10 Best Things to do in Flores Island
Once an island only a few have heard of, now Flores is drawing great interest from both international and domestic travellers From the dragons on Komodo island to the magnificent Mount Kelmutu, new arrivals are spell bound by Flores natural beauty. Here are the 10 best things to do on Flores
1. The Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island
Flores most famous attraction are the Komodo Dragons, found on several islands in Komodo National Park as well as a few less well known locations on mainland West Flores. The huge lizards have been around for over 2 million years and are believed to be descended from even larger dragons once living in Australia. Local culture adheres to the legend of the Komodo Princess in which man and dragon share common ancestry and bond. Merian Cooper an early 20th Century adventurer and movie director, famous for creating “King Kong” was first inspired for his story when a friend told him about the king-sized lizards, on Komodo Island. For those interested in a King size tourist experience, Komodo National Park is just the place to visit. More than just being a haven for dragons, Komodo National Park offers some of the most dramatic coastal landscapes, wondrous beaches and one of the worlds most diverse marine ecosystems. Great for those with a passion for snorkelling and diving.
2. Visit Labuan Bojo - The Heart of Flores
Whether by boat or plane, Labjuan Bojo is your first port of call when entering West Flores and the gateway to Komodo National Park. Here all your travelling needs can be catered to, including: tourist information; local crafts; accommodation options ranging from five star resorts to camping to homestays; excellent cosmopolitan and local restaurants; travel agents and guides; boat charters; dive operators; car and scooter rentals; medical services, and guided transportation to the rest of Flores and Komodo island.A number of great overland local day trips can be taken while staying on Labuan Bajo It’s all here!
3. Bat Island
A sunset visit to Bat Island, about 1-2 hours southwest of Labuan Bajo is a perfect cap to a day spent exploring RInca Island in Komodo National Park. Like clockwork, at sunset every day, tens of thousands of fruit bats leave their perches on the vast mangrove of Bat Island and fly to mainland West Flores to spend their evenings gorging on wild fruits
4. The Amazing Padar Island
Padar Island is located in the heart of Komodo National Park about 30 km from Labuan Bajo. Its scalloped beaches and prehistoric terrain are frame by three amazing turquoise bays, each with a different colored sand. Padar is one of the most photographed locations in Komodo National Park, and for good reason.
5. The Colored Crater Lakes of Kelimutu
The three multi-colored crater lakes found at the top of Mount Kelimutu are a scenic spectacular. The amazing colour of the lakes constantly changes, making it a favourite repeat destination for photographers. If you wish to be captivated by nature, then Mount Kelimutu is for you.
6. Snorkelling & Diving at Komodo National Park
The coral reefs of Indonesia are among the best places to snorkel and dive in the world. Komodo National Park has become a premier snorkel and dive destination for visitors to Indonesia. It’s unique location and geography provide a huge diversity of habitats that are home to a remarkable assemblage of fish, invertebrates, turtles and marine mammals. It is one of the few places on earth where it is more unusual to not see a giant manta ray on any given day, if you go to the right spot. Visitors either go for day trips out from Labua Bajo or the more preferred option of multi-day trips on a live aboards which can range from rustic to luxurious.
7. See Bajawa Town
Bajawa is at the heart of the Ngadha ethnic minority homeland and is located 1,200m above sea level. This mountain top town is surrounded by evergreen slopes and towering volcanoes. Here, indigenous animist religions thrive. Great examples of local architectural styles can be seen. Hiking to one of the surrounding volcanoes is a favourite for Flores tours. Bajawa is also a potential stop over for people travelling to 17 Island Marine Park in Riung, along the North coast of Flores.
8. Watch a Caci dance
Caci is a local ritual whip fight from the Manggarai tribe of western Flores. The Caci equipment, of a whip and a shield symbolize both male and female sexual parts. The male and the female elements are united when the whip contacts the shield- that represents a union of the sexes. The blood, that is at times shed from the wounds caused by the whips, is viewed as an offering to the ancestors, who, in return, are expected to ensure the fertility of the land and the next seasons harvest. The dance, typically performed at the end of the annual harvest, is a favourite with local and foreign tourists, truly a must see for any visitor.
9. Hike to Wae Rebo
Wae Rebo is an ancient Mangaraian village, which received the Top Award of Excellence from UNESCO in 2012. The village was recognized for rebuilding circular, cone-shaped buildings in a traditional way with the hearth at the center of the house. Its a 3 hour hour hike, from the village of Denge to reach Wae Rebo. A guide is recommended to traverse the path and translate, so you can speak with the villagers .
10. Visit the Hobbit Cave
In 2003 , the remains of a human like ancestor from around 60,000 years ago was found in a Flores cave and named Homo floresiensis or the Hobbit man. These early humans have brains one third the size of humans and stand four feet tall. You can visit the cave in Liang Bua, Flores, where the remains were found. A small museum has been set up near the main cave at Liang Bua.