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Did you know that the island of Flores in Indonesia is home to approximately 17 individual volcanoes? The highest volcano is Mount Inerie, which stands at an impressive 2245 metres, and is located in the Ngada district. Fortunately, Mount Inerie has never erupted, although plumes of smoke can sometimes be seen at its peak. Nearby, you can find geothermal springs and hot-springs which are popular destinations for both locals and visitors alike.
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The second highest volcano in Flores is Mount Egon, which stands at 1703 metres and is located in the district of Sikka. According to volcanoediscovery.com, Mount Egon is one of the most active volcanoes in Flores – after about a century of being dormant, the volcano came to life in 2004, causing the evacuation of about 7000 people. Volcanic activities at Egon were also recorded in 2006 and 2009. Within Egon’s peak, there’s a crater that sometimes contains a lake and around it, there are multiple crater lakes that flank the cone. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of tour guides offering hiking trips up Mount Egon – it’s a wonderful opportunity to come face-to-face with a sleeping giant.
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Of course, the most famous of all the volcanoes in Flores is Mount Kelimutu in the Kelimutu National Park in Ende with its tri-coloured crater lakes. Kelimutu means “the boiling lake” in the local dialect. The locals believed that the souls of the dead find eternal rest here. Each of the three lakes has its own name; Tiwu Ata Polo or Enchanted Lake, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai or the Lake of Young Men and Maidens and Tiwu Ata Mbupu, Lake of Ancestors. The locals believe that the changing colours of the lake is caused by the neglected spirits of departed ancestors. According to science the water in each lake changes colours over time due to its mineral contents. At the time of writing, one of the lakes is mossy dark green, one is green, and one is somewhat blueish-green. Mount Kelimutu is a sacred place for the locals, and it comes with a myth which explains the origins of the mountain.
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There are lesser known volcanoes too, such as Hobel Volcano and Mount Sarong Gong. Gunung Anak Ranaka in Manggarai Regency stands at 2277.5 meters high and erupted once in December 28, 1987. In Flotim district, the Male Lewotobi volcano is 1548 meters high – it erupted for the first time in 1932 and then again in 2003. The Female Lewotobi volcano in the Flotim Regency stands at 1703 meters high and let’s not forget Mount Ile Api in Lembata, East Flores which stands at 1450 metres high.