Discover Indonesia’s Eastern Islands

enquire now 12 Days From NZD $3,920 pp twinshare
Small group
Terms & Conditions apply

Why book this trip?

Travel through remote Flores to take in scenery lush with jungle, paddy fields and dramatic volcanoes. Walk through tribal villages and admire views of picturesque crater lakes and volcanoes, before ending on the beaches of Bali.

  • Moni – Climb Kelimutu volcano for sunrise views of the three turquoise crater lakes
  • Bajawa – Walk through traditional villages on the unspoilt island of Flores
  • Komodo National Park – Search for Komodo dragons and overnight on a boat.


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

DAY 1 – Tour starts in Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali

Arrive in Ubud and check-in at the hotel. Located around 200-300 metres above sea level Ubud is surrounded by terraced paddy fields and is well known as the cultural heart of the island of Bali. The village itself is today a busy hive of artistic activity with many shops selling locally made bamboo furniture, wood and stone carvings, paintings and other arts and crafts. Traditional Hindu-Balinese dance performances take place most evenings.

DAY 2 – From Ubud, visit a temple in traditional Balinese style, and walk to ancient Royal tombs

This morning we make our way to a local project, where we meet the staff who will help us create Balinese temple offerings, typically made up of small palm leaf baskets filled with flowers and rice, which we take with us to Tirta Empul temple. Here we have the opportunity to experience the ritual of entering a temple as a local Balinese would. We change into traditional dress and ask permission to enter by placing our offerings at the entrance. Here we may also bathe in the holy waters. We advise you dress in a white shirt or blouse for this day – you will be loaned a Balinese sarong for the duration of the visit to the temple.

From here we continue north to Gunung Kawi, where we walk down towards the Pakarisan River, along around 100 steps, to see beautiful 11th century Royal tombs cut into a sheer cliff face. We then make our way back up the steps to re-join our bus and return to the local project where we can enjoy lunch, before returning to Ubud for some for time in the afternoon – an ideal opportunity to explore the shops and market, or simply relax at the hotel.

DAY 3 – Fly from Bali to Flores; drive through picturesque countryside to Moni

Today we fly to Ende on eastern Flores Island. On arrival we embark on a scenic 3 hour drive. Our journey takes us through a picturesque landscape of rice fields, coffee plantations and olive trees as well as small villages. We wind our way to Moni, our base from where we climb Kelimutu volcano, we drive alongside a river and see a beautiful gorge as we climb through the mountains to our destination.

DAY 4 – From Moni, climb Kelimutu volcano for views of three crater lakes

We have early start today as we make our way to the base of Kelimutu volcano. We climb to the summit for an unforgettable sunrise panorama. The walk takes around 30-40 minutes over a series of steps interspersed with flatter sections, the final 10-15 minutes covers 127 relatively steep steps. Our reward at the summit, on a clear day, is the view of three crater lakes; some of the most spectacular in the world. The names of the lakes translate to Lake of Old People, Lake of Young Men and Maidens, and Bewitched or Enchanted Lake.

The latter two lakes are in close proximity and share a crater wall, but the most outstanding feature of these lakes is their differing colours, depending on the changing mineral content of the water at any given time. You may see a turquoise lake next to a black one! It is then no surprise that this area of stunning and unusual natural beauty was once an important place for spiritual rituals. After some time to enjoy this beautiful place we make the journey back down off the volcano and return to Moni. Here we have some free time to see traditional Lionese ethnic minority houses, stone seats and a sacred cemetery in the village, or simply return to the hotel to relax.

DAY 5 – Scenic drive to the hill town of Bajawa

Today we leave the mountains behind as we head to the south east coast back to Ende, from where we drive along the coast past a stunning green stone beach, before winding our way back uphill to Bajawa, surrounded by lush jungle covered slopes and volcanoes. Bajawa is the spiritual heartland of the Ngada tribal people, who are made up from five tribal groups living in the surrounding area, each with their own customs, language, beliefs and traditional dress.

DAY 6 – From Bajawa, hike through traditional Ngada tribal villages

This morning we drive to Wolobobo, from where we enjoy magnificent views of Ebulobo and Inerie volcanoes. Continuing on we drive to the foot of Inerie from where we take an easy walk through several small traditional Ngada villages with a local guide. The largest village is Bena, where we find megalithic stones along with offering and meeting places in between rows of stilt houses with steep thatched grass roofs. Walking through the village gives a sense of going back in time.

