This trip was planned because me and another friend wanted to do our Advance scuba diving course and wanted to do it in an amazing place. So even though we had tickets to Bali, we added in a trip to Flores to dive and visit Komodo islands and also see the Kelimutu crater lakes. This post will give details about making this entire trip and also contacts for diving etc.
Visas: Indonesia was visa-on-arrival when we visited (Around 25-30 USD). I heard that they have removed this visa requirement now for Indians. so nothing needs to be done beforehand.
Flights: I had managed to get very cheap flights in an AirAsia sale and had booked the flights an year in advance actually. Bangalore-KL return was only 5k INR, KL-Bali return for 7k INR. other flights details are below:
Day by Day plan:
Day 0 – Bangalore to KL late night flight
Day 1 – KL to Bali (Denpasar) morning flight, landed in Bali airport at around 2PM local time. I had booked a hotel in Sanur area very close to the airport (3kms) so we just walked from the airport to it. Checked in and relaxed a bit before heading out for late lunch and just roamed around the Kuta beaches. dinner was mostly local Balinese dishes. night stay in Bali.
Day 2 – Early morning we had a Bali to Maumere flight, landed there at 12 noon. we then took a taxi cab to Moni village (sharing) after bargaining hard over the price. Moni village sits right at the base of the Kelimutu crater lakes and is a good night stay point for people who get up early to catch sunrise up the volcano crater. We also found a taxi ride to take us up next day morning and then drop us to Ende airport the next day. night stay in Moni village
Day 3 – got up early morning to see the Kelimutu lakes – three lakes inside a caldera (cone of an extinct volcano) that change colors every fortnight. the sunrise and lakes were indeed mesmerising. we then came back to Moni village, ate breakfast, picked our stuff and drove off in the taxi to Ende airport. or flight was a bit delayed so we reached Labuan Bajo which is on the extreme western end of the Flores island close to 3pm local time. walked down again from the airport to the jetty strip (3kms) where all the dive shops and restaurants are located. We had our dives booked with Flores diving centre for the next three days. I had two adventure dives left for my advance course and my friend, Pavan had to do all his five adventure dives of the advance course.
Day 4 to 6 – we did our courses on 4th and 5th days and then did one dive on the 6th day followed by a walking safari to Rinca island in the Komodo national park to see the Komodo dragons. they were majestic creatures and it was really worth it to make this whole trip. for the third night we also moved our stay to a very picturesque island called Kanawa that was serviced by the same dive centre.
Day 7 – we had a morning flight Labuan Bajo to Bali, after reaching we negotiated for a taxi to Amed beach where we were going to stay and dive for the next two days. it was a long ride of 2-3 hours and we could reach only there around sunset time. checked into our hotel which was created with local designed and rooms surrounded with lots of plants/trees carefully grown in patterns. The stay was at Geria Giri Shanti Bunglows run by a Belgian wife- America husband duo. The husband was the Dive Instructor managing the dive operations (Adventure Divers Bali).
Day 8 – we did three dives in and around Amed area, nice and easy day. came back and relaxed at the hotel.
Day 9 – got up at 4AM as we had to go and do a sunrise dive at the USAT Liberty shipwreck. the dive happens with the sunrise because there are resident schools of bumphead parrotfishes that sleep close to the wreck and should be seen just at the sunrise, after which they leave. This was a shore dive. In the first dive we went around the wreck and got a good look at it from outside from below and above, in the next one we penetrated the wreck and went into each of the three levels of it. After finishing the two dives we came back to hotel, relaxed for a bit and took taxi to Sanur area to stay close to the airport.
Day 10 – we had a morning Bali to KL flight, then night 9PM KL to Bangalore flight
Sanur (Bali) – Agus Beach Inn
Amed (Bali) – Geria giri Shanti Bunglows
Moni village – dont remember the name, went there and found a place
Labuan Bajo – dorm of Flores diving centre, Kanawa Island Resort