How to Get to Kelimutu lakes flores, Getting to Ende Indonesia - Relax and Fun

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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

How to Get to Kelimutu lakes flores, Getting to Ende Indonesia

Kelimutu lakes
Image from The Blonde Abroad

Kelimutu lakes are located in the eastern part of Flores island and there are 2 cities with airports you can fly into, Ende and Maumere. Ende is a little closer and so I would recommend you start your journey to Kelimutu from there.

Getting to Ende is not too difficult. If you are coming from elsewhere, there are regular flights coming from Bali directly to Ende and Maumere so you can fly into these cities.

Maumere is the largest town in Flores and a great place for a stopover. If you spend the night in Maumere, it’ll take you about four hours to reach Moni. From Moni, the Kelimutu Volcanic Lakes are about forty-five minutes away.

If you are just finishing up your Komodo island trip in Labuan Bajo and you want the fastest way possible to travel to Kelimutu, there are several cheap flights you can take to Ende for as low as 30 USD one way via Wings Air or Garuda Airline.

If you want to travel on-land through Flores, you can take a bus from Labuan Bajo to Ende. It is a long journey so I would recommend you split the trip and stop in Ruteng and Bajawa before arriving in Ende and then head over to Maumere after Kelimutu to take a flight back. Ruteng and Bajawa are really worth stopping.

If you want to book a flight, try searching on Skyscanner or Momondo for "H. Hasan Aroeboesman Airport" or "ENE" and compare prices between airlines. Either you are coming from Bali or Labuan Bajo, you will find plenty of cheap domestic flights to Ende on Skyscanner or Momondo.

You can also browse CheapAir for Cheap flights from where you live to Bali and from Bali to Ende.

Getting to Moni

The road from Ende to Moni is quite stunning.

Once you are in Ende, there are several ways you can get to Moni, the closest village to the mountain.

If you are arriving on a plane, you will likely be arriving around 3 PM and right off the gate, there will see some staffs trying to group people together and when they do, they will issue a private taxi that goes directly to Moni from the airport. This is the fastest way and it can be done easily by finding some people from your flight and share the cost of the private taxi. It should cost you around 30 - 35 USD (450,000 - 500,000 IDR) per car and it should take you around 2 hours to get to Moni.

The problem with this plan is that if you do not have any guesthouses reserved like I did, you will arrive late with most guesthouses in Moni fully booked. Not many guesthouses are available to be reserved online so you will either have to book it through a travel agency or call them up directly. Rest assured though, even if the guesthouses are all booked, there are always friendly locals that will open their homes to you for a price.

The recommended way is to stay one night in Ende, a nice little town with an authentic feel to it, freshen up, have a nice Nasi Ayam at Sari Rasa (best chicken rice ever) and early in the morning, take a local bus, a bemo or a shared car to Moni.

Shared cars are the fastest and most comfortable way to get to Moni. You will be sharing a Toyota Innova (Kijang) with a bunch of locals. It should cost you around 40,000 IDR and will take around 2.5 hours to Moni. Bemos are small vans that run through the island. For 20,000 IDR. you will be there in 3 hours.
Local buses are the most authentic way to travel but not as reliable and are quite slow. It will cost you around 30,000 IDR and you will be there in 3 hours.
Getting to Kelimutu from Moni

There are a few ways you can get to Kelimutu from Moni. You can rent your own motorbike and ride up the road, rented a motorbike + driver (O-jek), or rented a jeep with a driver. It should take around 45 minutes to get from Moni to Kelimutu.

If you rent your own motorbike, you will have to drive up the mountainous road yourself and some parts are still under maintenance due to several landslides so be cautious. You can rent a motorbike from many of the guesthouses along the main road and it should cost you around 125,000-150,000 IDR for a day.

If you don't want to drive yourself, you can get a motorbike + driver (O-Jek) from any of the guesthouses and they will drive you up to the entrance and wait for you. This is the one I personally picked and it cost me 120,000 - 250,000 IDR for both ways.

If you are not traveling alone, you can also hire a jeep + driver to take you there. You will be paying around 350,000 IDR for a round trip.

You can also choose one of this transportation for one way and then walk back to save cost. It will take you around 3 hours to walk back down from Kelimutu to Moni.

Tips for Visiting Kelimutu

Go at Sunrise

Go at surise so that you are likely to have a clear sky. The clouds often rolled in in the afternoon so you are less likely to have a nice view then.

Do not visit on Sundays or Public Holidays

Do not visit on Sundays or Public Holidays because you will be charged more for the entrance fee then if you visited Kelimutu on weekdays. You will be charged 150,000 IDR on weekdays and 250,000 IDR on Sundays and public holidays.

Ask for your driver's phone number

Ask for your driver's phone number if you have hired a driver for the sunrise as you will be leaving at 4 AM and there were many tourists who their drivers didn't show up. Mine almost didn't show up so be sure to get the number to call them up when things like this happen.

Wait until the sun shines on the lakes

Wait until the sun shines on the lakes before you leave because the colors of the lakes are most vibrant when the sun is higher up in the sky. Plus, there will be considerably less people now.

Don't stay at the viewpoint only

Go walk around the area off the fence to find a quieter spot as it can be quite crowded up there especially during the sunrise. Don't let the crowds ruin your trip, and find a quiet place and watch the sunrise.

Grab your Jackets

Layer up especially if you are planning to visit Kelimutu at sunrise. It is quite chilly up there so prepare a fleece and a wind-breaker jacket when hiking up the mountain.

Have Sturdy Shoes

Prepare sturdy shoes as you will be hiking for about 15 - 30 minutes before you reach the viewpoint. Most of the trail is paved but if you want to go off the beaten path, you will need good shoes to do so.

Do not feed the monkeys

They are still nice and well-behaved here unlike in Bali. They will become more aggressive the more you feed them as they will expect food from people and they will start stealing.

And there you have it. A comprehensive guide on how to get to Kelimutu. Are you planning a trip to Indonesia? If you have any questions regarding traveling in Indonesia feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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