» Indonesia, Flores Island and Komodo NP – A Cruise to See Lizards
Indonesia, Flores Island and Komodo NP – A Cruise to See Lizards
It is almost impossible to go to Indonesia and avoid the masses of tourists today. Most tourists end up on the islands of Bali or Gili, some of them continue to the island of Lombok, Java or Sumatra. Would you like to avoid these places? Are you looking for a bigger adventure? Then go even further and discover the natural beauty of Flores Island and its Komodo National Park.
The Komodo National Park is made up of not only the three famous islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, but also 26 small adjacent islands. This national park is inscribed on the UNESCO list. It is known for two reasons. It is home to Komodo dragons, the largest lizards in the world, which you can see in the wild on the islands of Komodo and Rinca. An experience that should not be missing on the list of any traveler. These exotic three-meter creatures look very lazy, but they can be very fast predators. However, they are unlikely to be in hunting mode during your visit. However, for security reasons, you can go on a tour of the island only accompanied by park rangers. A permit valid for only one day is required to visit the national park. If you want to go to both of these islands, we recommend planning a visit for one day.
The second attraction is the pristine seabed and rich underwater life. Diving on Flores is one of the world's best. Sharks, rays, barracudas, manta rays and breathtaking coral reefs. Does that seem unrealistic to you? Within a few minutes, these incredible underwater creatures can flicker around you. You will never forget diving in Komodo National Park!
Sailing on the Comodo Islands Is the Best What You Can Get!
For most travelers, the base of the cruise is the city of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. A great alternative is a cruise to Flores from Bali and Lombok. Embark on a multi-day cruise around these amazing islands and end your adventure on Flores. You can book a cruise through various operators in your hotel, but also directly at the port. You can go on this adventure all year round, but the best time for cruises is the months from April to December. The sea is calmer and showers are only occasional. Cruises are organized for both individuals and larger groups.
Enjoy a Trip to Remember
In addition to the mentioned islands of Komodo and Rinca, you will also visit the island of Padar. When you climb it to the top, where there is a fantastic view, you will sweat, but the views of the surrounding hills and the sea on both sides are worth the effort. You dock at Pink Beach. This little piece of paradise is known for its pinkish sand, a mixture of white sand and small pieces of red coral brought by the waves. You will not believe your eyes. The sand is real pink. And the water? It is clear blue! Another exciting stop during the cruise is mooring in the middle of the ocean, where you can swim with giant manta rays. Thanks to the combination of their gigantic size, dark colored skin and clear water, it usually doesn't take long to see these underwater creatures. The magical atmosphere on the ship is tuned only by the shining rays of the setting sun.
GPS: 8°31'38.2"S 119°29'01.8"E
Text and photos: Andrea Meluzínová
The huge crater lake, the largest in the world, is created by a massive volcanic eruption that occurred more than 100,000 years ago. The volcano subsequently collapsed, and over the next few years, the crater filled with water, creating the world's largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba. In the middle of the lake rises the green island of Samosir, whose shores are surrounded by mountain peaks and forests.
Nusa Penida is situated southeast from very famous Indonesian island of Bali. It features regular ferry lines. Tourist infrastructure there is quite underdeveloped yet it has been improving. Should you prefer less tourist crowded areas and you like amazing vistas and great beaches, I recommend you to spend there three days at least.
Bali is Indonesia's most interesting island with the capital Denpasar. The air is interwoven with local Hinduism, which differs from classical Hinduism by the added elements of local traditional faith. What certainly Bali cannot deny is the magical nature. Both attract to the island not only a lot of tourists, but also people come here for spiritual renewal, life reboots or just a good rest.
This famous Indonesian island is often referred to as the pearl of Indonesia, a paradise on earth or a place with a magical atmosphere. And rightly so. The local nature is absolutely charming. Bali is especially popular for its rice terraces, but it can offer much more. Let's take a look.
The island of Bali does not have many well-known cities to attract tourists, more visitors are attracted by its picturesque nature and beautiful temples. However, when you arrive in Bali, it would be a pity to omit them completely from your itinerary.
Goa Giri Putri cave temple sometimes go by the name of nearby village of Goa Karangsari. High limestone caves are situated on the east coast of Nusa Penida, half way between Sampalan and Suana. As this is a temple, you have to wear a sarog, a piece of cloth wrappend around your waist to cover your lower body. If you don't have one you may rent one for 5 000 IDR (about 10 CZK).
