Biking across Flores to Komodo

10 Days, 9 Nights

Cycle 315 kilometres through bamboo forests, palm plantations and lush jungle on a journey in the shadows of volcanoes on paved and dirt roads. Visit Kelimutu Volcano with its three curiously coloured crater lakes. Soak in the Soa Hot Springs, before cycling west past sparkling coastlines and “spider web” rice paddies, through ancient tribal villages of Bena and Kenda, arriving at the gateway to Komodo.

Trip Highlights

  • Experience Kelimutu Volcano crater with its tricolour lakes
  • Track dragons on Rinca Island in Komodo National Park
  • Snorkel in pristine turquoise waters and watch the sunset on a remote beach while dining on freshly caught barbecued fish in 17 Islands National Park
Price
$2450 USD per person
Trip Activities
Cycling, trekking, snorkelling, boating
Trip Length
10 Days, 9 Nights
Physical Level
Enthusiast
Start/End
Ende, Indonesia / Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
Accommodation
Hotel (9 nights)
Age
Minimum 16 years of age
Meals not included
Lunch, Breakfast Day 1
Lunch, Dinner Day 10
Flights Included
None

Day-by-day Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 1.5
Description

We will be waiting to greet you just outside of baggage claim at Ende Airport. During the one-and-half-hour van ride to Moni, you'll be introduced to the mountainous, dramatic landscape of Flores. You'll see breathtaking views of a small village tucked into a fold of the 1,600-meter-high Kelimutu Volcano. If you’re hungry, we will stop in Ende for your first taste of local cuisine.

On arrival at the Kelimutu Eco Lodge, you’ll have time to shower, relax, or have a snack. This afternoon we will get oriented with a rice paddy walk. The walk will start from the Eco Lodge dining area, crossing the back of the property across the creek, then we will make our way past local homes into the village of Moni.

For dinner this evening, you might choose to try some local fare with bold Indonesian flavors. Or, if you’re not feeling so adventurous, feel free to opt for Western dishes cooked with regional ingredients.

Meals
  • Dinner
Accommodation
  • Kilimutu Eco Lodge
Day 2
Activities
  • Cycling: 35 km
  • Trekking: 1 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 0.75
Description

This morning, we will take a short 45-minute drive to the trailhead leading to Kilimutu Volcano crater. From here, it’s a half-hour walk to the crater rim. We will visit when the sun is high enough to see the true color of the three mineral lakes inside the crater. The colors range from milky blue to green or red - sometimes black, depending on the season. It is a 30-minute walk back to the parking area.

The ride starts with a steady 15-kilometer winding descent down the side of the volcano through Moni Village surrounded by verdant rice terraces. We will stop en route for lunch in Moni Village. We then continue our ride onto a cement path that takes us through the Village of Mbanga. This Li village still has the remains of some of the elevated palm roofs important in their religion.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Kilimutu Eco Lodge
Day 3
Activities
  • Cycling: 103 km
Transfers
  • Van: 2
Description

With an early start, we drive up to Detusoko Village to begin our ride. The first 30 km are rolling downhill through terraced rice paddies, tiny villages of only two or three buildings, and thick jungle. Once you cross the river, the road rolls as we get closer to the coast, passing through salt farms. For 24 km, the road is only a few meters from the sea, on the very edge of the coast. This is a great area to stop and fuel up on a packed lunch. As our route turns inland there is more climbing of 1 km hills for the next 6 km. The end of the ride is in the village of Maikei. From here we drive 1.5 hours to the costal village of Riung.

Like most coastal towns in Flores, Riung is made up of a majority of Bajo people. This ethnic group fled persecution in the Philippines and have been migrating south over the last few centuries. In Riung there is a very laid back island feel, that is full of warm hospitality.

For dinner tonight, enjoy your fill of fresh seafood, roasted eggplant, and salads.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Del Mar
Day 4
Activities
  • Snorkelling: 4 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 0.25
Description

Today will be a full day of snorkeling in 17 Island’s Conservation Marine Area. After your fill of tropical fruit and other delicacies, we drive 5 minutes (or if some choose to walk) to the pier. Here, we board local boats to explore 17 small islands.

From flying fox colonies of the 1,000s, to endless white sand beaches, and turquoise waters – there is plenty to explore. For lunch we will fill up on fresh fish BBQ'd on the beach before the next round of snorkeling in 3-4 different areas.

Tonight relax and enjoy the islands laidback atmosphere.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Del Mar
Day 5
Activities
  • Cycling: 33 km
Transfers
  • Van: 2
Description

After breakfast, stash a bag of swimwear and clothes in the van. You'll be grateful later! Our ride starts with a 1.5 hour shuttle up over the major climb. In a village built primarily out of bamboo, we start our ride. Here, the road has patches of cement or pavement and then returns to dirt. Over the next 30 km, the ride has both descents of 3 to 5 km and hills of similar length as we leave the coast behind and head along the flanks of Abulobo and Wawomudha Volcanos.

As we get to the outskirts of Bajawa, we will turn East, descending 3 kms to Soa Hot Spring, where a stream and pool emerge from underground at varying temperatures. Take a dip under a small waterfall for a natural massage. From here, jump in the van to the town of Bajawa.

