Travel: The Epic Landscapes of Indonesia

EPIC INDONESIA. We had the most incredible time taking in some of the most breathtaking landscapes I've ever seen, and it makes me want to see more of what’s out there in Southeast Asia. In Flores Island we saw the volcanic crater lakes of Kelimutu, Padar Island, and the fearsome komodo dragons of Rinca Island at Komodo National Park. We finished up our trip traveling to North Sumatra, visiting Medan, Lake Toba, and the towering Sipiso-Piso Waterfall. Here’s some details of our trip (yes there was A LOT of travel as you’ll see, and A LOT of waking up 3-5am to catch sunrise for some insanely amazing views), hope you are inspired to visit too! Many thanks also to David and Doven for being just the best travel companions. It was a blast hanging with you two. 

EPIC INDONESIA. We had the most incredible time taking in some of the most breathtaking landscapes I've ever seen, and it makes me want to see more of what’s out there in Southeast Asia. In Flores Island we saw the volcanic crater lakes of Kelimutu, Padar Island, and the fearsome komodo dragons of Rinca Island at Komodo National Park. We finished up our trip traveling to North Sumatra, visiting Medan, Lake Toba, and the towering Sipiso-Piso Waterfall. Here’s some details of our trip (yes there was A LOT of travel as you’ll see, and A LOT of waking up 3-5am to catch sunrise for some insanely amazing views), hope you are inspired to visit too! Many thanks also to David and Doven for being just the best travel companions. It was a blast hanging with you two. 

1) 3 hour flight Singapore - Bali > 2-hour flight to Maumere > 3-hour drive to Kelimutu

Our first destination was Kelimutu, to see the 3 multi-colored crater lakes in Mount Kelimutu. We stayed at Kelimutu Crater Eco Lodge which is probably the closest and nicest hotel you can stay at to see the lakes. The spectacular thing is that each of the 3 lakes has its own color and changes depending on the sulfuric content at different times of the year. Unfortunately we did not see the bright turquoise color that I was hoping for and instead got a dark green hue on top of a cloudy sunrise but it was still amazing to see!! Our driver took us there at sunrise, we left at 5am from the lodge and hiked up a good 30 minutes in darkness using our phones to light the path!

2) 3-hour drive from Kelimutu to Ende airport > 1 hour flight to Labuan Bajo > 1 hour boat ride to Komodo Island > 3 hour boat ride to Padar Island

At Labuan Bajo, we stayed at Bayview Gardens, easily the most awesome hotel on our entire trip (only SGD $100 per night!). If we were to redo our itinerary I’d definitely stay longer in Labuan Bajo and catch Padar Island at sunset. First day we went to Rinca Island to check out the komodo dragons. It was really something to see all these komodo dragons roaming free! Fortunately there are tour guides that take you around and carry wooden poles to keep the dragons at bay, you can get fairly close though!

Second day we were off to Padar Island - this was easily one of the most spectacular islands I have ever been to, with its unusual shape and incredible view from the top. It was just a short 20-minute hike to the top. We were able to hire a boat to take us there on a 3-hour boat ride leaving at 3am to catch sunrise which was totally worth it! There was even a gorgeous pink beach (the first beach you can see on the lower left corner of the island from the top, which the boat took us to) where Jade found an amazing heart-shaped coral! 

3) 1 hour flight to Ende > 2 hour flight to Bali > 4 hour flight to Medan > 4 hour drive to Lake Toba / Sipiso-Piso Waterfalls

Our final stop was in Medan so we flew there from Ende and took the 4 hour drive out to Lake Toba to see both the lake and Sipiso-Piso Waterfall, a 120-meter waterfall on the north side of Lake Toba. There were over 600 steps down to the base of the waterfall but it is a fairly easy hike, approximately a half hour each way. On the final day we were up early to see sunrise at Lake Toba which was absolutely spectacular. We stayed at Tasman Simalem Resort which was extremely comfortable and definitely worth seeing! 

In Medan: we used Yoga Rent A Car and with a driver it was just SGD $50 a full day! Also, make sure you try Macehat Coffee in Medan for some serious brews!!!

All in all it was one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on and I would highly recommend a trip to see what we did. I feel like these are some of the most incredible landscapes that you can see anywhere in the world and not many people go out to see them due to them being fairly remote locations, so it's pretty sweet that all these spots are not overcrowded like many others can be. Happy travels!!!!!