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Flores is 360 km wide and varies in width from 12 to 70 kilometers. It's an island with impressive volcanoes, nice mountain lakes, grassy savannahs and even some mountain forest. The landscape has a fierce beauty. Nevertheless Flores is one of the least visited islands in Indonesia. There are 1.4 million people, of which 85 per cent is Catholic. Ethnographically the island is very varie (...)

During the tourist season in the summer of 1990, Labuhanbajo, along the western coast of Flores, was flooded by tourists All losmen and pensions were full, but the ferries continued to bring in tourists from Sape (Sumbawa), and busses continued to spit out visitors which came overland from Ruteng. Many words were said about new losmen and hotels, but only two were being constructed. (...)

Ruteng is the capital of the district Manggarai, which is by far the biggest of Flores; it consists of almost one third of the island. The capital is located at the food of a high mountain range and forms the center of a complicated network of valleys, which together make the biggest rice-producing area of Flores. The area is part of the most important coffee-producing areas of Indonesia. (...)

Two men in a naked upper body dance in a circle on dry, hard soil while spectators gather around the spectacle. Bells around the waist and ankles of the dancers rinkle while the attacker, armed with a big whip, and his rival, with a shield for protection, 'attack' each other. The rhythm of the drums and the gongs echoes faster and faster. A sudden, dumb hit of a bamboo stick marks the beginning of (...)

In the district of Ngada the traditional habits have been kept better than in any other place in Flores. The residents are almost all Catholic, but they keep adding meaning to the megalith stones. They also maintain the ngadhu, a pawl which is seen as masculine which forms a couple with the bhaga, an ancestral little house which is considered female. Only a few travelers s (...)

The sub district of Riung, along the northern coast north of Bajawa has beautiful coral gardens in the national park 'Seventeen Islands', and thousands of flying dogs (kalong). Nangamese (also known as Riung), with it's population of 1,500, is the biggest village in the sub district. A few tourists go there, but it has a stark resemblance with Labuhanbajo in the 1980's, before watching Komo (...)

Ende, with it's 60,000 residents is the biggest city on Flores. Located along the southern coast, it's hidden in the curve of a small peninsula. At both sides of it you will find a harbor. Most shipping activity is concentrated in Pelabuhan Ende, which is located at the western side and has a good view over Teluk Ende (Bay of Ende). The new harbor, Pelabuhan Ipi, is located at the eastern side; th (...)

It's dark and cold, everyone is wrapped up in jackets or blankets, and we are all looking at the sky. We shiver and wait. After just more than one hour the sky starts to get lighter, and after a while we are confronted with a terrible, disappointing truth: we are in the middle of a bench of clouds and the lakes of Keli Mutu are completely obscured! A yell in the fog: 'Konderatu!'. And once again ' (...)

Maumere is the tourism hotspot of Flores, it's the biggest transportation center of the island, there is a big variety of accommodation and many of the attractions on Flores can be visited during one-day trips from Maumere. In the direct environment of the city you will find great places for snorkeling and diving, a traditional weaver, beautiful nature and old relics from the Portuguese time and t (...)

Four persons, dressed in white fabrics with their heads covered, and with high pointed red hats, walk through the night, with a coffin. On the black cloth that lies over the coffin is a silver cross. It's the coffin of Christ, which contains a relic or a holy status of Christ. Every year, thousands of religious people gather to bring the coffin around Larantuka, singing and with candles. It i acco (...)

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