The city of Maumere is the largest town on Flores. There isn't much to see in the city itself, but it's your best option for flights in and out of East Flores to see the Kelimutu Crater Lakes and other sights of the area.

That there's not much to see in Maumere is no surprise. The town was heavily damaged by an earthquake and resulting tsunami in 1992 that affected more than 90% of the structures. The city has since been completely rebuilt, but there's nothing remarkable to be seen. Much of Maumere's nascent tourist facilities were also wiped out by the disaster, but few of them returned. There are now just a few accommodations around Maumere attracting international visitors.

The waters around Maumere were once heralded as the best diving in Indonesia. The reefs survived the 1992 disaster, but years of dynamite and cyanide fishing have destroyed what mother nature couldn't. The area around the offshore islands is now a conservation area, but it will probably take years for the area to recover.

Getting to Maumere

While it may look tempting to do an over-land tour from Labuan Bajo in the West to reach Maymere, the cross-Flores highway is long and winding - the road runs 700 kilometers to make the 200 kilometer trip - and not in the best condition for its entire length. The best way to explore East Flores is to fly to Maumere. Several of Indonesia's domestic airlines - but not the flag carrier Garuda - fly to Maumere. Most flights originate in Bali.