10 reasons to visit Flores in Indonesia

posted in: Asia, Beaches, Culture, Indonesia, Nature, Tips | 88

My last trip to Indonesia was discovering a world beyond Bali. There is no doubt that Bali is beautiful but wandering beyond it to explore the hidden gems of Flores Island was even more enthralling. Given my own experience, I would definitely recommend that one looks at including Flores, if they are headed to Indonesia.

Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia
Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia

Here are my 10 reasons as to why Flores needs to be your next Indonesian destination –

1) Meet the Komodo dragons

Spotting the first Komodo Dragon
Spotting the first Komodo Dragon

What is a visit to Indonesia if you have not met their most exclusive inhabitants – the fearful, fascinating and unusual Komodo dragons. Flores is possibly the most famous being the only lair to these beasts. Pull your socks up, stick close to the ranger and get ready for a trek to spot these dragons. The Komodo dragons are known for its several unusual traits – having a forked tongue, with poisonous saliva, a speed that puts most of us to shame and yes – for being a direct descendant of the dinosaurs.  🙂 Get to know more about these dragons and my own adventure with them through this link.

2) Trek up Padar Island

Atop Padar Island
Atop Padar Island

The Komodo dragons are not just the only reason that one needs to head to the Komodo National Park. And they are not the only reason why the Komodo National Park made it to list of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Padar Island, definitely, is one more reason for the same. A short and fun trek up this lovely island allows you to set your sights on some amazing work of nature – the tri-colored beaches of Padar Island. White, Black and Pink beaches, all bordering this secluded island. A sight that only Flores can treat you to.

3) Fun at Pink Beach

Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia

A girl’s dream – pink beach is really Pink! The pink beach owes its color to the red coral that breaks and washes up the shore.

Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia
Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia

The contrast of the clear blue water against the contrasting pink shores is quite a gorgeous sight to behold. Just stroll around the shores or opt for an open water snorkeling experience here. The sights below that clear water will not fail to amaze you. Why, take a look at what I found under water!

Blue Star fish that we spotted when snorkeling. Picture credits: My blogger friend - Lucie
Blue Star fish that we spotted when snorkeling.                                                             Picture credits: My blogger friend – Lucie

4) Dive & Snorkel in Flores

Me snorkeling at Mawun Island Thanks to Lucie for this picture
Me snorkeling at Mawun Island.  Thanks to Lucie for this picture

Pink beach is just the beginning of your snorkeling experience in Flores. There are plenty of unique dive spots and secluded beaches for these water activities. Manta Ray Point promises you a great swim or dive with the gentle mantas while the white coral covered Mawun beach is a perfect spot for some diverse and colorful underwater snorkeling experience. In fact, the water at Mawun beach was so clear, that we did not need to even snorkel to see the corals. 🙂

Mawun Island with its clear waters and stunning coral life. Flores, Indonesia
Mawun Island with its clear waters and stunning coral life. Flores, Indonesia

 

5) The Cunca Wulang waterfalls

Cunca Wulang Waterfalls with its jumping pit, Flores
Cunca Wulang Waterfalls with its jumping pit, Flores

Experience a little bit of the Indonesian forests and hills with a short trek down to the Cunca Wulang waterfalls. 30 kms from Labuan Bajo, these amazing waterfalls cascade down the hills to several fresh water rivulets and ponds.

Hiking to Cunca Waterfalls
Hiking to Cunca Waterfalls

The trek to the falls itself is a beautiful experience, with narrow, slippery paths that require you to step over a maze of overgrown roots and swing over the low branches of trees. For me, that trek itself was a high. For the rest of my troop, the high jump into the fresh water river from a designated spot near the Cunca Waterfalls was an amazing experience.

6) Mesmerizing sunsets of Flores

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Drinks by the Sunset at Labuan Bajo, Flores
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No matter where you are in Flores – Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Ende or Maumere, you are bound to be treated to some really mesmerizing sunsets. Each day, each location gives you a different high. Some sombre, some vibrant and some just tranquil – each sunset weaves a different mood and story for you. For me, the end of each day in Flores was just perfect.

