-since January 2019 prices of flights have increased to sometimes double the tariff.
-also too many cancellations, 1 or 2 weeks before the flight in particular with Garuda.
-Wings and Lion Air charge for checked in luggage, also handluggage is very strict
-the luggage freedom for NAM Air has dropped to 15 kgs
-the luggage freedom for Transnusa is 10 kgs
Do not book domestic flights longer than 2 months in advance except for the end
of Ramadan/Idul Fitri, high season and the period around Christmas/New Year. Timetables often change!
Flores has 6 airports with flights to Sumba, Timor and Bali and within Flores itself. Labuan Bajo has the most funky terminal while Larantuka used to have the cutest one. Unfortunately all terminals in Indonesia seem to be replaced. All airports, except Bajawa are within a few kilometres from the towncentre. Getting transport into town is easy with always cars and ojek at the terminal waiting for passengers. Prices for flights are including airporttax.
Connections & carriers
Note (again): routes and schedules change very very often. I try to update frequently, however check the routes via one of the internet sellers or directly with the carrier.
Air Asia including 15 kgs check in luggage
Batik Air including 20 kgs check in luggage
Garuda including 20 kgs check in luggage
Lion Air/Wings Air excluding check in luggage; has to be booked in advance when booking a ticket. Check in luggage at the aiport is also possible but double
the price. Hand luggage 7 kgs is very strict
Sriwijaya/Nam Air including 15 kgs check luggage
TransNusa including 10 kgs check in luggage
Bookings can be made via
All websites above also for hotelbookings.
Keep in mind that carriers, routes and schedules often change. Therefore bookings best can be made no longer than 3 months in advance (holidays/Idul Fitri/Christmas/New Year) and 2 months before the travelling date outside these periods.
Sorry, no trains on Flores
The Trans Flores Road (made by the Dutch) runs from east to west, from Larantuka to Labuan Bajo and is around 660 kilometers long. In May 2016 for the first time Flores was blessed with the Tour de Flores for which the mainroad was prepared to be in super condition like never before. But, this was in May 2016 :-) Only one landslide and you will definitely come across some potholes causing delays. Many roads, off the Trans Flores Road are still in bad condition so when travelling more off the beaten track you will find yourself in a real adventure best to handle with a motorcycle or fwd-car.
Check also stories (Hit the road Jack).
More detailed maps:
The Trans Flores Road running from Larantuka to Labuan Bajo was in good condition in May 2016; however in the meantime some parts are affected again from the continuous landslides in March this year (2019) and there are many projects including the renewal of several bridges.
Travel by road on Flores is slow, the average speed on the main road is around 35 km/hour as the road bends all the way (660 kilometers of asfalt is needed for the actual 375). I have checked some stretches via Google Maps myself. Some of them are more or less close to reality when everything is ok, but in particular the roads inland or off the Trans Flores can hardly be calculated with Googlemaps.
Some examples: travel times claimed by Google Maps to Denge (for Wae Rebo) or the northern route from Riung to Reo are not realistic. You can easily multiply them due to the condition of these roads.
The good news is that except a few kilometers around the small towns there is hardly any traffic. However, sometimes you have to be patient when a loaded truck crawls up the mountain road and it can take some time before it is safe enough to pass the vehicle.
Distances and travel times (more realistic/non stop=without stop for lunch, taking photo's, let alone visit tourist objects) on the main road between the towns from east to west are approximately:
Other roads (updated December 2019):
Almost every road leading to a waterfall takes a long time as many of them are in the rainforest.
Car with driver
Don’t even think about driving yourself in Indonesia! Although roads are almost empty on Flores, many western people are not used to drive on the left side and if in case there is an accident you will regret for the rest of your life you ever intended to drive yourself. Hiring a car with driver is about the same price as hiring the same car without one. As a passenger you don’ t have to take care of the traffic but only enjoy the beauty of Flores and therefore more relaxed.
Arriving at the airport you can easily get a car with driver. You don’t need to look for them, they will find yóu. Sometimes prices can be steep on airports, specially if you don't have a good plan. Prices of 1 million and higher are not uncommon so it depends on business logic, common sense and your nego skills to get a fair price. There is no such thing as a fixed price in Indonesia. However booking in advance is advisable. Your driver will await you ath the airport. You don't have to spend precious time to find a driver or bargaining plus your driver is prepared for the (long) trip together with you which feels good on both sides. Rates depend on where you want to go to like within town (seldom done by traveler) but cars and drivers are mainly booked for an overland trip. For an overland trip count on an average of Rp 850.000 for one day. This price is including car, driver, fuel and costs for the driver during the trip (accomodation/meals)
Drivers have differents systems, some of them count a minimum of 5 days, some add an empty leg (drivers have to go back or the start with an empty leg), some charge both. Prices are sometimes negotiable, in low season more often than in high season. Good luck. If you need help I will be here.
