Q: HOW DO I GET TO FLORES?
A: The most convenient way to enter Flores is via a transit flight from Bali. Garuda Indonesia and Lion/Wings Air offer daily connection between Denpasar In Bali and Labuan Bajo in Flores. The flight time is about 1hr 20 min. There are also airports on the east side of the island in Ende and Maumere. If you are coming only to see Komodo National Park than round trip to Labuan Bajo is good. But if you would like to see more of the beautiful island it is strongly recommended to start on one end and work your way to the other (not round trip).
There are also various ferries that come and go from to Labuan Bajo from Bali and Lombok.
Q: WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT FLORES?
A: The best time to visit Flores is during the non-rainy season from March to November. All the national parks including Komodo and Kelimutu National Parks are opened 365 days a year but be prepared for muddy roads and cloudly skies if you visit during the rainy season from December to February.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
A: The island is large and mountainous...which means there are different climates. Along the coast on the beach is sunny and warm, with only a slight drop in temperature at night. Bring all the normal sun essentials (swimsuit, suncreen, etc.). If you are venturing into the island (Wae Rebo or Kelimutu) the temperature is drastically colder, especially at night. You will want to bring long pants and a heavy sweater or jacket. Trekking shoes and a day pack are also good to bring.
Q: How DO I PAY?
A: In Flores, only Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is accepted for cash payments. In general, the payment in Flores is cash-based (not credit cards). There are ATMs in the district capitals which that accept the major credit cards (Visa/ Master) where you can get cash. The ATMs of BNI (National Bank of Indonesia) are the most reliable. The banks will also change your foreign currency into IDR. In Labuan Bajo, you also have the option to change your money at local money changers. Be sure to check about their exchange rates and fees before the transaction. Travellers Cheques are rather difficult to change.
Q: ARE THERE ANY EXTRA FEES?
Everything is included in the tour price except for lunch, dinner, alcohol, and souvenirs. Tipping on Flores is not expected but if you feel that someone in the service industry did an above average job it is appreciated.
Q: WHAT IS THE CULTURE LIKE?
While visiting Flores, you will notice many cultural differences, also in matters of behavior. The Florenese take time to greet each other, make conversation, and maybe even have a cup of coffee together. The lifestyle is slow paced and Westerners may frequently notice that they run on Florenese time. Visitors who respect the local customs and traditions will find a heartwarming hospitality from their Indonesian hosts and get an unforgettable travel experience. Please dress modestly in traditional villages and act respectful.
A journey to a foreign country is always a trip through its culinary landscapes and a door to the social world of its inhabitants. For the Florinese people, eating and especially sharing a meal with their family and friends, is a very important part of their communal life. Therefore, meals are not only a means to get one’s caloric intake, but a symbol for sharing, social cohesion, communication, family unity and integration. Meals always include rice (nasi) and frequently include noodles (mie).
Q: HOW IS THE WIFI/TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK COVERAGE?
Telecommunication including 3G is readily available in most part of Flores including Komodo National Park except in more remote places like Wae Rebo. A local pre-paid sim card with 2-4 GD data bundle typically costs less than 150K IDR. Telkomsel has the best coverage in Flores and their simcard brand is called SimPATI.
With the current insufficient network facilities, a fast reliable internet and mobile connection still is somewhat of a luxury in Flores. Many hotels and restaurants offer free wifi services for their guests. You can find internet cafes as well as a fair mobile network in the district capitals and the larger towns, be prepared to be cut off from mobile communication in remoter areas.
Q: IS thE waTEr SaFE TO DRINK?
Tap water in Flores is not fit for direct drinking. Bottled water is easily accessible all around the islands. Hotels and restaurants also frequently have water jugs delivered and drinking water available for guests.
Water used for showering, washing and toilets is delivered by truck or in some cases comes from a well. This is safe for washing but not for drinking. Also please be mindful and try to not waste the water.
Q: HOW ARE THE ROAD CONDITIONS?
Major towns and destinations in Flores are connected by paved roads which are well maintained and relatively free of potholes. However, due to the mountainous terrain, the roads are generally narrow, steep and winding with average driving speed around 30km/hr. Most other roads (to traditional villages/volcanoes/hot springs) in Flores are unpaved with potholes. One needs a four-wheel-drive or car with good suspension to travel on these dirt roads.