The Ngada retain their animist beliefs after having been essentially forced to convert to Catholicism by Dutch missionaries in the 1920s, hence images of Jesus and Mary feature amidst pig jaws, buffalo horns and tribal art! From a viewpoint we can overlook the village, the volcano and the blue waters of the Sawu Sea, before we continue on and take a short walk to another traditional village called Luba, before returning to Bajawa.

DAY 7 – Drive through the beautiful countryside of central Flores to Ruteng

We spend the day making our way through a stunning landscape, passing dense jungle, active volcanoes and the rice fields of central Flores as we make our way west across the island. Finally we reach our destination of Ruteng in the district of Mangarai. This mainly Catholic city located at an altitude of 1170 metres above sea level and surrounded by paddy fields enjoys a cooler climate. We overnight here before our boat expedition into the Komodo archipelago.

DAY 8 – Cruise to Rinca Island for Komodo dragon safari walk; overnight on boat

This morning we make our way to the harbour and board our boat. All our meals for our two day cruise will be prepared and served on board, the first one being a lunch as we head off to our first port of call. We disembark on Rinca Island itself and meet with some of the national park’s rangers (one ranger per group of five), who will lead us carefully along a trail into Komodo dragon territory to see if we can spot them. Komodo dragons, known locally as ‘ora’, are highly dangerous giant lizards reaching up to lengths of over 3.5 metres and weighing up to 150 kilos, more usually though they are around 2.5 metres in length.

Hidden in the undergrowth the Komodo dragons wait patiently for their prey, such as deer and water buffalo – which we are likely to see in the national park – and when the time is right they ambush their victim and bite into them releasing a toxic venom from glands within their lower jaw causing a slow death. We walk for around two hours across a relatively flat terrain covering around 5km. Komodo dragons are likely to be seen in greater numbers after the mating season which takes place between May and August.

We overnight on our private boat in simple shared accommodation, made up of double and single bunk beds in two mixed-sex cabins. Facilities include two toilets and a salt water shower, with a limited amount of fresh water for bathing. You may choose to sleep on deck under the stars as we anchor for the night.

DAY 9 – Cruise to Komodo Island for Komodo dragon safari walk; snorkelling and swimming off Pink Beach

This morning we make our way to Komodo Island itself where we take another safari walk with national park rangers to spot the Komodo dragons, and learn a little more about these imposing beasts.

Afterwards we make a short cruise to the beautiful Pink Beach, which take its name from the pink sand created from red coral. The beach itself is small but very picturesque and sees relatively few visitors. There are pockets of shade under some trees to chill out when not taking a dip in the shallow ocean water. Not to be missed, however, is the snorkelling on the spectacularly colourful coral reef a short swim from the beach. For those without their own snorkelling equipment this can be hired in advance from Labuan Bajo.

Komodo National Park was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1986 and includes the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Mota, Nusa Kode and Padar. This diverse marine area boasts over a 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of reef building coral as well as a significant amount of other marine life.

After lunch we return to Labuan Bajo for the night before our return to Bali.

DAY 10 – Free morning; Fly to Bali and drive to Sanur Beach

The morning is free, either to relax at the hotel or perhaps to explore the small town and market of Labuan Bajo. This afternoon we fly back to Bali and drive to the beach at Sanur where we can relax for a day before our tour ends.

DAY 11 – Free time at Sanur Beach; opportunity to visit Lembongan Island or explore East Bali

The day is free for you to choose how to spend it. You may wish to relax on the golden sand beaches of Sanur or explore the souvenir shops, cozy bars and small restaurants of the village itself. Alternatively, you can take a boat excursion to the nearby island of Lembongan, and spend the day snorkelling, taking a tour of the mangroves by canoe and relaxing on one of the island’s many sandy beaches. Another option is a tour of East Bali starting with a cultural Barong dance performance, a visit to the bat cave of Goa Lawa, a walk through the traditional village of Tengagan and a visit to the water palace of Tritagangga.

DAY 12 – Tour ends in Sanur

Our tour ends after breakfast.



Breakfast: 11

Lunch: 3

Dinner: 1


Explore Tour Leader

Boat Crew








1 nights simple boat

2 nights hotel

7 nights comfortable hotel

1 nights simple hotel

Images courtesy of Explore Worldwide