Flores – the gem of eastern part of Indonesia
Home to Komodo Dragons, the Kelimutu tri-coloured volcanic lake, and one of the world’s best dive sites (Florestourism)
Landscape, animals, sunsets, people, old villages, crystal clear waters, pristine sands, and a huge number of underwater creatures, including sharks, turtles and mantas – all this offers Flores.
Today, Flores is mostly known as a starting point for the diving tours to the Komodo National Park. From our port town Labuan Bajo our guests – divers and non-divers – can visit the Komodo National Park, the Komodo Dragons and a number of other beautiful islands, its beaches and hills.
However, hearing the name Flores in combination with Komodo, some travellers get confused. Well, because these are two islands whereas Komodo is the name of the island, of the National Park and the whole area on the West part of Flores. Even the airport at Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores is also called “Komodo”.
Komodo Island is a part of the National Park that is made up of three main Islands – Komodo Island, Rinca and Padar (plus numerous smaller surrounding islands) and includes an expanded marine area and the West section of Flores. The flora and fauna here are some of Indonesia’s finest; it is on list of the 7 New Wonders of Nature, and is the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. (See also our news article about this).
And Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, in the eastern half of Indonesia. It is a big island, with Maumere being the biggest town on the island and with Labuan Bajo being the main harbour for tours to Komodo National Park. Flores offers lots of interesting history, culture, and countryside. As written above, the west part of Flores is part of Komodo National Park. Yet, Kelimutu National Park is the second national park designated to Flores and which is one of some natural attraction for tourists’ destinations.
Flores – is it really a flower?
Pulau Flores is the 10th biggest island of Indonesia
Flores is located in the eastern side of Indonesia – two islands further east from Bali – and forms a part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The name is derived from the Portuguese for “flowers”. Its current number of population is unknown; the last collected figure dates back to 2010 and shows 1.831.000. And this figure makes Flores the 10th most populous island in all Indonesia. It is also the 10th biggest island of Indonesia being 13,540 km2 big (5x bigger compared to Luxembourg, 2.586 km2), having a length of 354 km and a width of 66 km.
The history of Flores shows different invaders that have been settling in Flores. In 16th century the Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores. The Dutch attacked the Fortress of Solor in 1613 (an island in the very east of Flores) and at the end of 19th century after some negotiations between Dutch and Portuguese Flores became a part of the territory of Dutch East Indies. The Japanese occupied Flores during the World War II.
And finally, after the war Flores became part of independent Indonesia.
Flores is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province (Nusa Tenggara Timur, NTT) and the island itself is divided into eight regencies. Labuan Bajo is located in the West of the island and is one of the main cities on Flores.
Of course, tourism is one of the key activities on Flores (besides agriculture, fishing and seaweed production). There are many highlights to see and visit on Flores. Besides diving as the main activity; one of them is the Kelimutu Volcano which contains three coloured lakes. Locals are happy to tell you the story behind those colours. Rice is the primary food crop on Flores, and its rice fields are totally different than some of you might know from Bali. The fields on Flores are called spider web fields. To know the strategy behind this structure of the fields, you need to visit the countryside of Flores. We happily assist you in organising the visit.