Volcanoes, villages and Komodo dragons in wild and untouched Flores
Join us on this wonderful adventure to Flores to explore the natural beauty of an untouched island. Covering 13,400 square kilometers, Flores is dotted with more than 15 near-perfect conical volcanoes, and we will enjoy great views of these peaks as we travel through the island. Flores is also home to the Ngada people, who are known for their beautiful weavings. As we hike through pristine forests and grasslands, we will pass Ngada villages with beautiful traditional structures, and we will visit with the Ngada to learn about their traditional way of life. Plus we'll have the chance to get up close with the world's largest living lizard, the Komodo dragon, in Komodo National Park. And after all this active adventure, we'll unwind for two nights aboard a private sailboat, where there will be plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel in the brilliant, clear water, or just relax on deck.
Hiking, snorkeling, sailing, cultural encounters
- Experience the road less traveled on the island of Flores in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
- Marvel at the untouched landscapes and pristine reefs of a true Pacific paradise
- Sail through the Komodo-Rincca island chain and see Komodo dragons in the wild
- Snorkel on untainted reefs among an abundance of spectacular aquatic life, including manta rays
- Visit the stunning multi-colored lakes of the Mt. Kelimutu volcano as we travel east to west through the natural beauty of Flores
Duration: 14 days Start Location: Denpasar, Bali End Location: Denpasar, BaliDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Denpasar, Bali (This entire trip is below 6,000')
Upon arrival in Denpasar, Bali, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel.
Day 2 : Bali to Flores
Today we transfer to the airport for our flight from Denpasar to Maumere, Flores, part of Nusa Tenggara and the eastern islands of Indonesia. You will be met by your guide at the airport and escorted by private vehicle to Sea World Club Hotel. The hotel is located on a beautiful beach, with Mt. Egon as a backdrop. Maumere, the capital of the Sikka District (kabupaten) is the largest town of Flores, and the center of business. It lies on the north coast of the island and the port is in the northwest part of the town. We will spend the day relaxing and adjusting to the time and climate change. In the evening, we will have an introductory dinner beachside.
Day 3 : Maumere - Moni Province (2,500')
Head for the volcanic craters of Kelimutu by private vehicle (3 hours). The volcano contains three striking summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red respectively. The lake colors vary on a periodic basis. We will check into Kelimutu Ecolodge, then spend the afternoon taking a light walk around the highland area and exploring the local village of Moni.
Day 4 : Moni - Bajawa (2,500')
We will head straight for Bajawa by private vehicle (5 ½ hours). On the drive we will follow the coast, similar to the north coast of Hawaii and then head back into the mountains with great panoramic views. We will break up the drive by stopping in villages along the way to shop for handicrafts at the local markets. We will check into the Happy 2 Hotel Org Bintang Wisata. We will have a good night of rest before exploring the region the following day.
Day 5 : Ngada Village
The group will spend the day in a Ngada village. The two most visited areas in the Ngada region are Bena and Wogo, both unique megalithic complexes with traditional housing. To Ngada society, the traditional houses occupy an important role as organizational units, as villagers must each belong to a house and thereby a clan. Clan totems can be ornately crafted symbols of this social organization. After spending first half of the day in the village learning about the culture of this area, we will head to Malange Hot Springs. Not just a natural spa, but a whole river with steaming hot water flowing through the jungle in the shade of Volcano Inerie. The water is hot--around 110 degrees--and not suitable to swim in, but downstream, several cold side-rivers flow in and make the temperature more tub-warm: perfect for taking a swim. We will return to our hotel for a quiet evening.
Day 6 : Bajawa - Ruteng
We continue our journey west across the island of Flores, passing perfectly shaped volcanoes, farmland, and villages before arriving in Ruteng. We will check into Susteran MBC and spend the afternoon of walking around Ruteng, exploring the local market and eating nice local food. We need a good night's sleep because tomorrow we head to the trailhead for our overnight trekking adventure into the traditional land of the Manggarai communities.
Day 7 : Ruteng - Denge
Today we will drive to Denge (approximately 4 hours), which is the starting point of our trek. Along the way we stop at villages, visit markets and take in the spectacular scenery. We check in to Warebo Lodges and then take a warm-up hike in the surrounding area.
