Flores is the most fascinating and beautiful island. Long hidden in the shadows of its more famous neighbor Bali, the island of Flores is finally emerging as a unique destination of its own. So, after visiting the lair of the Komodo dragons, take time to marvel at some of the wonders of Flores. Here you can swim in pristine lakes and waterfalls, dive at one of the 50 spectacular dive sites, go kayaking among craggy coasts and mangrove shores, explore mysterious caves and be warmly welcomed by the island’s people in their rituals, dances and daily life.
Flores spells adventure, diving, eco-tours, and mountain climbing interspersed with visits to prehistoric heritage sites, traditional villages and cultural events.
Until recently, many tourists have only been familiar with Labuan Bajo, the small port located on the western-most tip of the island, and the taking off point for a visit to the last natural habitat of the prehistoric Komodo dragons, the islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar.
Situated in the province of East Nusatenggara, Flores is a long island that contains some of the world’s best kept secrets. A chain of volcanoes stretches the length of this 450 km long and narrow island, creating complicated V-shaped valleys and knife-edged ridges - terrain that was near impenetrable until recently and has separated the island into many distinct ethnic groups.
Administratively the island is divided into 8 districts; West Manggarai, Manggarai, East Manggarai, Nagekeo, Ngada, Ende, Sika and East Flores. Further east are the adjacent islands of Alor and Lembata.
The island itself is surrounded by sparkling white beaches, where one beach even has pink sand. Mt. Kelimutu, near the town of Maumere, has three different coloured lakes that can change colour from time to time.
Besides Komodo dragons, Flores has been in the world’s limelight with the discovery of the Flores hobbit, or homo floresiensis, a new hitherto unknown prehistoric human species, whose remains were found in the caves of Liang Bua.
This island is indeed ancient, having been untouched for centuries, once inhabited by prehistoric men and still living prehistoric animals, as well as containing remnants of a petrified forest.
At the easternmost tip of the island, Larantuka is famous for its Easter-week rituals that still continue the old Portuguese traditions brought here some 500 years ago. While at adjacent Lembata, islanders hunt whales manually, harpooning precariously from small boats.