Flores, Indonesia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Flores is the capital city the East Nusa Tenggara with 8 regencies. It is a unique tourist destination that is definitely the most fascinating island in the province offering pristine lakes and waterfalls, dive sites, and activities like kayaking and exploring the caves. It is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and the Alor Archipelago. This island is inhabited by almost two million people who speak different languages such as Portuguese and Malay. The name Flores was given by the Portuguese, which means flowers. It was a was a Portuguese colony before it got sold to the Dutch and became part of the Dutch East Indies for 200,000 Florins. Apart from its rich history, Flores is also a land of discovery. The “homo florensis” is a prehistoric man that has been discovered in Flores. Today, this part of Indonesia is a tourist destination preserving the features of the early settlements and the influences of the colonial era that make it a diverse and multi-cultural place.
The most famous tourist attraction in Flores island itself is the crater lakes at Mount Kelimutu that changes its colors on a regular basis: aqua or turquoise, green, red, and chocolate brown. On the western tip of Flores lies the town of Labuan Bajo, a peaceful small village with comprehensive tourist facilities. This is also the gateway to the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans the islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar, along with several smaller islands and the western part of Flores. The daytime activities are very abundant in Flores. However, the nightlife is not as bustling as the nightlife in its neighbour, Bali. The good thing is it is not touristy and crowded at night with quite a few good places to have a drink and listen to music. There are also nightclubs to dance the night away. These are often located in the hotels and resorts. Usually high-end, these hotels and resorts provide less expensive accommodation than Bali. There are also cheaper places to stay such as hostels that are perfect for backpackers and solo travellers who just needs a bed to sleep and a place to pile their things after a strenuous day of exploring Flores. If looking for other type of adventures, there are tours and excursions to the nearby places provided by the hotels or the tour companies affiliated with them.
There are several airports in Flores, but the main airport is at Maumere, the Frans Seda Airport. There are also flights between the Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo and Denpasar in Bali, Lombok, and Timor.
Apart from getting in by plane, the best way to get is by ferry. Pelni ships call at Labuanbajo, Maumere, Larantuka and Ende and link the island with other parts of Indonesia. There are other companies that organize 4 day sailing trips between Lombok or Bali and Flores.
From the airport and the port, there are public transport and shuttles that could take the visitors to their hotels and get around the city.