Visiting Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes

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Tourism of Indonesia

Ready to Go to Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes

Planning to go on a tour or travelling, we definitely want a smooth trip, comfortable accommodation, cheap hotels, good food, cheap plane tickets, close to everywhere, and can rent a motorbike or car.


In Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes, there is natural beauty and unique culture of the local community. There are many uniqueness, starting from the village (desa), sub-district (kecamatan), district (kabupaten) and provincial levels.

In Indonesia, each province has different and interesting characteristics. Each province has a different and unique culture and lifestyle.

Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the small town of Moni in central Flores island in Indonesia. The volcano is around 50 km to the east of Ende, Indonesia, the capital of Ende regency in East Nusa Tenggara province.

The mountain has three volcanic crater lakes that differ in color.

The science of the Kelimutu lakes is relatively well-known. Lake colors periodically change due to adjustments in the oxidation-reduction status of the fluid of each lake, and also considering the abundance of different major elements, such as iron and manganese.

Oxidation-reduction status depends on the balance of volcanic gas input and rainfall rate, and is thought to be mediated by the groundwater system in the volcano itself.

Some people may only dream about trekking to Mount Kelimutu on the island of Flores with its three colored lakes, while others make it a reality.

The challenging trip in a rented polished 7-seater car can make one entertained for hours because of the endless winding road.

However, being shaken by the sharp curves in the road that cuts through the 350-km long Flores Island is a worthy price to pay to witness the ultimate top-drawer panoramas that Flores has to offer.

Mount Kelimutu National Park is the smallest among six national parks in the stretch between Bali and the Nusatenggara islands.

Its size obviously does not matter much when it offers one of the most spectacular wonders that nature has to offer.

There are three lakes on the mountain sharing the same name, Kelimutu, meaning ‘the boiling lake’. Each has its own colors and a local name. But all are believed to be the resting place of departed souls.

The topography of Kelimutu National Park varies from gently rolling hills to more mountainous relief.

Some of the plants that grow in the Park area are kayu mata (Albizia montana), kebu (Homalanthus giganteus), tokotaka (Putranjiva roxburghii),

Also uwi rora (Ardisia humilis), longgo baja (Drypetes subcubica), toko keo (Cyrtandra sp.), kayu deo (Trema cannabina), kayu bu (Casuarina equisetifolia), kelo (Ficus villosa), and ampupu (Eucalyptus urophylla).

The Park provides habitat for at least 19 restricted-range bird species including the near threatened Flores green pigeon (Treron floris).

Also Wallace’s scops owl (Otus silvicola), chestnut-backed jungle flycatcher (Rhinomyias oscillans), bare-throat whistler (Pachycephala nudigula).

Also little minivet (Pericrocotus lansbergei), russet-capped tesia (Tesia everetti), thick-billed white-eye (Heleia crassirostris), crested white-eye (Lophozosterops dohertyi),

Also golden-rumped flowerpecker (Dicaeum annae), Flores monarch (Monarcha sacerdotum), flame-breasted sunbird (Nectarinia solaris), and Flores hawk-eagle (Spizaetus floris).

The government is taking good care of the preservation of nature and maintaining the condition of the forest.

The environment is also well maintained.


Visiting Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes, we will witness routine community activities in unique traditional cultures. And there are special dishes and food as part of culinary tours that are delicious and yummy.

Not only does it have high biodiversity, this Park is also the location of a unique natural phenomenon-three different-colored lakes at the peak of Mt. Kelimutu (1,690 m asl.).

The first lake is named Tiwu Ata Mbupu (lake of people spirits), the second is named Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (lake of young people spirits), and the third is Tiwu Ata Polo (lake of fortune tellers spirits).

The first and second lakes are situated close together, while the third lake is about 1.5 km to the west. The color of the water in each lake is different and the colors change from time to time, particularly that of Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai Lake: twenty-five years ago, its water changed color twelve times.

Thought to be caused by the volcanic activity of Kelimutu, it has also been suggested that the changes in colour are due to refraction of the sun’s rays, micro biota in the water, dissolution of chemical substances, and the reflection of the colour of the lake walls and bottom.

The nature riches of the Park are complemented by its cultural heritage. Traditional houses, dances, and weaving are still in evidence among the local people.

The art of producing the highly complex patterns in the woven cloth is very interesting. Great skill and imagination are involved and the production process is different from other ikat weaves in Indonesia.

Located some 66 km. from the town of Ende or 83 km. from Maumere, Lake Kelimutu was discovered by a Dutch named Van Such Telen in 1915. It gained global fame after Y. Bouman wrote in his notes in 1929 about the bizarre color-changing lakes.

As travelers start ascending from Moni, a small rural town, a base-camp for backpackers, idyllic views appear which will remain perfect in the mind.

The westernmost lake is named Tiwu Ata Mbupu, meaning ‘the lake of old people’. The middle one is called Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai, or ‘the lake for young men and maiden’.

The easternmost is called Tiwu Ata Polo, or ‘the lake for evils spirits’. The three lakes are quite a display as their colors keep changing.

Unlike the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, South Australia, that changes color from blue to cold steel grey within a predictable period, or Lake Yudamari in Mt. Nakadake, in Japan, that changes from blue-green to green,  the Kelimutu lakes are unpredictable as to when and what color they will change into.

