Kelimutu Lakes

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three colored lakes in Ende district. These colored lakes change colors on a regular basis. The latest colors (late 2004) were said to be turquoise, brown and black. Kelimutu is a small but well-known Indonesian volcano in central Flores Island with three summit crater lakes of varying colors. The western lake, Tiwi Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is commonly blue. Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched, or Enchanted Lake), which share a common crater wall, are commonly green and red-colored, respectively, although lake colors vary periodically. Active upwelling, probably fed by sub aqueous fumaroles, occurs at the two eastern lakes. The scenic lakes are a popular tourist destination and have been the source of minor eruption in historical time. The summit of the compound 1639-m-high Kelimutu volcano is elongated 2 km in a WNW-ESE direction; the older cones of Kelido and Kelibara are located respectively 3 km to the north and 2 km to the south.

There is good snorkeling and diving on several locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, combined with the after effects of a devastating tsunami in 1992, the reefs have slowly been destroyed.

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