This is the perfect getaway for those looking for adventure, relaxation and an off-the-beaten path holiday in unmapped Indonesia. Our 8-day Overland Adventure will take you through Maumere, Moni, Kelimutu, Bajawa, Ruteng, Labuan Bajo, Rinca, and Komodo Island. Explore caves and waterfalls many think only exist in the movies. Get a true taste of the authentic and exotic culture of these stunning tropical islands.
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Begin this once-in-a-lifetime experience arriving in Maumere - a charming small city on Flores Island. This intimate island has a high Roman Catholic population and special ceremonies specific to the island can be observed daily. Check into your hotel - we recommend the lush beachfront Sea World Club at Waiara Beach. Spend the rest of the day exploring the island at your leisure.
The day kicks off with a stop at the Roman Catholic Seminary of Ledalero, where you can also peruse the collection of ancient artifacts at the seminary’s museum - the Bikon Blewt Museum. Explore the village of Sikka and learn about the ikat weaving process. That afternoon, we will land on Moni, the small settlement at the base of the volcanic Mount Kelimutu. Check into the innovative and environmentally-friendly Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge - this is the highest quality accommodation in the area where you can look out over stunning views of Mount Kelimutu. Call it an early night to rest up for an active and early morning!
Rise and shine with a 3:30am wake up call. From base camp, you’ll drive close to the principal viewing site. Climb the 127 stairs to the top to catch the incredible first few rays of light as the sun begins to paint the eastern sky. Watch as the different colors of the lakes become visible with the morning sun. Later that morning, walk through the old port town of Ende before stopping in Tanggo Beach and enjoying a seafront picnic. Snap a picture of the egg-sized volcanic stones blanketing the beach. Finish the day by reaching Bajawa and checking into Hotel Happy Happy - a quaint, locally-owned hotel. That night, indulge in a savory meal at Lucas Restaurant.
Travel to the village of Belarahi and take an hour and a half trek. The trek is an easy walk through the natural savanna, thick bamboo forests and picturesque oceanfront. After your trek, return to the village, where you’ll see a rare performance of a traditional local dance. Next, we will drive to Mbalata Beach for an afternoon swim and picnic lunch. Finish the day by driving to Ruteng and check into your home for the night - the missionary-style lodge that was a gift from the Mexican government, the Wisma Santa Maria Hotel Susteran.
Day 5 of our trip is a memorable day as you journey to the Tengku Lese Waterfall. After a short trek through the gorgeous rice fields, watch the tumbling water down the two-tiered waterfall that cascades into a small rainbow producing pool at the bottom. That afternoon, we’ll travel to the Liang Bua Cave - also known as the Hobbit Cave for the meter-tall human remains found in the cave dating back to 18,000 years ago.
The day begins with an impressive photo opportunity of an intricate, delicate “spider-web” rice field where the field actually resembles its wispy namesake. The second stop of the day is in Melo Village. You will have the treat of seeing a Caci performance - a ritual whip fight between two men. Post-fight share an authentic Manggarai lunch with the local villagers. That evening, reach Labuan Bajo and check into your hotel, the Jayakarta Suites Komodo-Flores.
Visit the Komodo National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site composed of about 80 small islands, making up an archipelago. Look for the famous dragons, along with deer, buffaloes, monkeys, wild horses, sea eagles, sulfur crested cockatoos and even flying foxes. After you’re finished exploring Komodo National Park, take a 45-minute boat ride to Rinca, a small island where you will enjoy a two hour nature hike guided by a local ranger.
Your full journey ends today - you’ll transfer from Labuan Bajo Denpasar and begin your travels home.
The Sea World Club is a waterfront resort located on Flores Island’s Waiara Beach. Just a 10-minute drive from the airport, the resort’s bungalows sit along a crescent shaped beach that slopes gently into the Sea of Flores. There is a dive shop on the grounds for those interested in exploring the Bay of Maumere. The resort has an open-air restaurant that serves seafood and Indonesian and international fare as well as a beach bar that serves snacks and drinks.
One of six ecolodges operated by Ecolodges Indonesia, the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge is a low-impact resort whose mission is to showcase the natural beauty that Flores has to offer, while maintaining environmentally friendly operations. The lodge’s bungalows offer stunning views of the volcano Kelimutu. The main attractions of the area are arguably the three crater lakes that lie on Kelimutu, at about 1,400m elevation. The lakes change colors, but are generally found to be hues of red, green, and blue. Accommodations are basic, but comfortable and include terraces and gardens, balconies with views of Kelimutu, a bar, and a restaurant.
Hotel Happy Happy is a simple, clean guesthouse located in Bajawa. Owned by a couple from The Netherlands and staffed entirely by locals, the small guesthouse places special attention to customer service and hospitality. Hotel Happy Happy has only six rooms for guests, which ensures that you will be a priority during your stay with them. Amenities include hot water (a rarity in these parts of Indonesia), free wireless internet, and breakfast with homemade bread and fresh juice.
Wisma Santa Maria, also known as Hotel Susteran, is a guesthouse operated by the nuns of a convent. The guesthouse began operations to meet the internal needs of the order, but began to offer stays to the public and has continued to offer modest accommodations to travellers visiting Ruteng. The rooms and amenities are scarce, however, the hotel is widely regarded as the best in the area.