ISLANDS TO EXPLORE - FLORES
About the Island
Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands: an island arc with an approximate area of 14,000 km² and extending east from the island of Java. Its population is approximately 2 million and the largest town is Maumere.
The name Flores is Portuguese (as well as Spanish) for “flowers”. The Portuguese traders and missionaries arrived here in the 16th century and their influence is still discernible. Much like the island of Ambon, Flores was part of the larger “Dutch East Indies”.
The Roman Catholic island of Flores is located west of the Alor Archipelago and the island of Lembata, east of Sumbawa and the nearby Komodo Islands.
What to See & Do
The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the famed Komodo Dragon can be found in the wild. Kelimutu National Park is the 2nd national park on Flores to protect endangered species. Flores was also the habitat of several extinct prehistoric creatures that disappeared approximately 12,000 years ago.
The most famous attraction on Flores is the volcano: Kelimutu that contains 3 coloured lakes. These lakes change colour on an irregular basis from bright red through to green and blue, depending on the oxidation state of the lake.
Go kayaking among her craggy coasts and mangrove shores or explore the mysterious caves on the island.
The village of Bena is also noted for its fascinating Stone Age structures and its traditional housing.
The Beauty of Nature & Wildlife
Flores is both beautiful and intriguing and has been somewhat overshadowed by Bali. Once you have visited the lair of the Komodo dragons or spotted a flying fox, take the time to swim in her pristine lakes and waterfalls, set foot upon some of the famous deserted pink sand beaches or simply take yourself tropical bird watching.
What Its Waters Offer
If looking at volcanoes and real dragons proves hot work, you can cool off in the Flores waters and neighbouring Komodo waters.
There are 3 major locations on Flores that attract scuba divers a plenty:
On the east coast, in the waters around Labuan Bajo, divers will see where the whale sharks inhabit. This area is actually superb for snorkelers.
Riung is a small town on the north coast of Flores, north of Bajawa. There are nice coral gardens in the 17 Islands National Park (Pulau Tujuhbelas)
The bay of Maumere is one of the top dive sites in Indonesia. With more than 1000 proven species of fish in this area (still the highest number of species ever counted inside a specific area), this is one of the most marine diverse sites to dive in Indonesia.