Island Flores in Indonesia Itinerary for Flores (12)

Get ready to discover why the beautiful Flores in Indonesia is worth a visit! Read about all the things to do in Flores Indonesia.

If you are planning to travel to the island of Flores in Indonesia then this is the blog for you.

While many come to Flores to visit the Komodo National Park and see Komodo dragons in the wild (we have a detailed blog on how to visit Komodo Islands here), the island of Flores has so much more to offer.

All you need is just over a week to see the highlights, and it can all be done on a budget and with public transport.

Traditional Villages in Flores
Traditional Villages in Flores are some of the highlights of the island – This is Bena near Bajawa

Our 7 Day Itinerary for Flores Island (can be extended to 10 Days)

Day 1 Labuan Bajo 

Day 2 Komodo Islands – 1 night/2 day cruise 

Day 3 Return from Komodo Island and sleep at Lauban Bajo

Day 4 Lauban Bajo to Ruteng (8am bus to Ruteng)

Day 5 Ruteng to Bajawa (2pm bus to Bajawa)

Day 6 Bajawa 

Day 7 Bajawa to Moni (6.30 am bus to Moni) Kalimutu

Day 8 Moni to Ende ( transfer or shared taxi to Ende Airport)

This is a fast-paced itinerary, but if you have an extra 3 days, you can stop in Moni (Kalimutu Lakes) for 2 days and then continue to Maumere for some beach time before flying out on day 10.

There are flights from Ende or Maumere to Labuan Bajo or even Kupang, from where you can connect to another flight. Check out the best flight deals on Skyscanner.

The Flores Itinerary on a Map & Where is Flores Indonesia?

Flores Island is located in the volcanic belt that stretches from Sumatra to Java, and Bali until the Banda sea. It is part of what is known as East Nusa Tenggara. Flores is easy to reach from Bali or Java in Indonesia by plane. See the map below to view exactly where is Flores Indonesia.

Where is Flores in Indonesia on the map
Where is Flores in Indonesia on the map

Our itinerary for Flores in Indonesia on the map. You can continue all the way to Maumere to make the itinerary slow-paced or longer if you wish.

Flores Itinerary
Flores Itinerary

Day 1 – Day 3 Labuan Bajo & Komodo National Park

Explore Komodo National Park and Spot the Legendary Komodo Dragons

One of the top draws to the island of Flores is a visit to Komodo National Park. Home to some of the world’s most unique wildlife, including Komodo dragons, you can view these enormous creatures in their natural habitat whilst taking in the stunning tropical surroundings. 

The view of Padar Island in Komodo National Park
The view of Padar Island in Komodo National Park

Your Komodo Island tour can be organised from Labuan Bajo or pre-book your trip online.

We recommend spending the 2 days in the park on an overnight boat trip. This will allow you to see the best of the park.

Island Flores in Indonesia Itinerary for Flores Komodo Island
Komodo National Park is easily reached from Flores in Indonesia

Essentially, you will stay 1 night in Labuan Bajo, then do an overnight trip to Komodo (1 night) and 1 night back in Labuan Bajo after it.

If you choose to go with the one-day tour to Komodo Island instead of the overnight trip, you can move on to Ruteng earlier and use the extra night in Kalimutu.

We stayed at Danke Lodge, located outside of the main town, but the staff was super helpful and happy to drive us and pick us up at any time (complimentary service). We booked our overnight trip to Komodo and returned to sleep here before heading off to Ruteng the following morning.

Labuan Bajo is a nice little town with a few great places for coffee and food.

We booked our bus with Gunung Mas Bus Company, which operates modern medium-sized buses with air-conditioning. They also pick you up at your hotel in Labuan Bajo, so it’s very convenient.

We booked the 8 a.m. bus to Ruteng; the cost was 120,000 IDR (8 USD) per person, and the journey time was 4 hours. They dropped us at our guesthouse.

Of course, there are cheaper ways to travel via public transport in Flores, such as bemo (a little minibus, quite squashy when they fill up) or shared cars. We highly recommend paying that little bit extra to travel with Gunung Mas; it was very comfortable, not to mention reliable vehicles, too.

Island Flores in Indonesia Itinerary for Flores Labuan Baja
Labuan Bajo town on Flores

Day 4 Ruteng

Visit Ruteng, the Heart of Flores’ Ancient Culture in its Traditional Villages and Spider Web Rice Fields

Visit the small mountain town of Ruteng, located in the central part of Flores. If you wish to visit one of the most famous traditional villages, Wae Rebo, you can do so from here on your free day or pre-book it from Labuan Bajo as an overnight tour.

Wae Rebo can be visited for a day; there is a fee for lunch or an overnight stay, which costs 325,000 IDR per person for sleep and meals. Please note you will sleep in one big hut with very basic facilities: no electricity or internet.

