Our Indonesia travel guide aims to point responsible travelers in the right direction when it comes to what we rate & what we don’t as well as all the information you need on food, shopping & people to assist in your quest to discover Indonesia like a local.
The best time to go to Flores
Whether trekking between villages. dragon-watching or catching sunrise on a volcano, aim either side of the busy summer season to make the most of Flores.
Flores is one of the drier parts of Indonesia, even in the hot rainy season which generally runs from December to March you can expect shortish showers and around six hours of sunshine every day. The best time to go to Flores is either between April and June, when the temperature is comfortable, the vegetation lovely and green and the water calm, or between September and November after the peak tourism season has passed and the weather is perfect for trekking – Ruteng, in the highlands, averages around 16°C in November. July and August are the coolest months, around 22°C, with popular snorkel spots packed with boats, and these months are also mating season on Komodo Island, so the giant lizards are harder to spot.
Ruteng Weather Chart
Our Flores Vacations
Things to do in Flores…
Things not to do in Flores…
If you'd like to chat about Flores or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Flores travel advice
Megan Grant from specialist operator Audley Travel travelled extensively around Flores in 2017:
“Most people fly into Labuan Bajo, or sail around between resorts in Komodo NP, so the rest of Flores feels very undeveloped in comparison. The Trans Flores Highway runs east to west and is about the only paved road on the island, which is why we only use 4x4 transport, and never recommend travel in the rainy season as some roads can be simply impassable. Accommodations are very basic, some have showers, others are wash in a bucket. You must be ready to rough it – Flores is for the adventurous traveler happy off the beaten track without any luxuries. We suggest it for someone on their second or third visit to Indonesia, wanting something more challenging.”
Komodo National Park
“For Komodo NP, we work with small, local boats, and moor up just off the island. That way in the mornings we’re hours ahead of the day trippers from Flores, and arrive when the dragons are most active. At the moment there’s no word on whether Komodo Island will be closed off permanently to tourists after 2020. It seems to be one politician driving the idea, but we’re in close communication with our ground team all the time.”
“Tourism in Flores really is in its infancy. It’s a perfect opportunity for responsible tourism operators to come in, advocate for a better way that avoids the mistakes made elsewhere, and hopefully help people there to develop their tourism industry in a way that really benefits their culture and environment.”
Chris Ellis from adventure travel experts Explore with some more handy tips on Flores:
“We rate the climb as easy-moderate and it can generally be undertaken by anyone with a general level of fitness and no mobility issues. The climb usually takes about 30-40 minutes, with varying sections of steeper bits and flatter parts. The last climb up to the summit 127 fairly steep stairs, but the view at the top more than makes the effort worthwhile!”
When to go
“We think the best time to visit Flores is between the months of April and September, when the weather is generally dry and slightly less humid. The sea conditions are generally calmer at this time of year too, which means a more comfortable crossing to Komodo and Rinca, and better visibility for snorkelling.”
“The Ngada are all super friendly and have local crafts (scarves, some Batik etc) for sale. Tour leaders will help translate so that the groups can talk to the locals and learn about how they live. There's sometimes the chance to have a look inside the stilt houses and they'll explain layouts etc – Really underdeveloped for tourism so away from the mass tourist spots elsewhere.”
More about Flores
Here be dragons… our Flores travel guide fills in the blanks on the giant lizards of Komodo in the national park nearby, and also what you can expect from cultural village visits, and the practicalities of a Flores vacation.
Obviously, the chance to see dragons in Komodo National Park is pretty exciting, but so far as we’re concerned, it’s the culture in Flores that is the big draw to this island.