Mar 25 2013

Meet Flores

Published by at 10:52 am under Flores

We’re exploring the Indonesian islands of Flores, Komodo, Rinca and a few others over the next two weeks and our initial reaction was along the lines of, “Why didn’t we get off our bums and come here earlier?” And we’ve only been on Flores for a night…

First stop. Rather lovely.

First stop. Rather lovely.

The waters surrounding the western end of Flores proper, where it abuts Komodo National Park, are littered with islands, some of which are home to small-scale bungalow operations. We decided, after a recommendation on Twitter, to stick to the mainland for the first night — it wasn’t a bad idea and we extended to a second night within a few hours.

Samantha researching coral and fish populations.

Samantha researching coral and fish populations.

We spent the first afternoon canoeing (yes, canoeing) across the waters to a supposedly good snorkelling spot, but, well, it was either very mediocre or we were too exhausted from the paddle to appreciate it. While this wasn’t what we had hoped for, the sunset compensated.

No need to ever canoe again

No need to ever canoe again.

The next morning I took a stroll out to the western tip of the peninsula we’re staying on. It was about 1.5 hours each way and the views were simply magnificent. With a landscape dotted with sugar palms, it was eerily reminiscent of a hilly Cambodia.

Indonesia meets Cambodia

Indonesia meets Cambodia.

But the beaches, well, they’re pretty good.

That orange roof? That is the only building for as far as you can see.

That orange roof? That is the only building for as far as you can see.

Around the back of the peninsula was a large hotel, which appeared to be closed for low season (if not closed, business was very, very, very slow) but they had a ridiculously long wooden pier from where you could view schools of fish dancing underneath.

No I didn't walk all the way to the end.

No I didn’t walk all the way to the end.

The afternoon we filled out with a snorkelling trip to Bidadari Island, 20 minutes from where we were staying. Sharing it with just a couple of other boats, perhaps eight people in all, we enjoyed drifting along the drop-off — Lyla was thrilled to see Nemo and a sea snake — I was less impressed with the latter.

No Komodo dragons thankfully

No Komodo dragons thankfully.

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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Meet Flores”

  1. Donon 27 Mar 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Komodo and Rinca islands are well worth the visit. Also, an overnight on a boat in the park to snorkel is great. I would also recommend going out with one of the diving outfits at Labuan Bajo and check out the manta rays at Manta Point and other fantastic dive sites.

  2. Rachelon 29 Apr 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Stuart –

    I’ll be in Flores in a couple of weeks…We are doing a 2N/3D dive boat from Labuan Bajo and also want to do a half day trek on either Rinca or Komodo? Do you like one island for trekking over the other? I know that you can see more Komodos on Rinca but is the scenery on Komodo significantly better and are there less people on Komodo?


  3. adminon 01 May 2013 at 12:00 am

    Hi Rachel,

    Difficult to say — we went to Komodo and another writer went to Rinca… I talked to two other travellers who went to both and they preferred Komodo, but that is a sample size of just two!

    The advantage of Rinca is that it is closer to Labuan Bajo, but if you’re doing an overnight trip, that is less of an issue.

    I found the scenery at Komodo to be just stunning. You may also find this post interesting as it covers the trip we did from Kanawa.



  4. Gabyon 23 Jan 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Stuart!!

    I’m trying to plan a trip in Indonesia this summer.. and I was thinking of flores…

    Do you reccommend more an inland solution or staying in the smaller island close to Labuan Banjo? (Kanawa or others…)

    Where did you stay when you took that photos?

    You travelled with kids? Did you take the anti-malaria prevention?


  5. adminon 23 Jan 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Gaby,
    The above photos are taken both on Kanawa and on the beaches on the northern spur above Labuan Bajo. Yes we were travelling with our kids, but they didn’t take malaria meds. The region is malarial though. We used general minimisation stuff(mozzie net, repellent etc).

    I’d generally recommend Kanawa over the mainland as, even with its faults, is gorgeous. Have written more about Kanawa here:


  6. adminon 23 Jan 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Oh no, sorry, just took a closer look, none of the above are from Kanawa – they are all from around Eden Beach (the spur north of Labuan Bajo)

  7. Gabyon 27 Jan 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much for your reply, Stuart!!

    Now Kanawa can’t be booked more than one month before… that’s very difficult to organize the trip in this way :/

    So you’ve stayed some days at Eden Beach and then you went to Kanawa…

    Those photos are really stunning!

    Thanks again, I travel with my 8 years old girl, and I was thinking to do Labuanbajo/komodo and Maumere..