7) Tri-colored magic of Kelimutu

As the clouds blew over the craters and the sun rose over Kelimutu
As the clouds blew over the craters and the sun rose over Kelimutu

Mount Kelimutu with its gorgeous craters and its accompanying legends are definitely one of the top reasons to visit Flores. Remember to catch the first rays of sun at Kelimutu or if that is too early, catching the last ones is not such a bad idea. The bright colors of the volcanic fluid, along with the swirl of clouds over it, create the most unforgettable and magical moments for you. Discover all about Kelimutu through this post of mine.

8) Traditional villages of Flores

Melo village, Flores
Melo village, Flores

The little tribal villages around Flores are perfect places to experience the traditional Indonesian culture and lifestyle. Be it the remote and unique huts of Wae Rebo or the warm hospitality of the Melo villages, you are bound to be enchanted by the locals here.

Caci Dance or the War Dance of Flores
Caci Dance or the War Dance of Flores

Catch the Caci dance while you are here and remember to take home those local treats from these villages. Wae Rebo and Melo are accessible from Labuan Bajo while you can head to Wologai village from Ende. You can even visit the Sikka village near Maumere for their traditional textile making classes.

9) Relax at the Koka beach

Koka Beach, Flores
Koka Beach, Flores

While there are numerous beaches in Flores that one can enjoy, I particularly mention Koka beach for its unique shores. The warm blue waters and the soft sands with beach shacks seem ideal for a day picnic with family.

Waves lashing out at the cliff dividing Koka beach
Waves lashing out at the cliff dividing Koka beach

The beach forks out to two shores separated by a cliff but each as accessible as the other. And as you can see in the pictures, our little family of bloggers had an amazing time – so much that we wanted to go there again the next day!

Our team having fun at Koka beach, Flores
Our team having fun at Koka beach, Flores

10) Charm of small towns

The cute, small streets of Labuan Bajo, Flores
The cute, small streets of Labuan Bajo, Flores

Flores islands are not as big or touristy as Bali. The towns – Labuan Bajo, Ende and Maumere are quite small – so much that you can just walk around the main areas and cover it all. There is a certain warmth and charm that I found in these towns, that seem unique only to them. Indonesia is best experienced here with its little thrifty stores, cute little restaurants, serene shores and virtually – no traffic. Definitely one key reason to head to Flores.

I am sure you are quite convinced now that you need to visit Flores. Message in and let me know which is your favorite reason to head here.

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Getting to Flores:

  • The three main towns that you need to consider for Flores are Labuan Bajo, Ende and Maumere
  • Labuan Bajo
    Labuan Bajo at night, Flores
    Labuan Bajo at night, Flores
    • This is the town that you need to plan for if you are keen on Komodo National Park, Cunca Waterfalls, Wae Rebo and Melo.
    • There are plenty of flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo. You can look up their timings and fares through this link.
    • You can either rent a bike or just walk around Labuan Bajo to explore it.
    • To get to Komodo Island, refer to the getting here section of this post.
    • For Cunca Waterfalls and the traditional villages, you will need to hire a car from Labuan Bajo. These are easily available through the various tour operators and hotels in Labuan Bajo. You can even book these tours online.
  • Ende
    • To visit Koka beach and Mount Kelimutu, Ende is a good option.
    • You can get to Ende by flight from Bali or Labuan Bajo. Click on the respective names for the various flight options and fares.
    • To get to Kelimutu or Koka beach, you can opt for a car or one of the organized tours from Ende. The same can be found online.
    • Wologai village is the other place that is accessible by road from Ende.
  • Maumere
    • There are regular flights from Bali and Labuan Bajo to Maumere. Click the respective cities for the various flight options and their fares.
    • Maumere is an alternative stop for Kelimutu and Koka beach. I have shared on how to get here in this post.
    • Sikka Village and the Statue of Virgin Mary are the other attractions that can be reached through Maumere.

Travel Tips for Flores:

