Green, exotic vegetation among mountains creates a picturesque backdrop for the trek to Cunca Rami, a waterfall with an emerald water basin located about 47km from Labuan Bajo in the direction of Werang. Combined with lush plantations that produce horticultural crops, the trek to Cunca Rami Waterfall is exhilarating and an ideal trip for nature lovers of all ages.
The sub-district of Riung, located to the north of Bajawa, is famed for its
beautiful coral gardens. The coast and the area surrounding the town of
Riung have become a national conservation area, and were even given
the status of a national park and named Pulau Tujuhbelas, or ‘Seventeen
Islands’. In fact, the national park consists of more than 20 small and larger
islands. The local people, though, have named the area ‘Riung Seventeen
Islands’, a label that is easy to remember as it refers to the personification
of a beautiful 17-year-old girl and also Indonesia Independence Day on the
17th of August.
Komodo National Park offers more than just its prehistoric Komodo dragons (varanus komodoensis). Explore different adventure treks around Komodo and Rinca Island or explore off-the-beaten-trails along the slopes of Mount Ara and the Poreng Valley, which is situated 580m above sea-level. This scenic area will surely dazzle with its rich diversity of exotic fauna, wild orchids and tropical plants. Be sure to immerse yourself in the enchanting underwater world in the Komodo National Park. Going beneath the sea, Flores’ underwater world opens up to reveal a diverse and colourful parallel universe of marine life. Komodo National Park is home to over 1,000 species of fish and more than 350 reef-building corals. Be it muck diving, night diving, snorkeling, or simply enjoying this pristine hideaway, Flores offers a mind-blowing underwater thrill that makes it like a second home for dive enthusiasts.
Gurusina is another Ngada village where you can get acquainted with all the wealth of Ngada culture. Gurusina’s traditional houses are situated around a wide courtyard, which displays several sets of ture lenggi, the ancestral stone altars. The village was founded in about 1934 by people coming from the highlands. A visit to Gurusina can also be combined with a nice medium-impact hike starting from Bena, which leads through beautiful natural surroundings – including a neat bamboo forest – and passes through the village of Tololela.
The long and wide white sand beach is the perfect place on the south coast of the Sikka district to relax, have a picnic, and go for a swim. Koka Beach is situated about 2.5km from the main road near Wolowiro Village in the Paga sub-district. It takes about 48km ride from Maumere and 35km from Wolowaru.
Very well maintained traditional houses and menhirs are the attraction in the highland village of Wajo. Easily reached from Raja (Boawae) or Nangaroro, this village has unique traditional bamboo musical instruments, which are used during traditional ceremonies and on other special occasions. A visit to Wajo will give you more insight into the local tribe of Nagekeo.
Situated on a hill about 12km from Ende, Wolotopo’s centuries-old traditional Lio houses silently reveal an ancient history through delicate patterns that are engraved on many parts of their structures. They also reflect the unique Lio tribal way of life which will fascinate many art and architecture enthusiasts.
Never been quoted in the tourism map of Flores, Tutubhada is known only by a small number of local visitors. Located in Rendu – a village in Aesesa Selatan Sub-District, the less-traveled village is home to Nagekeo’s traditional ritual house called Sa’o Ji Vao. Tutubhada’s stilt houses have a unique shaped roof.
Tengkulese Waterfall, which is also referred to as Cunca Lega is named after the nearby village. The water drops over two levels with a promising
altitude. Surrounded by a lush forest and rice terraces, it can even be spotted from a distance. From Nanu Village, you’ll have to walk for about 2.5km through a beautiful panoramic landscape with soft green hills, terraced rice fields, and farmers plowing the land with their water buffaloes to get to the waterfall.
Meaning ‘big lake’ in the vernacular, Ranamese is a 11.5 hectare crater that is located 1,200m above sea level. The surrounding rainforest creates a refreshing breeze and is a greatplace for trekking, bird watching and spotting playful macaques. The calming water of the lake reflects the blue sky on its surface resulting in peaceful and surreal reflections. Visitors are advised to wear proper shoes for trekking around the lake.
Batu Cermin cave is set within an impressive prominent rock formation near Labuan Bajo. Through a hole in the cave, rays of light find their way into the cave’s inside walls where they perform a spectacular show of reflectedsunlight.
If you want to experience this visual delight in all its beauty, make sure to be there at the right time: depending on the time of year, the sunrays only hit the hole between 9 and 10am.
Lewotobi volcano at the eastern end of Flores Island is one of the most
frequently active volcanoes in the region. It has two peaks arranged on
a North West – South East line separated by 2km and a 1,232 meters high
saddle. This gave the twin volcano its name Lewotobi “husband and wife” (also spelled Lewetobi).
