Some years ago I was in a car to lead an overland tour from Maumere to western of Flores Island, I felt the more to western, the more to be cool. I forgot if Labuan Bajo is a hot seaport town situated on the west tip of the island. My experience is not comparable to what my clients have because they reveal fascinating facts about Flores Island so impressively.
First, Flores Island has an amazing natural scenery
The name Flores Island is adopted from the Portuguese, “Cabo de Flores” by S.M. Cabot to baptize Tanjung Bunga, a cape on the east of Flores Island. Tanjung Bunga and several islands such as Lembata, Adonara and Solor look hot and arid but stimulating you to explore hidden spots and treasures behind. One thing you easily do is to hire a boat and navigate yourself to enjoy the sound of calm waves and sun’s warmth on a white floating beach situated there. Make sure you use sunshade to protect your skin.
Flores island is more beautiful because of exotic island clusters, colorful sandy beaches, stunning underwater gardens, and mystical lakes situated in the middle and western area. Unforgettable sea diving experience from Labuan Bajo to the surrounding islands, challenging Waerebo trekking, calm hiking on Kelimutu Lake, incredible snorkeling in Riung 17 Island, capturing pristine scene of coral reef on the northern islands near Maumere bay or having natural overland view from Labuan Bajo to Larantuka along the 661.5 kms makes Flores be nominated for reputable tourist destination. Frederica Brunori wrote a testimonial in Italian language, “Venite a Flores, per noi e’ stata una scelta che ci ha ripagato di stupendo scenari”. “Come to Flores, for us it was a choice that rewarded us with beautiful views”.
Second, warm local people
When greeted by foreign tourists, local people of Flores Island do not run and avoid but they come closer and start communicating. Not all of them can speak English but they will try to understand what you mean by the combination sign, gesture and body language, a simple meaningful communication can take a place. They love it when you empathize with their simple life. If you want to try the ikat looms they demonstrate, they won’t mind giving you that chance. Don’t forget to visit Arak (palm wine) distillation. Old men also won’t hesitate to offer you a bottle of Arak. Drinking Arak is a sign of brotherhood.
Through authentic encounters with unique local people and lifestyle, you learn how they are open-minded and can be engaged to talk or share something meaningful each other. That’s why, Elen Mas, our client from French wrote, “Une ile encore très authentique et aux paysages merveilleux. Habitants et rencontres chaleureux en perspective “. It means an island that is still very authentic and with beautiful views. Inhabitants and warm encounters in perspective. Greetings and having a lot of laughs make you happy. “Happiness is not something ready-made – it comes from your own actions”- Dalai Lama.
Third, A well-kept secret
Today cometoflores reborn. This is our first overland trip after COVID 2019 with Tibo and Daphne, from France. Tibo said, “Flores is amazing to discover and has many things to offer, volcanoes, mountains, seaside, beaches, jungle. Flores is a well-kept secret that you should come and discover”. Flores Island is not only blessed with hidden spots that abounding from the east to the west. There are also a number of discoveries that are still mystery, such as Homo floresiensis on Flores Island in 2004, a giant stork that lived 60,000 years ago, the Stegodon species, the light of a mirror stone in Labuan Bajo, different ikat weaving motifs and many more.
Fourth, Yummy cocoa
Flores is one of the suppliers to cocoa production in Indonesia. In Flores Island, cocoa was first introduced by Catholic missionaries in Sikka district about 1960s. Cocoa seed was imported from Ivory Coast, Africa at that time. The quality of cocoa beans in Flores is high on average because there is little rainfall on the island. The flesh of the cocoa fruit that has not been dried is white and yummi. “und Die Kakao Frucht war super! “Anna II, a tourist from Germany wrote.
Fifth, A well-preserved tourism treasure
Flores Island is rich in various philosophies, cultures, and ritual traditions. Once you arrived at Waerebo village, the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage you will be amazed by Mbaru Niang. Mbaru Niang is a traditional house in the Manggarai mountain area whose roof is like a cone with a height of 15 meters. The conical roof of Mbaru Niang has a philosophy of people’s protection and unity. The circle of the floor of Mbaru symbolizes justice and harmony in the family. There are only 7 houses of Mbaru Niang.
This formation symbolizes respect for the 7 directions of the mountain which are believed to be the protectors for the village. Other villages in Flores Island, like Bena, Nggela, Nuabari or Tana Ai also preserves massively local treasures. Chris Mdm wrote in France, “Continue à faire découvrir ce trésor encore préservé du tourisme de masse” that means keep on discovering this treasure preserved from massive tourism.
There is a lot of things to see or things to do in Flores Island for learning local people’s philosophy, culture, and ritual traditions. Discuss with us to get city guide service, museum guide, historical guide. It’s a great option to visit several cultural studios located near the city centre, museums, old churches before embarking the next destination.
Best photo spots and enjoy coffee
Hiking in Flores Island also helps you navigate difficult terrain like gorgeous mountain or volcano passes and mystical lakes. We know where the best photo spots are taken when you out of overland car without forgetting safety procedure to keep the comfort and well-being of you. Lukas Feurer wrote Flores has the best photo spots to capture the moment once in a lifetime. Here is his overland experience that’s written in Germany, “Vielen Dank Christian für die unvergesslichen 6 Tage / 5 Nächte von Labuan Bajo nach Maumere. Du bist jederzeit sicher und gewissenhaft gefahren, auch wenn die Strasse manchmal wirklich eine Herausforderung war (Bajawa-Riung 😉). Während den 6 Tagen hast du uns viele Highlights gezeigt, wie z.B. die Spinnennetz Reisfelder, Koka Beach, die farbigen Kraterseen von Kelimutu etc. und du wusstest auch immer wo die besten Foto-Spots waren. Deine Essens-Tipps waren sehr hilfreich und die Kaffeepausen haben wir immer sehr genossen.Wir können dich, Christian, jederzeit als zuverlässigen Tourguide empfehlen!”