If you go to Wae Rebo and stay overnight, you must add the extra night to this itinerary. Getting here independently on public transport is complex, and it would essentially take 3 days, so it is best to arrange transport from Labuan Bajo and then get a drop-off at Bajawa (it should cost around 2,500,000 IDR from Labuan Bajo)

Island Flores in Indonesia Itinerary for Flores Wae Rebo
Island Flores in Indonesia – Wae Rebo Traditional Village

You can visit other traditional villages near Ruteng; the closest one in Ruteng is Ruteng Puu Traditional Village (65,000 IDR pp entry fee as of Feb 2023). It’s an easy ride on a motorbike to reach Ruteng Puu Traditional Village.

We visited the local market; seeing the Spider Web Rice Fields was highlighted. We rented a motorbike (100,000 IDR) for the day from our guesthouse.

It takes about 30 minutes to get to the Spider Web Rice Fields, and you can either stop at the viewpoint, the location is here on Google Maps, and you pay a small fee. Or, like us, you could ride a little further and stop at this little cafe overlooking the rice paddies for coffee or Bakso soup for lunch.

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Lunch at Spider Web Rice Fields Island Flores in Indonesia
Bakso Soup for lunch at Spider Web Rice Fields

A great place to eat in Ruteng is the Chacha guesthouse next to the bus station. We came to book our bus to Bajawa at the Gunung Mas bus station/ticket office and had a delicious lunch at Chacha. 

The other great travellers’ meeting point is Kopi Mane in town. Great coffee and good food.

Island Flores in Indonesia Lunch in Ruteng
Lunch in Ruteng

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Day 5 – 6 Bajawa

Discover the stunning beauty of Bajawa from traditional villages, hot springs, and views of nearby volcanoes

No other attraction will give you a better insight into the traditional culture of Bajawa than the Bena Traditional Village. Walk around this ancient village and admire the traditional houses built with thatched roofs, stone foundations, and ancient burials. 

Bena Traditional Village Flores in Indonesia
Bena Traditional Village

You can hire a motorcycle or a driver with a car to get here. It will take about 30 minutes to get here, with amazing views of the nearby volcanoes. The roads to Bena Village are in great condition, and we found the motorcycle ride here relatively easy.

The entrance was 25,000 IDR per person, and we asked one of the young boys to show us around the village as he spoke English.

Stunning views of the volcano near Bajawa
Stunning views of the volcano near Bajawa

We then continued to the Manulalu Lookout, where you can enjoy coffee or lunch. The restaurant here provides panoramic views of the natural beauty below, from lush tropical forests to the smell of nearby volcanic hot springs.

You can then visit the Malanage hot springs. The thermal water flow bubbles up from the ground at 43°C and is naturally stimulating – it’s also believed to have numerous health benefits.

Another great place to stop is the Wolobobo Viewpoint. 

This viewpoint offers 360-degree views of the hills, mountains, and valleys that make up Bajawa’s beautiful scenery. On clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of Inerie Mountain! 

We stayed at Cinnamon Guesthouse in Bajawa and enjoyed the food at Maibeth Restaurant, conveniently located just across the road to the left. The owner of the guesthouse, Johannes, helped us book the early bus to Moni the following morning at 6.30 a.m.

It was not the Gunung Mas bus but a standard small bus, so there was no AC, and it stopped along the way a lot, but it got us to Moni in 6.5 hours. The price for this journey was 120,000 IDR per person.

Our bus from Bejawa to Mona
Our bus from Bajawa to Mona – Journey time 6.5 hours

Day 7 Moni & Kelimutu

Travel to Kelimutu and See its Three Coloured Lakes

Also known as the ‘Three Colors Lakes of Mt. Kelimutu’, these three lakes are situated at the summit of this majestic mountain.

The view is beyond beautiful, and you’ll be awe-struck by the dramatic landscape before you, especially when the first morning rays hit the blue, turquoise, and brown lakes! 

To get to Kelimutu Lakes, you will need to first get to the town of Moni. The town caters to tourists and has a few guesthouses/hotels.

We stayed at Joseph Lodge, which was lovely but about a 10-15 minute walk into town. Mahoni Lodge or the Moon Cafe are the best places to eat.

We enjoyed a fantastic tofu curry with rice at Moon Cafe for 35,000 IDR. The portion was very generous, and it was one of the best meals we ate whilst travelling in Flores.

Our place in Mini - Joseph Lodge
Our place in Joseph Lodge

How to get to the Kalimutu Lakes:

Most visitors tend to do the sunrise at Kalimutu Lakes, which means getting up at 4-4.30 am to drive up to the top (about 30 30-minute drive). You will have to pay the entrance fee (150,000 IDR pp) and walk another 20-30 minutes. Here you wait for sunrise.

Of course, you may want to opt out to get there a little bit later, just after 7-8 am to still enjoy the views before the day’s heat.

