Monday, June 09, 2014

Part II: Flores Island and Komodo National Park

Hello! Today I will tell you about the second part of my vacation. After Ubud we took a small plane of Wings Air and we went to Flores Island. First we arrived in a port town Labuan Bajo (about 15 min driving from the airport). We stayed at Bayview Garden Hotel (Rp 400 K per night) - a nice hotel with the beautiful view, well, the name of the hotel talks about itself. Bedrooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and supplied with a dispenser, free tea and coffee. Breakfast is included and has to be ordered the day before on a white board near the entrance. It is delivered to the guest room exactly when requested.
The one more important thing to say about this hotel is that it is located at 60 meters above sea-level and it takes about 7-10 minutes to go down to Labuan Bajo. We, personally, always walked this way, but if you don't want to go up and down all the time, it is better to take a bemo (small bus) for about Rp 2 K.
Despite Labuan Bajo isn't a big town, it has no problem with dining, especially Italian kitchen. We tried 3 Italian restaurants: Mediterraneo, Made in Italy and La Cucina. I definitely advise you Mediterraneo: their Eggplant Parmesan Roulade and Sangria are the must-try.

View on the Labuan Bajo port from Bayview garden Hotel

Labuan Bajo ship 

Visiting surroundings of Labuan Bajo


We went to Cunca Rami Waterfall. It is a large waterfall located approximately 35 km east of Labuan Bajo. At the hotel we booked a car for Rp 500 K. The car didn't drive us directly to the waterfall, we had to walk about an hour. Normally you can take an Ojek (motorbike taxi) who will bring you halfway to the waterfall. That day we didn't have a chance. All Ojeks were occupied and we had to walk. Also you have to take a local guide in the village to go to the waterfall. It will cost you about Rp 50 K. He will lead you to the waterfall and wait for you to bring you back. 

Cunca Rami Waterfall

Jumping in the water


The next day we went for 4 days to Kanawa Island. It is a small island with beautiful white sand beach. It is a perfect place for snorkeling, diving and exploring the Komodo National Park. You can find a perfect snorkeling area right on the beach: turtles, sharks, sting rays, beautiful corals etc. There are also baby sharks under the pontoon with hammocks.
This is a private island: there is only the hotel on the island Kanawa Beach Resort. It has 18 bungalows, 10 bales and a camping area. The rest of the island is left completely untouched. It is better to book a place on the island in advance. We booked 3 weeks in advance and it was already almost full (and it wasn’t even a high season). So the hotel was out of bungalows and we could only book the bales.
And also be ready that the conditions on the island are a bit wild: an access to electricity from 6 pm to 11 pm; common showers and toilets for those who stay in camping and bales. But the ambiance on the island is so relaxing that you won’t pay attention to it.
During our stay on Kanawa Island we took a boat to go snorkeling (me and Rémi’s dad) and diving (Rémi). One of the impressive spots was Batu Bolong. The colors of the corals and the diversity of fish made us visit this spot 3 times.

Welcome to Kanawa Island

The first thing to see in the morning. View from our Bale

Baby sharks under the pontoon

View from the hammock 

Reading before dinner


Batu Bolong

Snorkeling in Batu Bolong

Snorkeling in Batu Bolong

Sting ray. Snorkeling, Kanawa Island

Corals of Kanawa Island

Shell. Snorkeling, Kanawa Island

Sea star. Snorkeling, Kanawa Island

After Kanawa Island we took a 4 days cruise to visit Komodo National Park. The crew of the boat was a captain and his 2 sons. This cruise cost us 1 000 000 Rp per person/per night. During this trip we visited a lot of beautiful spots like Batu Bolong (one more time and then one more in the end), Manta point, Pantai Merah (Pink Beach). The name Manta point talks by itself. Here we saw a lot of mantas of different sizes. The biggest one was about 5 meters. I have no words here to describe my feelings. Pantai Merah, or Pink Beach, is called this way because most of the coral on this beach are red and pink. It was a beautiful spot for snorkeling with a lot of beautiful corals and fish, except for one thing: the water was very cold. So, we couldn’t swim there for a long time. We came back there on the next day to see maybe currents would change and the water would be warm, but unfortunately not. But still, this is the must-visit spot.
We also visited Komodo Island itself to do trekking and to see the famous Komodo Dragon. Well yes, we saw it after 2 minutes our trekking started. Then we saw few more during the trekking.

On our cruise boat

Our boat. Overnight stop

View on the bay from the hill


Welcome to Komodo National Park

Here it is, Komodo Dragon, walking right on us

So we had to step aside

Bat Island. You can see all these bats at sunset

Still there, but no more bats

Manta Point

Me and Lion Fish

Next step of our vacation was a visit of Kelimutu volcano. To get there we had to take a plane from Lebuan Bajo to Ende. Then we took a car to go to Moni (the village close to volcano). It took us 2 hours and cost Rp 400 K. At the Ende airport we met a Canadian tourist Lia (her father was a fan of Star Wars), who we took with us to discover beautiful Kelimutu volcano.  The volcano contains three crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Bupu (Lake of Old People) is the westernmost of the three lakes. At the moment it was dark green, but can also be blue. The other two lakes, Tiwu Ko'o Fai Nuwa Muri (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and were turquois and brown. The lake colors vary on a periodic basis.
To go to the volcano we took a car (about 30 minutes driving form Moni). We woke up at 4 am to see the sun rise. Personally I regretted to wake up so early. The reason is that you go to this volcano to see the lakes. It’s impossible to see the colors when the sun is rising. You can see on my photos that the lakes are covered by the shadow. You can clearly see the lakes after 10 am. So, in my opinion, there is no need to go there so early.

Ricefields on the road to Moni

Ricefields on the road to Moni

Banana tree

Cloud covering the mountain 

Sunrise at Kelimutu

Sunrise at Kelimutu

me and Rémi

Nice cloud

me and Lia

Tiwu Ata Bupu

Tiwu Ko'o Fai Nuwa Muri and Tiwu Ata Polo

Going down to Moni (or jumping down)

Finally we got tired going down. So Rémi asked the police to bring us to the hot spring. As you can see, they couldn't deny.

These nice ladies helped us find the hot springs

Working in the field


Finally found the hot springs

Walking from hot springs to Moni

We met this pregnant creature on the way to Moni

Schoolboys strike the pose

A small waterfall on the way to Moni

Waterfall in Moni


Local woman and girls sorting rice

Local boy

Lia and a dog



Village celebrating 1 May

Local boy eating rice

Locals. Everybody at this holiday got a pack of rice with some local food

Local girl with her pack of rice

Celebration in the village

Local girls

Very last stop of our vacation was Ankermi on the east of Flores. We stayed for 2 days in Happy Dive Ankermi hotel  – bungalows with an oceanview. It cost us Rp 385 K per night. We took a boat for the day to go snorkeling. One of the most interesting spots was Pulau Pangabatang – a small sand island.

Sunset in Ankermi

Pulau Pangabatang

Pulau Pangabatang

Sunset in Ankermi

Snorkeling. Anemonfish

Some sort of jelly-fish

Find a fish on this photo

Rémi snorkeling


This is pretty all I wanted to tell you about my holidays in April. If you have any questions, more detailed information, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me!


  1. Сумашедшая красота!!! Особенно впечатляет фото с комодским вараном - я даже залезла в википедию прочитать про них)))) Оказывается, они очень даже опасны из-за своего яда, так что вы смельчаки!))


    1. Настя, спасибо! Вараны и правда немного страх наводят, но их там так хорошо кормят, что бояться нечего =)