Flores means flowers, the name suits Flores Island really well. Just like flowers, its beauty attracts travelers around the globe to explore it. The scenic winding coastal road, lush green mountain scenery, opportunity to meet local people that live far from the-beaten-path, hundreds of diving spots with great diversity of underwater life, picturesque volcanoes, Flores island is a perfect combination of culture and adventure.
Flores Island is part of East Nusa Tenggara Province. It lies within Lesser Sunda Islands, stretches from Komodo National Park which located at the border with West Nusa Tenggara to Larantuka; the eastern end of Flores Island.
Flores island owns two national parks – Komodo National Park and Kelimutu National Park - and two UNESCO sites – Komodo National Park and Wae Rebo traditional village and home to Homo floresiensis or Flores hobbit. Flores is obviously an enchanting island. Before planning your adventure to Flores, however, it’ll be useful to know some facts about Flores:
Labuan Bajo is the only developed place on Flores on terms of public infrastructure and tourist facilities. Don’t expect to find luxury accommodation outside of Labuan Bajo. There are only small and simple but clean and comfortable accommodation. Some rural area don’t even have lodging available, we usually arrange a stay in villager’s house or day trip from nearest lodging.
There are very limited number of private transportation on Flores, especially Minibus and Bus. The air-conditioner might not work well in some minibus/bus transport. As much as we commit to deliver our best service, there are no many options available.
Whether you rent a car or motorbike, it’s not advisable to Flores on your own. Unlike Bali, most people don’t speak English. Furthermore, in most parts, mobile reception and internet connection is not available.
Flores is not a hectic touristy place but a place where you will have a hands-on experience of a well-preserved local culture and magnificent nature. Flores Island indeed is the perfect combination of culture and nature.
The main ethnic groups are the Manggarai (in the Ruteng area), the Ngada (Bajawa), the Ende and Lio (Ende), the Sikkanese (Maumere) and the Lamaholot (Larantuka).
Each ethic has its own dialect, traditional house structure, dance as part of their cultural identity.
Manggarai people is well known for its Caci Dance and unique traditional house in Todo and Wae Rebo village as well as the ancient spider web shaped rice filed. Ngada people are known for their megalithic culture, the fine Ikat weaving (traditional hand-woven) of Lio and Sikka people is one of the best Ikat which tradition is handed down from generation to generation. The Lamalohot people of Lembata are well known for their whale hunting tradition.
Despite the fact most parts of Flores island lack of tourist infrastructure due to the area is still developing, Flores has become one of the most sought-after destinations in Indonesia. Thanks to growing popularity of Komodo dragon and Mt. Kelimutu. Those who seek the off-the-beaten-track adventure, Flores has it.
A wide range of accommodation only available in Labuan Bajo, from low-budget to beach resort style.
However, when you travel outside of Labuan Bajo there are not many choices, accommodations only available in stop-points such as Ruteng, Bajawa, Ende, Riung and Maumere. Some area offers standard but clean and comfortable guest house. Set your level of expectation will help enjoy the adventure.
Below are list of accommodations that we often use on our Flores Overland Tour
Pondok Susteran (Guest House)
Shinda Hotel (Guest House)
Spring Hill Bungalow (Guest House)
Manulalu Bed and Breakfast (Guest House)
Happy Happy Hotel (Guest House)
Edelweiss Hotel (non Star Hotel)
Grand Wisata Hotel (non star hotel)
Nirwana Bungalow (Guest House)
Pondok SVD (Guest House)
Kelimutu Eco Lodge ( 2 star hotel)
Seaworld Club Beach Resort ( 3 stars beach hotel )
Capa Resort Maumere ( 4 starts beach hotel )