Flores

Flores (Indonesian: Pulau Flores) is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, a group of islands in the eastern half of Indonesia. The population was 1,831,000 in the 2010 census and the largest town is Maumere. The name Flores is derived from the Portuguese for “flowers”.

Native name: Pulau Flores
Topography of Flores
Geography
LocationSouth East Asia
Coordinates8°40′29″S121°23′04″E
ArchipelagoLesser Sunda Islands
Area13,540 km2(5,230 sq mi)[1]
Area rank60th
Length354 km (220 mi)
Width66 km (41 mi)
Highest elevation2,370 m (7,780 ft)
Highest pointPoco Mandasawu
Administration
Indonesia
ProvinceEast Nusa Tenggara
Largest settlementMaumere(pop. 70,000)
Demographics
Population1,831,000 (2010)
Pop. density135 /km2(350 /sq mi)

Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo islands and west of Lembata island and the Alor Archipelago. To the southeast is Timor. To the south, across the Sumba Strait, is Sumba island and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is Sulawesi.

Among all islands containing Indonesian territory, Flores is the 10th most populous after Java, Sumatra, Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi, New Guinea, Bali, Madura, Lombok, and Timor and also the 10th biggest island of Indonesia.

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is the 1,639-metre-high (5,377-foot) Kelimutu volcano which containing three colored lakes, located in the district of Ende close to the town of Moni, although there is also the Inierie volcano near Bajawa. These crater lakes are in the caldera of a volcano, and fed by a volcanic gas source, resulting in highly acidic water. The colored lakes change colors on an irregular basis, depending on the oxidation state of the lake from bright red through green and blue.

There are snorkelling and diving locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, combined with the after effects of a devastating tsunami in 1992, the reefs have slowly been destroyed.

Labuan Bajo, located on the western tip is often used by tourists as a base to visit Komodo and Rinca islands. Labuan Bajo also attracts scuba divers, as whale sharks inhabit the waters around Labuan bajo.

The Luba and Bena villages include traditional houses in Flores. Bena is also noted for its Stone Age megaliths.

Larantuka, on the isle’s eastern end, is known for its Holy Week festivals.

In recent years, local tourist firms around Kelimutu have begun promoting cycling tours around Flores, some of which take up to five or six days depending on the particular program.

Komodo Island

Komodo (Indonesian: Pulau Komodo) is one of the 17,508 islands that comprise the Republic of Indonesia. The island is particularly notable as the habitat of the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on Earth, which is named after the island. Komodo Island has a surface area of 390 square kilometres and a human population of over two thousand. The people of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed with Bugis from Sulawesi. The people are primarily adherents of Islam but there are also Christian and Hindu congregations.

Komodo is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. In addition, the island is a popular destination for diving. Administratively, it is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province

Geography
LocationSouth East Asia
Coordinates8.55°S 119.45°E
ArchipelagoLesser Sunda Islands
Area390 km2(150 sq mi)
Administration
Indonesia
ProvinceEast Nusa Tenggara
Demographics
Populationc. 2000
Ethnic groupsBugis, others

The Komodo dragon, the world’s largest living lizard, takes its name from the island. A type of monitor lizard, it inhabits Komodo Island and some of the smaller surrounding islands, as well as part of western Flores. Javan deer also inhabit the island, though they are not native. Other fauna include water buffalo, banded pigs, civets, cockatoo and macaques.

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