Kelimutu is a volcano that consist of 3 lakes that are strikingly seen at the summit of the mountain. The three lakes periodically change its color mostly into blue, red, and brown. The changing of the color scientifically believed to be caused by the changing reaction of the mineral that contains in the lake that are perhaps by the gas of the lake. In the local perspectives, the color changes represents the social situation alarm which may happen in the future. The colors make this mountain lakes become very interesting and remain one of the most popular visited place during their stay in Flores.

Among the locals, the three lakes has their own names. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red respectively. Each of the lakes represents its own meaning and has long been believed to be the most mystical place for most local people who live in the area of Ende.




Mbuliwaralau Beach


Pemo and Woloara

If you want to get more out of your day in the Lio area after having visited the Kelimutu crater lakes, you can add a pleasant hike from Kelimutu, passing through the villages of Pemo and Woloara.

Pemo, a small village situated on the slopes of Kelimutu, is the first stop during your hike from Kelimutu to Woloara. It only takes about a 1 1/2 hours walk downhill to reach Pemo from the Kelimutu National Park parking area.

Walking down the main street, take a shortcut through the national park’s arboretum, where you can learn more about the local vegetation of Kelimutu. When you are back on the main road, take a right turn at the signpost that reads ‘km 11’. The small footpath leads you through refreshing scenery with a gorgeous view to Kelibara, the ‘white mountain’ – as its peak is often covered by clouds.

After about one hour, you will get to marvel at Pemo’s displays of Lio culture. Have a look at its two ceremonial houses and the village’s ritual center, consisting of the tubu, an erected stone, in the midst of musu mase, a group of smaller stones surrounding the tubu. The sao ria, the ‘big house’ which is thatched with a mix of wooden bricks and alang-alang grass, and still inhabited by one of the mosalaki and his family.

Pemo also hosts a neat keda kanga, a wall-free traditional house standing on stone pillars, which was constructed without using one single nail. This storage place for the ritual drums and gongs, as well as the bhaku – the encased ancestral bones – is looked after by the village’s highest adat leader, the ria bewa. As in many places in the Lio area, the Pemo villagers produce their own distinct ikat. Continue your hike to Woloara Village for another 5km on an easy-to-walk-on road and enjoy the wealth of agricultural land, including neat vegetable gardens.

Woloara Village offers you another view of a sao ria standing on impressive stone pillars, and a keda kanga which is decorated with pretty carvings of popular Lionese motifs such as snakes, horses, people, and plants. In Woloara, you may add a short loop walk on foot to a natural, fresh water spring, which is spiritually meaningful to the local people. Here, many rituals are held during the major Lionese traditional ceremonies. With the new-gained energy from your spring excursion, enjoy the last part of the hike (about one hour) which will finally take you to the Murundao waterfall right before arriving back at the main road to Moni.


On your way back to Moni, you can quench your thirst and calm your growling stomach at Koposili, a small café and restaurant owned by the friendly Miss Agnes. As one of the outnumbered local female guides, she not only knows a lot about the Kelimutu area, but about Flores as a whole. Besides providing guests with helpful visitor information, Agnes also offers to organize tours, traditional dance performances, and accommodation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; +62 81353926864 or +62 82145742173).



Tiwu Bowu

Tiwu is the Lionese word for ‘lake’. Tiwu Bowu Lake is one of the rare sites where you can enjoy a peaceful day canoeing on the relaxing, luminous water while indulging your senses in the beautiful scenery of traditional ‘keramba’ farming, an interesting net system of fish farming. The forest around the lake is a great place to explore and observe birds in beautiful natural surroundings. If you bring your binoculars, you may even get to see some of the rare endemic species. Located close to Flores’ north coast, Tiwu Bowu also offers equally charming views of rice paddy fields and a contrasting charcoal-colored seashore.


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