Situated within the Indonesian archipelago, Flores consists of a long narrow island with countless smaller ones. The first possibility to reach Flores is by plane as there are multiple airports across all districts. The best reachable airports for tourists are Labuan Bajo in the west and the airport of Maumere in the east. Several airlines schedule daily flights to Flores that take off from the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali. On a good weather day, you will enjoy amazing views of nearby islands as you pass them by on the way to your destination.
For a more authentic travel experience, you may want to choose to travel to Flores by boat. There are several cruise companies or liveaboard sailing trips that offer excursions to Flores. With the local cruise companies, timetables might be a little unreliable and voyages depend on seasons. Most will depart from Bali but you could also consider departing from Lombok.
Last but not least, the most interesting combination land and sea would give you the ultimate opportunity to see more of wonderful Indonesia. It is possible to travel from Bali to Lombok and Sumbawa over land but this requires detailed and accurate planning. There are several options when it comes to travelling over land. Here’s one you can consider:
Take the public ferry from Padang Bai, Bali to Lembar, Lombok. This will take you about 4 to 5 hours. From Lembar Harbor you can take the bus to Mataram, where the busses to Flores leave. There is only one bus per day heading to Flores so make sure you catch the boat early from Padang Bai. From Mataram, the bus will first go to Bima where you would board a ferry for a one hour journey. All in all, the journey from Mataram to Bima will take 12 to 13 hours. There are faster alternatives but this will cost you so much more. In Bima you will switch to a local bus towards Sape and board a ferry from Sape to Labuan Bajo which will take about 6 to 7 hours. Expect a total of 24 hours for your journey from Bali to Labuan Bajo.
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