Explore the Inspiring & Charming People of Lesser Sunda
ABOUT FLORES ISLAND
Flores, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Nusa Tenggara Timur (East Nusa Tenggara) provinsi (province), Indonesia. The last major island in the chain, which extends eastward from Java, it is long and narrow, 5,500 square miles (14,250 square km) in area, and has numerous inlets and bays. The island’s name is derived from the Portuguese designation for the island’s eastern Cape Kopondai—Cabo de Flores (“Cape of Flowers”)—named for the flamboyants (Poinciana regia) found in profusion there. Flores is largely mountainous, especially in the west, where Mandasawu Peak reaches 7,900 feet (2,400 metres). Several active volcanoes are in the centre and east. Near Ende, historically the main city and once a mission centre, is Mount Kelimutu, the “mountain of the three coloured lakes.” In May 1974 a volcanic eruption on nearby Mount Iya caused one of the lakes—the blue-white one—to change to a reddish colour, similar to the other two. The island’s interior has been little explored. The rivers are unnavigable. Most of the vegetation consists of either tropical deciduous forest or savanna, and the western end was formerly a haunt of a giant lizard.