Explore the Indonesian island of Flores and experience the traditional ethnic cultures and beautiful natural surrounds.. Enjoy a full day snorkelling among the vibrant sea life and coral off the coast of Labuan Bajo on the picture-perfect shimmering sandbank Taka Makassar.. Hike through Flores’ lush rainforests to the ancient tribal town of Wae Rebo. Meet the local community and spend a night in a traditional conical hut.. Take an early start with your small group to climb Mt Kelimutu and watch its dazzling crater lakes shift colour in the morning light.
The many islands of Indonesia are scattered like gems across the Indian Ocean, hidden oases of tropical rainforests, wildlife and warm people ready to open their hearts and their homes to visitors. The islands are fantastical places where soaring volcanoes hold a fuming watch over charming seaside towns, and where ancient tribes keep their traditions secure in deep rainforest valleys. Search for legendary Komodo dragons, snorkel through colourful coral reefs, and walk across beaches of black, pink and white sands. Full of energy, charisma and plenty of shimmering sunlight, Indonesia’s ‘flower island’ of Flores will leave with fond memories of an island paradise hidden from the usual itinerary.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 5 Dinner Included: 2
Om Swastiastu! Welcome to Flores. Your adventure begins in the peaceful fishing town of Labuan Bajo – better known as the gateway to the home of the famous Komodo dragons. Meet your tour leader and travel group at a welcome meeting at 6 pm. There are no activities planned before this important meeting, so you can arrive in Labuan Bajo at any time in the day. Afterwards, why not get to know your group better over a seafood dinner. Bajo’s main drag, Jl Soekarno Hatta, has a range of restaurants, cafes and bars. You could also cap off your first day in paradise with a sunset drink at one of the rooftop bars.
Komodo National Park – Overnight boat
After breakfast, hop on a boat for a 2-hour journey to Padar – the third largest island within Komodo National Park. The illustrious Komodo dragon is no longer found here, though the island is still home to a fantastic array of wildlife, beautiful rolling hills and some great short treks. Lace up your hiking boots for a brisk morning hike to a stunning viewpoint, keeping your eyes peeled for geckos, green turtles and other reptiles. Have your camera handy – the panoramic views of Padar’s rugged terrain and tri-coloured beaches make for some stunning shots. Return to the boat for an on-board lunch as you journey to the spectacular Pink Beach. As its name suggests, it is one of a just a handful of beaches in the world said to have pink sand. It owes its blush tone to the red coral in its shallow waters. Spend some time swimming and snorkelling among coral reefs in crystal-clear water, then return to the boat mid-afternoon for the short journey to Rinca Island. Prepare your camera for a two-hour safari in search of gigantic Komodo dragons. Head back to the boat where you will stay overnight moored at sea just off the coast of Kalong Island.
Komodo National Park – Labuan Bajo
Enjoy a full day snorkelling and exploring Indonesia’s underwater paradise, departing in the early morning for Taka Makassar. This jellybean-shaped island is tiny – roughly about the size of a soccer field – and seems almost like a mirage. This small sandbank rises out of the clear shallow waters, and the sea surrounding the island is home to beautiful corals and the occasional sea turtle floating by. Return to the boat around mid- to late-morning and head to Manta Point, where you’ll have plenty of time to swim and snorkel. If you are lucky enough, you may even get to swim with manta rays! You’ll also see a colourful variety of hard and soft corals, tropical reef fish and turtles. Head back to the boat for lunch, and make the 3-hour journey back to your accommodation in Labuan Bajo.
Strap yourself in for a long but enjoyable travel day to the ancient tribal village of Wae Rebo. Pack a small overnight bag and drive by private minivan to Dintor (approximately 6 hours). You’ll leave your large luggage secured in Dintor and will enjoy a traditional lunch, before a quick 20-minute transfer to Denge. Here, you’ll embark on a 3-hour trek to Wae Rebo. Even though the hike is quite steep, there will be points where the track flattens out to break up the journey. What you will notice about the trail is how beautiful and lush the surrounding rainforest is – the mountain views along the way are stunning and you’ll be walking through some of the most scenic forest on the island. Your journey will be tiring, but it will certainly be picturesque. Once arrived in Wae Rebo, be treated to a welcoming ceremony provided by local villagers. Sit down to a traditional dinner prepared by your hosts and sample some special Wae Rebo coffee. If the weather is good, you may also be treated to a special cultural performance. Your accommodation for the night will be a Mbaru Niang – a tall five-level cone-shaped house, completely covered in lontar (dried rontal tree leaves) thatch.
