Dragons, volcanoes and Ikats: an unforgettable Indonesia tour
- Indonesia and Bali
Welcome to Indonesia! Your trip will start in Bali. Definitely more than an island with beautiful beaches, its ancient temples and majestic rice fields, continue to enthrall travelers from all over the world. This trip then leads to Flores. It is a less visited island but its authentic villages, amazing handicrafts and unique traditions, make out for a fantastic destination. The journey on Flores kicks of with spectacular views on Mount Kelimutu, a volcano with multicolored lakes on its top.Read more
Welcome to Indonesia! Your trip will start in Bali. Definitely more than an island with beautiful beaches, its ancient temples and majestic rice fields, continue to enthrall travelers from all over the world. This trip then leads to Flores. It is a less visited island but its authentic villages, amazing handicrafts and unique traditions, make out for a fantastic destination. The journey on Flores kicks of with spectacular views on Mount Kelimutu, a volcano with multicolored lakes on its top.
The highlight of this tailormade tour is meeting up with the Komodo dragons, the ferocious inhabitant of Komodo National Park. This giant lizard has a poisonous bite and its lazy looks in the midday tropical heat are deceptive, it can run faster than a human. Close encounters are safeguarded by local, experienced rangers! Furthermore, the boat trip along the small islands of Komodo National Park, a group of brown, sun-scorched islands between Flores and Sumbawa to the west, is an out worldly experience.
After an early breakfast, you will be picked up for your flight departure to Ende by GA 7026 / 07.30 - 10.25 (The schedule is subject to changes). Upon arrival in Ende, meeting service with our guide followed by a scenic drive to Wolotopo, a village built into a steep hillside. This is the homeland of the Lionese people. Their present traditions and way of life are steeped in the past, adat is particularly strong in this region.
Adat is the generic term derived from Arabic language for describing a variety of local customary practices and tradition as observed by Muslim communities in North Caucasus, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Despite its Arabic origin, the term adat resonates deeply throughout the Southeast Asia, where due to colonial influence, its usage has been systematically institutionalized into various non-Muslim communities. Within the region, the term refers, in a broader sense, to the customary norms and rules, that guide the individual's conduct as a member of the community and the sanctions and forms of address by which these norms and rules are upheld. Adat also includes the set of local and traditional laws and dispute resolution systems by which society was and continues to be regulated.
Because they so strongly preserve the old ways, their ceremonial houses are in excellent shape. After lunch at a local restaurant in Ende, trip leads to Moni, a small settlement at the foot of the volcanic Mt. Kelimutu. It is the base for a trip to the colored lakes of the volcano. Check-in and dinner at hotel.
Overnight in Kelimutu Ecolodge (Bungalow) - simple accommodation
Special Note on Flores Trip
• You will need to provide cash money in Rupiah for Flores, credit card payments are not possible, only at hotel / restaurant in Labuan Bajo
• Choosing for a trip through Flores, will satisfy your appetite for adventure and authenticity. The villages are worthwhile to visit, the people extremely hospitable and the landscapes unequivocally amazing. There are lowland savanna, volcanoes and traditional villages vying for your attention. Ikat weaving is part of a daily routine in almost every village, is well worth observing. Its results are often exquisite
• However, a few words of caution are appropriate
• Traveling through Flores often involves driving roads in bad shape and under repair. Thus traveling time to cover the distance from one to another point often exceeds what you might expect. You will inevitably spend long hours in a car. Smaller air-conditioned vehicles are available
• Accommodation is only up to standard in a few places, notably in Moni and Labuanbajo. Everywhere else, they are of poor quality with no alternatives available. Except in Labuanbajo, this 'acceptable' accommodation is only limitedly available. Early booking is recommended if you want to be sure of having a room. In all other instances, you will revert to sub-standard accommodation.
• Trip to Komodo, Rinca and Pink Beach are not recommended during rainy season (approximately from January till March) due to the sea condition inclusing wave and hard wind.
