The majority travelers know Flores for its infamous Komodo National Park, a member of New 7 Wonder of the World, a UNESCO World’s Heritage, and much importantly, home for the last dragons in the earth. Ever since its nomination as the New 7 Wonder candidate, the Komodo quickly become an overnight travel sensation, drawing wanderers and wildlife enthusiast to the far-flung region. Today, people are signing up for Flores Komodo tour every day to sail around Flores’ beautiful archipelago and walk with the dragons in the isolated Komodo Island.
However, not much know that Flores has more than the infamous Komodo dragons. From the brimming marine life with incredibly rich biodiversity to high rising dormant volcanoes, the wondrous nature of Flores won’t stop to appease you. Now when you are done with the dragon adventure, it’s time to leave Labuan Bajo and get deep into the mainland Flores. Here lies two phenomenal mountains in Flores; Mount Kelimutu and Mount Inerie, that totally worth a visit.
Backpacking on Flores Komodo Tour
If you want to make your path to Flores’ peaky mountains, be prepared for backpacking travel. This won’t be an easy trip, but the intensity of the challenges will keep the impression last forever in your soul. Unlike the easy breezy coastal holiday where you can take leisure in 5 starred waterfront hotel, accommodations on mountain climbing are more on the rugged side. Expect to find a very basic lodge to sleep in the mountain feet. When you have started to hike, you would likely be expected to camp in a tent. But isn’t that the true adventure?
The Three Dimensional Crater Lake in Mount Kelimutu
The 1,690 m above sea level high Mount Kelimutu would be a great start for our mountainous Flores Komodo tour. Being the smallest national park among six others between Bali and Nusa Tenggara Islands, Mount Kelimutu is known as the volcano-beginners for mount climbers in Flores. But don’t let the size deceive you. This dormant volcano offers spectacular wonders that are yet to behold.
Kelimutu, which name means “boiling lake”, derives from three lakes, separated by thin ridges of rock formation, that settles right on its dormant crater. It is beautifully haunting as the boiling lakes are, not only they are of different color, but also constantly changes its color without any preceding signs. The Kelimutu lakes are famous for being extra unpredictable for when and what color they would change into. One is turquoise, which is pretty consistent throughout the year, while the two others would wildly change into red, white, green, black, or dark as chocolate.
Science says that fluctuating changes of chemical and mineral balance plays a part in color transition, but Flores’ folklore has another say. The locals believe that the departed souls reside on these lakes. The bright turquoise is where the old souls dwell, the other one is for the spirit of young people, while the wicked go to the last one.
The Towering Mount Inerie
Once you set your feet in Flores, you would soon see of a towering mountain which presence is felt all around central Flores. That’s Mount Inerie, rightfully translated as the Beautiful Mother in the local language. The majestic mount Inerie rise in 2.245 mdpl high, its peak disappear in the hovering clouds. Unlike Kelimutu, hiking Mount Inerie is rather challenging with some slippery paths and steep slope. On certain condition, reaching the summit is almost impossible as it could be too slippery.
On the foot on mount Inerie spreads Bajawa settlements; big Flores’ traditional villages that scattered around the hills who still strictly adhere to ancient megalithic beliefs. Under the shadow of our Beautiful Mother sits one of the most famous community, the Bena Village. A visit to Bena would make an impressive Flores Komodo tour, as you would have a chance to see magnificent stone formations, ancestral shrines, traditional high-thatched roof houses, and prehistoric culture that still thrives until today.