Flores island

Liang Bua Cave at Ruteng, Manggarai, Flores

“Liang Bua” which means “cold cave” is an archaeological site thought to be formed around 190,000 years ago. It is located at north side of Ruteng, capital of Manggarai Regency.

On 2003, fossil of “Hobbit”* (or “Flo” or “Homo Floresiensis /Flores man”) where found in this cave, the fossil was adult female, and its height only one meter. This fossil was thought to be 10,000 years old. Whether this “Homo Floresiensis” is a different species from human or not, it is still on the debate.

This discovery suggests that the civilization is very old, as old as Pithecanthropus Erectus which was found in the ancient sediment at Bengawan Solo River, Central Java.

The “Flo” has a characteristic of wrist and ankle between human and apes. The bone forehead is very prominent, no chin and brain volume is only 430 cc (human brain volume is 1,400 cc). It is believed that they live in the Pleistocene Era (2 million – 12,000 BC).

The “Flo” has arisen the new theory of migration from North or South East Asia to East Nusa Tenggara islands. Previously, it was believed that the migration is coming from Sumatera through Java to East Nusa Tenggara.

*) Hobbit are a fictional diminutive race in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s fiction “The Lord of the rings”.

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Batu Cermin Cave

Batu cermin (meaning: mirror rock) is a natural cave that have a crystal like walls that reflects lights when hit by a light.

Fossils of coral reefs, fishes and turtles on this cave’s walls give us a hint that this place was beneath sea level million years ago.

In some points the stalactite and stalagmite meets the roots of the trees hanging down and in the middle of the cave sunlight penetrate through the cracks of the ceiling cave.

Located east of Labuan Bajo port, this cave can be explored by pay admission fee and local guide fee.

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Labuan Bajo – How to get there

Labuan Bajo can be access by land, sea and air.

By air

Transnusa air:

–          Denpasar (Bali)-Labuan Bajo (and return); ± 1.5 hours: daily

–          Kupang-Labuan Bajo (and return); ± 1.5 hours: Mon, Wed & Sat

–          Ende-Labuan Bajo (and return); ± 40 min: Mon, Wed & Sat

Merpati Air:

–          Jakarta-Denpasar-Labuan Bajo and return : daily

–          Denpasar-Labuan Bajo and return; ± 1.5 hours: daily

Lion Air:

–          Jakarta-Denpasar-Labuan Bajo (and return): Tue, Thu, Sat

–          Denpasar-Labuan Bajo (and return); ± 1.5 hours: Tue, Thu, Sat

By sea

– Ferry Benoa (Bali)-Bima-Labuan Bajo: every 2 weeks, on Saturdays

– Ferry Labuan Bajo-Bima-Benoa (Bali): every two weeks, on Thursday

– Ferry Labuan Bajo-Makassar: every two weeks, on Sunday

There are also several cruising package to Komodo island (depart from Labuan Bajo or Benoa-Bali) in groups or private charter.

By land

–          By bus from Mataram (Lombok) to Kayangan Port: ± 4 hours – by bus (ferry) from Kayangan Port to Tanu Port: ± 2 hours  – by bus from Tanu Port to Terminal Bara Bima at Bima (Sumbawa): ± 6 hours – by minibus from Terminal Bara Bima to Sape Port: ± 2 hours – by ferry from Sape Port to Bajo Port at Labuan Bajo (Flores): ±8 hours.

If we arrive at Sape Port after 8.00 AM we have to wait to the next day because the ferry is departing to Bajo Port on 8.00 AM daily.

–          By bus from Padang Bay (Bali) to Lembar (Lombok): ± 4 hours – by bus from Mataram (Lombok) to Kayangan Port: ± 4 hours – by bus (ferry) from Kayangan Port to Tanu Port: ± 2 hours  – by bus from Tanu Port to Terminal Bara Bima at Bima (Sumbawa): ± 6 hours – by minibus from Terminal Bara Bima to Sape Port: ± 2 hours – by ferry from Sape Port to Bajo Port at Labuan Bajo (Flores): ±8 hours.

–          Ende – Labuan Bajo: ± 12 hours (updated info: mid 2011).

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Flores: Ngada

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Flores: Larantuka, Maumere & Kelimutu (Ende)

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Flores: Manggarai, Manggarai Timur & Manggarai Barat

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Ende/Kelimutu – How to get there

By flight: Denpasar-Bima-Ende or Kupang-Ende

By travel shuttle car from Ruteng (around 7 hour): Ruteng-Bajawa-Ende or Mauemere-Ende.

By bus from Jakarta: Jakarta-Bima-Sape-Labuan Bajo-Ende.

By sea: Denpasar-Waingapu-Ende or Labuan Bajo-Waingapu-Ende.

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Pink beach & Red beach

Pink Beach and Red Beach at Komodo Island is one of the most interesting tourism objects in Komodo National Park. It gains its name by its pink color sand beach that formed from coral debris, on which foraminifera amoeba give a pink/red color to coral. It’s a beautiful beach and perfect site to snorkeling and diving.

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Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is located at western side of the Flores Island. The National Park was established in 1980. It is then declared as a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and as World Heritage Site in 1991 by UNESCO. Komodo National Park consists of Komodo island and Rinca island and other uninhabited islands: Padar, Gili Motang, Nusa Kode and other 24 small islands. Komodo National Park biodiversity is include 385 species of coral reefs, 1,000 species of coral fishes, 70 species of sponges,  6 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, 3 species of sea turtles, manta-rays, 32 species of mammals, 128 species of birds and 37 species of reptiles.

Komodo National Park – How to get there

Komodo island and Rinca island and other small islands around can be access from Labuan Bajo (western Flores island) and from Bima (east side of Sumbawa island).  Both cities has a direct flight access from Bali.

From Labuan Bajo, there’s a lot tour package from tour guides or tour service from hotels to visit Komodo islands. And also there are lots of fishing boat that can be chartered from local fisherman, start from Rp 2,000,000/round trip with approx. 4 hours/trip . The average fishing boat capacity is 10 people/boat. Other choice is using speedboat which is faster (approx. 1.5 hr/trip) but more expensive, around Rp 4 million (updated info: mid 2011).

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Diving in Komodo and Rinca

Komodo is one of the best diving sites in Indonesia (second best after Raja Ampat, Papua by National Geographic Traveler Indonesia). Its ocean current is one of the fast ocean current in the world. That’s why when we diving we must carefully follow the local guide instructions. Under the sea you can expect to meet a whale shark, manta-rays and many formations of coral walls and trenches.

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