FLORES TIMUR

 

Flores Timur is the forgotten district of the island as most tours start or end in Maumere.  Without reason as it is one of the most beautiful parts of the island with stunning views, crystal clear waters and history. There is a project scheduled for the Palmerah bridge between Larantuka and Tanah Merah (Adonara) which will become a touristattractions itself. 
Maumere-Larantuka is also the quickest part of the Trans Flores Road and the 140 kilometers can be done in less than 3,5 hours.


Dinas Pariwisata & Kebudayaan Flores Timur

 

tourism info centre


Larantukathe capital (ibu kota) is a small town surrounded by mountains (Ile Mandiri) and facing the island of Adonara which is at the nearest point only 700 meters away. The road along the coast between Larantuka and Nobo is very scenic with views on het islands of Konga, Solor and Adonara. Take your time and stop frequently to enjoy the beauty of this part of Flores seldom visited (which is a shame).

http://wikitravel.org/en/Larantuka

 

Must sees in town are the katedral Rheina Rosari, kapela Tuan Ana and kapela Tuan Ma.

Also worth a visit is the almost cosy catholic graveyard, and the large tunaboats just offshore the black beach, both a few kilometers south of Larantuka on the road to Maumere. The market is in the centre at the seaside, next to the local shoppingcentre. Except for quite a few warung (Padang and Javanese) , the pasar malam kuliner and a few modern resto's in the eastern part of the town after 9 pm Larantuka is quiet and empty.

 

Larantuka is famous for the Semana Santa, the holy week before Easter with the Good Friday Procession (Prosesi Jumat Agung) as the highlight of the week in Larantuka town and the surrounding waters. This is the busiest week of the year as it attracks people all over Indonesia, even all over the world. If you want to join bear in mind that hotelrooms need to be booked far in advance, 6 months before (as well as flights Kupang-Larantuka vv or Kupang-Maumere vv).
Due the pandemic the processions of 2020, 2021 and 2022 have been canceled so let's hope for 2023, 5-8 April with Good Friday (7 April) as the highlight.



 

SLEEP

There are not so many hotels in Larantuka. Asa Hotel on the way to the airport is the best in town has a pool and often fully booked. Also Larantuka Beach Apartments is a good option when you like a homestay rather than a bigger hotel. They also provide a boat charter. The week before Easter every bed in Larantuka is booked, so make reservations in advance (the year before, see also info above!)

see separate section


 

EAT

In the towncentre of Larantuka and in particular on the mainroad are warung padang and Jawa eateries. Bu Warno has a kaki lima in front of the shoppingcentre. Take your time as you likely need to wait as her food (nasi campur, gado2 etc) is populair. Talago Indah on the main road is the best choice for a padang resaurant. In front of hotel Tresna is a field with ikan bakar (barbecued fish) an other dishes.

In the northern part of Larantuka are a few good restaurants like Golden Cafe or Weri Resto & Cafe. They sell the usual Indonesian menu and their speciality is nasi bakar in 5 variants (recommended), also milkshakes and various coffees. Can also be ordered for delivery at your hotel with no extra costs.

Along the Trans Flores Road you will only find very few small shops with some drinks and snacks and coffee.


 

LAUNDRY

Diaz Laundry has a one day laundryservice (from May to October when there is enough sunshine) for Rp 10.000 per kilo (including ironing; price november 2019). Otherwise you need to wait for an extra day.

Tel. +6282147536203 (mobile)


TRANSPORT see also

 

BY AIR

Connection with Kupang, 30 minutes with Wings Air. Around Christmas/New Year and Easter there are additional flights.

 

Note: it is not advisable to book tickets far in advance (except the special periods) as promo tickets are not yet available and timetables, routes and airlines often change. 

Check timetables and prices from time to time on https://www.skyscanner.com

Tickets:

  • Marcelo Tour & Travel, Jalan Basuki Rahmat

Businesshours 8 am - 8 pm

Tel + 62 38321574 (landline) and + 62 81238517836 (mobile)

Email: marcelo_travel@yahoo.com

  • SM Tour & Travel

Tel +62 81236703698 (mobile)

 

Or via the internet on Traveloka.com or Nusatrip.com or Tiket.com

The small airport is 10 minutes north of town. Ascending by plane coming from Kupang is breathtaking.

 

 

BY ROAD

 

Ojek (motorcycle taxi) within town

Rp 3000 to Rp 10.000 depending on distance

 

Bus long distance

To Maumere buses depart from the terminal south of town. It takes 4 hours, sometimes a bit longer. No fixed schedules, starting early morning. Bus tickets are

Rp 60.000. Sometimes the bus stops in Boru for 20 minutes (toiletbreak, eat).

 

Bus within town

Bemo/angkot Rp 3000

 

Car with driver

At the airport or via your hotel are cars with driver available. Prices vary and a price of one million per day is not uncommon. Booked via hotels be prepared for steep prices as well. If you need a car you also can contact me. Also check car with driver

 

Travel

This is a kind of shared “taxi” (a big car or minibus which runs from door to door) to Maumere wil cost around Rp 100.000 - Rp 150.000.

 

BY SEA

Pelni ferries to Kupang

https://www.pelni.co.id/?lang=en

ASDP ferries to Kupang, Waiwerang (Adonara) and Kalabahi (Alor) leave twice a week around noon. However since the pandemic schedules are not very reliable. Call ASDP Larantuka +62 38321245 to check the exact schedule.

