Flores From East To West
If you’ve never been to Flores, you would most likely have plenty of questions, something along the lines of, “Where is Labuan Bajo? Is that near the Komodo National Park? How far is it from the Kelimutu National Park? Where is Komodo Island and is it the only place where we can see the Komodo Dragons?”
When you think Komodo National Park (KNP), think Labuan Bajo. You can’t get into the KNP without landing in Labuan Bajo. Flores is a large island with 6 different airports in six different districts so it is important to understand that the gateway to the Komodo National Park is Labuan Bajo. Read more about how to get to Labuan Bajo here.
Labuan Bajo is located in West Flores. The island itself stretches 360km from West to East. The Komodo National Park meanwhile, is a group of smaller islands located off the mainland of West Flores and covers a total area of 1733 km2 and includes Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Padar Island and Seraya Island as well as 26 other smaller islands.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Park is not only home to the Komodo Dragons; many other notable species seek refuge here including the orange-footed scrub fowl, endemic rat and the Timor deer.
The waters surrounding the Komodo National Park is one of the richest marine environments on earth. Thanks to its location, the park is part of the Coral Triangle and is home to over 1000 species of fish, 350 species of reef-building coral and 70 species of sponges as well as dugongs, sharks, manta rays, whales, dolphins and sea turtles.
As for the Komodo Dragons, you can find them on Komodo Island and on Rinca Island – both located within the Komodo National Park.
Ende is home to the famous Mount Kelimutu and its tri-crater lakes. You could travel overland from Labuan Bajo to Ende for 34 hours by car, bike or bus, but do factor in stops for meals, gas, rests, etcetera. Along the way, you will most likely want to stop at the numerous villages, natural phenomenon and attractions to take pictures and immerse yourself in all the natural beauty and culture that Flores has to offer! You could also opt to fly from Labuan Bajo Komodo Airport to Haji Hasan Aroboesman Airport in Ende.
Explorers and travel enthusiasts would already know by now that Flores is so much more than its Komodo Dragons and the Kelimutu in Ende. With a long and colourful history, vibrant languages, culture and traditions, this expansive land that spans over 8 main regencies await further discoveries.
Flores encompasses 8 different districts, each with its own capital city, unique languages, culture, history and tradition. West Maggarai’s capital city is Labuan Bajo. Ruteng is another major city, the capital of Manggarai and East Manggarai’s capital is Borong. Ngada Regency’s capital city is Bajawa; Nagakeo’s capital is Mbay, Ende regency’s capital is Ende, Sikka regency’s capital is Maumere and Larantuka for East Flores regency.
Find out more on what lies in between here.
Photo courtesy: Aldy Aljufrie
Best of Flores – Flores Plus Magazine
Rediscover Hidden Paradise
In this section, you’ll find interesting tips and articles on everything Flores related over a wide range of topics including culture in Flores, people of Flores, destinations in Flores including the Komodo National Park, wildlife in Flores including the Komodo Dragons, diving and snorkeling in Flores, sailing around Flores, dining in Flores, accommodations in Flores, shopping in Flores and so much more. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores and Komodo. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, the magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.