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Flores

Flores is an Indonesian island, located in the southern chain of islands that runs from the southern tip of Sumatra in western Indonesia and includes the islands of Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa and Komodo to the west and Lomblen and the Alor archipelago to the east. To the southeast is Timor. To the southwest is Sumba and to the north is Sulawesi.

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places that the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild.

The island of Flores is split into six Kabupaten / local government districts. From west to east these are: Manggarai, Ngada, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur.

The most famous toursit attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three coloured lakes in the district of Ende. These coloured lakes change colours on a regular basis. The latest colours (mid 2003) were said to be torquise, green and red. The red lake has only recently changed from being black.

There is good snorkelling 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, the reefs are slowly being destroyed.

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the centre of the island in the districts of Ngada and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu'e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So'a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labelled dialects of Ngadha.


Flores is also the capital of Guatemala's PetÚn department; see: Flores, Guatemala