Explore Flores Island from East to West Coast
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights; Number of pax: 2, 3-5, 6-10; Type of Accommodation: Hotel, traditional house; Type of Transportation: Van, minibus, truck; Start/End: Maumere/Labuan Bajo; Grade of difficulty: Moderate
Day 1: Denpasar-Maumere on Flores: A 1.5 hour flight will bring you from Denpasar to Maumere on Flores. The name Flores is originally Portuguese, Cabo das Flores, meaning Cape of Flowers. This volcanic island is 375 km long, narrow and rugged and is one of the least visited parts of Indonesia. The terrain has made road construction tricky and also contributed to the large diversity of Flores cultures. There are five main ethnic groups in the island, and several local languages. About 1 million people live on Flores and about 85% of them are Roman Catholic.
Maumere is one of seaports and gateways to enter Flores. This city is situated on the northeastern of the island. In 1992 the town was hit by earthquake which followed by 20 m high Tsunami. This disaster cost thousands life and hundreds buildings. Land along the coast swept away for almost 30 meters. Maumere today has recovered. Most buildings already reconstructed. Maumere is home for Lamalohot people with distinctive language and culture. Mamere has been one of the Centers of Catholic activities and mission on Flores since the arrival of Portuguese Dominicans some 400 hundreds years ago. While in Maumere you will make excursion in town to see how life going on. It is possible to visit local market and shops area. Night at hotel in Maumere (LD)
Day 2: Maumere-Moni: Drive to to Moni in the morning after breakfast. This is 90 km in distance (± 3 hours) along winding road through villages, coastline, farmlands and plantation. Lunch will be provided en-route.
Moni is a small town at the foot of Kelimutu. The area is inhabited by the Lio-people. They are famous for their tradition of ikat weaving. Ikat means to tie or bind. Before the treads are woven together, the pattern is tie-dyed onto the treads. Only the untied threads will take the colour. The intricate patterned work of Flores is well known all around Indonesia and overseas. Most of women in the villages around Moni have learnt since very young age, from their mother about how to make this hand weaving. Many wives use this skill to support their family income. In the afternoon you will visit one of the villages where women do their weaving. Depend on the time, from this weaving village you can take a swim at the waterfall nearby. Night at hotel in Moni (BLD)
Day 3: Moni-Kelimutu-Bajawa: One of the highlight in Moni is Mount Kelimutu with its three volcano craters. These craters mark the top of Mount Kelimutu with its different color which change following the mineral content on each crater. To see this nature wonder, you will start early in the morning around 04:00. You start by car from hotel driving up for about 13 km along winding and small road. The rest is by walking for about 1.5 km to the view point. Hope for clear weather because you will see breathtaking sunrise with three volcano craters as foreground. Stay for a while at this view point and before the sun hits you will walk back down to the parking area. From here you will hike through the small patch of forest where you can enjoy the sound of bird called Bare-throated Whistler, a birds that can make at least 2-3 different lovely sound. Along the hiking path you will also pass small villages and plantation such as coffee, macadamia, clove and rice fields.
You will proceed your journey to the central part of the island to Bajawa. Rural, plantation, farmland, coastline and valleys with nice view will dominate the journey. After 52 km driving along narrow and winding road you will arrive in the city of Ende, an old trading town on Flores. You will pass Ende and continue to Penggajawa beach for short break and enjoy the uniqueness of the beach which is covered by green stones. If the waves are not too big it is possible to swim here. From this “green-beach” you continue to Bajawa and will arrive by the afternoon. NIght at hotel in Bajawa (BLD)
About 15 000 inhabitants live in Bajawa. This small town is situated in the mountains at an altitude of 1.100 meters and surrounded by volcanic hills. It is the centre of the Ngada people, one of the most traditional groups on Flores. People in this area are mostly Roman Catholics but at the same time they maintain their traditional beliefs in their ancestors. The town of Bajawa is located around the busy and colourful market. Farmers from the area come to the market to sell their products. Try some of the exotic and fresh fruits sold at this market. To visit the market is a good way to understand how the local people live, what they cultivate, what they eat etc. Bajawa hosts many interesting traditional villages. Dwellers of these villages still practice their traditional way of living such as in farming and belief. When you are out walking people will ask; ”ke mana?” That means “where are you going?” You can either answer the place where you are going, or you can just say “jalan jalan” which means “just walking around”. Other common words people will ask such as “apa kabar?”. This means “how do you do/how are you?” You can say; “kabar baik” which means “I am fine, thank you”.
Day 4: Bajawa-Trekking to the village: You will do a day trek to one of the traditional villages by the foot of a volcano call Inerie (2,245 m). From hotel you will be dropped by car to the starting point and start hiking along bigger road used by local people to transport their harvest and to go from one village to others villages. The trek is not very hard and the pace will be moderate, to give you opportunity to enjoy and explore the trek. You will pass coffee, vanilla, clove, macadamia and passion fruit plantation. When it is season for passion fruit it is possible for you to pick up this fruit directly from its tree and enjoy it freshly. Lunch will be provided accordingly by picnic or at one of the villages. The final destination on this trek is one of the traditional villages where you will stay for overnight with the family in the house. In the evening you will have opportunity to chat with the people to learn about their way of living and their experience to live in the traditional house. Night at traditional house (BLD)
Day 5: Traditional Village-Bajawa: Simple breakfast will be provided by your host. It usually contains rice, vegetable, cassava, dried fish with tea or local coffee. Return to Bajawa and continue to Soa hotspring. Time to relax and enjoy swimming on the stream with variation in temperature. Late afternoon return to Bajawa. Night at hotel in Bajawa (BLD)
Day 6: Bajawa-Labuan Bajo: A long but scenic trip to Labuan Bajo in the west of Flores. You will travel on Trans-Flores road from central to western part. The island is 375 km long from East to West, but the highway measures as much as 700 km. This is because the road constructed in the mountainous topographic, very narrow, winding and curving. On the way you will stop at Cancar, a small village known for its ancient rice field with form like spider web. Arrive in Labuan Bajo in the afternoon. If you are not tired yet you can spend the afternoon by exploring the town. There is a good stop to view the town from higher ground where sun set is also very beautiful. Labuan Bajo is a popular place for swimming and snorkelling on Flores. It is also a jumping-off place for trips to Komodo and Rinca as well as an important link between the western and eastern parts of Indonesia. Labuhan means ‘harbour’ and Bajo is the same as Bajau, one of the ethnic groups in the area. The fishermen are ethnic Bajau (Bajo) or Bugis and Muslims by faith. The fishermen often go fishing during night, using lamps to attract fish. In the harbour you’ll see their perahu, outrigger fishing boats. NIght at hotel in Labuan Bajo (BLD)
Day 7: Labuan Bajo-Denpasar or other destinations: Depending on your flight or your programs, you can spend your time after breakfast by visiting local market or cave called Mirror Cave by locals. Transfer to the airport for flying to Denpasar or continue to the next destination on Flores. Exploration ends (BL)
* This program can be combined with Exploration on Komodo National Park.
* During the trip participants must respect and obey rules, laws and customs valid in the area/location they are visiting.
* This itinerary is subject to change with or without prior notice due to weather condition, flight and ferry schedule change or other causes beyond our control (force majeure)