As about 90% of the mails and apps I receive is about finding a car with driver here below an extra chapter.
How to... where can I find... how much...
(please read this if you want to hire a car with driver)
Many tourists come from Bali to Flores and will be disappointed by the high(er) prices for hiring a car with driver. So, maybe some explanation is needed.
Many of the cars on Flores are from Bali or Surabaya and Jakarta (Jawa). This means extra costs of transportation, plus costs for converting the license plate or if not, every year a trip to pay for the cartax at the spot (thus Bali or Jawa). Maintenance and replacing spare parts is more expensive as well as there is no decent stock. On top of that the tourism on Flores is not yet a fulltime business like on Bali for example. And, at last, the standard of living on Flores (and other islands of NTT) is higher.
For hiring a car with driver (and/or guide) there are many possibilities.
Most people start in Maumere and travel overland to Labuan Bajo or the other way around. Sometimes in 2 or 3 days (yes, there are) and sometimes in 2 to 3 weeks and anything in between. Drivers can take you from place to place but sometimes they also can guide you with (sometimes) extra costs. Also drivers have various systems. Sometimes you are asked for a minimum of 5 days carhire, or a higher price when you trip is less than 5 days, sometimes you are charged for an empty leg (at the end the driver needs to go back), some prices are low end, some are high end, sometimes the guiding is included, sometimes it is not and sometimes you will be extra charged for routes via bad roads like to Wae Rebo or other roads further away from the main road.
In general with an overland trip with a minimum of 5 days count on a
minimum price with an average of Rp 850.000 per day. This price is based on an overland trip and
includes car, driver, petrol, costs for driver (accomodation/meals). It doesn't
work to hire a car for 1 or 2 days from A to B and for example again after a few days as this will turn out to become expensive. You will lose a lot of money as an additional charge, a
higher day price and/or emptyleg will be charged.
You can contact me to find you a reliable, English speaking driver with a fair price. If in case you do so please sent an email to email@example.com (English, Nederlands, bahasa Indonesia) and let me know your plans and information as much as possible
- date of arrival/start of the trip (when already known)
- how many days (if you already have an idea)
- how many people (adults/children)
- how much luggage weight/volume
- all other relevant information
A car rental for one day has to be arranged on the spot. I cannot help you with a one day rental in high season and/or months before, as driver won't accept a booking as there is a good chance they can get an overlandbooking which they cannot accept otherwise. Tourism is not a year round business yet and locals working in the tourism business depend on high season so they have to make as much as possible out of it.
Like said on the first page of this website; there are no profits for me, no fee, no commission. The drivers price is the real price, is your price. No deposit, everything is on a base of a gentlemen's agreement.
Long distance buses run between the towns of Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Mbay, Riung, Bajawa, Reo, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo, starting early in the morning. No fixed schedules. Buses are small and simple and you will travel together with the locals and everything they carry (including chickens, freezers, huge baskets with eggs… well fill in yourself). If you are (un)lucky (part of the adventure?) a tire has to be changed on route. There are no big airconditioned touringcars on Flores.
Outside the main route you can travel to more (remote) destinations but schedules of bemo/angkot are unreliable while other bad roads only can be handled by public trucks. Both bemo/angkot and trucks are very few. To reach these areas it is best to hire a fwd or at least a suv with a motorcycle as an alternative.
Within town run minibuses (bemo or angkot) which is always the cheapest way in town. Count on Rp 3000 within town.
Sometimes a motorcycle (ojek) is (more) convenient (than a car or angkot). Count on Rp 3000 - Rp 20.000 depending on distance and your negotiationskills. In Labuan Bajo they often try to rip off tourists.
You can also rent a motorcycle in many places, especially the touristplaces like Moni, Bajawa or Labuan Bajo. Prices should be between Rp 60.000 to Rp 100.000 for a day (excluding petrol). When I checked in Labuan Bajo in January 2019, they all seem to have the same price of Rp 75.000. In other towns you sometimes can rent just from the ojekdriver or a “friend” you meet on the street.
