Things to do in Flores

What to do in Flores Nusa Tenggara

For first-timers planning to travel here, you may be asking what the things to do in Flores are, and after several trips here, I can narrow them down for you.

One of the lesser-visited places in Indonesia is the island of Flores. Still, many may know this place as Komodo because Komodo Island is part of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia.

Things to do in Flores

Flores is all the way East of Bali, after Lombok and Gili Trawangan and just before Ambon and Papua Indonesia.

There are only two ways of getting here: the old way via ferry and boats or via flight from Bali using several local Indonesian airlines.

For those who intend to visit Flores, I recommend booking well in advance, especially if you are a budget traveller as of lately, more travellers are keen to visit here.

1. Visit the Komodo National Park

Pulau Komodo
One of the many Komodo Dragons at the Komodo National Park.

The most popular destination in Flores is no other than Komodo Island, where you get to see the majestic Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat.

Tours run daily and depart from Labuan Bajo for day trips, while those on a budget opt for the overnight trips, where they stay on board a local boat.

All three islands are open to visitors, Komodo Island and Rinca Island, where you can trek with the park rangers to see the dragons. Undoubtedly, when you want to visit Komodo, you must make your port of entry in Labuan Bajo.

I also wrote this article on how to get to Komodo Island for those who plan to visit here; this place should be on everyone's bucket list, especially for Indonesia or Asia.

2. Visit Pink Beach at Komodo Island

Komodo Pink Beach
Pink Beach at Komodo Island.

A beach that is pink in colour? Yes, only here at Komodo Island can you find three main pink beaches, a must-visit for any beach lover. Don't worry; any tour to Komodo will include visiting the pink beaches here to snorkel and relax.

After a trek to see the Komodo Dragons, you will be brought to the famous pink beach for an hour or two before heading off. One of the must-do things here is the trek up the small hill to get a birds-eye view of the pink beach.

3. Trek Up Padar Island

Photo of Padar Island
The Padar Island photo was taken from the peak using my smartphone.

One of the most amazing places in Flores is no other than Padar Island, which is neighbouring Komodo Island, and tours to Komodo Island will usually bring you here.

This stunning experience lets you trek up a hill to the peak, where you can see the entire island from up top. I took the photo above using my Oppo R9s panoramic mode.

Hoards of tourists, locals, and foreigners head here to make that tiring journey uphill for about 30 minutes and to be rewarded with probably the most popular selfie in Indonesia.

Those with heart conditions or knee and leg problems are not recommended to attempt to climb up, but you can wait in the boat or beach below. To see more, check out my Padar Island Video, which I shot and edited.

4. Have A Manggarai Village Experience

Flores Manggarai Tribe
The unique Manggarai people in the village of Flores.

Just out of Labuan Bajo is a traditional Manggarai village where you can visit and experience how the local Manggarai people live.

This cultural experience lets you see the Manggarai tribe participate in their traditional rituals and dances. The welcome ritual takes you into the home, where the headman will recite some prayers to welcome visitors.

After that, the unique Caci war dance is performed, followed by a harvest dance and a traditional bamboo dance.

Visitors will be treated to the local Flores Coffee and possibly a lunch with traditional Manggarai food. Well worth the experience if you love cultures, food, and coffee.

5. Go Scuba Diving in Komodo Island

Komodo Island Diving Sites
My divemaster explains the dive site at Komodo Island.

If you are a scuba diver, Komodo Island offers one of the best diving in Indonesia and possibly worldwide. As a scuba diver, I was speechless about the ultra-rich marine and coral life at the many dive sites around Komodo Island.

Many have said that Raja Ampat is the best dive site. Still, speaking to the local divemasters who have been diving for more than 20 years, they have told me that they spent time all over Indonesia and Komodo Island is still hands-down the best dive spot in Indonesia.

I couldn't agree more, and after three dives, I was sold. My next dive trip will be here, especially during the manta ray season. For more information, you can also read my other article on diving at Komodo Island.

6. Volunteer at Rainbow Reading Garden (Taman Bacaan Pelangi)

Nila Tanzil and the volunteers at Taman Bacaan Pelangi in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara.

One of the must-do activities in Flores is to do some volunteering or voluntourism at the privately run Rainbow Reading Gardens, operated by Nila Tanzil, an Indonesian with a passion for helping children in remote places in Indonesia.

Taman Bacaan Pelangi is also a non-profit organization working to establish children's libraries in remote areas of Eastern Indonesia since 2009.

The beauty of this experience is that you can communicate and share with these local children in their own little schools.

Get more information from Taman Bacaan Pelangi, as they can arrange for your volunteering in Flores or any other islands around here.

