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Explore the Sunda islands: for nature lovers

A stop in two of the principal Sunda islands: Komodo and Flores. An adventure that you are not likely to forget!

Komodo National Park

The ideal way to discover this world that looks like it came straight out of prehistoric times, is to go on a cruise in the Komodo archipelago. It is composed of three main islands : Rinca, Padar and of course, Komodo.

Cruises are most often the preferred means for going on a visit to the park. Several agencies will offer you their services, the competition is fierce. Cruises generally last 2 or 3 days and there are some for all budgets. The activities included are the exploration of desert islands and their exceptional beaches, swimming, hikes and encounters with the famous Komodo varanus, a species unique to this place.

They can be two or three yards in length and at this size they are the biggest lizards in the world. Always keep well clear of them, for they can be very aggressive with visitors, hence the name of "Komodo dragons". Komodo National Park stretches over 695 ml2, and this, over many islands, all small for the most part. The lizards live mainly on Rinca and Komodo .

The lizards are not the only inhabitants of these volcanic islands, as close to 4 000 people also live on the different islands. Strangely enough, the human population is smaller than that of the lizard which reaches a total number of about 5 700 animals. Komodo National Park has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 in recognition of its exceptional value.

Sunrise at the summit of Kelimutu volcano

Flores

There is only one road in Flores: the TransFlores! It runs across the island from east to west. The possibilities for getting around are many, but I suggest you go by moped! Hiring them is simple and affordable and makes it easy to meet the local population as you pass through the villages.

Here are some stops that you must make on the way. First, Maumere bay. It is a heavenly place for diving and also the departure point for several excursions.

Leave the beach for a moment and go and climb Kelimutu volcano. The excursion takes off from the village of Moni. The climb takes place at night in order to reach the summit in time for the sunrise. A pleasant surprise awaits you up there, I will say no more!

If you still have time, you will not be disappointed by a stay on Kanawa island. It is the perfect ending to this dream holiday!

The ideal season for a trip to Indonesia stretches from June to October. As for the rainy season, it runs from November to March. The average temperature is 30 degrees Celsius, but if you intend to climb up Kelimutu volcano, you need to take along a light jacket, as it is much cooler at high altitude.

Emilie Couillard
117 contributions
Updated 17 November 2015