How to travel Flores (Indonesia) in 1 week

Flying along the Flores coast
[The coast of Flores. And the answer to why bus travel takes so long.]

I’m wrapping up my Flores posts to highlight how to travel Flores in the space of a week. Originally I had intended to spend 2 weeks there, but my trip was cut short when I realised I needed extra time to apply for an East Timor visa in Kupang, West Timor.

Even at two weeks I thought I was going to be rushing it. My friend Stuart McTravelfish recommends 18 days in Flores. Having finished travelling there I would say that too, but for many of us 2+ weeks would be a luxury.

[Speaking of, every visitor to Flores should download the free Travelfish Flores and Komodo full colour travel guide.]

If you don’t have 2+ weeks you can still see a lot in a week, and in the process see two of the great travel highlights of Indonesia (Komodo and Kelimutu).

For illustration purposes I’ve set Bali as the starting point seeing most visitors to Indonesia do so via Bali. This of course can be done from either direction.

Day 1: Bali to Labuan Bajo

Fly into Labuan Bajo and get a tour boat planned for a 2 day/1 night trip. Here is the boat tour I booked.

Day 2: Labuan Bajo to Komodo National Park

Depart Labuan Bajo for Komodo National Park. View Komodo Dragons, go island hopping and snorkelling coral reefs. Sleep on the boat.

Island hopping Komodo National Park

Day 3: Komodo National Park to Labuan Bajo

Another full day exploring Komodo National Park, returning to Labuan Bajo in the afternoon, just in time for another sunset show.

Sunset over Labuan Bajo - Flores

Day 4: Labuan Bajo to Bajawa

Long travel day consisting of ten hours in a bus. Look for the blue Gunung Mas buses when booking a ticket. They are a reasonably spacious minibus and more comfortable than the older Bemo style buses.

Day 5: Bajawa Day Trip

Spend the day touring the area around Bajawa, including visiting some of the traditional villages and visiting a hot spring.

Traditional village near Bajawa - Flores

Day 6: Bajawa To Moni

An eight hour bus day to get to Moni. I got the local Bemo bus which made me realise how much better the Gunung Mas bus was, so try and book that one.

Day 7: Moni > Kelimutu National Park > Ende > Home

Get up at ridiculous o’clock and grumble about getting up so early, then realise it was totally worth it when you see the sun rise over crater lakes and mountains.

Sunrise at Kelimutu National Park - Flores

You will be back in the village of Moni by 9am, so time to pack up and get a bus or private car to Ende (about 2 hours away) and from there fly back to Bali or onward destination in Indonesia.

Other Options

If the thought of two long bus days has put you off, you could instead fly from Labuan Bajo to Ende and skip the Bajawa section. I would then spend more time in Labuan Bajo, either by opting for a 3 day boat trip or doing some day trips from LB to other beaches.

If you just want to get to one place stay put you could easily spend a week exploring the area around Labuan Bajo.





Comments

  1. Oh my gosh…these are some sinfully gorgeous pics!

  2. The picture are gorgeous! Beautiful, i hope to visit someday. Thank you for sharing them and letting us see a peek of the tour you had.

  3. I’m curious about Indonesia in general since I’m the kind of person who wishes a beer when they’re banned — like here in the LOS some days. Is alcohol basically a no-no in Indonesia?
    Thanks
    Owen McGowan
    CNX

    • It depends where you go in Indonesia as the availability varies as much as the nation. In Jakarta you can find bars serving alcohol. In Bali not only is it readily available but you see be foreigners (cough *Australians* cough) walking around with beers in their hand. Go to regions where it is mostly christian (like the Batak region in Sumatra) and alcohol is also sold. On the other hand in Banda Aceh alcohol is prohibited due to sharia law, though I saw in touristed places beer was secretly sold at the back of the fridge.

  4. Nice little overview… Thanks
    I’m heading to Flores with my son in January but we only have 10 days, so it will be a bit rushed but we can’t wait:)

    Sean
    Perth

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