Flores Island is one of the world’s very last pristine retreats that promises adventures in breathtaking natural surroundings still untouched by humans. We warmly welcome you to explore this island’s cultural treasures, natural wonders, and open-hearted people. Get inspired by the impressions offered on FLORESTOUR.COM travel services. Besides basic information you will find useful recommendations to plan your trip, to make reservations, and to share your thoughts and experiences in our forum. Be aware, though…you might fall in love with the island and want to come back over and over again. It has happened before!
The uniqueness of Flores lies in its amazing wealth of cultures, languages, and history. One of the explanations for these local varieties lies in the island’s mountainous nature: it hindered the access to the interior areas and made communication between individual communities difficult, thus preserving a huge range of long-standing local peculiarities.
Flores is inhabited by 1.8 million people who roughly belong to the major ethno-linguistic entities of Manggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende and Lio, Sikka and Lamaholot. These groups can be further divided into many sub-entities with their own cultural features and dialects.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), the official language, is used in the context of education, business, and formal affairs. However, everyday conversations in Flores are still carried out in the countless local languages and dialects, which all belong to the so-called Austro-Polynesian language family.
TOURIST ATTRACTION ON FLORES
If you have one week to spend here, travel agents can take you by road across the island, from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng, and on to Bajawa, Ende, Detusoko, Kelimutu, ending up in Maumere, from where you take your flight out. Also, discover the flores island’s most ancient villages, such as Wae Rebo.
Wae Rebo is an old Manggaraian village, situated in pleasant, isolated mountain scenery. The village offers visitors a unique opportunity to see authentic Manggarai housing and to experience the everyday life of the local community. In the village of Wae Rebo, visitors can see mbaru niang – traditional, circular cone-shaped houses with very unique architecture.
Then, at Bajawa, the traditional village of Bena, where, according to megalithic tradition handed down through generations, people pay respect to their ancestors who are believed to dwell in the conical thatched roof huts called “Ngadhu” and “Bhaga”, symbolizing the spirits of their male and female ancestors. Note the huge boulders of stones and stone seats planted in front of their houses ,not unlike the ones seen in the villages on the island of Nias in North Sumatra.
Onekore by the the town of Ende, is famous for its beautiful ikat weaving. From here stay overnight at a missionary guesthouse at Detusoko.
For adventure, take the drive up Mt. Kelimutu, where visitors must still walk another 1.5 km. then climb 127 steps to the edge of the crater, from where one has a panoramic view of the three lakes, currently green, blue and black. When Dutch geologists discovered the craters in 1914, the colours were red, blue and white.
At Maumere enjoy the pristine beach and snorkel to your heart’s content before taking your flight out. Maumere offers great diving. There are 40 wonderful dive spots in the marine gardens in the Bay of Maumere.
If you only have a few days to explore West Flores you might want to try one of these attractions:
In the Komodo National Park itself, besides watching the dragons you can find numerous species of birds including imperial pigeons, sunbirds, egrets, quail, and exotic mound-building megapodes. There are also horses, wild pigs, crab-eating macaques, flying foxes, besides snakes, cobras and vipers. Its flora includes orchids, lontar palms, bamboo, soursop, tamarind and custard trees.
In the waters of the park live a rich variety of cetaceans, including whale sharks, marlin, tuna, whales and dolphins. There are colourful corals, nudibranches, giant clams, turtles, and a plethora of reef and pelagic fish.
Many tour operators run liveaboard tours for divers out of Bali.
When you get back to the mainland hike through canyons, watch clear water cascade down boulders into pristine pools that just invite visitors to plunge in.
Not far from Labuan Bajo are the limestone formations known as Batu Cermin, or Mirror Caves. There is also the Snake Palace, or Istana Ular, that has an amazing collection of pythons and bats. Make sure that you have a local guide with you and obey the customs here, since people believe in a mystical relationship between the snakes and the local people. Here you can also see petrified large trees.
Do not miss the legendary Caci or “Whip fight Dance”, that combines ritual, legend, mysticism and music in one single colorful spectacle.