Flores, the island given a pretty but incongruous Portuguese name by its 16th-century colonists, has become Indonesia’s biggest things. The island is a cacophony of smells, swinging between coffee roasting in the hills, clove cigarettes, exhaust fumes and the unmistakable scent of the ocean.
Komodo Island is home to a national park and is arguably the most famous spot in Flores. The park is known for its fearsome residents in the form of Komodo dragons, which are actually a kind of large lizard. You can take a tour of the island to check out these amazing creatures, but you will need a guide to make sure you don’t get too close, as the dragons have toxic saliva which drips from their jaws, so you don’t want to risk a bite.
One of the star attractions in Flores is Kelimutu which is actually a volcano, although this is not the main draw here. The reason people flock to Kelimutu is for the three crater lakes that nestle inside the mountain and each one sparkles with a different color. The lakes are blue, red, and green, and the difference in hue is said to be the result of the different gases bubbling away under the surface. Visitors here can hike up to the lakes and it is even possible to camp close to the crater so that you get up early and watch the spectacular sunrise over the rim.
Blue Stone Beach
Penggajawa Beach is sometimes known as Blue Stone Beach although one may also hear it referred to as Green Stone Beach. The reason for this is that the beach is made up not of sand but of blue and green pebbles which mean that it is yet another one of Flores’ strange yet beautiful natural phenomena. The main reason to come here is to take in the spectacular scenery although this is not really a beach made for sunbathing so if you want to relax on the sand then you would be better off heading elsewhere.
Watch a Caci dance!!
The indigenous people in the west part of Flores are known as the Manggarai people and they have a wealth of enchanting traditions and celebrations that are different to anything you are likely to see in other parts of Indonesia.One of these is the Caci dance where two men dance and try to fight by hitting each other with whips while dressed as animals. The dance is accompanied by drum beats and is not meant to be a serious fight, so don’t worry that you are actually going to see a violent attack, as it is more a ceremonial spectacle than anything.