Wake up in the mountains to the sound of birds and have an early breakfast in the village. Afterwards, trek back down through the rainforest and take a short bus ride to Dintor. Here you will collect your big bag and have the opportunity for a refreshing cold shower and time to enjoy lunch. After lunch, travel by private minivan to Ruteng (approximately 4-5 hours). On the way, you will stop to visit the incredible spiralling rice fields of Cancar – vast circular rice paddies that spiral inwards just like a spider web. Arrive in Ruteng in time for an optional dinner, then settle in for the night.
After breakfast, depart for Bajawa, where you will be able to enjoy a well-earned soak in its relaxing hot springs. It’ll be about a 4.5-hour journey by private minivan. You’ll have the option, if your group decides, to stop by an arak distillery in Aimere beforehand. Arak is a local alcoholic drink made from the Lontar Palm tree and is flavoured with different fruits and spices to create liquors like Ouzo and Raki. This town in Flores is becoming renowned for its local backyard production of this drink, and you’ll be able to learn about how it’s made, with also the chance for a tasting! Continue on your way where you’ll stop at a local warung (family-run cafe or restaurant) along the coast for lunch. As you approach Bajawa, the majestic, perfectly-conical peak of Mount Inerie will start to appear on the horizon. This stratovolcano is one of the highest points on Flores and warms the water that pours into the Mengeruda Hot Springs. Take the time to unwind in its soothing waters – said to hold medicinal properties – surrounded by waterfalls and overhanging trees and let the pebbles massage your knots. Later, head to a basic hotel in Bajawa for a relaxing evening.
In the morning, travel about 45 minutes by private minivan to Bena, a village known for its megalithic formations, in the Ngada region of Flores. The architecture here is characterised by tall thatched huts and traditional weaving techniques. Follow your leader on a guided tour of the village and see the impressive stone formations and ancestral shrines. After taking some time to meet the locals and learn about their customs, spend a couple of hours trekking through the surrounding countryside to visit one more Ngada village and gain a deeper understanding of Ngada culture. Stop for lunch at a family home and enjoy some delicious local dishes. Take a walk around their huge vegetable garden and learn about all the different fruits and vegetables that they grow in this area. In the late afternoon return to Bajawa where you’ll spend the night.
After breakfast, set out on the 4-hour drive to Moni, stopping for photos along the scenic coast. You’ll have a chance to stop by the beach for a seafood lunch – local restaurants along this stretch of coastline are no-frills but offer some delicious food. Also, if you and your group would like to, head to the Wologai Traditional Village after lunch. Here you can stop to walk around one of the few villages that still have well-maintained houses built in the traditional Lionese architecture, learning about the curious and unusual details of the Lio tribe who have many sacred rituals. Afterwards, continue on to Moni. A remote and picturesque town surrounded by rice paddies, Moni is also located at the foot of Mt Kelimutu, famous for its tri-coloured volcanic lakes. Arrive at your eco lodge, then enjoy a free afternoon to relax and soak in the tranquil surrounds. You’ll want to head to bed early tonight, as you will be trekking to Mt Kelimutu early the next morning.
Mt Kelimutu – Maumere
Embrace an early start for a sunrise trek to Mt Kelimutu. The reward is spectacular views of the bright green, blue and red crater lakes from the peak. Begin with a 30-minute drive to the mountain, then it’s a 30 to 40-minute walk to the viewpoint of the craters. After taking some time to admire the view and snap some pics, return to the guesthouse for breakfast, then make tracks for Maumere in a private van (approximately 3-4 hours). The journey will be broken up with a stop for lunch on the way plus the option to check out Lepo Lorun Weaving House, where you can check out the traditional weaving processes of this region and perhaps by some products to take with you. Arrive into Maumere in the afternoon, with plenty of time to relax on the beach. Freshen up, then perhaps enjoy an Indonesian feast with your travel group to celebrate your Flores adventure.
Bid a fond farewell to your Indonesian adventure. Your trip ends after breakfast and there are no activities planned for today.