Indonesia has so many beautiful destinations for you traveler and tourist. Even though, most of them will choose Bali destination as their holiday visits. But just so you know there are lots more rather than Bali.
Not so far from Bali, there is a place where you can enjoy less crowded tourist scene. Just take an hour domestic flight from Bali, you can explore the beauty of Flores.
Flores is popular with its Komodo Island, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, where you can see the Flores endemic animal, the Komodo Dragons. You can also expect the crystal-clear water, pristine sands and even the underwater creatures.
There are many tourist spots on land and in waters to keep you busy and amaze on this fascinating part of the world. Where to go in Flores? Below are some recommended places to explore.
1. Komodo National Park
It is no doubt that when you are in Flores, you must see the real life of Komodo Dragons. If you hear the name, don’t expect you can see the real-life dragons. Actually, it is a largest species of lizard which can grow until 3 meters long and 70 kg in weight.
Since this animal categorized as endemic, you cannot see komodo in many other places but here. If you are lucky enough, you can also see the komodo fighting and even feeding. Komodo and Rinca Island is the most usual spot to see komodo.
Besides komodo, the island also offer scenic walks on the park. It is easier to see komodo on Rinca Island rather than on Komodo Island, but the trekking is better on Komodo Island. You will need a guide to explore both islands since komodo dragons have toxic saliva on their jaws so you can avoid the risk bitten and chased by them.
Being named after the giant lizard Komodo, doesn’t mean it is the only thing you will get on Komodo National Park. You cannot miss to explore the underwater since it is truly impressive. By diving or snorkeling here you will find the colorful coral, massive schools of fish and the manta rays as well.
Hire experience diver or guide is recommended if you are not an expert diver because the currents here can be strong and changeable. So, if you are time-limited tourist, Komodo National Park should be your number one where to go in Flores.
2. Kelimutu Lake
Kelimutu is actually a volcano situated in central part of Flores. Take a little trip to its peak and you will reveal the three crater lakes that lay inside the mountain. Those three craters have different colors as the sun lights them. The lakes are blue, red and green, and it is said that the difference in color as a result of different gases bubbling on bottom of lakes.
If you want seeing them in full range of colors, it is recommended to visit the lakes at sunrise. The view of the lakes while shifting colour as the sun rise from the peak of volcano is truly amazing. Even, you can set a camp before near the crater so that you are not missing the scene.
3. Padar Island
If Kelimutu has the three color lakes, Padar Island has the three color beaches. Reach the top of the hill and you can see those black, white and pink colored beaches. Combined with the view of the sea and other island will make your heart stops for a moment.
For the best experience, take morning trip to catch the sunrise. Besides its beautiful sunrise, hiking before the sun rises to avoid the hot sun which is super-hot in the middle of the day. After enjoying the view, then make your way down to one of those beaches to swim.
4. Wae Rebo
Wae Rebo is a traditional village of Flores inhabited by the Manggarai people, a local tribe that still preserves their culture. If you want to see how the culture of Flores, Wae Rebo is one of traditional village where to go in Flores. The village is set in a valley between hills.
Besides to see the locals tradition, the journey to Wae Rebo village is an adventure in itself. 10 kilometers trek through the rain forests and steep hills are the only way to reach the village.
It takes about 4 hours long of walking. While trekking you will find some waterfalls and swimming holes that you can enjoy for resting at one of them. Once you get there, you will see how locals live and you can enjoy some unique music and foods. You can even stay overnight at round hut that traditionally made by Manggarai people.
In some special occasion, you can see the Caci Dance. It is a dance where two men try to fight by hitting each other with whips. The men are dressed in handmade outfits depicting animals and accompanied with drum beats. The winner is the one that can inflict more damage to enemy, but don’t worry since the injuries inflicted are not severe. Since it is not an everyday dances, you must hire a guide that know the schedule of the Caci Dance.
5. Riung 17 Marine Park
It is one of Marine Park you need to go in Flores. Riung in local language means island. Actually, there are more than 17 islands in Riung 17 Marine Park. The water of this marine park is full of tropical fish, reefs and turtles. The current isn’t as strong as in the Komodo National Park so it is safe for you the beginner diver to explore the underwater park of Riung 17 without a guide or trainer.
But if you want to stay dry, enjoy the white sandy beaches while sunbathing. Most of the island in Riung 17 Marine Park is uninhabited so you can feel the nature without many people around. You can also trek to the jungle to see the flying foxes and fruit bats which are lots of them living on the islands.