Flores Volcanoes and Villages Trek

8 Days, 7 Nights

In little-known, less-seen Flores, dramatic landscapes of active volcanoes and remote hamlets await. On this 8-day adventure, summit three volcanoes, including the well known 3 coloured lake crater of Kilimutu. Then, trek to remote Ngada and Manggarai villages to reveal rare insights into these animistic cultures, offering close encounters with shrines covered in buffalo blood as a tribute to ancestral spirits.

Trip Highlights

  • Witness the sunrise at the summit of smouldering Egon and Iya Volcanos
  • Swim in hot springs, pristine waterfalls, and turquoise waters with sandy white beaches
  • Trek on Rinca Island to see the famed Komodo dragons and snorkel to see the teaming underworld of sea life
Price
$1995 USD per person
Trip Activities
Trekking, snorkelling, boating
Trip Length
8 Days, 7 Nights
Physical Level
Enthusiast
Start/End
Marmere, Indonesia / Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
Accommodation
Hotel (7 nights)
Age
Minimum 16 years of age
Meals not included
Lunch, Breakfast Day 1
Dinner Day 6
Lunch, Dinner Day 8
Flights Included
None

Day-by-day Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 0.5
Description

We’ll meet you just outside of baggage claim at Marmere Airport. Then we have a 30 minute van ride to the hotel, Sea World Club, located on the beach outside of Marmere, Flores. This evening, we will have dinner with our feet in the sand, as we discuss the logistics and trekking to come. Tomorrow we have an early rise, departing at 3:00, to catch sunrise on the top of Egon Volcano.

Meals
  • Dinner
Accommodation
  • Sea World Club
Day 2
Activities
  • Trekking: 3 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 4.5
Description

This morning, armed with torches and warm layers, we drive 30 minutes to the trailhead of Egon Volcano. As we start out in the dark, you will have a chance to see the Southern Cross in a sky with little light pollution. The 2.5 hour trek to the crater starts in a eucalyptus forest, which are indigenous to Flores. As we get closer to the crater, the smell of sulfur is a reminder that this is one of 14-17 active volcanoes in Flores. During the last 500 meters, the trees give way to large volcanic boulders and some scree as we get close to the smoldering craters edge. The sound of fumerals, gas vents, is similar to airplane jets. You will notice the ground is warm. Descending through the forest, you may see iris, rhododendrons, and wild roses in bloom.

Once back at the hotel, there is time for breakfast, to shower, and check out. Then we drive to Sikka Village. At the end of this road is a community that specializes in Ikat weaving. Alexa is a well respected weaver in the community who will show us the whole process. Her mother will host us for a very typical and simple lunch in their home that overlooks the beach. After lunch, we will drive up to the village of Moni.

This afternoon, we will walk Koka beach, which is made of two white sand, crescent shaped beaches that meet at a rocky shoal. With seldom another person around, Koka is one of Flores' hidden gems.

Tonight for dinner we will eat at the Eco Lodge before falling asleep to the sounds of the cloud forest.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Kilimutu Eco Lodge
Day 3
Activities
  • Trekking: 22.5 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 1.5
Description

This morning is a more reasonable start. Departing at 9 AM, we will drive 45-minute to the trailhead leading to Kilimutu Volcano crater. From here, it’s a half-hour walk to the crater rim. To avoid the crowds, we will go after sunrise, when visibility is better. With the light reflecting off the 3 crater lakes, you will see the true colors ranging from milky blue, green, red and sometimes black depending on the season. It is a 30-minute walk back to the parking area. Then a 30-minute drive down the flank of Kilimutu Volcano, we will set back out on foot for a 45 minute trek to Murukeba waterfall. This 10 meter drop in lush tropical surroundings is a change from the lunar landscapes of the crater. Our trek ends in the village of Moni, where we will stop for a local lunch.

This afternoon we drive down to Ende with one stop en route to visit Wologai, a traditional Li Village. One of six ethnic communities that make up Flores, our guide will explain the different customs of the once Li kingdom.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Wisata Hotel
Day 4
Activities
  • Trekking: 5 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 5
Description

With another early start to beat the heat, we drive to the base of Iya Volcano. Starting at sea level, we walk through a rock quarry to start our assent. Long lightweight trekking pants are recommended as we trek over land through large grass sections. Trekking poles are also recommended. The ground is made up of loosely packed pumice stones - we will pick our way up the flank of the volcano.

