Visiting Larantuka, East Flores
On the easternmost tip of the island of Flores, on opposite ends to the up-and-coming tourists’ town of Labuan Bajo, you can find the Portuguese heritage town of Larantuka. This beautiful, pristine and green fishing village has a strong colonial Portuguese influence with over 95% of its residents predominantly Roman Catholic.
Larantuka is famous for its Good Friday celebrations; one week before Easter in April – the entire town is transformed into a place of worship and vigil with thousands of devotees from all over the world for the Semana Santa procession. Imagine a 10km parade lighted along the way with candles – definitely not a sight to be missed!
Photo Courtesy of Iskandarzulkarnain.com
On other days, Larantuka is definitely worth a visit, especially if you love nature, history and tranquility. This little town offers breathtaking panoramic views and everything is walking distance. You could visit traditional villages and ancient cathedrals, snorkel, swim and dive in its sparkling and pristine waters and visit the clean and neat port with tuna boats docked in its harbour. Larantuka is also the gateway to the Solor, Adonara and Lembata islands located further east. Your trip would definitely be a memorable one thanks to its extremely friendly and outgoing inhabitants who are always ready to greet you with a smile and help you with bits of information or anything else that you may need.
Photo courtesy of goodnewsfromindonesia.id
In the past, Larantuka was the Portuguese trading centre for South East Indonesia; it is also known as the City of 1000 Churches, Naples of the Orient, Italy of Flores and Spain of the Lesser Sunda Islands. During the colonial times, Larantuka was the Portuguese trading centre of South East Indonesia and the centre of sandalwood trading. During the Dutch occupation, many Portuguese traders moved to Larantuka. They took local spouses, and the new generations called themselves Topasses, or Larantuqueiros (inhabitants of Larantuka).
The capital of East Flores Regency, Larantuka has a population of about 38,000 people.
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