Flores, a long island located between Sumbawa and Timor, is strewn with volcanoes including Egon, Ilimuda, Leroboleng, and Lewotobiin a mountain chain dividing it into several regions with distinctive languages and traditions, scenic beauty, good beaches, and natural wonders. Occupying a unique position at the junction of the Australian and Asian submarine ridges, between the two distinct fauna regions marked by the Wallace Line, here is one of the world’s most dynamic marine environments with nearly every species of coral and tropical fish represented.
The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild. The Flores Giant Rat is also endemic to the Island.
In September 2003, at Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, paleoanthropologists discovered skeletons of a previously unknown hominid species. Homo floresiensis, affectionately termed hobbits after the small characters in the Lord of the Rings, appear to be miniaturized versions of Homo erectus standing about one metre tall. They may have existed until as recently as 11,000 BC. Local reports of elf-like people, the Ebu Gogo, or the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, have caused speculation that Flores man may have survived into the historical period, or even to the present. The discovery has been published in the October 28, 2004, issue of Nature magazine and the April 2005 issue of the National Geographic Magazine. Flores was also a habitat of the extinct Stegodon dwarf elephant until approximately 18,000 years ago. It also was the habitat of species of giant rodents. It is speculated by scientists that limited resources drove the few species that lived upon the island to gigantism and dwarfism
Flores Island, 6,627 sq mi (17,164 sq km), of Indonesia, is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Flores is heavily wooded, rugged, and mountainous, rising to 7,872 ft (2,399 m). The inhabitants are predominantly Christian, mainly Roman Catholic; those in the west are chiefly Malayans, and those in the east are Papuans. Corn and coconuts are grown. Ende (1990 pop. 48,966) is the chief town and port. Among the prehistoric inhabitants of the island were small-proportioned humans (classified as Homo floresiensis in 2004) that may have evolved from Homo erectus and lived on Flores as recently as 13,000 years ago. Some scientists, however, believe that remains are those of micro cephalic modern humans who also suffered from dwarfism. Much later under the rule of Sulawesi princes, Flores came under Dutch influence c.1618. The Dutch gradually gained control of the island, although Portugal held the eastern end until 1851 and the natives were not completely subjugated until 1907.
The weather in Flores like the rest of Indonesia tropical and based on a wet and a dry season that alternate every year. Indonesia’s area is so vast and includes so many islands that it is impossible to deal with the entire country in isolation as there are equatorial mountains in Iran Jaya and Papua that are actually snow capped which differ greatly in climate and weather patterns to the sun kissed beaches of Bali. Thankfully the weather in Flores is practically good with extended dry season weather and with close proximity to the coast; there is often a cool breeze. The Wet season is commonly between November and March leaving April to October to the dry season. This is a general guideline which can shift depending on local and large weather patterns meaning that the transition periods between the seasons can shift, this may be something you wish to consider if booking a holiday in the transition periods. This dry arid climate extends to the surrounding islands and along Flores coastline where rainfall is also very low.
How to get there
There are several daily / scheduled flights from Bali to some city in Flores such as Labuan Bajo and Maumere or Regular local ferry is also available departing from Benoa Harbour to Labuan Bajo. Alternatively, you can come through land transportation from island to other island. From Bali, you have to cross 3 straight on 2 island Lombok and Sumbawa island.
Best time to travel
The best time for a visit is a dry season: from April until the end of October or November. In the period April until June the islands are very green; towards September they are dull and brown.