Last week we escaped to Flores for three days and seriously, it was amazing! It was my first time and definitely it won't be the last time. What strikes me most is that it is so easy to get there. When you live in Bali, you sometimes get stuck in this bubble. And if you do go on a trip, its mostly just on the island, Lembongan or to the Gilis. And even that will take you already about 2 to 3 hours. The flight to Flores is only 1 hour short from Bali airport, if you decide to fly to Labuan Bajo in West Flores. There are quite a few airlines that fly there from Bali directly (trust me, i am not a fan of planes and it took a lot to get me into that tiny little plane to Flores). But hey, we made it.
We arrived early in the morning on our first day. Labuan Bajo itself is a cute little harbour town by the sea and from there you can take a boat to all the islands around.
After dropping the bags at our hotel, we looked for a boat to explore the islands for the day. We did not want to waste any time, so we found a boat immediately to take us around.
First stop after 1.5 hours was Kanawa Island, a cute little island with crystal clear blue water and an amazing underwater sea life. Starfishes everywhere where you walked and so many different fish species. We did not even go diving, only with snorkeling we saw so much of the underwater sea life already and the water was just sooo clear. It was very quiet (i guess high season really is over) and we barely saw any tourists around, which was epic. Almost the whole island just for us. The water was really still, no waves, and the conditions for snorkeling were perfect. We swam around for quite a while and it did not get boring at all with the interesting underwater sea life. Sun was shining, shiny blue water all around - perfect.
The next stop was Bidadari Island, where the sand banks were completely clean and bright with turquoise water all around. No one else was there, we had the beach completely to ourselves. And we even saw a baby reef shark! It swam so close to the shore and was super cute. It was just so relaxing, sitting in the sand, watching fish swimming around, no other soul, mountains and islands everywhere. It was just a perfect getaway. No noise, no voices - perfect conditions to calm down and start the holiday.
Our hotel was located quite centrally near harbor area, so at night we went into town to get some dinner and drinks. It is quite easy to get around Labuan Bajo and everything seems quite near. The people are really friendly and help you wherever they can.
On the second day, we took a boat to the Komodo National Park for about two hours, where we walked for another two hours to hopefully see some Komodo Dragons. Luckily we saw plenty during the hike that day and it was a beautiful sunny day. There were palm trees everywhere, even though the island itself was so dry and deserted, which made it even more amazing to look at. The landscape was just beautiful and besides Komodo Dragons, we also saw some snakes, deers, monkeys and a few other animals. It was definitely worth it going!
At next, we stopped at a few islands on the way back to Labuan Bajo to do some more snorkeling and to visit few other beaches. Everywhere the water was clear and blue, there were plenty fish around and the sand was super bright. It may sound boring because the islands are quite similar, but it is actually not at all! On every island we had plenty of fun exploring and we always found something new on each island. My personal highlight of the day was our last stop at Kelor Island. There is a little trek up the hill there, from where you can see all the islands around and watch the beautiful ocean with its dark blue, light blue and turquoise colors. You can see far ahead and it is just so relaxing to see wide into the ocean.
After that day trip, we went to Pantai Waecicu area to stay in another hotel. Might as well, that was what we thought, when we were already in Flores. And luckily we did! It was simple, but super nice. We slept in a cute little wooden beach shack with a stunning view over the ocean. One of my favorite memories of that entire trip is sitting by that beach and watching the sunset. It was just beautiful. Mountains, water, boats and the sun.
The hotel was quite isolated, it was only possible to reach it via boat or stairs up the hill (in detail, taking about one thousand stairs through the jungle up until the street up the hill, which we of course also had to explore, especially with our entire bags and all). Even though it was not located far away from town (it took us about 15min with the boat to get there), it was so quiet and it felt like no one else was around.
On our last day, we just lied in a hammock by the beach, watched the still water, read a book and just relaxed before taking the flight back to Bali. Even though it was quite a short trip (we left for the weekend on Friday and flew back Sunday), we still explored quite a lot in that area and it was perfect for a short weekend trip. Definitely I could have stayed a few days longer, but now I have a reason at least to come back! I will for sure do another Flores trip, next time I would love to explore Central Flores as well and just travel around the island more. If you have not been, book a ticket now!