Pink Beach is a delightful dive and one of the most popular spots in the park. The pristine Pink beach gets its color from red coral fragments, and is located near the trekking area on Komodo Island. The shallow reef begins just by the beach, and is perhaps one of the best snorkeling sites in the park, deep enough to snorkel at low tide and not too deep at high tide. Colorful clumps of hard corals lie interspersed with brilliant patches of white sand and form a haven for fish of all shapes and sizes. The life here is more typical of the southern sites and the water temperature is usually around 25°C. The predominant currents here are mild and from the south, and the site is best dived on a falling tide. About 50m out from the beach, a small rocky outcrop is exposed at low tide and marks the ideal starting point for this dive. Follow the wall down to 18–20m, where large schools of fusiliers, snappers, extremely tame grouper, and many lion and scorpion fish can be found engulfing the headland. While only a small dive site, it is nonetheless very rich in both hard and soft corals, with plentiful tunicates and feather stars. Careful searching in and around the rocks can reveal frogfish, nudibranches, fire urchins, crocodile fish, crustaceans, and much, much more. Further to the northeast lies a steep sandy slope which is home to razor fish and, if you’re lucky, the extremely rare and elusive sand diver.
Lewokluok (about 26km from Larantuka), not only boasts beautiful
countryside panoramas, but also a traditional village renowned for its
exceptional hand-woven ikat. Unlike other places, the villagers of Lewokluok
combine the cotton threads with shells, skillfully interweaving them to form
stunning ikat patterns. These textiles are true masterpieces. You can also
learn about their natural yarn dyeing process here. While in Flores Timur, see
also Kawaliwu, a village known for its traditional house – Korke – that still
preserves its authenticity to this day.
Watublapi village is located about 13km from Maumere. It is well known
for its fine traditional ikat weaving. Whereas many other local weaving
communities have switched to industrially spun yarn and chemical dyes for
the purpose of saving time and money, the weavers of Watublapi still use
the traditional, hand spun yarn made from locally grown local cotton, as
well as local natural dyes. Visitors with a profound interest in ikat weaving
could join the ikat workshop in Watublapi. The Bliran Sina weavers will
teach you the skills of this fascinating handmade craft (by appointment).
Located 45km east of Labuan Bajo, Tado Village is one of the best places to get a hands-on experience of the long-standing Manggaraian way of life. Rather inconspicuous at first sight, it reveals an immense cultural and traditional wealth. Tado villagers, wearing their traditional costumes, will be happy to receive you with a traditional welcome ceremony. Tado is practicing
community-based ecotourism. Tado ecotourism village also offers special-request tours that are an integral part of the village’s cultural conservation programme.
Bidadari Island, which means ‘angel’s island’, is a tiny, charming isle located northwest of Labuan Bajo. This island is a water lover’s paradise and its excellent white-sand beaches seem to have come from paradise, while its crystal clear and calm waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and especially learning how to dive. Bidadari Island is reachable on 15-20 minutes boat trip, comprises 14–15 hectares of land covered with hills and trees, completely surrounded by beautiful beaches.
Lingko refers to the spider web shaped rice fields which are found in numerous places in Manggarai. The most impressive is the lingko of Cara Village in Cancar, around 17km west of Ruteng. Lingko is a traditional Manggaraian system of land possession where, depending on the family’s size, the family head divides land based on the distance between his fingers. The traditional system is still preserved and practiced today in Flores. The distribution starts from the center pole (lodok) from which lines are drawn to the outer circle of the lingko, forming pie segments locally known as moso (meaning ‘hand’).
Awarded UNESCO’s World Heritage Site status in 2012, Wae Rebo Village is located in Manggarai Regency and situated 1,200m above sea level. Challenge yourself with a trek along Wae Rebo’s trails set in lush coffee and vanilla plantations surrounded by untouched rainforest, and densely populated by endemic birds and exotic flora. The residents of Wae Rebo Village lead a harmonious agrarian lifestyle in harmony with nature. Wae Rebo is famous for its cone shaped houses known as Mbaru Niang.
Waturaka, in a corner of the Flores countryside is a Mount Kelimutu, with its tri-colored crater lakes, is one of the most amazing natural phenomenons in Flores. Scientific explanations aside, there are many myths about the origin of Kelimutu. This is one of the reasons why Mount Kelimutu is still a sacred place for the local people. Over the years, the three calderas have often changed color. At present, one of the caldera is black-brown, one is green, and one is currently changing from green to a reddish color. A reason may be the varying mineral contents of the water. Another explanation suggests that the changing colors are caused by the neglected ancestral souls.
Waturaka, in a corner of the Flores countryside is a humble farming village located at the foot of Mount Kelimutu. This small village has been developed so it’s ready to welcome visitors coming to experience Moni and
its surrounding areas. Simple yet clean homestays are available in Waturaka. Here, you can enjoy the totally unique experience of living with local family and tasting local dishes prepared with fresh ingredients from the garden. Located nearby are two trekking trails heading to two amazing attractions, i.e. Murukeba Waterfall and Mutulo’o hot steam. Waturaka offers more than just homestays.