Kelimutu Lakes in Flores
Kelimutu Lakes in Flores

How much does it cost to get to Kelimutu:

You can hire a motorcycle for 100,000 IDR or a motorcycle with a driver for 125,000 IDR. Or if it is 2 or 3 of you, a driver with a car for about 300,000 – 350,000 IDR roundtrip per car.

Then, it is time to return to Ende for your flight out. We recommend flagging down a shared car, bus, or minivan passing by that is heading toward Ende. A seat in a shared car from Moni is approx 50,000 IDR per person, and the journey time is roughly 1.5 – 2 hours.

Be prepared for a stunning drive to Ende, with towering waterfalls and lush green rainforests everywhere! 

The town Ende in Flores
The town Ende in Flores was the end of our Flore trip

Alternatively, if you have an extra 3 days, we recommend staying an extra night in Moni to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and continue onto Maumere for a day on the beach. The journey time is 3.5 hours to Maumere from Moni.

Schedule of flights to and from Flores Island (2023)

All flights below are direct:

  • Labuan Bajo – Denpasar, Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, Bajawa, Ende, Maumere, Kupang
  • Bajawa – Kupang, Labuan Bajo
  • Ende – Kupang, Labuan Bajo                               
  • Maumere – Labuan Bajo, Kupang, Makassar 

View flight prices and schedules on Skyscanner

Our Wings Air flight from Flores
Our Wings Air flight from Flores

Bus Schedule for Flores 

Gunung Mas is a well-known travel company in Flores. All routes marked with * are the bus connections we took.

  • *Labuan Bajo – Ruteng 4 hours / Departure every hour starting 07:00 am until 5:00 pm /Ticket: Rp 120.000 pp 
  • *Ruteng – Bajawa 4 hours/departure 07:00 am and 2:00 pm / Ticket: Rp 120.000 pp  
  • Ruteng – Ende 8 hours /departure 07:00 am and 2:00 pm /Ticket: Rp 220.000 pp      
  • Ruteng – Maumere 12 hours /departure 07:00 am / Ticket: Rp 250.000 pp
  • Bajawa – Ende 4 hours/departure 11:00 am and 6:00 pm (note: you have to wait at the junction on the main road Aimere to Ende; the bus doesn’t drive into town) / Ticket: Rp 150.000 pp
  • *Bajawa – Moni (Kalimutu) * 6 Hours /departure 11:00 am and 6:00 pm (note: you have to wait at the junction on the main road Aimere to Ende; the bus doesn’t drive into town) / For Moni, you can travel to Ende and change to a regular bus (Rp 30,000 or Rp 50,000 for a shared taxi from Ende to Moni) or you can book a local bus that leaves from Bajawa town at 6.30 am and will drop you off 6 hours later in Moni. This is what we did. Ticket: Rp 200.000 pp for Gunung Mas and local bus from Ende/ Rp 120,000 for the local bus
  • Bajawa – Maumere 8 hours/departure 11:00 am (note: you have to wait at the junction on the main road Aimere to Ende; the bus doesn’t drive into town) / Ticket: Rp 200.000 pp
  • Moni – Maumere 3.5 hours / You need to ask around and hail a bus as it comes through the town / Ticket: Rp 70.000 pp
Island Flores in Indonesia Itinerary for Flores bus
Island Flores in Indonesia Itinerary for Flores can be done on public transport

Best Flores Tours

Final thoughts on our itinerary for Flores in Indonesia

This Indonesian Island is beautiful! Furthermore, the people in Flores are incredibly welcoming, and it was fascinating to learn more about the culture and traditions and be awe-struck by the lush scenery we encountered daily.

We enjoyed some delicious food and fantastic coffee, and we’d highly recommend this destination to other travellers seeking adventure.

Travel Tips for Southeast Asia

If you’re spending some time in Bali before heading to Flores, don’t miss eating some of the best local food while you’re there. Check out these 5 Best Warungs in Canggu, Bali.

And, don’t miss our complete guide to visiting the Komodo Islands. Our comprehensive post details the latest prices and information to book the perfect trip!

If you’re travelling in Indonesia, you may be interested in visiting some other Southeast Asian countries, too.

This is one of our favourite regions of the world to explore. There’s just so much to see, do, and eat! And the best part is that it’s affordable – whether you’re travelling solo, with friends, or with your family.

You’ll need to pack the essentials for your trip – and our Ultimate Packing List for Southeast Asia has got you covered.

If you’re considering visiting Thailand (and we highly recommend you do), these 26 Best Travel Tips for Thailand will give you a good idea of what to expect. We love Chiang Mai in northern Thailand; it’s full of culture, stunning scenery, and great food.

Check out our 15 Best Chiang Mai restaurants and places to eat and our suggestions on where to stay in Chiang Mai – our accommodation guide.

And, if you plan to discover the island of Phuket, we recommend you check out Kata Beach and these awesome things to do when you’re here.

For more great tips, our top money-saving hacks, and our recommendations about the best websites to save you money, head to our Travel Resources Page.