VOLCANOS AND CULTURE OF FLORES
This 10 days / 9 nights trip to Flores focuses on the eastern part of the large island. You arrive at Maumere airport located at the eastern tip of the island and gradually make your way to the centre of the island, accompanied by a private driver and guide. After a cultural start in Maumere, you set off to conquer the Kelimutu volcano. You then continue to Bajawa in the Ngada region where you go on excursions to remote villages to discover the rich culture and lush nature of this area. This beautiful adventure in Flores concludes with a jungle trek and an overnight stay in a traditional house for an unforgettable and immersive experience.
Day 1: Maumere airport - Maumere
Arrival in Flores
Arrive at Maumere airport and meet your private driver and your guide Ryan. You first drive to the hotel to rest a bit before leaving for a half day excursion. You visit the old church of Sikka, one of the oldest churches in Flores, remnants of the Portuguese colonization. Built entirely of wood, you can hear the ocean from inside. Then you go to the traditional Sikka village of Watublapi, where women still use traditional weaving machines to make ikats. These patterned textiles, made by hand, are true works of art, and it takes months to complete one. Back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
20 min drive. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: comfort hotel.
Day 2: Maumere
Snorkeling day tour
Today you leave for a full day snorkeling tour along the 3 main islands of the Northeast coast of Maumere: Panggabatan Island, Babi Island and Tanjung Padang Island. They are famous for their beautiful snorkeling sites in the clear blue water with colorful fish and corals. If you are lucky, you can also see turtles, small sharks, rays and bumphead parrotfish. In the late afternoon you return to the hotel.
Full day boat excursion. Accommodation: comfort hotel. Meals: breakfast & lunch.
Road along the coast in Maumere
Snorkeling in Flores
Day 3: Maumere - Moni
Visit to the local market of Gelinting
Today you leave Maumere and drive to Moni, a small village at the foot of the Kelimutu volcano. On the way, you stop at the local market of Gelinting. Get ready to be overwhelmed by the smells, the people and the roosters. This huge market sells fruits and vegetables, clothes and also ikats. Then you continue on the amazing Transflores road before taking a short break at Koka beach. Once in Moni, you can rest at the hotel or you can take a short walk to the waterfall in the neighborhood, which is great for taking a dip.
3 to 4 h drive. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: standard hotel. Meals: breakfast.
Day 4: Moni - Bajawa
Climbing Kelimutu volcano and visiting its hot springs
Around 7am you drive to Kelimutu volcano. Literally, Kelimutu means "boiling mountain" and is home to 3 stunning lakes of different colors. The hike is rather easy and in the early morning it is mostly cloudy around the volcano. When the sun rises the clouds disappear and from the viewpoint you have a good view of the lakes. During the year the lakes change their colors and go from green to red to blue to white. The locals strongly believe that during the color change, offerings must be made to honor the spirits of the deceased. In fact, the first lake is said to be for the spirits of the young, the second for the spirits of the old, while the last is for the spirits of the wicked. On the way back, you stop at the hot springs of the volcano and then drive to your next destination: the mountaineering village of Bajawa, in the region of Ngada.
1 h walk. 5 h drive. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: standard hotel. Meals: breakfast.
Women making ikat
Panorama over the Kelimutu volcano and its lakes
Day 5: Bajawa
Visit the traditional Ngada villages
After breakfast, you join Ryan for a cultural day tour of the Ngada villages around Bajawa. Ryan was born into a traditional Ngada clan. His knowledge of Ngada clan culture and rituals is passed down in his family from father to son. Be prepared to be invited to many coffees by the Ngada people in Ryan's presence. You first drive to Bela, the oldest megalithic village of the Ngada ethnic group, where only 23 families live. Life here is organized around the ancestor poles, where the souls of the elders are worshipped. Castes, ceremonies, sacrifices, weddings, funerals, births, matriarchal system; these Ngada villages are of immense cultural richness. You continue to the village of Bena, which is more interesting for tourists because it is of impressive size. The women there weave ikats, and you are of course again invited to have a local coffee in one of the traditional houses. From Bena, you finally leave for an easy hike through the jungle to reach the last Ngada village: Tololeda. Your driver meets you there and you are back in Bajawa in the afternoon.