For dinner, we’ll head to the home of Margaret, a Bajawa local, for a Flores-style BBQ in her front lawn. Dining on regional fare with a few chickens roaming about the smoking barbecue pit, you’ll get an immersive dose of daily Flores life. Her home has expansive views of Iniere Volcano.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Sanian Hotel
Day 6
Activities
  • Cycling: 58 km
Transfers
  • Van: 2
Description

Today we’ll leave Bajawa and the volcanoes behind and return to the coast before climbing back inland. From the hotel, it’s a brief climb out of town, before a beautiful descent through a bamboo forest with unfettered views of Mount Inerie. This conical, active volcano has been an icon for the Ngada people who have lived along its foothills for more than 1,500 years.

Once in Bena Village, you’ll see UNESCO-listed megaliths that are thought to be 1,200 years old, which the Ngada use to communicate with the supernatural world via animal sacrifices. With less than 60,000 members alive today, the Ngada population may be dwindling but efforts for cultural conservation are alive and well. Ngada chiefs still reside in Bena’s traditional wood-and-palm houses.

After exploring Bena, we start the single track ride through bamboo forests. The path has some rocky outcrops that you will need to carry your bike over. The path rolls on the flank of Iniere Volcano to the village of Waebelah. Continue from Waebelah along the coast on a dirt road with spectacular views of the South Sea. You’ll notice locals hand-cutting firewood. The villages here supply the bamboo for the fires required to distill arak (palm wine).

Enjoy the cool sea breezes as you near the town of Aimere. The people of Seba from nearby Savu Island are renown arak brewers, and many of them have settled in this area of plentiful Lontar palm trees. We’ll stop at Jimmy’s home, a second-generation Seba arak maker. He will treat us to a local lunch paired with a sampling of the different grades of Arak.

Fortified by the local spirits, we’ll begin our drive up to the town of Ruteng, the third-largest city in Flores. You’ll notice the landscape change to open pastures dotted with rice paddies and water buffalo.

Tonight we’ll go to a traveller’s favourite for dinner at Springhill Restaurant.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Sindha Hotel
Day 7
Activities
  • Cycling: 50 km
Transfers
  • Van: 0.75
Description

Today we head out to explore the home of the Magari people. The ride starts from the hotel, then leaves the pavement behind as the rolling hills get larger, to the village of Kenda. After exploring Kenda, we continue on to Ting village and Watu alo. The Ruteng area is famous for the fertile and expansive terraced rice paddies. This afternoon we will ride out to the cave where archaeologists found the remains of Homo-Floresiensis, measuring 1 meter in height.

Tonight we’ll go to Agape for a change of cuisine; Agape has a few western food options.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Sindha Hotel
Day 8
Activities
  • Cycling: 35 km
Transfers
  • Van: 4
Description

Today we will cycle from the hotel to Chanchar Village. This Magari village has one of the few remaining rice paddies laid out in the shape of a spider web. This circular shape is import for reasons of spiritual and cultural importance. Here we will ride on a dirt road that takes us around the paddy and through the villages that farm these paddies.

We will then drive on to Labuan Bajo. If you feel like it, we can descend from the final pass down to the harbor. Although the road is pavement, it has unforgettable views.

Tonight for dinner, we head into the port for a very local dinner at the fish market – feast on grilled grouper, snapper, or squid caught just a few hours ago.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Purisari Hotel
Day 9
Activities
  • Boating: 4 hours
  • Trekking: 1.5 hours
  • Snorkelling: 3 hours
Transfers
None
Description

We embark in Labuan Bajo, where after a one hour cruise, we visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island. Here, we have the opportunity to encounter the famous Komodo dragons.

After a short briefing, we proceed for a lovely 1.5 hour trek through the dry and rugged island of Rinca, which is well-known for its diverse wildlife. Aside from the Komodo dragons, we are likely to spot monkeys, wild buffalo, deer and horses. From the top of the hills, the scenery is spectacular.

After this adventure we get back the boat, to go to one of the many beautiful beaches in Komodo N.P. for lunch, snorkeling, and swimming. The National Park is world-known for its teeming underwater world and colorful coral reefs. The plankton-rich seas around Komodo support amazing reefs and a range of large marine life, including mantas and dolphins. We will snorkel from the beach, and later from the boat, to hopefully spot mantas.

In the afternoon, we visit one off the many local Bajau (sea gypsies) villages who live in houses on wooden stilts that are often underwater during the high tide. Originally from Sulawesi and formerly fully nomadic, living on their boats, nowadays the Bajau often occupy more permanent settlements.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Purisari Hotel
Day 10
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

This morning is yours to relax until your onward journey.

Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
None

Trip Information

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Inclusions
  • Certified English Speaking Guide
  • An assistant guide for 13-16 cyclist
  • First aid supplies carried by each guide
  • A small set of bike tools carried by each guide
  • Air-conditioned support vehicle for transfer and to support rides
  • Main support vehicle will have spare parts
  • Bike, helmet, 1 biking water bottle per person
  • Plenty of water, snacks, and local fruits
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance Fees
  • Accommodation as listed above.
  • Domestic flight from Labuan Bajo to Bali
Exclusions
  • Visa arrangement
  • International flights or other domestic flights not mentioned
  • Forced single supplements
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Alcoholic drinks at mealtimes
  • Tips
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatoraid, Powerbars, Gue, Isostar, etc)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (Laundry, telephone)