Flores in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have interesting tourism destination in every corner of the island. But one you can't miss is the unique Kelimutu Lake at Kelimutu Island, which is known as Danau Tiga Warna (Three Colors Lake).
The uniqueness of this lake is its capability to change color during certain times. Also, the beauty of scenery around the mountain is an attraction itself.
According to local belief's, the different lake color's has its own meaning. The blue lake, 'Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai' in local dialect, believed as a gathering place of people who died at a young age. And as the red one, 'Tiwu Ata Polo', believed as a gathering place for people who during his lifetime often doing bad things. The white one, 'Tiwu Ata Mbupu', believed by the local villager as a gathering place for their ancestor spirit who died at an old age.
The discoloration occurs within certain periods of time. According to Kelimutu National Park Office data, from 1915 to 2011, Ata Polo has occurred a discoloration approximately 44 times, Nua Muri Koo Fai at 25 times and 16 times at Ata Mbupu. There is no definite schedule and changing pattern for those color change.
This phenomenon occurs due to the many factors happened in the lake such as volcano activity, reflection of sunlight, water macrobiotic, dissolved chemicals, and algae. Geo-chemical process in bottom of the lake, which produces certain chemical substances in the water, also become the reason for its discoloration.
Furthermore, local's believe that the Kelimutu's lake is a sacred lake and give fertility to its surrounding area. That is why ceremonies are often held here and locals provide it with agricultural offerings, which become one interesting ritual to see for travelers in Kelimutu Lake. This ritual is a national festival called 'Pati Ka' held annually on 14 August.
To get the most out of the beauty of Kelimutu Lake's, it takes great energy and time during your traveling session.
From Labuan Bajo, you can rent a car and take a nine hour road trip to Ende. Or you can fly to Kupang and continue with four hour road trip to Ende. After that, the journey continue to Moni village, a small dorp at the foot of Kelimutu Mountain, which takes about one to two hours trip.
Entering Kelimutu National Park, traveler must register themselves and get an entry ticket at the price of Rp150.000,- for non domestic traveler. To get to the top of the mountain, it'll need one to two hours trekking depending on your stamina.
And don't worry preparing for snack and drink because the facilities at the top of the mountain quite complete. What you must take note is the price for the item they sell. Don't get scam!
To get maximum sensation of Kelimutu, the best time to track the mountain is two hours before the sunrise. This experience will give you an unforgettable memory once you witnessed the magnificent view of what it can offer.