Flores may not be as famous as Bali or Lombok, but the beautiful island certainly has plenty to offer to the world. One thing is for sure, Flores’ unique landscape and local culture will enchant you! Here are the top 7 spots I recommend to visit in Flores.
SEVEN. Pink Beach
Truth be told, the Pink Beach was not quite as ‘pink’ or striking as I had imagined. Yet it was only during my snorkeling session that I discovered the beauty within these modest pink sands. During snorkeling, I dug along the beach and was surprised to discover lots of eroded red coral being washed to the side. The sparkling pink sands made my day too! The Pink Beach is a definitely a pretty spot where you would enjoy a few hours of snorkeling and sunbathing.
SIX. Tololela Village in Bajawa
Trekking is the best way to understand Bajawa’s local culture and to explore the indigenous community of Flores. There are a few villages in Bajawa, but I was particularly impressed with Tololela. Home to less than 100 people, Tololela is a secluded village nestled in solidarity and nature. In fact, Tololela only got its electricity supply a few years ago. For my 20 minutes rest, the local villagers showered me with superb hospitality…I was treated like a king!
FIVE. Komodo and Rinca Island
Home to almost 3,000 Komodo Dragons, Komodo National Park is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site. A fierce and massive carnivore, the Komodo dragon can grow up to 2 – 3 meters long. Its diet includes birds, mammals, their own offspring…and even us! The Komodo dragon also has an exceptional ability to smell blood, which explains why ladies who are on their monthly period are normally banned from visiting. Remember to engage a park ranger (it is a must!) when you explore this eye-opening ‘Jurassic Park’.
FOUR. Hunting for Manta Ray in Manta Point
One of my most memorable times in Flores is hunting for the Manta Ray in Manta Point.It was quite an amazing experience as I snorkeled and hung on to the side of the ship to chase after the huge Manta Ray. Swimming right next to these gentle giants when they gather in groups was especially thrilling. Big thanks to my guide who so passionately guided me in seeing the best of the underwater world.
THREE. Lembor Spider Web Rice Terrace
I was surprised to learn that this exotic rice terrace has yet to be included into the Lonely Planet guidebook. Rest assured that an email would be sent to them soon! A 20-minutes hike up the hill will reward you with an excellent and breath-taking view of the spider web rice terrace. Now, can we spot Spider Man down there?
TWO. Kanawa island
Originally, Kanawa Island was not in my itinerary. But I decided to stop by upon reading many positive reviews. I fell in love instantly with the island’s crystal clear water. I have yet to visit Maldives, but I do believe Kanawa is a strong contender.
ONE. Three Colored Lake of Mt Kelimutu
If I could nominate a list of destinations to be the world’s greatest wonders, Mt Kelimutu is without question one of them. The volcano’s three colored lakes are a spectacular natural phenomenon to behold. Originally red, blue and white, the lakes change their colours constantly depending on the volcanic activities. Locals believe that the colours foretell the fate and fortune of their community. Sounds magical? Indeed!
In many ways, I feel like a foreigner on my own home soil. The amount of international tourists is overwhelming. I would like to encourage Indonesians to appreciate what we have domestically before admiring what the world has in general. I believe with more effort and involvement from the government, some of these attractions can easily be among the world’s top destinations.
After my 8 days road trip in Flores, I realize that wherever we go, it is best to go with an open mind and a carefree attitude. A taste for adventure is THE way to go in Flores. Explore the great outdoors, bask in the sun and you will go home with wonderful memories…and new tan lines too!