Wooden boats (kapal kayu) go to Waiwerang and Baniona (Adonara), Podor, Lohayong, Mananga (Solor) and Lewoleba (Lembata). KM Rahmat Solor sails to Lamakera on the eastern tip of Solor once a day around 11.00 am. With public transport you can visit Adonara in one day (the morningboat at 8 am and back from Waiwerang around 4 pm). The quickest way to get to Adonara is by boat from Sarotari to Tanah Merah on Adonara within 5 to 10 minutes depending on the difficulties to cross as the currents can be strong. 

From Larantuka there is a fast boat every morning at 10 am to Waiwerang
(Adonara, 30 minutes) and on to Lewoleba (Lembata, 1 hour).
Between Adonara and Solor there are boat  connections as well.


 

WHAT ELSE TO SEE?

 

Adonara island is at the opposite of Larantuka. You can take a wooden boat to Waiwerang (morning, noon and afternoon) and the trip takes 1,5 to 2 hours. Or even better the fast boat which only takes 30 minutes to Waiwerang. There are also other crossings to Adonara. The closest one is from Sarotari in the northern part of Larantuka to Tanah Merah within 5 to 10 minutes. Adonara is a small, deserted island, around 35/20 kilometers and except a few green months at the beginning of the year it is very dry. 
Waiwerang on the south coast is the only real town on the island with a few very basic guesthouses.  Penginapan Asri
has some decent rooms and is
a few hundred metres from the harbour. In the somewhat desertlike environment Adonara is home to some gorgeous beaches in the eastern part like Pantai Watotena and Pantai Mekko.  The island is also known for its good quality of moke. And in the eastern half of the island you cannot miss Ile Boleng, the active volcano on the island.

From Waiwerang you can cross to Solor island (30 minutes) to the village of Lamakera, the "sistervillage" of Lamalera on Lembata, famous for its traditional whalehunting but to be honest not as traditional as in Lamalera. From Larantuka there are also boats to other parts on Solor, to Podor, Lohanyong and Mananga. You can do Solor on a daytrip or sleep in one of the simple accomodations, best choice on the western half. Very little English is spoken on both islands.
On Solor there a few nice beaches, the nicest one is Pantai Watohari on the southcoast of the eastern part. Not easy to get to as the road is terrible but you will get an empty, bit pinky beach in return with views on Lembata island.
In Lohayong are also the remains of a Portuguese fortress
but unfortunately not wel maintained and a quite agressive approach to foreigners.
To hire a car with driver or a motorbike is not difficult but the problem is the price. People are not used to tourists but prices are far beyond the usual price.
I was on Solor in June 2022, arranged a car the day before for Rp 500.000 but once on the island (an probably once the driver saw me) the price was suddenly 1 million. I was hard to get it down to Rp 700.000 which is still too much for a day (in fact not even 6 hours). So be prepared.
From Lewotobi (south of the volcano) you also can cross to Solor but the same story.  The boatmen ask 1 million for crossing (not even 15 minutes) or Rp 500.000 for one way. This part of Flores, and in particular Solor isn't ready yet for tourists.

 

Boru is about halfway between Larantuka and Maumere and good for a stop in one of the very few restaurants. There are some fruitstalls which sell bananas, oranges and yellow buah mentega (velvet apple; family of kaki/sharonfruit, diospyros in Latin). From here you have great mountainviews on Lewotobi twin volcano (male and female). For trekkings check out Swiss Contact guide of Flores. From Nobo to Boru you can make a detour on your way back to larantuka and drive around the mountains where you can meet the Trans Flores in Boru again.

 

Other interesting places to visit are Ile Padung a traditional village, 20 km from Larantuka, to be reached by your own transport only. You can continue along the bumpy road further west and along the sea where you will come across a beaufitul empty beach. Only 2 kms off the mainroad and 27 km southwest of Larantuka you will find the village of Lewokluok famed for its ikat. On Thursday you can see the women watch their activities (other days on demand). Not far on the north coast is Kawaliwu Beach with a wonderful sunset. The beach can be reached from the mainroad Larantuka-Maumere, then turn right in Lewolema and follow the 9 kilometer road to the sea. Once in Kawaliwu you can turn left for a setting right on the beach or left follow the winding road into the hills for a superb sunset.


In the very far east you can visit Lake Asmara (danau). Follow the road north from Larantuka with the sea on your right side then cross the few kilometers to the other side. It takes about 75 minutes from Larantuka. At the parking they have build a few treehuts for a view high above the lake. To reach the lake itself you have to hike down the forest a few dozens of meters. Take care and wear decent shoes as there is only a real path half of the descend. Also take mosquito coil.
From the junction just before lake Asmara you can reach Kwuta Beach. It is only 6,3 kilometers but it will take one hour to get there via a bumpy road, partly via cashewnut plantations and the forest.

The area Tanjung Bunga is where Flores get its name from. The area is littered with cashew nut trees. Tanjung bunga means flower cape. The Portuguese translated this into Cabo de Flores and the Dutch shortened the name into Flores.
In this area there is also a Trappists Monastry Lamanabi. Among Dutch and Belgian visitors this monastic order is 
best known for its Trappist beer :-) but I'm not sure they brew something like that.