Until not so long ago, Flores was hardly penetrable because of the chain of volcanoes, that stretches across the 450 km long but narrow island.
Labuan Bajo in the West and Maumere in the East are the two main gateways for tourists visiting Flores. Both places have airports with daily flights to Denpasar, Bali.
The easiest and fastest way to reach Flores is by air from Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali. There are daily flights from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo (90 minutes) or Maumere (about 1 h 45 min). Depending on the weather, you may enjoy a spectacular view of the NTB (Nusa Tenggara Barat) and NTT (Nusa Tenggara Timur) island groups.
Unfortunately changes in schedule, prices and operating airlines are the order of the day. The most precise information about the current flight connections is best obtained via the websites of the operating airlines, at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, or at the local travel/airline agencies in Flores.
The airlines that currently fly to Flores are :
Bali office :
– Ngurah Rai Airport office : +62 361 751011 ext 5216, +62 361 759764
– Nusa Dua office : Bali Collection, +62 361 770747, +62 361 770174
– Sanur office : Sanur Beach Hotel, Jalan Danau Tamblingan, +62 361 288011 Ext 1789, +62 361 287915
– Kuta office : Kuta Paradiso Hotel, Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta, +62 361 761414, +62 361 751179
– Labuan Bajo office : Jalan Pius Papu, Ruko Langka kabe Arah Sernaru – Labuan Bajo, +62 385 2443200, +62 82 236 492 266
– Kuta office: Jalan Sunset Road No. 100C, Bali +62 361 8477395
– Ngurah Rai Airport office: +62 361 760218
– Ngurah Rai Airport office: +62 361 765183 or +62 361 751011)
|DPS- LBJ – ENE – KOE
|DPS – LBJ
|DPS – MAUMERE||09.20||10.40|
|MAUMERE – DPS||14.10||15.35|
|KOE – ENDE
|ENDE – KOE
|ENDE – TAMBOLAKA||12.00||12.50|
|TAMBOLAKA – ENDE||13.10||14.00|
|KOE – BAJAWA
|BAJAWA – KOE
|KUPANG – LARANTUKA||06.10||06.55|
|LARANTUKA – KUPANG||07.15||08.00|
|KUPANG – RUTENG||06.00||07.05|
|RUTENG – KUPANG||07.25||09.10|
|RUTENG – ENDE||07.25||08.00|
|DENPASAR – RUTENG||08.30||10.10|
|RUTENG – DENPASAR||10.30||12.50|
|DENPASAR – LABUAN BAJO||08.30||10.50|
|LABUAN BAJO – DENPASAR||10.50||12.50|
|DENPASAR – ENDE||11.40||12.58|
|DENPASAR – MAUMERE||11.40||13.02|
If you are up to a different, more time intensive, travel experience, you can choose to take a PELNI (national ship passenger service) boat from Benoa Harbor in Bali to Labuan Bajo (about 36 hrs), which operates three times a month. There are also monthly PELNI boats from Benoa to Ende (about 2 days 3 hrs). Maumere (about 2 days 5 hrs), and Larantuka (about 3 days 11 hrs). The timetables are unreliable and depend on the season. For updated information and ticket reservation, visit the website www.pelni.co.id, or contact the PELNI office in Kuta, Bali (Jalan Raya Kuta 299, +62 361 763963) or in Benoa, Bali (Jalan Pelabuhan Benoa, +62 361 723689).
The PELNI vessels usually offer several classes: classes 1 – 4 are cabin classes, which provide variable comfort for 2 to 8 people. On each ship there is also an economy class available, which offers large dormitories with mattress pads. More features on board are restaurants, cafeterias, kiosks, and some movie theaters and dance stages. Similarly, on each ship you will find a small mosque. Be aware that PELNI boats often are overloaded with people, animals and vehicle cargo, which may be an interesting, but most probably not relaxing, way to travel.
Another popular route frequently chosen by travelers is to join one of the frequently offered boat trips between Lombok and Flores. These tour boats usually stop at Komodo and take somewhere between one or two nights to reach Labuan Bajo.
Alternatively, Flores Island is also accessible by a combination of overland and sea travel from Bali via Lombok and Sumbawa, and vice versa. This long trip requires an accurate planning.
As you head over from Bali to Lombok and then cross Sumbawa to reach Flores, you may choose between different options of transportation:
To cross the islands overland from harbor to harbor, it is most convenient to take a public bus. For the sea crossing you have the option to take speed boats, local boats or ferries, depending on the on-spot availability.
This alternative way to reach Flores should only be chosen if you have plenty of time to travel. Else, the trip can be stressful because of the unreliable boat connections.