Hiring a motorbike for overland Labuan Bajo to Maumere is still not the standard so you have to shop around first. If you do so, be keen on the extra charge for sending the motorbike back to Labuan Bajo. Up to Rp 200.000 is reasonable to my opinion. However, I do not recommend to go by motorbike overland. First of all it is quiet a distance, maybe not in kilometers but in time. Second, the Trans Flores is winding almost all of the time with sometimes steep bends and third when it rains it is too dangerous to travel by motorbike. And, it can rain often and a lot on Flores, the biggest part of the journey is through the mountains. Renting a motorcycle is ok for short distances unless you are an experienced driver. One of the tricky problems can be the sudden rainfall when the asphalt becomes slippery and the road is one bend after another. It is more wise to do the long hauls by bus, car of travel (shared taxi) and you can hire a motorbike for shorter distances around town like in Labuan Bajo, Bajawa and Moni. In Ende and Ruteng there is no real touristscene where yo9u can rent a motorbike, so ask an ojekdriver there.
Keep in mind that you formally need a driverslicense for (heavy) motorcycles and a helmet of course. However many tourists rent a
motorcycle just with their copy of their passport or their car driverslicense. If everything goes smooth, no problem but if you are involved in an accident you will have a big problem no matter
it is your fault or not. For petrol (bensin) stop at one of the Pertamina stations where you can buy Premium for Rp 6.450/litre. Sometimes the Pertamina stations are run out of petrol
(…) and cars and motorcycles need to queue up (sometimes for hours!) but you always can fill up along the roadside where you can buy the Premium in Coca Cola or Aquabottles...
Travel (shared "taxi")
A travel is a shared "taxi" which is usually a big car or a minibus that runs door to door and is a good alternative for a bus. They usually run faster than buses
and costs are still low enough. Sometimes they run on schedule and sometimes when (almost) full. Costs depends on
distance, between Rp 100.000 and Rp 250.000
Gunung Mas is a well known travelcompany on Flores.
departure 11:00 am (note: you have to wait at the junction on the mainroad Aimere to Ende; the bus don't drive into town)Ticket: Rp 200.000 pp
* for Moni you can take the travel to Ende and change to a normal bus or the travel to
Maumere from the junction near Bajawa. Bajawa to Moni is around 6 hours; tickets
have to be paid to Maumere.
There is no office in Bajawa or Moni.
Other companies are Puspa Sari and Virgo Travel
There are no metered taxi’s on Flores. You can take a car from the airport, ferrylanding or busterminal and sometimes from hotels but rates are much higher than the “real” taxi’s you find on Java of Bali for example.
Airport "taxi's" in Bajawa, Ende, Labuan Bajo, Larantuka and Maumere will charge around Rp 60.000 per person.
There are boats in shapes and sizes on Flores.
Long distance journeys are from Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Aimere, Reo and Labuan Bajo. Pelni is the national company with passengersboats connecting harbours of the whole country. Most Pelniships have a 2 or 4 week schedule and are not always on time. Don’t plan too tight. Pelni
ASDP are small ferries which connects Flores with Sumbawa, Lembata, Sumba and Timor.Wooden boats sail between Larantuka and Solor, Adonara and Lembata.
Speedboats run between Labuan Bajo and Sape. Check their website for schedules on https://www.indonesiaferry.co.id/
Although the button for English does not seem to work, it is not too difficult to check the schedules. Keep in mind that routes and schedules often change and crossing times depend also on weatherconditions.
You also can rent a boat (speed or perahu motor). When heading for Komodo NP and you want to visit islands as far as Rinca/Padar/Komodo always look for a boat with at least two engines. Also check the boat on safetyfacilities and that you can communicate with your captain (English, if you don’t speak Indonesian). Boatrental is vague on Flores with sometimes “fantasy”prices. Prices have increased the last 5 years, especially in Labuan Bajo. If you are in doubt you also can book on a seat-in tour together with other tourists. A private boat for about 10 passengers depending on distance, destination (the seas between Labuan Bajo and Komodo can be very rough from time to time, see also stories) and extra’s (meals, water etc) will cost anything between Rp 600.000 and Rp 3.000.000. Shop around before you agree and also check the weather forecast for the day of your trip. Therefore it is best to book one day before.
Also check section Renting a boat for Komodo National Park
For guests who want to explore Flores with public transport and/or want to go to some particular areas, want to climb a mountain or want a trekking it is wise to hire a guide.
Al local guide can help you to find your way (climbing, trekking, for example climbing volcanos, trekking to remote villages) and/or is able to understand local tradition and can speak the local language. Depending on their skills (climbing, local tradition and language, English) fees for guides range from Rp 100.000 to Rp 550.000.
Note that some drivers also add a fee for guiding but keep in mind that this is not always nescessary depending on the route, where you want to stop, what to see. There is a huge difference in guiding. A guide who take you to the top of the Inerie is not the same as a guide who takes you to Koka Beach for example.
See also "Car with driver and How to..." here above.
When you need a guide, also when only 1 or 2 days during your trip I can help you with that as well.