Category Archives: Flores & East Nusa Tenggara

The Spirit Lake Kelimutu

Where does the spirit go when people passed away? That is the question that any civilization on Earth has. The people on Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, has an answer: They are all go to Lake Kelimutu

The Changing Color of Lake

Lake Kelimutu is actually 3 lakes, formed by ancient volcanic activity. Each lake has different colors, which changes every several years. The scientific explanation of this change of colors is geological activity that is still happening beneath the lake. So, if you are here, don’t be surprised if you found lakes with different colors

But to locals, the spirit of the dead will end up in one of the 3 lakes.

Lake of Good Spirit

Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai, the first lake, is where the spirit of good young men and women will go when they died.

Lake of the Evil

Tiwu Ata Polo is for the spirit of men and women who were evil during their life. I think it is comparable to the concept of hell in western culture. It is located just next to the lake for the good, separated by rather thin wall.

Lake of Old People

Tiwu Ata Mbupu is where the final resting place for the spirit of old men and women.

This post is created in response to weekly photo challenge: Earth

The Color of Kelimutu

Many people come to the remote area of Flores, East Indonesia, to see this spectacular natural wonder, Mount Kelimutu. On top of this mountain, on where the crater was, there are 3 lakes, each with different color. Thick fog, which often clouds the peak, and believes of local people give the mystical feeling about these lakes.

Mount Kelimutu is located along the Maumere – Ende road. It is located around 3 hours drive from Maumere, and 2 hours from Ende. At the base of the mountain, there are small village called Moni. Moni has some simple bungalows, which should cater for most tourists to spend a night, to see the sunrise at Kelimutu.

On our last trip, we rent a car for a day trip to Kelimutu, from Maumere. We are not after the sunrise, which require us to start at 3 am. We start at 5:30 am, having light breakfast on the way, and reach the parking space of Kelimutu at 9 am. There are entrance fee of Rp. 2.500 per person, and Rp. 6.000 per car. From the parking space to the lakes is around 1 km walk uphill, on a rocky terrain.

Halfway, we reach the observation point for The Brown Lake. The lake, surrounded by steep rock wall, lies few hundred meters below the observation point. I can’t find any reference about the depth of the lake, nor the cause of the color, but according to rumors, the water of the lake is actually clear. I presume that something at the bottom of the lake that give those color.

Few hundred meters more walk, and climbing some stairs, we reach the Inspiration Point, where all the lakes is visible. It is impossible to get the picture of all lakes at once, but by climbing to the highest point of Inspiration Point is enough to complete our trip. On the left is the Black Lake, and on the right, next to the Brown Lake, is the most beautiful Turquoise Lake. We were grateful because when the fog started to set in, a light rain swoop away the fog, giving us longer clear few of the lakes.

On the way back, we stop by in some interesting place. The monastery of Mageria, which provides place for personal religious retreat, is worth to stop by. Besides the giant statue of Elijah facing the ocean, we can see the south coast of Flores from its highest point. Then there is Paga Beach. We didn’t stop long enough to see anything interesting here, but this place is mentioned in Lonely Planet.

For total trip time of 12 hours, with half of it driving, it still worth to do. Lonely Planet provides much information about cheaper but challenging public transport, places to stay in Moni, and alternative if you decide to continue to Ende, and other part of Flores. Enjoy your trip, as we do…