Journey To Flores
Looking for the best guide to visit Flores as a first timer? Don't stress.
The good news is that you truly can't go wrong! Flores is incredible in its own right, so there’s no need to worry that you might not choose the best spots to visit in Flores for your first trip.
Another island sits quietly nearby with unbelievable, deserted, white-sand beaches. You won’t want to miss this. Flores has bunches of activities and places to visit.
The homeland of Komodo Dragons, the enchanted Kelimutu tri-colored volcanic lakes, and one of the world's best dive sites. Flores awaits YOU.
Here’s everything you need to know about Flores!
Where is Flores?
Flores is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Bali yet it takes just 90 minutes to get there and it’s for people looking for a different sort of holiday. Located east of Bali, it is one of the larger islands among the group known as the Lesser Sunda Islands. Flores belongs to the province Nusa Tenggara whose capital, Kupang, is in West Timor.
How to get to Flores
There are different ways of getting to Flores from Bali or Lombok:
The fastest and easiest way to get to Flores. There are no international flights to Flores though you can fly direct from many Indonesian cities.
Boats leave everyday from the town Senggigi (on Lombok). The standard tour is 4 days or 3 nights. You can buy it whilst you’re on Lombok or Gili Island from most tour agencies. This way is more fun and adventurous.
Ferries + Busses
The longest but also the cheapest option takes 2 days one way. You will need to take the public ferries from Padangbai (Bali) to Lombok which take about 4-5 hours. From there take a van or minibus to Mataram once you arrive at Lembar Harbor.
Which option you choose will depend on your time and budget.
How to get around Flores
The further you travel toward the far east of Indonesia, the more difficult it will be to find public transportation. In Flores it is very common to rent a private car with a driver. Nevertheless, it is possible to explore Flores by public transportation if you don't have a tight schedule.
They depart and arrive via public bus stations usually located far outside of the towns. Exact time schedules are not available and busses will only depart once all seats are occupied.
This is a relatively popular and comfortable way to travel among visitors and locals for reasonable prices. So many travel companies provide comfortable minibuses for covering longer distances from one city to another.
Private Car Rental
Rental is typically on a "per day" basis. Privately rented cars are by far the most convenient form of individual travel. It's recommended that you rent a car with a driver and guide in advance because rental cars are limited in Flores.
Rent a Scooter
If you’re a confident rider, there are plenty of motorbike rentals you can find in Flores. But make sure that you know where you’re going ;)
What To Do in Flores
Now you are in Flores, it’s time to explore!
Visit Komodo Island
Komodo National Park is the only place in the entire world where people can see the endangered Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat. Komodo National Park has something for everyone to enjoy. The volcanic islands offer an array of activities, from world-class diving to enjoying a rare pink sand beach, island hopping, hiking and more. You can take a tour of the island to check out these amazing creatures.
Magical Pink Beach
The world-famous Pink Beach is a must-see for any visitor to Komodo, just minutes away from Labuan Bajo in Flores. The Pink Beach on Komodo Island is great for a moment of complete tranquility and relaxation and is like nothing you’ve seen before!
Admire the Lakes of Kelimutu
In the middle of the surrounding beautiful nature you will find three very different crater lakes, each with their own myths and legends. Visitors of the Lakes can hike all the way up to the top and it is even possible to camp very close to the crater so that you can get up early in the morning and watch the spectacular sunrise come up over the rim.
Trekking Padar Island
Once there you will quickly see that the one thing that is limitless is the views. In every direction, and from every elevation, it is nothing short of gorgeous. Take a moment and realize that once you are there this will likely be your last time there and you need to stop and absorb the beauty of it. Only then will you make your entire trip worthwhile!
Spider Web Fields at Cancar
It’s good to view from the nearby hills to see the effect of the unique layout of the fields. You will need to walk up a small hill to see these from above and the view is very much worth the walk! The best way to visit is to rent a driver who will know the perfect vantage points from which you can admire this amazing feat of design. If you are fascinated by the asian rice fields, this is the place to go!
Chillin’ in Paradise Kanawa Island
Kanawa Island is a gorgeous tranquil island located within Komodo National Park. It has fantastic white sandy beaches, crystal clear seawater, as well as panoramic views. This is something of an underwater paradise if you like diving. The island is perfect for anyone who wants to get away from the crowds and enjoy the secluded and unspoilt location.
If you want to experience watching thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of bats flying in the afternoon, then ...this is the place! Watching the masses of Flying Foxes emerge from Kalong Island at dusk and fly overhead towards Flores to feed on their favorite fruits is definitely one of the top highlights!
The Charming Village, Wae Rebo
Wae Rebo is a traditional Manggarai village of circular, cone-shaped buildings with thatched roofs. This is one of those few places where you can have a truly authentic cultural experience. In order to get to Wae Rebo village you will need to hike for around 2.5 - 3.5 hours. Once you get there, you will see that Wae Rebo is situated in pleasant, isolated mountain scenery. Not to be missed!
Le Pirate Island - Paradise Found
Le Pirate Island is a private island owned by Le Pirate, approximately 40 minutes away from Labuan Bajo. This island is filled with everything you’d possibly need for a relaxing day off-the-grid! The ambience here is just so relaxing and the fact that there are only a handful of people on the island all day makes you literally feel like its your very own private slice of paradise.
Best Flores Tips
The best time to visit is between June to August or September to November. With most of the activities in the area being outdoors, it’s worth paying extra to visit when the weather is better.
Packing your essentials
As some hotels in Flores do not supply them you will likely need to bring your own. Also don’t forget to bring your trekking/sport shoes!
Prepare your cash
In Flores only Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is accepted for cash payments. In general, the payment in Flores is entirely cash-based. Money transfers are usually not possible, as using international accounts is not very common practise here yet. There are ATMs in the district capitals which – depending on the Bank – will accept major credit cards (Visa/MasterCard) where you can get cash.
While you can find internet cafes as well as a fair mobile network in the district capitals and the larger towns, be prepared to be cut off from mobile communication in the more remote areas. With the current insufficient network facilities, a fast reliable internet and mobile connection still is somewhat of a luxury in Flores. So choose the most reliable mobile provider in Flores.
Before you go backpacking in Flores, have you got your travel insurance sorted? Cover yourself for the unexpected, for example, being eaten by a Komodo Dragon!
Where to Stay
This thought applies to people who love adventure, as the island is not yet a standard tourist destination. If you want to escape mass tourism you have to keep in mind that once you go off the beaten track traveling becomes an adventure. That said you can still find some upscale Flores accommodation, but you are not spoiled for choice. However, checkout some of these below:
Dragon Dive Komodo Hostel
Giving out a colorful and chilled atmosphere, this hostel provides a great place for guests to come together and relax.
Wae Molas Hotel - Best Budget
The location is a 10 minute walk from the main town. It’s nice and quiet yet easy enough to walk to a large selection of eateries.
Puri Sari Beach Hotel - Mid Range
The hotel is close to Labuan Bajo Harbor which is the departure point for exciting tours to the islands of Komodo and Rinca.
La Prima Hotel Flores - Luxurious
Spend a little bit more and stay in this lush place which has a beautiful outdoor pool. The hotel is located just a little bit outside of the main town, however the hotel provides a shuttle for guests to use.
Plataran Komodo Beach Resort - Luxurious
For those of you that are looking for a luxurious getaway, this is as good as it gets! The Plataran Komodo Beach Resort is nothing short of spectacular.
Well, that concludes The Ultimate Flores Guide. We hope it helps you for your upcoming trip to Flores!