Capital (ibu kota) is Ende which is the second biggest town on the island. Ende has a nice setting on Ende bay with views over the Sawu Sea (sunset). In front of the bay is Ende Island. Ende is blessed with plenty of banks, atm's, eateries and supermarkets. Here you find the house of Soekarno, once the first president of Indonesia who was banned in 1934. It is open for public on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8.00 am to 13:00 pm and on Friday from 8:00 to 11:00 am, closed on Sundays. Check out the website of the house/museum . http://www.situsbungkarno.com/
Some people choose Ende to start their journey from east to west. It is more close to Moni/Kelimutu than Maumere although
there are more highlights on Flores further east and north. Plus there are no direct flights anymore between Ende and Denpasar.
The best choice in Ende is LCR hotel. Berlian and Harrison on jalan Kelimutu are ok for one night. Plus many most smaller and more basic options.
Plenty of small restaurants in Ende. A good one is Bangkalan with two branches on jalan Achmad Yani, near the airport and on jalan Kelimutu. Try their soto sate a soup with goatmeat and sate or the chicken variant. Delicious. On jalan Kelimutu there are also a lot of eateries including padang restaurants and good Javanese eateries. Pari Koro Resto on jalan Eltari is a good choice as well. Near the beach, at pantai Ria is a stretch with a lot of small warung with cuisines from allover Indonesia and of course ikan bakar, the grilled fish.
Gajayana Laundry on jalan Ahmad yani no 93 offers express service on the same day for Rp 20.000/kg . They also can pick up or
deliver your laundry at your hotel.
Tel 0812 80415896 (WhatsApp).
Ende also has a few decent supermarkets including Roxy, StarMart and Sinar Mas (most comprehensive).
The Bottle Shop on jalan Kelimutu is a liquor store. Not a lot of choice but at least you can buy local whisky, wodka and imported wine.
TRANSPORT see also
There are direct flights to/from Kupang and Labuan Bajo. For all other destinations you need to transit in Labuan Bajo or Kupang. The flight Ende-Labuan Bajo-Denpasar goes via the south coast with views on gunung Inerie, Komodo and Rinca and the south of Sumbawa. Ask for a windowseat on the left side of the plane for Ende-Labuan Bajo-Denpasar or on the right side for Denpasar-Ende.
The airport is within town and within walking distance of the hotels Safari and Ikhlas. Cars and ojek (motorcycle) await you at the airport. These days the airport also has their own fixed charter prices. For example to Moni is Rp 600.000 drop off. (November 2022).
BUS LONG DISTANCE
There are buses to Maumere, Larantuka, Mbay, Riung, Bajawa, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo. No fixed schedules, starting early morning. Usually buses stop on their route
for some 20 minutes. Be aware that it can take much longer than a travel of a private
Today you also can use a DAMRI bus for the route Ende-Riung which will take 4 to 5 hours. Departure from Ende around 1 pm and from Riung around 7 am. Not running on Sundays.
BUS WITHIN TOWN
Bemo/angkot Rp 5000
CAR WITH DRIVER
Available at the airport or to be booked via your hotel. You also can contact me to find a driver.
At the the airport there are fixed prices. The most useful ones are:
A car with driver from Moni to Kelimutu and back is Rp 300.000. Ask your guesthouse
OJEK (MOTORCYCLE TAXI) WITHIN TOWN
A motorcycle is quick and in Ende it's nice to feel some wind in your hair. They will charge Rp 5000
to Rp 10.000 for a ride depending on distance and your negotiation skills.
To rent a motorbike in Moni you can ask at your guesthouse. Rental is Rp 100.000. If you want the motorbike as an ojek (with driver) the price is Rp 150.000
This is a kind of shared “taxi” (a big car or minibus which runs from door to door).
They run the same routes as buses. Costs Rp 150.000.
To be booked with Gunung Mas. See Transport section
Pelni ferries to Kupang
Their website doesn't work half of the time so better to check via Pelni Ende on Facebook
ASDP ferries to Waingapu (Sumba) and Kupang (Timor)
WHERE TO GO OUTSIDE ENDE TOWN?
The road from Maumere to Ende and especially the Wolowaru to Ende stretch is one of most beautiful roads of Flores, so take your time.
