Photos of the Kelimutu Crater Lakes on Flores. Click on any of the thumbnails to see the full size image.
The three colored lakes of Kelimutu are eastern Flores' main tourist attraction. The lakes fill old cones of the still active volcano, and are know for their habit changing color from time to time. The color changes are due to changes in the chemical composition of gases being released into the water from the magma chambers below. The area around the lakes is a national park.
The typical visit starts in the wee hours of the morning before sunrise. Arriving at the parking area, it's a 20 to 30 minute walk up to the viewpoint between the three lakes - it's a good idea to bring a flashlight. If you time it right, you arrive at the peak just as the sun is rising. The truth be told, it takes quite a while after sunrise for the light to strike the lakes, so I'm not sure getting there for the sunrise is really that important.
Aerial view of the Kelimutu Crater Lakes (public domain image from USGS)
The largest of the lakes, and the first to catch the sunlight, Tiwu Ata Polo was a deep jade green color on my visit (it looks turquoise in the photo). A sulfur-yellow scum can be seen at one edge of the lake. The much darker Tiwu Nua Muri Koo Fai can be seen beyond, and is only separated from the larger lake by a thin wall of rock. The third lake, Tiwu Ata Mbupu, is on the opposite, western, side of the viewpoint. It appears as a crater within the crater, and is a dark brown in color.
After spending some time at the viewpoint, you can begin the walk down, stopping off at the viewing area on the rim of Tiwu Nua Muri Koo Fai. Nearby is also a "monkey feeding" area. On your way back down to the car park, you'll have a chance to see many lovely flowers and trees.
Kelimutu Park Entry Fee
Each visitor to the Kelimutu National Park must pay an entry fee of 20,000 Rupiah (1.20 USD).