As the vegetation gives way to a desolate landscape, we know we are near the summit. Beyond the summit is an enormous crater on the edge of the South Sea. The smoking wall has bright yellow sulfur deposits. Here, it is easy to understand the respect that the people of Flores have for such an active force of nature. The descent is as challenging as the ascent, as we find footing among the palms and grasses, but with spectacular views of the peninsula and the coast line.

Once back at the hotel, a shower and breakfast await. Then it is a one-hour coastal drive along blue-green cliffs that drop down to the sea. Ende’s unique blue stone beaches are something of an oddity in the world. Locals believe these beaches will gain international fame someday, but for the time being they’re all yours and the locals’ to enjoy.

When you reach the seaside village of Nanga Penda, you’ll find a small but beautiful mosque that you’re welcome to explore. Like many coastal settlements in Flores, this village is home to the Bajo ethnic group, many of who migrated from the southern Philippine islands. Although history has credited them with pirate raids on the spice route and a nomadic seafaring lifestyle, today the Bajo have settled in Flores to flee religious persecution. In the relative haven of Flores, they continue their traditions that blend animalism with a less conventional form of Islam.

A further two-hour drive brings us to the town of Boa Wae at the base of the active Ebulobo Volcano, where we’ll stop for a warung lunch. From here, it’s a 1.5-hour drive to Bena, the seat of the matrilineal Ngada people. Here you’ll see UNESCO-listed megaliths that are thought to be 1,200 years old, which the Ngada use to commune with the supernatural world via animal sacrifices. The Ngada population may be dwindling with less than 60,000 members alive today, but efforts for cultural conservation are alive and well, with Ngada chiefs still residing in Bena’s traditional wood-and-palm houses.

Then we’ll head to the home of Margaret, a Bajawa local, for a Flores-style BBQ in her front lawn. With a few chickens roaming about and the barbecue pit smoking, you’ll get an immersive dose of daily Flores life.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Sanian Hotel
Day 5
Activities
  • Trekking: 2 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 4.5
Description

This morning we leave Bajawa behind and drive 45 minutes to the trailhead to Blearaghi Village. This Ngada village receives very few tourists. Here you get a sense of traditional Ngada village life.

Enjoy the cool sea breezes as you near the town of Aimere. The people of Seba from nearby Sabu 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 6
Activities
  • Trekking: 3 hours
Transfers
  • Van: 4
Description

This morning, we’ll head out to see the “spider web” rice fields of the Manggarai people, which echo the circular layout of their traditional villages. In the past, the Manggarai lived according to a strict caste system that consisted of nobles, commoners and slaves. Although slavery no longer exists, the caci, or “whip” dance that mimics a whipping duel, still survives among the Manggarai today. It’s thought that the dance, laden with symbolism, may be based on ancient Manggarai social structures.

After drinking in an aerial view of the circular Manggarai rice paddies, we’ll drive to the little town of Lembor for lunch. Then, trek past small Manggarai villages to Cunca Rami, a cascading waterfall that drops 30 meters into a pristine pool at its base. Treat yourself to a dip in the clear water to cool down before we make our way west.

We’ll arrive in Labuan Bajo at approximately five o’clock this evening. Tonight is yours to explore. Head into Labuan Bajo port to sample the freshly grilled fish, sauteed vegetables, freshly made rotti in the local market, or splash out with some wine and Italian or French cuisine. You can also choose relax and order room service, if you'd rather have a quiet night in.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation
  • Purisari Hotel
Day 7
Activities
  • Trekking: 1.5 hours
  • Snorkelling: 3 hours
  • Boating: 4 hours
Transfers
None
Description

We embark in Labuan Bajo, where after about 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 of 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 8
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

This is where we’ll wish you a happy onward journey. Our guide will help you arrange transport to the airport or to your next hotel. Simply let us know what you need.

Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
None

Trip Information

Expand All
Inclusions
  • Lead Guide throughout tour
  • Plenty of water, snacks, and local fruits
  • Additional local guide for all treks
  • Vehicles: (varies based on local conditions and vehicle sizes available)
  • A first aid kit per guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Accommodation as listed above.
Exclusions
  • Visa arrangement
  • International and domestic flights.
  • alcoholic drinks
  • Tips
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Powerbars, Gu, Isostar, etc)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (laundry, telephone etc.)