7. Go Bird Watching in Flores

Birdwatching Komodo Island
A Wallacean Drongo is seen at the Komodo National Park.

Flores is one of the premier places in Indonesia to do birding due to the many species of migrating and resident birds found on the entire island.

This attracts many birders to do bird watching in Flores as the wildlife and overall island are still pristine and need to be developed.

The best way is to engage a bird guide to travel around Flores. The recommended birdwatching route would be to start in Labuan Bajo, move to Komodo Island, slowly make your way towards Ruteng, Ende, Kelimutu National Park, and end up in Maumere.

For moving around, flights connect internally between Labuan Bajo, Ende, and Maumere with the local airlines. The best time to do birdwatching in Flores is from April to November.

8. Trek up Mount Kelimutu

Flores Three Color Lake
Two of the three lakes are at the peak of Mount Kelimutu in Flores.

It sounds complicated, but this is probably Indonesia's most leisurely mountain trek. Mount Kelimutu is well known for the tricolour lakes at the top of the mountain, which tend to change colours over time.

The beauty of the tricolour lakes is that you can see three different colours in the crater lakes. The trek to the Kelimutu Peak from the park headquarters will take up to 45 minutes.

The walkway is concrete steps all the way, and the most challenging part is just before the peak, but this is very easy for seasoned hikers and trekkers.

Along the way, you will pass through the Kelimutu National Park, rich with flora and fauna. Elderly people can also do this trek up to Mount Kelimutu. The main city to visit Kelimutu is Ende, where hotels and restaurants are available.

9. Exploring Maumere

Sikka Mother Mary Statue
The statue of Mother Mary on Nilo Hill in Sikka, Flores.

Probably the least visited place in Flores, Maumere offers some beautiful isolated beach resorts comparable to those in Bali.

I stayed at the Coconut Beach Resort in Maumere, which is pretty impressive, with lovely bamboo-themed individual villas and a beach all to yourself.

Maumere is one of the best diving spots in Flores after Komodo Island. Further out of Maumere town, you can visit some local tourist spots, like the oldest wooden church in Flores, located in the district of Sikka.

You can even head up Nilo Hill to see the 28-meter statue of Mother Mary at its peak. Maumere is generally for those who enjoy the laid-back, slow lifestyle, minus the tourist.

10. Visit Wae Rebo Village

Flores Wae Rebo
Wae Rebo Village in Flores (Image from Indonesia.Travel).

Wae Rebo is the place I wanted to visit on my last trip, but we had to bypass this fantastic place, which is also a UNESCO village. Sadly, due to timing, we had to bypass the visit here.

It is one of the most beautifully preserved traditional Manggarai villages with unique circular cone-shaped homes and is located in a hilly area.

To get here, trek for about three hours to the highlands before reaching Wae Rebo village. For culture and heritage fans, this is one of the main highlights of things to do in Flores.

11. Explore Bajawa

Bandar Bajawa
Bajawa Town in Flores (Image from

Another stunning place I missed on my last trip was visiting Bajawa in the Florinese Highlands. This town, home to the Ngada people, is said to be the coolest part of Flores, where it is found on an elevated area of 1500 meters above sea level.

The weather here is excellent and great for anyone wanting to see the natural way of life of the highlands. Things to do around Bajawa include cycling, cultural experiences, or just experiencing the laid-back life here. Perhaps I will plan for another trip just to visit this place.

12. Visit the Liang Bua Historical Site

Flores Liang Bua Cave
Liang Bua Cave in Flores. (Image from

For those who are into archaeology, history, and culture, the Liang Bua Caves are probably the best place to visit in Flores.

This is simply because, in 2003, a group of archaeologists discovered the remains of a Homo Floresiensis, which is said to be a new kind of human species.

Word got around, and now, archaeology fans can come here to see what this is all about. Again, I needed more time to visit the Liang Bua Cave near Ruteng in Flores.

Flores Maumere Photo
A rooster at one of the local villages in the Sikka district of Maumere, Flores.

How To Get To Flores? 

Several airlines fly into the island to get to Flores, and you can check for flights to Flores from various websites.

You may have to do two or three flights depending on which city or country you fly from. The easiest way to get to Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, is via Bali. The main entry point into Flores is Labuan Bajo, located on the western end of Flores Island.

Labuan Bajo town has hotels, resorts, bars, bakeries, restaurants, travel agents, and more. For more information, you can also read my article on things to do in Labuan Bajo.


The list above is compiled by me, David Hogan Jr from Malaysia, who has been to Flores several times and is mainly on a mission to explore and promote this beautiful island to the world.

I personally visited each of the places unless stated above. Given the opportunity, I would visit this beautiful island to explore and find more things to do in Flores.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.

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