Holidays are all about being care-free and living in the moment; enjoying the environment and the culture around you and leaving your every-day worries behind. Flores is THE hot-spot holiday destination that everyone is talking about. With pristine white-sand beaches, stunning crystal-clear waters and friendly people, Flores and the surrounding islands make for the perfect getaway in paradise.
When you travel to a new place or foreign country, it’s always a good idea to do a little research before – check to make sure you understand the customs and what is, or isn’t, socially acceptable. We’ve put together a little list to help make it easier, compiled by our local team who have lived, worked and enjoyed life in Flores for many years.
Most of Flores is either Catholic or Muslim so be considerate to prayer times and dress appropriately. Be respectful if visiting churches or mosques – while your bikini may match the colour of the tiles perfectly, you won’t win fans by posing half dressed in a church or mosque. If you go to visit some of the villages, try to wear something that covers below the knees and your shoulders. Think about packing a sarong or something you can wrap around your arms if your trek or walk to the village would be difficult wearing longer pants and a top to cover your shoulders.
One of the most beautiful aspects of Flores is in the custom and tradition. It’s a beautiful blend of modern comforts and living with intriguing traditions and customs handed down by so many generations before. If you are invited to join in, please do and remember our point above about dressing appropriately and considering when it is a good time for photos. Make sure you leave a good impression with your hosts so you are invited back and can share your experiences with other visitors to the area. Flores is more conservative in many ways than perhaps your home town so it’s always good to be respectful to the old-world ways and traditions that make Flores beautiful.
Flores boasts the most stunning coral, reefs and marine life and it’s so important we keep it that way. Dispose of all your rubbish sensibly and carefully. Find bins and ways to store your trash rather than throwing things on the ground or over board. Clogging up water ways and introducing plastics and toxic chemicals to the marine life is a sure way to destroy what makes Flores the spectacular place it is today.
Don’t remove corals or shells, from the water or the beach. Each piece of coral and every shell adds an element to the ecosystem and by removing them, we change the conditions for so many marine creatures.
Don’t drink and swim, dive or snorkel. It’s dangerous and disrespectful to yourself, other guests and your guide. Anytime you are on or in the water, make sure you follow your guide and be mindful of the conditions around you.
Guides and Tours
A fabulous way to explore Flores is with a guide. They are local people who know the area better than anyone and can take you to places that are not found on a map or at least very difficult to find on your own. Ask questions, listen to the stories and please make sure you tip your guide when the tour is over. Standard tipping practice is 10% and we like to round it up as well for that little bit extra to show our appreciation. This tipping practice applies all over Flores and not just with the guides so make sure you look after your waiter, bartender or anyone making your Flores holiday fabulous.
There are plenty of ATM’s around Flores although obviously they are easier to find in the bigger towns like Labuan Bajo, rather than the smaller and more remote villages. There are also money changers however we find the rate can be better on mainland Indonesia or in Bali so perhaps consider changing money before you get to Flores, check your exchange rates and bring extra cash just in case.
Flores is a magical island and any time there will leave you wishing you had more time and planning your next trip back. A friend of The Voice of Flores often says she is torn when talking about the island: does she tell everyone just how beautiful it is or keep it as a well-guarded secret?! We think share the island in a way that means it remains beautiful for generations to enjoy.
If you have questions about places to go, things to do or more do’s and don’ts when in Flores, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, happy travelling and see you soon in Flores!