Day 8 : Start trek to Santarenda Village
Today we will walk for 3-4 hours to reach our destination. The climate is cool and temperate because we will be at 3,600 feet elevation. We will be walking through temperate rainforest on a comfortable, gradual trail and have a good chance to see exotic wildlife such as the Asian Paradise Flycatcher. We will arrive at Santarenda Village of the Wae Rebo people, a traditional community far away from civilization. Here the people live in traditional thatched houses, bound by homemade rope. The structures are 27 feet tall, with 5 floors, and in the shape of a large cone. There is no electricity in these homes. We will be spending the afternoon and evening with the people, learning about their culture and lifestyle. In the evening we will be treated to their traditional singing and dancing, with the option to join in. This area has received an award from UNESCO.
Tonight we stay in a simple village home. Our accommodations will be a mattress on floor with a mosquito net. The bathrooms are not attached to the home, but have a Western toilet. We will spend time with the family in their home. (Total walking: 8-9 miles)
Day 9 : Santarenda - Labuan Bajo
Mid morning we will depart for our walk out of the villages (3 hours). Upon finishing our trek, we will get picked up by our private transport and head for the city of Labuan Bajo (3 hours) On our way we will stop to see and amazing spider web like rice paddy formation that is along the way. Labuan Bajo is situated on the rim of the Komodo-Rincca Island chain and offers stunning views of crystal clear water and islands. We will be staying at Centro Bajo Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel on the hills above the city..
Day 10 : Labuan Bajo
Today is a free day where everyone can relax, explore the coastal city, or spend some time at the beach kayaking or snorkeling.
Day 11 : Sail to Rincca National Park
We will board a handbuilt private, wooden sailboat that will be our home for the next two nights. The boat has a wonderful top deck for lounging, sunbathing, and offers great views of the island chains. Sailing in these waters is beautiful and untouched. In the morning, we will be passing many islands on our boat ride (1.5 hours). We will have lunch on the boat at the port of Rincca Island and afterwards there will be time for snorkeling. In the early afternoon, we will enter the national park on Rincca and get our first views of the Komodo Dragons. We will do a 2 hour walk through the grasslands, looking for the infamous dragons in their natural habitat. At an impressive 10 feet long, these giant lizards hunt their prey by biting them once, and waiting for the infection to set in and cause death. After our exploration of the island, we will head by boat to dock for the evening in a bay surrounded by mangroves. As we watch sunset from the top deck, we can watch hundreds of flying foxes (giant bats with doglike heads) arise from the mangroves.
Day 12 : Komodo Island
We will visit the island of Komodo in the morning and take a walk on a well marked trail, looking for more dragons and an array of flora and fauna. The birdlife is great on the island including kingfishers, parrots, imperial pigeons, and more. We will get back on the boat for lunch and sail for an hour for a great afternoon of snorkeling in one of the most diverse underwater ecosystems in the world. Besides the national park being the only place in the world with Komodo Dragons, the region is part of the Coral Triangle. This region stretches from Sulawesi to Papua and Flores. It is known for having the highest biodiversity of marine life on earth. We will spend the night in a quiet bay after snorkeling or diving.
Day 13 : Return to Labuan Bajo
The boat heads back to Labuan Bajo (2 ½ hours), where we check into Hotel Waecicu--only accessible by boat. The hotel has excellent french cuisine and is equipped with a spa for some relaxation upon our arrival. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner together and have time to reflect on the trip's great adventures.
Day 14 : Fly from Labuan Bajo - Denpasar and onwards
This morning, we transfer to the airport in Labuan Bajo for our flight to Denpasar, Bali and onwards.
DATES: Best time to go: April, September Departures: Apr 20, 2015 - May 3, 2015 Sep 5 - 18, 2015
2014 / 2015 Prices
$3,395 (9-12 members)
$4,395 (4-5 members)
$330 internal airfare – Denpasar/Maumere and Labuan Bajo/Denpasar
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Charlie grew up between Hawaii and California. He has had a passion for outdoor adventures, traveling, and nature his entire life. He is particularly fascinated by the ecology of tropical rainforests. Hawaii's lush jungles first caught his attention, Central America’s rainforests broadened his horizons and, finally, he found Borneo. Well-rounded in the ecology of the Bornean rainforest, he is experienced with species identification of mammals, birds, amphibians, and snakes. He has strong leadership abilities and is comfortable in any situation. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and has a good understanding of wilderness survival. Charlie has lived in Borneo for the last three years, working with different local communities, and he spent nine months working with Mescot (www.mescot.org), a community-based forest restoration project in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain. He then worked with NGOs doing humanitarian work with an indigenous group called the Penan. He speaks Bahasa Malay and has strong connections with people working to save this beautiful region. Charlie looks forward to meeting you and sharing this adventure with you.