Moni is a one street village with fine views over the valley with lots of accommodation and a few nice
(tourist) restaurants like Good Moni, Santiago, Rainbow and Mopi's. (live
music). Moni is around 3 hours from Maumere and 2 hours from Ende by public transport. With your own wheels 2 hours and 45 minutes and 1,5
hours non stop. It is also the startingpoint for your trip to Kelimutu which is 13 kilometers away. Most visitors rush through the village although there are waterfalls, a hot spring and many
traditional villages in the area. Plus a nice and cool climate at the elevation of 750 meters.
Kelimutu is the name of the volcano and the three coloured lakes and one of the absolute highlights on Flores. The colours of the lakes change from time to time and in the meantime they had many different colours like yellow, red, green, many shades of blue, brown and black. Most travelers visit Kelimutu early morning to see the sunrise (around 5:21 and 6:08 am depeding on the time of the year). Therefore you have to leave Moni between 3:45 and 4:15. From the parking it is a 20 minutes walk through the forest.
I visited Kelimutu four times, the last time in October 2018 but I never went there to see the sunrise. If you visit the lakes later on the day, after 8 am or
so you will have this wonderful Spielberglike decor almost for yourself. Everytime I was there, there were only a few visitors. Another good option is visit Kelimutu later on the day when the
light is soft (photographers!)
After the walk you first see the two biggest lakes (like twins). Later you can climb the stairs as far as the monument to have an overview of all three lakes. Clouds or rain? Just wait untill they are chased by the sun which gives awesome pictures. Enjoy the serenity and nature with a capital N.
Have a ginger coffee or tea or an instant noodlesoup when coming back from the forest. It can be nasty cold up there. The area is also gorgeous for trekkings. Maps are available at the parking.
With your own wheels it's even more comfortable.
For Kelimutu you can rent a motorcycle at one of the guesthouses Rp 100.000 or Rp 150.000 as an ojek (sitting on the back) in Moni or share a car with other travelers. A car for Kelimutu will be Rp 300.000, or Rp 200.000 one way (in case you want to hike down from Kelimutu to Moni on your way back) all guesthouses can provide one. Sometimes people choose to be taken to the entrance, enjoy the lakes and walk 13 kilometers downhill all the way back to Moni with or without guide within 3 to 5 hours. Take care of decent shoes, maybe a sweater, a raincoat and a plastic bag to protect your camera.
See also stories: I see your true colors
Nduaria fruit-& vegetable market
About 5 kilometers from Moni (in the direction of Ende) the road is dotted with fruit- and vegetable stalls on the right side of the mainroad. Be keen on paying local prices!
This cool village is about 45 minutes from Kelimutu. Sometimes people choose to overnight here in the monastry but the accomodation is quite basic. The scenery
here is gorgeous. Deep valleys and green mountains, beautiful ricefields en many waterfalls.
Woloara, a traditional village near Moni settled in lush forest and easily reachable from Moni. On the way back from Kelimutu you also can visit Waturaka village.
Wologai is the first traditional village when coming from Moni which is a few kilometers off the Trans Flores Road (right side coming from Moni). You can stay the night at Wologai. Get in touch with ibu Ida Leta. Tel nr +62 82237845206. Further in the direction of Ende you can take the road to Saga village.
Just before Ende there is the weaving village Ndona. East of Ende there is dramatic coastline and the traditional village of Wolotopo about 45 minutes away.
This part of the Trans Flores Road runs along the sea and offers spectacular views as the road twists half of the way. On the left side of the road you will also find some simple places for a coffee break while enjoying the views.
Penggajawa (blue stone beaches) near Nangapanda
On your way to or from Bajawa or Riung you will pass the blue stone beaches near Nangapanda. The beach is full of blue, turquoise en green stones which are
collected and sorted for export as a base for creative designs for houses and gardens. The stones are an export product for other (wealthy) countries in Asia, like Japan and South Korea but are also exported within Indonesia to Bali and Java.
These days the area has become more popular as a lunch stop and there are also a few simple rooms available as an alternative to overnight in Ende at the first stop
on the left side when coming from Ende.
North coast Ende
Not many people make it that far but instead of the direct road to Moni you also can travel via the north coast. Close to the border with Sikka you can visit stunning Bukit Liaga, a Padarlike not often visited hill with awesome views (also see the Sikka section). Only 30 minutes further west the beautiful riverlandscape near Kota Baru just beyond the border with Sikka, then continue va the adventurous road along the coast which can be sometimes a challenge for the driver. Near Maurole are a few nice beaches like Enabara Beach
From Maurole are two fairly good roads leading to Wologai and Detusoko and from there it is only a short distance to Moni.
Anne Mieke -AM PHOTONESIA©-