• Guides are not always up to the same standard as in the more well-known Indonesian destinations such as Java and Bali. One cannot expect the same level of sophistication from guides accompanying you on Flores. Your guides will be hospitable and willing to take you around, but one cannot expect an in-depth explanation of the sights and culture you will witness.
• Food is adequate and should not be problematic. There are ample supplies of fresh meat, fish and vegetables, rice and potatoes. One can expect healthy local food rather than sophisticated, Western dishes.
WHAT TO BRING – FLORES TRIP:
Dress is casual. Clothing should be light, preferably cotton with at least one long sleeved shirt and pants. Bathing suit, thongs or sandals and sneakers or walking boots, lots of film, camera, replacement batteries, and spares. Bring one light sweater or jacket as it can get cool in the highlands. Also bring sun-screen, insect repellent, sunglasses, sunhat, swimmers.
Departure in the early morning. Drive to the base of Mount Kelimutu, topped by three colored crater lakes, an amazing natural phenomenon in Nusa Tenggara. The color has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Right now the colors are now turquoise, blue and dark green. Mornings offer the opportunity for splendid sunrises.
Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the small town of Moni in central Flores, part of an Indonesian region known as East Nusatenggara. A particular feature sets it apart from other similar mountains. The three different colored lakes on its peak, have intrigued travelers for centuries. Moreover the lake colors periodically change due to adjustments oxidation, iron and manganese level. Science has long ago revealed that this causes the change of each lake’s color, but scientific explanations aside, there are many myths about the origin of Kelimutu, still a sacred place for the local people. Over the years, the three crater lakes have often changed color. One of the local myths has it that the changing colors are caused by neglected ancestral souls.
On the the way back to the hotel, marvelous vistas on rice fields. Breakfast at hotel and then drive to Ende. The journey will be broken by stops along the way to take in the great landscapes. Lunch in Ende. Afternoon depart to Bajawa. En route a visit to the so-called Blue Stone Beach. It is composed almost entirely of unusual turquoise, blue, and reddish stones. From a distance this spot looks like a giant blue mosaic stretching to the horizon. Again, this place is a source for local myths and legends. It is believed that these stones originated from the seafloor, swept by waves and stranded on the shores of this beach! Bajawa, the capital of the Ngada district, is a small charming town located in the middle of the Florinese highlands. As the regional center of the Ngada people – who still keep their long-standing culture firmly anchored in communities – Bajawa is a perfect starting point to explore the past and present Ngada way of life.
Check-in at hotel in Bajawa.
Overnight in Happy Happy or Sanian Bajawa (Standard) – simple accommodation
Drive to the village of Luba, continued by a hike to Bena. With its impressive stone formations and ancestral shrines, as well as traditional houses, Bena has turned into a focal point for Ngada culture. Continue with trekking to the traditional village of Tololela and Gurusina. Tololela is a traditional village at an altitude 650 meter above sea level. The 31 traditional house belong to 7 different clans, linked to one another by trails and stairs. Another center of Ngada culture van be found in Gurusina. Its traditional houses are situated around a wide courtyard, which displays several sets of ture lenggi, the ancestral stone altars. The village was founded in the early 20th century by people coming from the highlands. At present, still some 33 families live in Gurusina, belonging to the 3 different clans.
Back to Bajawa for lunch and afternoon drive to Soa hot spring. Dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight in Happy Happy or Sanian Bajawa (Standard)– simple accommodation
Drive to Ruteng. On the way stop at Aimere with its little visited arak distillation. Arak is a distilled alcoholic drink typically produced in South Asia and Southeast Asia, made from either the fermented sap of coconut flowers, sugarcane, grain (e.g. red rice) or fruit, depending upon the country of origin. The clear distillate may be blended, aged in wooden barrels, or repeatedly distilled and filtered depending upon the taste and color objectives of the manufacturer.
