The volcano at mount Kelimutu in Flores is one of several volcanoes found in Indonesia. It is situated about 50km east of Ende of Central Island. This volcano is famous among tourists for the tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu existing in three craters at the height of 1690 meters from sea level.
Tiwu ata Mbupu also known as the Lake of Old People is one of these three lakes, situated on their westernmost part, which usually looks blue.
Tiwu Ata Polo aka Enchanted or Bewitched Lake is the second lake and Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai aka Lake of Young Men and Maidens is the third lake in this group that respectively look red and green. All the three lakes are separated by the walls of craters.
Everything you need to know about Mount Kelimutu
Location of mount Kelimutu
Mount Kelimutu with its tri-coloured lakes is situated near Moni, a small town, on Flores Island in Indonesia in Kelimutu National Park. It is four hour drive away from a city, Maumere, and 50 km in the east of Ende. It is exciting to discover these strange three lakes existing together displaying different colours at different times from each other.
Reasons to visit tri-coloured lakes
One must visit the tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu due to their special natural occurrence. People usually haunt for these beautiful lakes because of their different colour that change consistently throughout the year. Locals consider them as the place where departed souls rest.
According to their belief the god of afterlife, Mae, along with the souls of died people sit at the base of the lakes as per the virtues of their life. for this reason the name of one of these lakes is connected to the spirit of young people, another with the spirits of soothsayers and the third one with the souls of one of the died people.
The colours of these lakes change unpredictably and dramatically from red or black to green or blue as a natural event like many others. It looks more puzzling and dangerous due to the dangerously steep road that takes you there.
Best time to visit Kelimutu lakes
In general, the dry season in the tropical weather of this country i.e. May to September is considered as the best time to visit the tri-coloured lakes on Kelimutu. But to be more precise July and August is the most peak time to visit here. You will have to book accommodation to stay in well advance during this time.
The best time to visit these lakes is sunrise to experience most dramatic changes in the atmosphere. To get it you will have to wake up at 3:30 am.
Things to do at Kelimutu
Two of these three lakes are situated side-by-side whereas the third on is located in their west around 1.5 km away. A narrow but steep 50 to 150 meter high stone wall of a cater works as boundaries between these lakes. The colours of these lakes change scientifically due to microorganisms in their water, dissolution of chemical and discoloration of the sunlight. The reflection of the bottom and walls of the lakes also contribute in their colours.
While on mount Kelimutu during sunrise one should overlook lakes. You can catch sunrise by taking a truck to cover 8 km path and another 45 minutes drive to reach these lakes well in time. You can ride back through your vehicle or trek and hike around mount Kelimutu to walk back to Moni town or to explore the crater.
Things to eat
You can find a number of restaurants and stalls in the local market of Moni, the nearest town to tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu from where you can choose foods to eat as per your liking.
While visiting these lakes you should pack enough with you to energise you during journey as it is a time taking trip especially when you are trekking instead of riding on a vehicle. But you need not carry lot of drinks with you as drink-sellers at the crater can provide you enough drinks.
Places to stay
You can stay in various types of guesthouses with minimum facilities in Moni, f you are an adventure loving tourist. But if you want to find more comfortable accommodations then you will have to stay in Maumere city almost 4 hour away from Moni. Ende is another location to stay in Flores, Indonesia which has accommodation ranging in-between the above two.
Ways to get there
You can reach mount Kelimutu by ferry boat as well as by air.
You can reach the nearest airport to the tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu by taking regular flights from Bali to Maumere.
From there you can reach Moni after 4 hour drive and Kelimutu to visit tri-coloured lakes after another 45 minutes drive. You can reach the town after a 40 minutes ride from its Kupang airport.
Then you can reach the nearest village to Kelimutu lakes through another 3 hours ride. From this village you can reach the lakes after 2.5 hours walk.
You can get Ferry boat from Bali to reach at this island within 3-4 days as per the package of the cruise. Usually such packages include stops at various villages along with Komodo National Park along with Kelimutu lakes.
Getting around nearby places
In order to visit nearby towns, villages and lakes of Kelimutu you can rent a vehicle or catch a public transport like bus as per your preferences. You can also enjoy tough hiking and light trekking while walking on foot, if you are an adventurous person. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in this country is Komodo National Park known for some of the rarely available Komodo dragons.
Thus while visiting the tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu situated in Flores, Indonesia and nearly 50 km in the east of Ende, a town in the Central Island, you should pack enough food and water in your backpack.
It is a long and hard journey on land, especially for trekkers and adventurous people.
You should also carry some medication to ease your journey as otherwise you may have to face problems on the long bumpy and winding tracks of this trip.