Located within the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Komodo National Park, Indonesia, is the jewel in the crown of Labuan Bajo, Flores. Fly into the Komodo Airport that offers direct flights connecting various Indonesian cities, including Jakarta and Denpasar, to Labuan Bajo. Or opt for an adventurous boat ride from Bali or Lombok to reach Labuan Bajo. Labuan Bajo is the gateway to the fascinating Komodo National Park, but beyond this magical place, there are 7 more hidden gems that you can’t afford to miss.
1| Wae Rebo
A challenging but scenic hike through a dense forest takes you to Wae Rebo, a remote ancient village of the Manggarai tribe. Nestled among lush rolling hills and perched 1,200 meters above sea level, this quaint village features traditional 5-tiered, cone-shaped thatched huts.
Attend the warm welcoming ceremony in the largest hut, amble around the village, and watch the locals harvesting coffee beans. Enjoy the night sky, dine with the locals, and sleep in one of the huts. Wake up early to watch the breathtaking sunrise in dramatic settings.
2| Rangko Cave
Take a relaxing dip in the salty turquoise pool of Rangko Cave, one of Flores’ best-kept secrets.
At noon, watch the sunlight put on a show as it enters the cave’s mouth, illuminating the majestic stalagmites and stalactites surrounding the magical pool.
3| Cunca Rami Waterfall
Love getting up close with nature? Trek the trail to the pristine Cunca Rami Waterfall that winds through the beautiful Mbeliling forest offering scenic sights of small villages and agricultural lands.
Be awed by the streams of water dancing down the verdant rocks. Jump into the cool, clear pool for a refreshing swim or have a little picnic amidst the soothing scenery.
4| Kelimutu Crater
Located in the Kelimutu National Park, the Mount Kelimutu is famous for the tri-colored lakes sitting inside its crater.
Separated by thin ridges of rock, the Kelimutu lakes keep changing their colors, a unique phenomenon that attracts numerous visitors. Trek to the top of Mount Kelimutu to catch the surreal view of the sun rising over the vividly-colored lakes.
5| Batu Bolong
Witness the rare whitetip reef shark and large turtles at Batu Bolong, a world-class dive site in Komodo that’s got excellent visibility and excellent coral.
Capture amazing Instagrammable moments as you swim under the water surrounded by colorful corals and a huge volume of exotic fish, including trevallies, tunas, wrasses, rays, and clownfish. Be wary of the strong current that’s suitable for experienced divers.
6| Cancar Spider Web Field
Discover the spider web rice fields, known locally as the lingko fields, at Cancar village. Rice is cultivated on segments of communal land divided by a unique Manggaraian sharing system which makes the field resemble a spider’s web.
Climb up one of the surrounding hills to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the delightfully-shaped wet-rice fields.
7| Blue Stone Beach
Feast your eyes to the unusual turquoise, bluish stones lying on the black volcanic sand of the Blue Stone Beach, Flores. Experience the tranquility of the electric blue seawater, take some great photos, and enjoy some fresh seafood.
With East Nusa Tenggara topping the list of the Best Value Destinations in the World for the year 2020, you’ll be compelled to go beyond Labuan Bajo and Komodo Island in the pursuit of new experiences. So explore these 7 stunning spectacles around Flores and quench your wanderlust. (HR)
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