Mount Kelimutu, with its three-colored crater lakes, is probably the most amazeing natural phenomenon of Flores. Beyond that, the ‘steaming mountain’ is also the island’s most famous tempat angker, or maystical, haunted place. Leaving all scientific explanations of the origin of Kelimutu aside, there are many myths about the origin of Kelimutu, which explains why Mount Kelimutu was and is still a sacred place for local people.
Throughout the years, the three crater lakes have often changed colors. At present, one of the lakes is black-brown, one is green, and one is currently changing from green to a reddish color. This might be explained by the varying mineral contents of the water. Another explanation suggests that the changing colors are caused by the neglected ancestral souls.
Kelimutu is a beautiful place at any time of the day. However, the best time to enjoy this magical place is in the early morning when the clouds haven’t yet covered the view. Many visitors prefer to see the sunrise.
The most popular and convenient starting point to visit Kelimutu is Moni, a village close to the Transflores highway. Whereas until not too long ago visitors had to hike all the way up to Kelimutu, there is now a paved road to a parking lot, where you can enjoy a 30-minute walk through a lush forest full of birdsong before entering the area of the lakes.
Moni, too, is worth a stay. You can do many nice treks in the fertile surroundings of rice-fields, forests, and hills. Relax in the hotsprings nearby, look at some fine lio ikat in the market, or enjoy a performance of local dance and music.
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