Arak is not to be confused with a drink from Eastern Mediterranean region and North Africa. It goes under the same name but is quite a different potion. Via Borong drive up to Ruteng with a stop at Ranamese, a mountainous natural reserve with impressive dense forests and a 21-meter-deep crater lake at an altitude of 1220m. Hence its nickname of lake in the cloud.
Lunch in Ruteng, well known for its great coffee. It is also the capital of the district of Manggarai. Located at the foot of a high mountain range and in the center of a complicated network of valleys, which flow into the largest rice-producing areas of Flores, it has a pleasant cool climate. When driving into Ruteng you will certainly notice the red chapels of the local cathedral, standing proudly in the town’s center. Long-standing traditions are still very much present in Ruteng.
After lunch drive with a smaller car to Liang Bua, a limestone cave and archeological site, slightly north of the town of Ruteng. The cave was the site of the 2003 discovery of Homo floresiensis, a species distinct from other hitherto known modern humans. Upon returning to Ruteng, we visit the cathedral of Ruteng. Dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight in Susteran MBC or Shinda Hotel (Standard)– Simple accommodation
After breakfast, depart to Labuan Bajo. Along the way you will see a number Lingko fields, an amazing view. With their round, spider-web structure, these pieces of land are unique eye-catchers of Manggarai. Long before wet-rice cultivation, the ancestors of the Manggaraian people grew dry rice, corn and tubers in these fields. Afterwards drive to Melo. This village will be the backdrop for demonstration of caci. A combination of dance and skill game, it pits two young men against one.
Clad in traditional sarong and using wooden shields, head adorned by colorful decorations, the men fight vigorously, using rattan sticks and wooden shields. As such it is a major element of Manggarai cultural identity. Being a unique and aesthetic delight for spectators, caci performances attract local residents and foreign visitors alike! Proceed to Labuan Bajo for overnight.
Overnight in Puri Sari Beach Hotel (Deluxe).
Our purpose today is to see the Komodo Dragon. This largest lizard on earth lives on three islands, all part of Komodo National Park, a string of islands and islets, strung between Sumbawa and Flores. Before dawn you will board a local fisher boat and sail to the home base of one of the most fascinating living creatures on earth, the Giant Lizards of Komodo.
The trip leads past some of the most beautiful sea-scapes in the world. Your captain will skillfully negotiate the brown patches of land, small islands in a deep blue sea. Komodo Island and Rinca are home to the Varanus Komodoensis, the scientific name for this fantastic creatures. Most specimens of this native lizard species look very heavy - they can measure 3 meters long and weigh up to 150 kg- but appearances are deceptive. With its disjointed jaws, poisonous bites and the vicious way in which it kills its prey, the omnivorous ora as they are locally called, is one of the most efficient beasts of prey nature has ever created... The animals were already discovered at the beginning of the last century and although immediately protected by legislation, their survival is not guaranteed.
Direct poaching of the animal is not a threat as their skin is not suitable for leather production but their eggs are often eaten by scores of wild dogs. During a hike on either Komodo or Rinca, under guidance of a park ranger, a meeting with these fantastic beasts, is most probable! After this expedition, you can rinse off all excitement on one of the many semi-deserted beaches, teeming with coral gardens. Return to Labuan Bajo harbor then transfer to hotel.
Ovenright in Puri Sari Beach Hotel (Deluxe)
Breakfast at hotel then at appointed time, you will be picked up and transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Bali by GA 7037 / 12.55 - 14.30 (The schedule is subject to changes). Upon arrival in Denpasar Airport, transfer to your hotel in Sanur for overnight.
Overnight in Segara Village (Deluxe)
Relax breakfast and free at leisure until time for pick up time for transfer to departure for your onward flight or extension stay in the south Bali. End of services.
Accommodation : Room check out at 12:00h, please store your luggage at concierge, you may use the hotel general facilities until pick up time.
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