HomeBlogs Kelimutu: The Mysterious Tricolored Lakes
Kelimutu Lake on Mount Kelimutu, Ende, Flores has three smaller lakes
located next to it. The lakes appear to have different colors that
change over time due to volcanic activity which started million years
ago. In the entire world, this color changing phenomenon only occurs at
Presently, these three lakes have black-green color in
the far east lake, green in the middle lake, and black in the west
lake. Previously, the far east lake was red and the middle lake was
The local community considers these lakes a sacred place,
where the souls of the dead lie. The name Kelimutu itself was derived
from the word ‘keli’, means ‘mountain’, and ‘mutu’, means ‘boil’. The
East lake is also called “tiwu ata polo” or lake for evil spirits, while
the middle one is called “tiwu nua muri koo fai” or lake for young
souls, and the west lake is called “tiwu ata mbupu” or lake for elderly
and wise peoples souls. Lake Kelimutu and its spectacular panorama are
now a very popular tourist attraction.
is situated in Koanara village, Wolowaru sub-district, Ende Regency,
about 66 kilometers from Ende city and 83 kilometer from Maumere City.
Moni is a village at the foot of Mount Kelimutu. It is the gate to Lake
Kelimutu. The distance between Moni and Kelimutu is 15 kilometers.
can take a motor taxi, car or public transportation to take you to a
parking lot before Kelimutu peak. Buses plying the Ende-Maumere route
will pass Moni. From there, you must walk 30 minutes along the mountain
Every day, there are flights from Denpasar and Kupang to
Maumere. To Ende, daily flights only come from Kupang. If you are
interested in making a long trip in Flores, you can start from Maumere
in the west and visit Kelimutu, Ende, Bajawa, Ruteng and lastly Labuan
Bajo (Komodo) or vice versa if starting from the east.
Kelimutu area is surrounded with forest
containing floras that are scarcely found in Flores area. Other than
pines, there are also casuarinas, red wood and edelweiss. Pine forest
grows well in this side of Kelimutu Mountain. The other side of the
mountain is dried land with highly unstable sand and soil. Local
community believes that Kelimutu Mountain is sacred and donates
fertility to the nature nearby.
Visitors can only walk around
Lake Kelimutu but not all areas can be explored because some are
dangerous and therefore restricted. From Moni to Kelimutu, if you like
to go trekking, there is a path which is shorter than the car access
Distance from Moni to the top is about 12 kilometer (km).
The distance to the parking lot by motor vehicle is 11 kilometer, and
then visitors will climb on foot through the pathway for 30 minutes.
Morning is the best time to witness the beauty of
Kelimutu Lake. Close to the midday and at evening the scenery of
Kelimutu Lake is blocked with thick mist.
Other than the scenery
of Kelimutu Lake, visitors can enjoy Flores’s hilly topography from the
peak of Mount Kelimutu, during a sunny day. Or the beauty panorama at
Kelimutu National Park. There’s the Conservation, containing pines and
casuarinas trees which are sights for sore eyes.
Tired of hearing
car horns? Listen to the chirp of birds inhabiting Kelimutu National
Park. Or feed the many long-tail monkeys in the forest to the south.
area’s also adorned with cultural wealth like traditional houses,
traditional dances and woven clothes of Flores. In addition, there are
hot water sources, waterfall, and tradition settlements that you can
visit along the way.
The best time to visit is July to September.
But if you missed that period, you can witness a local tradition in
mid-October when the community offers livestocks for paa loka (religious
The nearest hotels
are located in Moni. Hotel Flores Sare (+62 381 21075), Arwanti
Homestay, Hidayah, and Sao Ria Wisata are favorite hotels for tourists.
You can also stay at Moni settlement managed by locals with overnight
staying tariff 25.000-Rp 50.000 per night or local government cottage
with tariff Rp 75.000-Rp 85.000. Those who cannot get any lodgings in
Moni usually sleep in their cars.
are no restaurants in Kelimutu. The nearest restaurants are in Moni. So
bring along enough food and drinks, preferrably in containers you can
bring back home. That way, you can fit any resulting litters in the
container as well.
inhabitants usually sell local woven fabrics in the parking lot at the
mountain side of Kelimutu.
Kelimutu is often covered in fog. When the sun rises, fog seldom comes
making it the best moment to see this lake. * The best time to visit
is July and August. Hence these are also the peak months for visiting.
Usually, hotels in Moni are booked two months in advance for this
period. So make sure you book earlier. * If you come during the rainy
season or late afternoon, you should pray that nature will be on your
side. * The temperature here is very cold and sometimes windy,
therefore, it is best to bring along your jackets.