  • You can visit Flores any time between April to November. December to March is a little rainy . August is generally, the peak tourist season.
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Sylvia Resort, Labuan Bajo, Flores
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  • Stay is not too difficult in any of the above mentioned towns of Flores. You can get a hotel or a home stay in any budget. Based on my own experience, I can suggest the following –
    • Labuan BajoSylvia resort for a comfortable stay by the beach. Le Pirate Hotel for a little bit of a back-packer, a little bit of luxury and a little bit of a theme stay. This one amused me with their decor. Review coming up soon!
    • Ende – Grand Wisata Hotel for a comfortable one night stay.
    • Maumere  Coconut Garden Beach resort. Truly delightful and amazing by-the beach experience. Their unique huts and eco-friendly decor stole my heart 🙂
  • Breakfast is not too elaborate in any of these hotels. Vegetarian options are available but are quite limited. Hence, do prepare accordingly.
  • There are quite a few restaurants in these small towns for your meals. Here are three that I definitely suggest –
    • Mediterraneo in Labuan Bajo for its continental dishes and mouth smacking desserts
    • The Plataran for its unique ship like restaurant. A perfect place to have a meal by the beach in Labuan Bajo
    • Pari Koro restaurant in Ende for its simple and elegant decor with lovely Indonesian food.
  • Most of the attractions that I mentioned, will require you to get in touch with tour operators for transport that can take you to these places. All these are available easily along the streets of these small towns. Alternately you can book them online. In Labuan Bajo, we had taken the help of Oradive center in Labuan Bajo and were quite happy with them.

P.S: I was a part of the Bloggers’ trip organized by Skyscanner and Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia

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88 Responses

  1. Yogi Saraswat

    Beautiful place to visit !!

  2. This was such a great post. I have never heard of Flores before but I will be adding it to my list. My favourite from this list was Padar Island, it looks absolutely magical! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks Sasha. Flores is a little unexplored. Definitely one of my reccos to those heading to Indonesia. You will love it.

  3. Lovely photographs and informative post.

  4. I love such offbeat places a lot. The lack of traffic, tourists, and presence of local culture provide you a certain warmth not experienced in places like Bali (as you’ve mentioned too). My reasons to visit would be all, being close to nature that I am

  5. All ten reasons seem so enticing!
    The pink beach is kind of dream for me. Just hoping it will get fulfilled.

  6. Always love to read your posts. This is again a very interesting one. I read your adventure with the dragon as well. Quiet a story!! The island view is also very beautiful. Hope to plan a vacation here soon. Will make a note of these points

    • Thank you Neha. Komodo dragon was fun indeed. Glad I managed to see it. Hope you get to Flores soon

  7. wow, never heard of Flores but now cannot wait to get there and relax on that glorious pink beach. Your photographs are pretty stupendous as well and make the whole trip very tempting.

  8. Indeed a breathtaking place to visit… so in love with your shots captured 🙂 Thanks for sharing Ami!

    • Thank you Maitreni. It is a lovely place albeit a sad one too. But that is what makes it interesting.

  9. vishvarsha

    Offbeat and so colourful! these 10 reasons would convince anyone to visit Flores 😀

  10. This is worth the visit. You’ve got me inspired here. Indonesia is quite a cut of heaven. I hope I have a chance to visit this place. The sunset is really wonderful but what caught my eyes is the pink beach. It’s my first time hearing about that.

    • Thanks Rosemarie. This place does have a lot of unique things…definitely a visit that is memorable and unique.

  11. I’ve been in Indonesia but sadly I wasn’t able to visit Flores, I never knew that they have a beautiful Island beach like Flores, hope to visit again thanks for the tips.

  12. I have heard nothing but amazing things about flores, the komodo dragons look scary as!

  13. It’s really great collection of some best places to visit at flores indonesia. This article has mention some best beaches, under water, small town etc. Those makes it best post to know why reasons visit flores indonesia.

  14. Ever since you showed me that picture of pink beach, I was already gearing up to visit Indonesia soon. Now you just gave me more reasons. I will still stay as far as possible from the komodo dragon.

  15. Flores looks absolutely stunning! I have been meaning to go to Indonesia and you added an extra reason why i should visit. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  16. I love pink! I would love to visit the pink beach! I heard that people would try to take sand home with them from there so I hope there’s still some when I finally save up to visit haha!

    • Sadly yes, people are quite irresponsible and do take the sand home. I believe it was pinker than what we saw. People should not destroy the place with these petty things but enjoy it for what it is.

  17. The Padar Island trek to spot the tricolored beaches is enough reason for us to plan a trip to Flores. They are just incredible so surreal. Snorkelling would definitely be on list.

  18. Heard so much about Bali, and why I should visit, and it’s definitely on my bucket list. As so, the Flores are so underestimated! It seems there is so much things to do there, and the Pink beach is truly a dream! So Insta worthy! I have been meaning to go to Indonesia for such a long time, and now there are extra reasons why I should hop on a plane and go there! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Flores is definitely on our list too. Great post. What length of stay to do you recommend to see and do all these great things?

