Flores used to get by on Bali’s overflow alone, and thanks to easy transport links, the vast majority of that trickle of travellers landed in the once sleepy west coast port town of Labuanbajo, used it as a spring board to the epic Komodo National Park, and fled. But that trickle has become a river, and the island named 'flowers' by 16th-century Portuguese colonists, who were astonished by the island’s lush, fragrant forests, has become Indonesia’s 'Next Big Thing'.
It makes sense. After all, Flores is the kind of gorgeous that grabs hold of you tightly. Here are empty white sand beaches and bay islands, excellent diving and snorkelling and a skyline of perfectly shaped volcanoes. The 670km serpentine, pot-holed, but steadily improving trans-Flores highway skirts knife-edge ridges that sheer into spectacular river canyons, brushes by dozens of traditional villages, leads to multi-hued volcanic lakes, and connects the east and west coasts. For years this tropical jewel box remained a travellers secret, its gems accessible only to those willing to venture off the beaten track. But thanks to steadily improving transport connections, a maturing tourism industry that has brought increasing comfort and better facilities into remote towns, and enthusiastic word of mouth from fellow travellers, Flores is blooming.
Flores destination guides
2-Day Komodo National Park and Rinca Island Wildlife Adventure from Bali
See the world’s largest lizards – Komodo dragons – under protection in their natural habitat at Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 2-day private adventure tour takes you by airplane from Bali to Flores Island, where your guide whisks you off to Rinca Island on your own private motorboat.
3-Day Komodo National Park Tour: Komodo Island and Rinca Island Trek
Embark on a private tour of Komodo National Park, where the world’s largest lizards reside! Observe Komodo dragons in their natural habitat during your 3-day adventure, hiking along nature trails with an expert ranger. You’ll visit Rinca Island and Komodo Island—both part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.