enjoy sea food. We stuck to our vegetarian diet and were always able to find good food (from noodle soups, fried rice to vegetarian burgers (Labuan bajo)), pizza, just in Riung they insisted that we should eat some fish, because they caught it for us, so we did not to insult them. Aaand not to ferget – the local veggy markets are awesome.
Things to see and do
Flores has beautiful rice fields, stunning underwater life, interesting traditional villages and a bunch of volcanoes. It’s a great destination for divers because of the nearby Komodo national park and not forget an unfogettable encounter with the komodo dragon. I already wrote about my favorite 10 things to see and do on Flores, welcome to visit that blog post as well.
Our friends visited some other places around the island, you might also be interested in:
– spiderweb rice fields in Cancar
– Wae Rebo traditional village
– Hobbit cave
– climb Inerie or Wawu Muda volcano (Inerie is supposed to be quite challenging, our friends went with a guide for sunrise, but they said it’s well worth it)
I hope I could give you some information and ideas about this unique Indonesian island. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Have a safe trip and hopefully see you soon here again 😉
You can also save this article on Pinterest to read it later 😉
And welcome to watch our VLOG from Flores below 🙂