Welcome to the home of Komodo dragons & find out things to do in Flores
A hidden paradise in the east of Nusa Tenggara called Flores Island is waiting for you. Besides its popularity as the natural habit of the famous komodo dragons, the island has lots to offer for you. From unforgettable adventures, breathtaking views, and amazing activities next to pure Indonesian hospitality from our lovely Home Sweet Home hosts. A magical sanctuary for all nature lovers, culture freaks, surfers, beach addicts and families, let’s explore this treasure called Flores! By the way, did you know that the name Flores derives from Portuguese word meaning “flower”?
Start off your adventure from the heart of Flores called Labuan Bajo
“From where should i begin?” Good question! The best way to go to Flores is by booking a flight from I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport in Bali to Komodo Airport which located near the city of Labuan Bajo. You can choose various airlines like Nam Air, Garuda Indonesia, or Wings Air. Snorkling, diving, live on board sailing trip and other day tours are easy to arrange here since this is the main tourist area on the island. This is why Labuan Bajo is undoubtedly a perfect starting point for your Flores trips. Best known as the fisherman village, it is also a mandatory to go to the fish market along the bay and enjoy some grilled seafoods with spicy local sauce! Just fyi, the price of the seafood is here is really cheap compared to other places in Indonesia. Sounds amazing right?
Explore the Flores underwater world: let’s go snorkling in the hidden islands!
While you’re enjoying the beautiful bay town of Labuan Bajo, you should not forget your main mission there – arranging boat trips to the nearest islands. Basically, you can find boat tour operator in every corner of the streets of Labuan Bajo. Kanawa Island, Taka Makasar Island, Bidadari Island, Kelor Island and Seraya Island are the most favourites. On the islands you can enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches, stunning corals and tropical rainbow fishes! If you’re lucky enough, you can meet the Manta Rays as well. Just enjoy some tropical boat trips, the beautiful underwater world and private beaches during your day tour. You can either bring your own snorkel, or borrow one with the tour operator. Snorkel paradises are waiting you!
Meet the largest living lizards in the world: Komodo dragons
You haven’t been to Flores if you haven’t meet the Komodo dragons! There are two places in Flores where you can meet these amazing creatures in their natural habitats: Komodo Island and Rinca Island, both islands are part of the Komodo National Park. A little bit of tip for you, the chances of encountering the mighty dragons on Rinca Island are more promising than the Komodo Island itself. When visiting the national park, you will need to pay the entrance fee of IDR 150,000 equals USD 10 per person which valid for 3 days. There will be also additional charge if you bring professional camera. Typically when you book through a travel operator in Labuan Bajo these fees are already included, but if not you can pay it upon arrival at the parks offices inside the Komodo or Rinca Island.
Starting January 2020, the government of Indonesia will temporarily close the Komodo Island due to conservation purpose and to increase the population of the Komodo dragons. It will be re-open again in January 2021.
After getting soaked under the sun from walking around the island to see Komodo, make a little stop to the famous Pink Beach. Yes, you read it right, this stunning beach is called Pink Beach because the sands are literally in pink colour! Amazing, isn’t it? This happens because of the microscopic tiny creatures called foraminifera that are spread on the coral reefs here. This, combined with the white sands, create the magical pink coloured beach that’s worth to be called paradise! You can also go snorkling in Pink Beach and witness a wide variety of corals and tropical fishes. Beaches are awesome but a Pink Beach is even better!
Reach to the top of Padar Island and be prepared to be speechless
Don’t leave out your hiking shoes because this will be really useful for your hiking trip in Padar Island. All you have to do is go all the way up to the top for about 10-15 minutes and voilà, your eyes will be spoiled with a majestic panoramic view of the combination of green hills, turquoise-coloured bays and white sands beach. This picturesque view can be the highlight of your trip to Flores!
Time to relax in Maumere and visit a local traditional market
As one of the biggest cities in Flores, Maumere is definitely worth to put on your list. In contrast to Labuan Bajo, there hasn’t been much tourist here yet, that’s why Maumere is very laid back and here you can feel the authentic eastern Indonesia city vibes. If you haven’t got chance to visit the village of Sikka, center of the legendary Flores hand woven fabric located 30km from Maumere, you can opt to go visit the traditional Alok Market. Find ranging Tenun Ikat made directly from Sikka Village and get yourself some amazing souvenirs from the Flores here.
