Flores Island

Flores Island

Things to do - general

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”.

Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata 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.

Country Indonesia
Area (km2)15,624.98

Sports & nature

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild, and is part of Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kelimutu National Park is the second national park designated on Flores to protect endangered species. The Flores giant rat is also endemic to the island, and Verhoeven's giant tree rat was formerly present. These giant rodents are considered examples of island gigantism.

Flores was also the habitat of several extinct dwarf forms of the proboscidean Stegodon, the most recent (Stegodon florensis insularis) disappearing approximately 12,000 years ago[10] and the diminutive Homo floresiensis. It is speculated by scientists that limited resources and an absence of advanced predators made the few megafaunal species that reached the island subject to insular dwarfism.

Sports and nature image

Culture and history info

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the centre of the island in the districts of Ngada, Nagekeo, and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu'e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So'a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha.

The peoples of Flores are almost entirely Roman Catholic Christians, whereas most other Indonesians are Muslim. As a consequence, Flores may be regarded as surrounded by a religious border. The prominence of Catholicism on the island results from its colonisation by Portugal. In other parts of Indonesia with significant Christian populations, such as the Maluku Islands and Sulawesi, the geographical divide is less rigid and Muslims and Christians sometimes live side by side. Flores thereby also has less religious violence that has sporadically occurred in other parts of Indonesia. There are several churches on the island.

Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka's language, culture and religion. The first Portuguese visit took place in 1511, through the expedition of António de Abreu and his vice-captain Francisco Serrão, en route through the Sunda islands.

The Dominican order was extremely important in this island, as well as in the neighbouring islands of Timor and Solor. When in 1613 the Dutch attacked the Fortress of Solor, the population of this fort, led by the Dominicans, moved to the harbor town of Larantuka, on the eastern coast of Flores. This population was mixed, of Portuguese and local islanders descent and Larantuqueiros, Topasses or, as Dutch knew them, the 'Black Portuguese' (Zwarte Portuguezen).

The Larantuqueiros or Topasses became the dominant sandalwood trading people of the region for the next 200 years. This group used Portuguese as the language for worship, Malay as the language of trade and a mixed dialect as mother tongue. This was observed by William Dampier, an English privateer visiting the Island in 1699:

These (the Topasses) have no Forts, but depend on their Alliance with the Natives: And indeed they are already so mixt, that it is hard to distinguish whether they are Portuguese or Indians. Their Language is Portuguese; and the religion they have, is Romish. They seem in Words to acknowledge the King of Portugal for their Sovereign; yet they will not accept any Officers sent by him. They speak indifferently the Malayan and their own native Languages, as well as Portuguese.
In 1846, Dutch and Portuguese initiated negotiations towards delimiting the territories but these negotiations led nowhere. In 1851 Lima Lopes, the new governor of Timor, Solor and Flores, agreed to sell eastern Flores and the nearby islands to the Dutch in return for a payment of 200,000 Florins in order to support his impoverished administration. Lima Lopes did so without the consent of Lisbon and was dismissed in disgrace, but his agreement was not rescinded and in 1854 Portugal ceded all its historical claims on Flores. After this, Flores became part of the territory of Dutch East Indies.

During World War II a Japanese invasion force landed at Reo on 14 May 1942 and occupied Flores.
After the war Flores became part of independent Indonesia.

On 12 December 1992, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred, killing 2,500 people in and around Maumere, including islands off the North coast.

 

Culture and history image

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

Flores - Komodo Tours And Cycling

Flores - Komodo Tours And Cycling

Kelimutu National Park, Komodo National Park, Flores Island
Duration : 11 Day / 10 Nights Price per person: USD 1.775 1st Day: Denpasar – Maumere (-/-/D) Arriva More info
West Flores Trekking And Cycling

West Flores Trekking And Cycling

Flores Island
West Flores trekking cycling is a program with short duration to explore west part of Flores. Star t More info

Unfortunately there are no cruise offers at this location at the moment.

Toyota Inova

Toyota Inova

Max people5
Door count4
Minimum driver age5
TransmissionManual
Air-conditioned?Yes
Unlimited mileage?No
Toyota Rush

Toyota Rush

Max people5
Door count3
Minimum driver age5
TransmissionManual
Air-conditioned?Yes
Unlimited mileage?No