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…