Explore the beautiful beachside of Maumere
The eastern part of Maumere offers some beautiful beaches where you can dive, snorkel and relax. Zone out, explore one beach after the other and experience peaceful nature and calm vibes! While there are many out there that are still unexplored, the most famous beaches in the area are Waierterang Beach and Koka Beach. Waierterang Beach are renowned among divers, that’s why you can easily find certified PADI diving courses here. Meanwhile, a little bit further you can find the amazing Koka Beach where you can just chill and order a fresh lunch with the local fishermen. There’s only one thing you should do in this beautiful coastal paradise: enjoy the views and cherish those beautiful moments on a stunning quiet beach!
Get lost in the spiderweb rice field in Ruteng
Ruteng is mainly known for the beautiful nature: impressive rice field views and volcanoes included! Do you know that the rice fields in Ruteng are made in a spiderweb shape, after a Manggarai tradition? Why is it shaped as spiderweb? Well, the lands are owned by the villagers according to their status in the village and the number of their family members. The higher the status and the larger the family means the larger the portion of the fields would be given to them. So it only makes sense that they made the shape like a spiderweb. The spiderweb rice fields are not the only must-see, while here make sure to pay visit to the traditional Manggaraian “Compang”, a village center with the typical eastern Indonesia stone altar. Meet the locals and see how they live in their traditional habitat. A beautiful and mind-opening experience!
Live with a local family in a traditional hut in the rural area of Ruteng
Feel the raw and untouched charms of the beautiful Ende
It might not as quite popular as the other cities in Flores, but Ende surprisingly offers many options to do for travellers. From historical sites to gorgeous natural attractions, you can find it in Ende. For Indonesians, this city has a particularly strong connection to Indonesian national history. Indonesia’s first president, Soekarno was being exile here by the Dutch colonial government. If you’re a history nerd, make sure to visit Rumah Pengasingan Bung Karno Museum and learn more about the history of Indonesia’s independency. In the mood for some seafoods? Go wandering around the fish market in Ende and see the activity of local fishermen – feel the Indonesian small city life vibes. For those nature lovers, go explore the secret Blue Stone Beach, where you can find a beach covered in stunning blue stones. Truly one of a kind experience!
Kelimutu National Park, the place to be for nature lovers!
Discover nature’s finest in Kelimutu National Park. Wake up early and watch the sunrise above the 3 crater lakes that have changing colors! The colors change once every few years, due to the composition of the minerals. Definitely worth a visit to start the day right, overlooking some pure natural beauty. A nice village close by is Moni, a small and quiet village where you can rewind and relax after exploring!
Visit the highland town of Bajawa and stay the night in Bena Village
The most unexplored and less touristic area of the island is Bajawa. The area is made for trekking, either by motorbike or a hike. While it’s still quiet and unexplored, there is plenty to do! Climb your way to the top of the Mount Inerie, hike along the crater lakes or relax in the hot springs! Meet the traditional tribes in the villages around Bajawa, where you learn about the male and female totems and travel back in time! One of the most famous villages here is Bena Village. Wooden houses, women weaving fabrics on the street, and all day long live traditional music in any random street – you will feel like you are traveling back in time here. This area is your spot for some pure culture and true experiences!
A lot of smiles, coconuts and big hearts in Flores
As you might already know, most of the places listed with Home Sweet Home have been visited by ourselves to offer you not a 5* but a million star experience. In Flores, it is our team Sara and Sabrina who were so lucky to be on journey finding magical places for Home Sweet Home all over the island. ‘Treasure Hunting’ is our motto – we want to bring all cultures together and open the beautiful doors to the world! Read Sabrina’s beautiful story about how she found magical places, got lost in the middle of nowhere, and accidentally signed up a brothel. Also, meet the heart of Home Sweet Home – Sara and learn everything about the journey full of hard and heart work!