Sometimes, the colors are blue, green, and black, and some other times they turn to white, red, and blue. The last time a traveler saw them, one was dark brown, just like a pond of chocolate. Previously, the east lake was red and the middle lake was blue.

Scientifically speaking, lakes change colors due to subaqueous fumaroles. Scientists believe that these are the result of minor phreatic eruptions in ancient time.

The phenomenon here, however, are of particular interest to geologists since the three lakes present different colors but are yet located on the peak of the same volcano.

The local ranger in the national park explained that this is due to chemical reactions of materials contained in the lake, triggered by volcanic gaseous activities.

The local people in Moni, however, believe that somehow people around the mountain have done something evil and have died there.

Lake Kelimutu is part of the Kelimutu National Park, presenting a highly aesthetic value and surreal experience. The national park’s highest point is 5,679 feet at Mt. Kelibara (1,731 meters), and 5,544 feet high (1,690 meters) at Mt. Kelimutu.

It is a national park that protects 19 endemic and endangered animals, among which, the Floresian punai (Treron floris), Wallacea owl (Otus silvicola), Floresian kancilan (Pachycephala nudigula), Floresian eagle (Spizeatus floris), and Timorese tesia (Tesia everetti).

Here are also endemic mice, deer, porcupines, and the legendary luwak or civet (Pharadoxurus hermaphroditus) that gained its fame for the expensive coffee it produces.

Visit Mt. Kelimutu and the three-colored lakes as an essential part of your Flores adventure.

Definitely a hike to Lake Kelimutu is the ultimate reason for any traveler coming to Moni or Ende. The Kelimutu area is surrounded by forests containing flora that are rarely found in other parts of Flores.

Beside pine trees, there are also ferns, casuarinas, red wood and edelweiss. Pine forests grow well on this height of the Mt. Kelimutu.

The other part of the mountain is dry with highly unstable sand and soil. The locals believe that Mt. Kelimutu is sacred and a source of fertility to the lands nearby.

Several parts of the national park are restricted due to geothermal instability. Trekking is best around the safe areas between Moni and Mt. Kelimutu.

The track is a challenging 12-km rocky off-the-beaten path. Climbing to the peak from the parking area is around 30 minutes on foot.

In this place there are also regular events or activities held every year, both national and international.


The journey to Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes is now very easy. We can enter through various modes of transportation.

Access to go to Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes:

Koanara village, in the Wolowaru sub-district is closest to Mount Kelimutu, and is about 66 kilometers from the town of Ende, or 83 kilometers from Maumere.

Moni is the closest small town, lying at the foot of Mount Kelimutu. It is the gate to Lake Kelimutu. The distance between Moni and Kelimutu is 15 kilometers.

You can take an ojek, a motorbike taxi, car or public transportation to take you to a parking lot before Kelimutu’s peak. Buses to Ende from Maumere will pass Moni.

They call it BIS KAYU or oto kol , the wooden pick-up truck. From there, you must walk 30 minutes along the mountain side.

There are daily flights from Denpasar Bali and Kupang to Maumere. Please refer to information on how to get there when in Labuan Bajo.

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 route.

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.

The condition of the infrastructure is getting better. Starting from highways, airports, trails, ports, bridges, stairs, even some places can be reached by toll roads.

We can visit by plane, car, ship, bus, motorcycle and bicycle. At some point, we can take the train. We can also walk freely.


In Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes, as technology getting better. We can easily find locations for mini markets, shops (warung kedai), Money Changer, ATMs, Bank BRI BCA BNI Mandiri, BTPN Bank Nagari BJB, supermarkets, and restaurants. So we will not starve or lack the necessary items.

Suggestion Before Visiting Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes:

Kelimutu is usually blanketed by thick fog. Travelers, however, go very early in the morning to catch the sunrise when the fog clears when the sun rises.

This is the best moment to see the lake. Do not be late for the sunrise. Usually trekkers walk up as early as 3.30 am.

The best time to visit is in July and August. Book your hotels early if possible, as people tend to reserve a room one or two months ahead.

If you are sick and need help, you can also visit clinics, drugstore pharmacies (apotek), practice doctors, hospitals, and health centers (puskesmas).

In this place we can also look for places of worship such as mosques, churches, and others.


Finding place to stay in Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes is very easy. We can stay at home stays, hotels, inns, hostels and other places.

To get lodging at a cheap and definitely comfortable price, please see below:

Experience and Reviews

There are already many visitors have visited Mount Kelimutu with Three colored Lakes, there are many interesting stories that are told. Like feeling satisfied, happy, wanting to come again, sleep well, and almost no one is disappointed or complains to come here.

So, visitors will find out on how to find the best hotels, where is exactly located, why it is amazing, how much is the fare and rate, who are the people, whom to ask, and when is the best time to visit.

We can visit these tourist attractions from Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Redep, Tanjung Selor, Tapak Tuan, Tarakan, Tarutung, Tasikmalaya, Muara Bungo, Muara Enim, Muara Teweh, Muaro Sijunjung, Muntilan, Nabire, Negara, Nganjuk,

That’s all the information we provided, hopefully useful.

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