Selasa, 08 Mei 2012


Three Color Crater of Kelimutu Lakes
Awfully Kelimutu Lakes fantastic mystical colors crater the bounties of nature never seem to amaze us as and when it reveals it surprises we are often hypnotized by them. Out of the countless fantasies from nature, colored lakes of Kelimutu will surely sway your senses. Located in the crater lakes of Kelimutu are a beautiful and mysterious geological anomaly. The Kelimutu lakes are one of the most popular attractions in East Nusa Tenggara Indonesia  and were once featured on the Bahasa Indonesia - the national language of Indonesia. Surprisingly, these lakes change their shades periodically and hence are referred to as the colored lakes.

Kelimutu Lakes
The three lakes namely, Tiwu Ata Mbupu, Tiwu Ata Polo and Tiwu Nuva Muri Koo Fai, are known for their characteristic of changing colors after a certain period of time. A few years back, the colors of the lakes were blue, black and maroon, whereas, back in 1960s, these lakes were of blue, cafĂ© and red-brown colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu is the westernmost of the three, whereas the other two lakes share a crater wall between them. Situated in the Central Flores Island in Indonesia, these lakes see a huge influx of tourists from different parts of the world. 
Geologists asserted that the changing hue of these lakes is largely attributed to dissolving minerals, which is generally stimulated in the rainy season.

Tiwu Ata Mbupu, or “the lake of old people”, is the westernmost lake and it is usually blue in color. The lake is in a pit crater, which itself is located in a huge central crater. Large boulders regularly drop into the lake, and the continuous landslide result in forming steep shores around it. Its shoreline consists of a layer of red, yellow and orange material. Crystals of Gypsum have been found in the fissures of the crater containing the lake.
Tiwu Ata Polo, or “the enchanted lake”, is located in the south-eastern side of the volcano. The trail of hot water present at the northwest part of the lake points out to the hydrothermal activity or sub aerial fumarolic going inside the lake. 

Sometimes this convective activity gets enhanced and subsequently a white froth appears on the lake’s surface around the hot water plume. The landslide and rainwater storms drain the rock debris of the volcano summit into the lake, forming steeper slopes around it. This deposition also forms large boulders inside the lake.
Tiwu Nua Moori Koohi Fai, or simply “the lake of young men and maidens”, shares a crater wall with the Tiwu Ata Polo and it is the deepest of the three lakes. Though visible fumarolic activity was reported in the lake earlier, there are no such activities present in the lake anymore. A yellow froth can be observed at its center that is largely attributed to the subaerial activities. The froth is pushed out towards the wall of the crater and a huge amount of this froth is accumulated on the northern wall.
These lakes offer inimitable touring experience to visitors. You will surely get bewitched by seeing the stunning hues of these wonderful lakes encompassed in a scenic landscape. The best time to see these lakes is on full moon night. The sight that one gets to see can enthrall anyone and it makes for an everlasting memory.
Getting to Kelimutu

Kelimutu is located in the Center of  Flores,Indonesia roughly 40 miles from the town of Ende and 52 miles from Maumere.
Both Ende and Maumere have small airports with flights from major hubs in Indonesia, however service is unpredictable and tickets must be purchased at the airport.
The drive from Maumere - the larger of the two towns - takes around three to four hours.
The narrow road through Flores is mountainous and slow-going; most visitors choose to visit the lakes by staying in the tiny village of Moni. Crowded public buses run the road to Moni regularly or you can team with other travelers to hire a private car.

Moni is only nine miles from the lakes and is the usual base for visiting Kelimutu, although some tour companies run buses all the way from Ende. Accommodation is limited in Moni and things fill up quickly in the peak months of July and August.
Your guest house in Moni will arrange transportation to the summit. Expect to leave Moni around 4 a.m. in order to reach Kelimutu before sunrise. During the low season transportation may be as simple as riding on the back of a motorcycle!

Tips for Visiting Kelimutu

  • A heavy fog often obscures the lakes, so most tourists arrive at the summit to watch the sunrise.
  • Mornings are cold and windy on the summit; wear warm clothes that can be removed as the day heats up later in the afternoon.
  • The trail is well-marked, but bring a flashlight if you intend to hike before sunrise.
  • There may be vendors offering coffee and tea on the trail, but take your own water and snacks.
  • There is little shade around the lakes, wear a hat and protect yourself from the sun.
  • Kelimutu is a national park - you will be expected to pay a small fee at the entrance gate.

Walking Around the Kelimutu Lakes

Kelimutu National Park is home to several endangered plants and animals, always stay on marked trails to avoid further erosion of their fragile environment.
Although there is an unofficial trail that traverses the rim of the lakes, walking around is not recommended. Loose shale and volcanic rock make parts of the steep path dangerous, and noxious fumes rising from the crater will literally take your breath away.
A fall into the lakes would be fatal.


Getting Back to Moni

Most people depart shortly after the sunrise, however the afternoon sun really brings out the brilliance of the colors on Kelimutu. You may even have the lakes to yourself during afternoons in the off season!
Not all transportation arranged in Moni includes return. Many visitors choose to walk back to town by taking a steep and scenic shortcut down the mountain. The walk passes a waterfall and favorite swimming spot for locals. The trail begins near the entrance gate to Kelimutu, ask someone for directions.
If you choose not to walk back to town, you may find other transportation options in the parking area or flag any public bus on the road back to Moni.

Kelimutu and the Supernatural

The other-worldly colors and thick mist surrounding the volcano have earned Kelimutu a supernatural reputation. Local villages believe that the spirits of the dead go to rest in one of the lakes based upon the deeds performed on Earth.
  • Tiwa Ata Mbupu, the solo lake on the west side of the summit, is believed to be where elders and wise people go.
  • Tiwu nua muri koo fai is the lake where young people go when they die.
  • Iwu ata polo is the cursed home of evil spirits.

Around Moni

Moni is a tiny farming village, but several budget guest houses have popped up due to the proximity of Kelimutu. Moni is certainly not the place to linger if you wish to shop, dine luxuriously, or party, but there is a charm in the fresh air.
Some of the neighboring villages produce beautiful traditional weavings and the once-weekly market day held in Moni is interesting to see.
There is a pleasant waterfall and swimming spot only one mile from town just off of the main road to Ende.

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