Moni and Kelimutu volcano
Holy Moni, how cool you are. Located in the green of Flores, this small village is particularly known for the unique Kelimutu volcano. The Kelimutu is known for its three crater lakes, each with a unique color. Currently, the colors of crater lakes are bright blue, but the color changes over the years. The changing colors of the lakes are a unique natural phenomenon that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. But the Moni area has much more to offer than just the Kelimutu volcano. From hidden waterfalls to beautiful hiking trails.
Kelimutu volcano visit
You can do the Kelimutu Volcano in several ways. From Moni you can walk to it. This takes about 2 – 3 hours. But it is also possible to take a scooter yourself to the starting point or jump on the back of someone. The latter option costs about 2 euros.
Most people visit the volcano at sunrise. This means getting up in the middle of the night. It seems like almost everything in Indonesia starts in the middle of the night. A unique experience, but also the busiest time often of the day to visit the volcano. We left at the end of the morning with the result that we had the volcano all to ourselves.
Kelimutu is very unique and special. The volcano has three crater lakes that are each a different color due to minerals: dark green, blue-green and light gray. But this is not all, because over the years the colors change again. For example, 1 lake was once red and another was once white. Exactly how this came about is not known. Kelimutu is not only very beautiful to see, but for the locals it is a sacred place. Buffalo and pigs used to be sacrificed here. And still they believe that the souls of their deceased relatives rest here. Because of this, the mountain has been given the name Mountain of Spirits.
The climb to the viewpoint is fine. Along the way you will encounter, how could it be otherwise, macaques. Fortunately, the macaques here are not as brutal as in Bali and usually leave you alone.
Waterfalls of Moni
In tiny Moni, we decided to explore the enchanting Murondao Waterfall. On the way to this place, we stumbled upon a small eatery. We stopped for a drink and to ask for directions, although they were not particularly clearly marked. And by “not particularly clear,” I actually mean not at all. Again, we were the only tourists, but were welcomed with open arms by the locals. After about an hour of hiking, we reached the falls. Sometimes they charge a small fee to enter a specific area. There are easy bridges to get to the waterfall. It is really worth paying that fee and moving on, because the scenery seems straight out of a fairy tale book. Like walking into Riverdell and encountering an elf from The Lord of the Rings at any moment. Although the falls are not particularly large, the place is absolutely breathtaking.
About a 2-hour drive from Moni you will find Koka beach. A hidden paradise on earth. Perfect for an afternoon of relaxation. With your feet in the white sand, enjoy an amazing view with a coconut in your hand. Chances are you’ll have the beach all to yourself. You can also stay overnight here, you have nothing else here and the accommodation is not much. Our advice: rent a scooter and just go there for a day. Absolutely one of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia.
Transportation to Moni
Through our hotel we had arranged for a minibus to Moni. The route was breathtaking, a bit exciting at times. We had to change trains in Ende, a town that we really hated. After about 6 hours, we arrived in Moni. You can also take a cab or bemo. You stand by the side of the road and wait for one to stop. Nice and easy. A third option is to rent a motorcycle for a few euros a day and explore the island by yourself.
Accommodation: Gecko Homestay
As cool as we thought Bajawa was, unfortunately we left here less cozy. In fact, we had fallen ill. Whether we had caught the flu, drank too much raki or eaten something wrong, neither of us were top fit. We decided to take it easy for a while. For 10 euros, we booked a small bamboo hut at Gecko Homestay. Which absolutely became our No. 1 spot in all of Indonesia. Why? Well because Lopez (the owner), his 3 dogs and family really make you feel at home. So we got to cook and eat with you, the dogs slept in front of your door and we had the most interesting and funny conversations with Lopez into the night. What was supposed to be 1 night quickly became several. It was a wonderful place to take a break.
Food in Moni
Every night we ate with Lopez and his family. Of course, we had to cook for ourselves. Other than that, you have some small, simple tents in Moni. Through tripadvisor, you will soon find yourself at Mopi’s place. Truly a top spot. We had a wonderful lunch here every day. Also, the cakes are divine.