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The many islands of Indonesia are scattered like gems across the Indian Ocean, hidden oases of tropical rainforests, wildlife and warm people ready to open their hearts and their homes to visitors. The islands are fantastical places where soaring volcanoes hold a fuming watch over charming seaside towns, and where ancient tribes keep their traditions in deep rainforest valleys. Search for legendary Komodo dragons, snorkel through colourful coral reefs, and walk across beaches of black, pink and white sands. Full of energy, charisma and plenty of shimmering sunlight, Indonesia's "flower island" will leave with memories you'll carry for a lifetime.
Day 1: Labuan Bajo
Om Swastiastu! Welcome to Flores. Your adventure begins in the peaceful fishing town of Labuan Bajo – better known as the gateway to Komodo Island, home of the famous Komodo dragons. Meet your tour leader and travel group at a welcome meeting at 6 pm (check with hotel reception or the reception notice board for the location). There are no activities planned before this important meeting, so you can arrive in Labuan Bajo at any time in the day. Afterwards, why not get to know your group better over a seafood dinner. Bajo’s main drag, Jl Soekarno Hatta, has a slew of restaurants, cafes and bars. Cap off your first day in paradise with a sunset stroll along the waterfront.
Day 2: Komodo National Park - Overnight boat
After breakfast, hop on a boat for the two-hour journey to Padar, the third largest island within Komodo National Park. The illustrious Komodo dragon is no longer found here, though the island is still home to a fantastic array of wildlife, beautiful rolling hills and some great short treks. Lace up your hiking boots for a brisk morning hike to a stunning view point, keeping your eyes peeled for geckos, green turtles and other various reptiles. Have your camera handy – the panoramic views of Padar’s bumpy terrain and tri-coloured beaches will take your breath away. Return to the boat for an on board lunch as you journey to the spectacular Pink Beach. As its name suggests, Pink Beach is, well, pink, and is one of a just a handful of beaches in the world said to have pink sand. It owes its blush tone to red coral in its shallow waters. Spend some time swimming and snorkelling among coral reefs in crystal-clear water, then return to the boat mid-afternoon for the short journey to Komodo Island. Prepare your camera for a two-hour photography safari in search of gigantic Komodo dragons. Head back to the boat where you will stay overnight moored at sea just off the coast of Kalong Island. The boat’s accommodation is basic with bunk beds and shared toilets with a basic shower (cold water only). Bedding and a towel is provided. There is a curtain next to the bunk beds for some privacy but it is more like dormitory accommodation. There is areas to lounge, soak in the sunshine and a dining area where you will share locally cooked meals. Although the boat is basic it is very traditional and the slow pace that it travels allows you to take in the beautiful scenery.
Day 3: Komodo National Park - Labuan Bajo
Enjoy a full day snorkelling and exploring Indonesia’s underwater paradise. Depart early for Taka Makassar, arriving around 8 am. This jellybean-shaped island is tiny – about the size of a soccer field – and seems almost like a mirage. The waters here are shallow, clear and home to sea turtles and beautiful corals. Return to the boat around 9:30 am and depart for Manta Point, where you’ll have plenty of time to swim and snorkel. If you are lucky you may even swim with manta rays. You’ll also see a colourful variety of hard and soft corals, tropical reef fish and turtles. Return to the boat for lunch, as you make the three-hour journey back to your hotel in Labuan Bajo.
Day 4: Wae Rebo
Today is a long travel day to Wae Rebo, an ancient tribal village where you’ll get to experience an illuminating homestay. The village is isolated, located in the middle of a lush rainforest valley, encircled by mountains. Before you depart this morning, make sure to pack a small overnight bag with your essentials, as you will not be able to take large luggage with you. Leave Labuan Bajo early this morning and travel by private minivan to Dintor (about 6 hours). Today’s journey will take you across some poor roads that can be quite bumpy. You might want to consider taking medication if you are prone to motion sickness. Stow your larger bags in Dintor and sit down for lunch, then continue an additional 20 minutes to Denge. From here, it’s a three-hour trek to Wae Rebo. Good walking shoes are a must. Porters are available at a cost of 250,000 IDR – please let your leader know in advance if you would like to arrange this. Upon arrival, the Wae Rebo villagers will warmly greet the group with a welcome ceremony. Sit down to a dinner of traditional foods prepared by the villagers and sample some special Wae Rebo coffee. If the weather is good, the group may be treated to a special cultural performance, as well. Your accommodation for the night will be a Mbaru Niang, a tall cone-shaped house, completely covered in lontar (dried rontal tree leaves) thatch.
Day 5: Ruteng
Wake up in the mountains to the sound of birds and have an early breakfast in the village. Afterwards, trek back down through the rainforest and take a short bus ride to Dintor. Here you will collect your big bag and have the opportunity for a refreshing cold shower and time to enjoy lunch. After lunch, travel by private minivan to Ruteng (approximately 4-5 hours). On the way, you will stop to visit the incredible spiralling rice fields of Cancar (vast circular rice paddies that spiral inwards just like a spider web). Arrive in Ruteng in time for dinner (not included), then settle in for the night.
Day 6: Bajawa
After breakfast, depart for Bajawa, where you will be able to enjoy a well-earned soak in its relaxing hot springs. It’s about a 4-5-hour journey by private minivan. Along the way, you’ll stop at a local warung (family-run cafe or restaurant) along the coast for lunch. As you approach Bajawa, the majestic, perfectly-conical peak of Mount Inerie will start to appear on the horizon. This stratovolcano is one of the highest points on Flores and warms the water that pours into the Mengeruda Hot Springs. Take the time to unwind in its soothing waters – said to hold medicinal properties – surrounded by waterfalls and overhanging trees and let the pebbles massage your knots. Later, head to our basic guesthouse in Bajawa.
Day 7: Bajawa
In the morning, travel about 45 minutes by private minivan to Bena, a village known for its megalithic formations, in Ngada. The architecture here is characterised by tall thatched huts and traditional weaving techniques. Follow your leader on a guided tour of the village and see the impressive stone formations and ancestral shrines. After taking some time to meet the locals and learn about their customs, spend a couple of hours trekking through the surrounding countryside to visit two more Ngada villages and gain a deeper understanding of Ngada culture. Return to Bajawa where you’ll spend the night.
Day 8: Moni
After breakfast, set out on the four-hour drive to Moni, stopping for photos along the scenic coast. Picturesque, remote, and surrounded by rice paddies, Moni is also located at the foot of Mt Kelimutu, famous for its tri-coloured volcanic lakes. Arrive at the eco lodge, then enjoy a free afternoon to relax and soak in the tranquil surrounds. You’ll want to head to bed early tonight, as you will be trekking to Mt Kelimutu early in the morning.
Day 9: Mt Kelimutu - Maumere
Embrace an early start for a sunrise trek to Mt Kelimutu. The reward is spectacular views of the bright green, blue and red crater lakes from the peak. Start with a 30-minute drive to the mountain, then it’s a 30 to 40-minute walk to the viewpoint of the craters. After taking some time to admire the view and snap some pics, return to the guesthouse for breakfast. After breakfast, begin the journey to Maumere in a private van (approx. 3-4 hours) The journey will be broken up with a stop for lunch on the way, arriving into Maumere in the afternoon with plenty of time to relax on the beach. Freshen up, then perhaps enjoy one final Indonesian feast with the group before your trip comes to an end.
Day 10: Maumere
Bid a fond farewell to your Indonesian adventure. Your trip ends after breakfast.
9 Breakfast(s) Included
5 Lunch(es) Included
2 Dinner(s) Included
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