1 h drive. 2 h walk. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: standard hotel. Meals: breakfast & lunch.
Day 6: Bajawa - Belaraghi
Full day trekking in the jungle and overnight stay with the locals
Ryan picks you up early in the morning and you start your 2 days/ 1 night trek through the mountain jungle. You drive to the starting point and it takes 6 to 7 hours to reach the destination: the village of Belaraghi. This village is very remote and authentic and rarely receives visitors. The trail passes by isolated river farms and you often have a great view of the coast. Arriving in Belaraghi, you are invited to a traditional house and as tradition would have it, the inhabitants prepare a welcome ceremony for you. A chicken is sacrificed and wiped into your hands as a symbol of welcome and blessing. You then have dinner with the host family before retiring to sleep on a light bamboo mattress on the floor.
20 min drive. 6 to 7 h walk. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: night in a traditional homestay. Meals: full board.
The traditional Ngada village of Bena
Day 7: Belaraghi - Bajawa
Second day of trekking in the jungle and return to Bajawa
You wake up in Belaraghi and enjoy a morning walk through the village. After a local breakfast, you thank your hosts and start walking down to meet your driver again. You drive towards Aimere on the coast. There, a small distillery produces the traditional moke, the arak of Flores. You can watch how it is made and of course taste a glass. After lunch in Aimere, you continue driving to Gurusina, an old Ngada village where you discover many monuments referring to the origins of the Ngada culture. Back to the hotel in the afternoon.
90 min walk. 1 h drive. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: standard hotel. Meals: breakfast & lunch.
Day 8: Bajawa - Rendu Ola
Visit the old royal village of Boa Wae and spend the night with the locals in Rendu Ola
Today you leave Bajawa and drive to the very remote village of Rendu Ola. On the way you make a first stop at Boa Wae Market, the largest market in Flores, selling fruits, vegetables, livestock and ikats, among other things. Then you set off again to discover the village of Boa Wae, home to the last king of Flores. You visit the house of Nage Keo, the head of the kingdom, as well as the men's house, where the big decisions for the village are made. Finally, you continue to the village of Rendu Ola, which has only about twenty inhabitants. You enter a village that seems to have fallen out of time. The traditional houses surround the imposing ancestor statue in the center of the village. As is tradition, you are welcomed into the village with a ceremony. Afterwards, you have dinner with the host family before sleeping on a light bamboo mattress in their traditional house.
2 h drive. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: night in a traditional homestay. Meals: full board.
Inhabitants of the lost village of Rendu Ola
The traditional ancestor pole of Rendu Ola
Day 9: Rendu ola - Ende
Trekking to Rendu Ola waterfall and drive to Ende
After an early local breakfast, you head through the jungle to the hidden waterfall of Rendu Ola, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Flores. It takes about 2 hours to reach this untouched and hardly visited place. Then you hike on to the next village, Jawatiwa, where your driver is waiting. After this memorable experience, say goodbye to Ryan who heads back to Bajawa while you are driven to Ende for your last evening in Flores. You shall arrive at the hotel in the late afternoon.
2 to 3 h hike. 2 to 3 h drive. With English speaking local guide. Accommodation: standard hotel. Meals: breakfast.
Day 10: Ende - Ende airport
Last day in Flores
You enjoy a last breakfast and then, depending on the departure time, your driver takes you to the airport of Ende. End of our services.
10 min drive. Meals: breakfast
7 nights in hotel in a double room
2 nights in traditional homestay
Tours as per itinerary
Private english speaking local guide from day 1 to day 9
All entrance fees
Meals: full board on days 6 & 8; breakfast & lunch on days 2, 5 & 7; breakfast only for the rest of the stay.
Snorkeling equipment for the snorkeling excursion in Maumere (it is highly recommended to bring your own snorkeling equipment)
International & domestic flights
Additional drinks and personal expenses
Costs for excess luggage
Any trekking equipment
Sleeping bag for the trek