Flores – 10 beautiful places, 7 sights to visit with 4 option guide and tip
As we found out ourselves, Flores still invites you to countless adventures. In addition to the mainland, Flores also fascinates travelers with the countless islands of the Komodo National Park, which is incredibly diverse and therefore definitely worth a visit.
Fast facts Flores
The name Flores comes from the Portuguese and means “flowers”. The island belongs to the so-called Sunda Islands in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara.
About one million inhabitants live on this beautiful “flower”. Everything is different on Flores. About 91 percent of the population are Christians. The population of Flores became almost exclusively Catholic through Portuguese missionary work in the 16th century. So don’t be surprised at the many churches on the side of the road.
The islands live largely from agriculture (rice, corn, coffee, cocoa, cassava, and sugar cane).
Our cozy start to the Flores adventure
On Flores, more precisely in Maumere, we treated ourselves to a nice beach hotel ( Amrita Hotel ) for two nights. So we started our Flores adventure in the eastern part of the island.
We were almost the only guests on-site, as the period from late March to early April still belongs to the off-season. The hotel itself was super chic and located directly on a great beach with wonderful sunsets.
We then rented a scooter in Maumere for a day (bookable directly from the hotel and extremely cheap) and drove towards Bola. There we discover a beautiful deserted, elongated black sand beach. The path led us through villages and small palm-lined paths. Our Flores adventure started with this first excursion.
Our travel time on Flores
We were very lucky with the weather, as the heavy rain had been over for a few days. So we were able to explore Flores mostly when the weather was nice.
During this time of year, everything is wonderfully green on Flores, as it has rained a lot in the previous months. So you can also experience the famous island of Padar in Komodo National Park more green than dry and yellow (as after the dry season).
The 10 most beautiful places and sights on Flores
There are so many beautiful places in Flores. We have mainly focused on the “highlights” of the island and will be happy to put together the most beautiful places for us, which we were able to discover during our time on Flores.
The order follows our tour from Maumere to Labuan Bajo.
Flores: Lunch at Koka Beach
On the first day with Hendro, we were already able to visit one of the most beautiful beaches on this great island, Koka Beach.
After visiting a local vegetable market at Maumere, we went straight to Koka Beach to spend the rest of the day there.
There is a delicious fish restaurant on the beach, which is exactly to our taste: simple, local, and delicious.
There is also a lookout point that you can go up to – or rather climb up to. The ascent is worthwhile, as you can enjoy a great view of both bays from up there.
Attractions Flores: Sunrise at Kelimutu crater
The next morning we got up early.
At 4:00 in the morning, we made our way to the Kelimutu crater. The way there is very easy and the viewpoint can be reached in less than 30 minutes with little effort.
Once at the lookout point, the locals offer tea, coffee, and snacks. We treated ourselves to a hot tea while we waited for the magical sunrise.
Until the sun shows up, it can get pretty fresh on the Kelimutu. We were happy to have our jackets with us!
Of course, a beautiful sunrise always depends on the weather, with us it was a bit foggy. Nevertheless – as you can see in the pictures below – it was worth it for us to start the day on the Kelimutu.
Flores: Blue Stone Beach
The Blue Stone Beach is suitable as a stopover on the stage to Bajawa.
The beach with the bluestones is very beautiful, but from our point of view, a visit only makes sense if you drive past anyway.
We particularly liked that we were able to enjoy a delicious lunch on the blue sandy beach in a Warung.
The Blue Stone Beach itself did not knock our socks off.
Attractions Flores: Bajawa and the traditional villages
The village of Bena was our first traditional village during our tour of Flores. Thanks to Ary we were invited to a Kopi (coffee) with a family and were able to learn more about village life. Ary acts as an interpreter.
The villager in the picture below is unfortunately blind with age. However, he plays beautiful music and is very happy when he is allowed to play for others and gets applause at the end.
Starting from the Bena village, we hiked with a local guide to the Tololela village. You can reach this village after a trek through the jungle.
On the way there, Josef, as our companion was called, showed us a lot of interesting things and we were able to try many wild fruits!
There was a lot of laughter, less talk, which was due to the language barrier.
Once there we found an incredibly beautiful village, which was surrounded by mountains. The backdrop was overwhelming.
In addition, we were the only tourists there. The Tololela Village is, therefore, less touristy than the village of Bena.
Flores Attractions: Malange Hot & Cold Springs
After the hike to the Tololela village, we were happy to visit the Malange Hot & Cold Springs.
Here a hot spring from the volcano flows together with the cold river water. So it is possible to stand with one leg in cold water and with the other in hot water.
We found the nature around the Malange Hot & Cold Springs very beautiful – you only have to get used to the sulfur smell.
Flores Attractions: Belaraghi Traditional Village
We hadn’t had enough of traditional villages and spontaneously asked Ary if we could still visit the Belaraghi village. This is on the way from Bajawa to Ruteng.
Ary didn’t hesitate and asked a few locals for directions. The road to the village is doable by car, but it’s a bumpy thing. We were once again happy to have Ary with us.
Visitors rarely come to Belaraghi village. We would recommend everyone to plan this village on a Flores tour. The location is really beautiful and the locals are looking forward to you.
It was certainly a great advantage to have Ary with us, since he was able to act as an interpreter again.
Attractions Flores: Spider Rice Fields in Ruteng
The city of Ruteng is nothing special. But from here you can take a couple of nice trips, including a side trip to the Spider Rice Fields.
You walk up to the viewpoint for about 10 minutes and from there you have a great view of the entire rice fields, which look like spider webs. Well worth a visit in any case!