We start our journey through western Malaysia a bit unusually, by going for three nights to the Indonesian city of Medan in North Sumatra. From the airport located in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur several times a day, the low-cost airline Air Asia flies, and in less than an hour you can reach Medan (specifically Kualanamu Airport). It is the largest Sumatran city, the fifth most populous city in Indonesia.
After several hours of trekking in the damp jungle, you will hear a rust, raise your head, and there is an orange furry creature swinging from the liana to the liana. The feeling of pure excitement when you see the orangutan in your natural environment. Orangutan? Yes, orangutan. You do not have to go to the zoo anymore, just connect your visit to the famous Bali with the little village of Ketambe in the middle of the dense forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Today you will visit the town of Berastagi and climb the Sibayak volcano. Buses called Murni Expres leave from Medan.
This time we are heading to the Sumatran jungle. Along the way we stop for lunch, the food is great in Indonesia.
We start our month long trip across Indonesia in its capital city of Jakarta (Java island). We did our best to leave it as soon as possible. Our first stop was on Muria peninsula, central Java (it runs into the Java Sea in the north).
In our last article you learned more about Mt Muria, the holy mountain. We got there accidentally as we had different reasons why we traveled to Muria peninsula. There is a ferry on the northwestern coast (it departs from Jepara town) and it transports passengers to Karimunjawa National Park. We set aside two days because the ferry can cancel its trip due to huge waves. However, even two days extra were not enough.
Trip to Bromo volcano in Bromo Tengger Semer National Park is probable one of the best travel experiences in Indonesia. The trip is highly organized and most touristic. Despite it is very expensive you will long remember it as a wonderful experience.
We almost freezed on Penanjakan platform. We enjoyed the view over volcanic terrain and were on our way in jeep back to Tengger’s crater flat bedrock. Then we go afoot (under great volcanic conditions) to Bromo’s edge. The volcano is still active.
Rinjani volcano is the dominant sight on the Lombok peninsula. This second highest mountain in Indonesia is located at the altitude of 3726 meters. This one is a too much of temptation for any mountaineer.
We had seen many places on Java. Ijen volcano is, however, something entirely different. Sulfur miners work in harsh conditions here. Tourists pay entrance fee to see this unique thing. Blue flames, another symbol of the volcano, flicker behind the miners. This is the last spot on Java we saw before departing for Bali on the east.
It is night. We are on the edge of Ijen volcano which is famous for its blue flames. To see everything from up close we descended down the crater. Then we saw the first bearer. It was a slim man having a bamboo bar on his shoulder. On both ends there were two baskets filled up with sulfur rocks. We got out of his way. And he passed buy us. While we were descending, the smell of sulfur was increasing in its intensity.
We are still on our day-long trip on Bali. We leave Singaraja town in the island’s north. Our next goal is the area surrounding Batur volcano.
We left Java for Bali. It is very different from other 17 thousand Indonesian islands. Many holidaymakers chose it as the place for vacation. Nature on the island is diverse and there are many contrasts. The atmosphere is wonderful and extraordinary. But to get such impressions we had to travel across the island first. We intended to travel through and through the central highlands. This would allow us to learn about the terrain and decide on which volcano to climb. Our route ran from the south to the north and back to the south in the tot al length of 200 kilometers (13 hours of ride on a scooter).
We stand on the edge of a caldera in Lombok’s north. We are in Crater Rim Senar camp. Ahead is a strenuous descend to Senaru village. It is not steep yet long (21 kilometers) and it goes through living breathing rain forest.
Early climb up the summit is done, successfully. We are on our second day in Rinjani territory. Even though we were sick and tired of walking we had to leave Sembalun Crater Rim and continue further on. The night at Anak lake was upon us.
Welcome back! We continue in our trip across Indonesia. Now we are below the summit of Rinjani (we are at about 2350 meters). Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest mountain. The night is upon us as well as the very climb to the summit (3726 m).
The trip to Rinjani is already arranged for us. Next part of our Indonesian adventure can therefore being! There is one main route (if not the only one) for getting up and back down. This trail goes from Senar to Sembalun. The trip’s length could be either 2,3 or 4 days long.
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