Destination: Flores

Flores (IndonesianPulau Flores) is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, a group of islands in the eastern half of Indonesia. The population was 1,931,000 in the 2010 census and the largest town is Maumere. The name Flores is the Portuguese word for “Flowers”.

Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo islands and west of Lembata island and the Alor Archipelago. To the southeast is Timor. To the south, across the Sumba Strait, is Sumba island and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is Sulawesi.

Among all islands containing Indonesian territory, is the 10th most populous after JavaSumatraBorneo (Kalimantan), SulawesiNew GuineaBaliMaduraLombok, and Timor and also the 10th biggest island of Indonesia.

Until the arrival of modern humans, Flores was inhabited by Homo floresiensis, a pygmy archaic human.

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is the 1,639-metre-high (5,377-foot) Kelimutu volcano, containing three colored lakes, located in the district of Ende close to the town of Moni, although there is also the Inierie volcano near Bajawa. These crater lakes are in the caldera of a volcano, and fed by a volcanic gas source, resulting in highly acidic water. The colored lakes change colors on an irregular basis, depending on the oxidation state of the lake[17] from bright red through green and blue.

There are snorkeling and diving locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, combined with the after-effects of a devastating tsunami in 1992, the reefs have slowly been destroyed.

Tourism

Labuan Bajo, located on the western tip is often used by tourists as a base to visit Komodo and Rinca islands. Labuan Bajo also attracts scuba divers, as whale sharks inhabit the waters around Labuan Bajo.

The Luba and Bena villages include traditional houses in Flores. Bena is also noted for its Stone Age megaliths.

Larantuka, on the isle’s eastern end, is known for its Holy Week festivals.

In recent years, local tourist firms around Kelimutu have begun promoting cycling tours around Flores, some of which take up to five or six days depending on the particular program.[18]

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