Flores, the biggest island in the East Nusa Tenggara, is a long narrow rocky island with spectacular volcanoes, stunning mountain lakes and lush savannah. Island, 360 kilometres long and 12 to 70 kilometres wide, is inhabited by approximately 1.4 million people, of which almost 85% are Roman Catholic. The church has put serious stress on recovering the living conditions through its range of programs. The clergy in Flores is aware of many traditional believes but they do not trying to abolish them; the survived ancient traditions make up much of the island's attractions. Flores is very diverse ethnographically, the mixed population comprise of Bimanese, Bugis, Makassarese, Solorese, Savunese and ethnic Florinese: Lio, Ngadham Sikka, Soa and other.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur and Nusa Tenggara Barat provinces. It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totalling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land ( Banta Island ) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2. Most of its land area is hilly with the highest peak Satabilo rising 735 metres above sea level. Komodo National Park was established on March 6th 1980 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve on 1986 and later in 1991 declared a World Heritage Site. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), the world's largest reptiles and can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. Komodo National Park and western Flores is the only place where "ora", as it is called in the local language, still exist. Conservation goals have been expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial. The Park provides refuge for many other notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. Moreover, the Park includes one of the richest marine environments including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, seamounts, and semi-enclosed bays. These habitats harbour more than 1,000 species of fish, some 260 species of reef-building coral, and 70 species of sponges. Dugong, sharks, manta rays, at least 14 species of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles also make Komodo National Park their home.
Labuan Bajo is a quiet fishing village that sit on s beautiful harbour filled with the outriggers, canoes for various sizes. Its main significance from a tourist viewpoint is its nearness to the Komodo National Park.
Batu Cermin is a natural cave located at Wae Kesambi village. Attraction of this cave are fossils of marine life such as fish, coral reefs, turtles and many types and shapes of stalactites and stalagmites.
It is a small and attractive island with white sandy beach, clean water and coral reefs. The island is located at northwest of Labuan Bajo.
Ruteng, the capital of the Manggarai district, lies at the foot of mountain range and at the head of complex of valleys that forms the island's main rice-producing region.
Bajawa, the capital of Ngada district, has preserved its traditional ways more that any other area of Flores. Langa and Bena are two ancient villages, with ngadhu and bhaga shrines. Ngadhu, representing a clan's male ancestors, looks like thatched umbrellas, some 3 metres high, topped with a human figure. Bhaga, the female partner to the ngadhu, is a small thatched hut. There are also interesting megalithic stones at Bena and nearby village Wogo Tua.
Seventeen Islands Nature Reserve
There are in fact more that 20 islands that offer excellent snorkelling. The reefs off the islands are very healthy, in good variety and with a lots of colourful fish.
Ende, set amidst several volcanoes, is the largest town on Flores with about 60,000 inhabitants.
Volcanic crater lakes on Gunung Keli Mutu are the island's main tourist attraction. The lakes, at an elevation of 1,640 metres above sea level, are split only by low ridges and, unusually are of different colours: blue, turquoise, and almost black. The scenery nearby the lakes is bald and grey, and in this background the colours are really surprising. The lakes got their colour because of the mineral deposits, which resolve in the water. Because of the changing amounts of minerals the colours of the lakes changes over time; the last decades the lakes used to be dark-red, light green and light blue.
In the direct environment of the city you will find great places for snorkelling and diving, traditional weaving villages of Watublapi, Sikka and Nita, beautiful nature and old relics from the Portuguese time and the only museum of the island.