    • 2-3 days in Labuan Bajo, 2 days in Ende or Maumere. This shuuld be the minimum as per me. 😀 Have a good trip.

  20. Flores is really amazing with so much to see and do. I for one am really interested in the Komodo dragons and would love to meet them! Of course the exotic beaches are a tempting attraction too.

  21. So amazing reasons to visit Flores! Love the star fish and the pink beach!

  22. I’m dreaming to visit Indonesia for almost a year at present and I can’t wait to visit very soon. Thank you for sharing all the list of places to visit, some on your list are actually on my radar, some I have just heard about it therefore I thank you for this.

    LaiAriel

  23. You really have excited me to a different level with your amazing writeup. Would love to visit the Pink Beach and Koka Beach. That Komodo dragon looks really dangerous.

  24. Flores is an undiscovered gem in Indonesia. I’ve done all those things except I missed climbing Padar Island. The Cunca waterfall looks like it’s the spot to cool off.

  25. I agree with all your points here, and did many of these when I was in Indonesia! Great post!

  26. Great tips! I have pink sand beach on my bucket list and it looks like you’ve gotten all of Flores covered so this will definitely come in handy 🙂 Thanks for this share!

  27. I would love to visit Indonesia! It has been on my bucket list for ages. I do think I would enjoy the snorkeling and seeing the komodo dragons! They look fierce but also interesting.

  28. Very interesting; thanks for sharing:)

  29. I think Indonesia won’t give me amnesia! Ahh maybe yes, for all my worries in life, lol this place is heaven

  30. One day when I make it to Indonesia I’m determined to get off the beaten path beyond Bali. There’s so much sights to be seen and culture to be experienced in this beautiful country!

  31. Such an amazing list! I am trying to pick favorites, but everything is amazing. The Komodo dragons are the biggest appeal for me. But only by a bit. The traditional villages look absolutely fascinating!

  32. The first item I thought about, was my camera! I could not go there without it. Especially at the ink beaches!! The landscapes look absolutely stunning

  33. I have to say that I’ve been drawn to Bali but Flores looks beautiful. I had no idea that there was a pink beach! I’d definitely love to see the Komodo dragons and visit the traditional villages.

  34. I have followed your trip to Indonesia and you are right, Flores looks so much more beautiful and quieter than Bali. I bet Bali is beautiful too, but for me it’s too touristy. I remember reading your hike towards the peak from where you can see the 3 colored beaches and imagined how cool it would be for me ti hike there too. Definitely a great destination for a special active trip.

  35. This is awesome. I’ve been dreaming of that view from Padar Island since I first saw it. I can’t wait to visit it for myself.

  36. Awesome article, I would love to trek up Padar Island, and check out the Waterfalls. Flores sounds like a dream, hope to visit someday.

  37. What a sooperb post! And Pink beach is definitely up my alley. Padar island seems to be a beach lover’s delight.
    I hope I visit the place soon on my trip.

  38. Did you do this trip on DIY or you hire an agency to create your Itinerary? I love to visit the PInk Island, Padar Island and Cunca waterfalls. I love to trek and this kind of things excites me. 😀

    • I was a part of the bloggers trip organized by Skyscanner and Indonesia Tourism. So most of it was arranged. However, it is not too difficult to manage. Just follow the Getting there and Travel tips section. 🙂

  39. Flores! We badly wanted to include Flores in our month-long trip in Indonesia last January, but dang, that country is so effing big! We only made it to Lombok. Those lovely photos made me want to visit Flores next year!

  40. Soraya @ Hello Raya

    How beautiful! I would love to visit Flores one day – it is on my bucket list for sure. That pink beach looks so unique – I think I would go mad with photography here. And Kalimutu – omg that view is incredible. Pinning this for next time!

  41. What an amazing set of pictures you got there! I’m thrilled for sure, good name you picked for this blog. Seriously now, Indonesia seems to come up more and more as one of the best destinations on the planet. I’ll might gather the courage and book my flights sooner than expected.

  42. Flores looks stunning from your inages.These are defo 10 fantastic reasons to visit.Love the pink beach. Will be sharing this post.

  43. I am absolutely dying to visit Padar and Komodo Island! This just makes me want to hop on a plane tomorrow. Bookmarking for when I finally make it there one day!

Would love to know what you think