Flores Attractions: Secret Ricefield Viewpoint
There are many useful apps for a trip through Flores – one of them is certainly maps. Because on this map app we discovered a ” secret rice terrace viewpoint “. Of course, we had to have a look at it.
After a short drive from the Spider Rice Fields, we reached the viewpoint and were rewarded with a super beautiful view. The viewpoint is really worth a detour.
The rice terraces are huge and everything is wonderfully green. We spent some time there and let the landscape affect us.
Flores Attractions: Todo Traditional Village
We decided to visit Todo village next. Because the village was on the way to our next destination: WaeRebo.
To get into the village, you first have to pay and wear traditional clothes – Ary also had to put on a sarong.
The village is beautifully situated and the architecture of the houses is very exciting.
However, we found it rather strange that we had to put on the intended clothing, even though the village itself seemed rather deserted.
Flores Attractions: WaeRebo Traditional Village
A partly bumpy road leads from the village of Todo to Denge. From there, the two-hour hike to the village of WaeRebo starts.
In advance, we already checked out WaeRebo on the Internet. The opinions there are divided. In the end, we wanted to form our own opinion and therefore accepted the long journey and the hike to spend the night in WaeRebo.
The first part of the hike was relatively exhausting. The second part was a lot more relaxed because the path was not so steep anymore.
Once at the top we had mixed feelings. On the one hand, a wonderfully magical backdrop awaited us and you felt like in a movie. On the other hand, the village is quite touristy, the price of accommodation is relatively high, the food is rather poor and – especially when you are out and about in high season – packed with tourists (up to 100), all of whom sleep in one room.
Fortunately, there were fewer people with us – and only local tourists – who stayed with us in WaeRebo overnight. Her fascination with this village finally infected us.
Nevertheless, we would rather avoid a visit in the main season
Sights in Komodo National Park
We decided to go on a 4-day boat tour with Le Pirates.
There are mattresses in the open sleeping area. In addition, the boat is not very large and the group size is accordingly small.
In terms of price, the Les Pirates Tour is certainly in the upper range – but in our view, it was worth it.
We highly recommend Komodo National Park. The diversity, the underwater world, and the feeling of being guided for four days and experiencing one highlight after another are awesome.
Flores Attractions: Rinca Island
There were many different activities on the 4-day boat tour with Le Pirates. One of them was to visit the Komodo dragons on the island of Rinca.
With just one bite, the Komodos can kill their prey. We have actually seen many dragons. We also watched a baby Komodo go looking for food in a tree.
Flores Attractions: Turtle Point
Next up was the turtle point.
When we jumped into the water, we were actually surprised and saw many turtles. The snorkeling equipment is offered by Le Pirates and is of very good quality.
Flores Attractions: Manta Point
In addition to Nusa Penida, there is also a Manta Point in Komodo National Park. Excited about what to expect, we jumped into the water and were blown away relatively quickly.
We have never been so close to these wonderful underwater creatures. In some cases, we swam with over seven large manta rays .
It was an incredibly great experience that we will never forget. If you love Mantas as much as we do, take a look at the work of the NGO ” Marine Megafauna Foundation ” or download the wonderful film ” The Patterns of the Ocean “.
Flores Attractions: Pink Beach
Now the Pink Beach was announced.
A pink beach, does it really exist? At first, we couldn’t really imagine this.
But lo and behold, the sand seems to be really pink or pink. The scenery around Pink Beach was really beautiful. We fell in love with the beach and the surrounding area.
The Pink Beach was definitely a highlight of our trip.
Flores Attractions: Padar Island
The word “Wow!” Occurred every minute on the climb to the Padar viewpoint.
Thanks to the time of year (beginning of April) everything was green and the view from the – now relatively famous – viewpoint was just terrific.
You just have to see Padar Island for yourself. You will never regret it!
Flores Attractions: Bats Point
At sunset, we drove to a mangrove island, from which we could see hundreds of bats changing locations and looking for food.
The spectacle was even more spectacular live than you could show it with a photo. We were lucky and in addition to the countless bats, we got a really great sunset.
Attractions Flores: Le Pirate Island
At the end of our boat tour, we were able to spend the night on the private island of “Le Pirates”.
The bungalows had a comfortable mattress and a mosquito net. Either way, you don’t need more in a home on the beach. The common areas such as showers and bathrooms were all very well maintained and decorated with attention to detail.
The beach at Le Pirate Island was fantastic and the house reef was just great. You had enough time to relax on the island. The shuttle to Labuan Bajo did not leave the island until 4 p.m. the next day.
Options for your arrival in Flores
Flying (e.g. from Bali, Lombok or Timor)
If you have a slightly higher budget and less time, you can fly to Bali, Lombok, Timor, or another island in Indonesia from Flores. You can find cheap flights on the Indonesian flight comparison website tiket.com.
From Lombok via Sumbawa to Flores by bus and ferry
This path is by far the most strenuous, but also the cheapest option.
You book a ticket to Flores at a bus station in Lombok. Then a small bus takes you to the eastern port in Lombok. There a ferry crosses to Sumbawa.
And now the caustic part of the journey begins. You drive a small bus across Sumbawa to the eastern port in Sumbawa. There you take a seven-hour ferry to Flores.
Overland routes on your own
The adventurers among us can also travel to Flores on our own by land.
If you are lucky, you can bring your own scooter and travel from Bali to Flores, for example – but this can take some time!
From Lombok three to five days on the boat to Flores
You can also book the multi-day boat trip from Lombok for a little more rupiah. Here you sleep in a boat and look at some Komodo Islands on the way.
With this variant, you should take care of the organizer. A survey in the community had the best experience with the provider.
With the variant, one should be careful in the rainy season. Because then the journey can be quite uncomfortable. Read a negative report about the boat tour here.
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