Crater lakes Kelimutu Indonesia

Crater lakes Keli Mutu Indonesia

KeliMutu Indonesia are both an impressive and mystical natural phenomenon

Crater lakes Kelimutu Indonesia are both an impressive and mystical natural phenomenon – a good destination for mountain lovers, water and adventures. Enjoy this divine palette of colors, even virtually. Because of its different color and fabulously beautiful panorama, the three volcanic lakes – Tiwu Nuva Murray Coo Fai, Tiju Ata Polo and Tibou Ata Mbuwu are one of Indonesia’s most popular attractions. They are located at an altitude of about 1700 meters above sea level in the core of the extinct volcano Kelimutu on the island of Flores, not far from the small town of Moni and about 50 km from the provincial capital of Ende.

Although they share a common crater, the three lakes have individual uniqueness, especially in terms of color. What’s more, they change it periodically (independently of each other) and to date they have probably gone through all the colors of the palette. Before 2006, they were red, turquoise blue and white, in 2009 changed to copper, light green and black. Today, the first lake is light green, the second one is turquoise and the third one is olive green (almost black). The most western (about 1.5 km from the others) and at least the area is Thuja Ata Mbubo.

The other two – Tiju Ata Polo and Tivu Nuva Murray Coo Fay are separated by a narrow volcanic barrier (35 m high), besides being the largest, Nuva Murray is the lake with the most frequently changing color (12 times for 25 years). From a geological point of view, the reason for this phenomenon is the high mineral concentration of water caused by the released underground gases combined with the refraction of sunlight, microflora and the color of the volcanic basin itself.

The multicolored lakes of the volcano Kelimutu

Blending gases, containing a mixture of chemicals, cause the lakes to look as if they are boiling. However, if you ask local residents about the phenomena that are happening in crater lakes, you will hear a very different and far more fearsome story, enveloped by the traditional beliefs of Eastern culture. According to the island’s population in Kelimutu, the souls of deceased people come to live their eternal life here. Before entering one of the three lakes, however, they meet the guard at the gate at Pereconde, which determines which lake to enter by age and character.

KeliMutu Indonesia

KeliMutu Indonesia fabulously beautiful panorama

So, Lake Tiwu Ata Mubu is also called “The Lake of the Old Man”, because it includes the souls of the elderly, Tiju Ata Polo is known as “The Enchanted Lake” because it is designed for people with some superpowers and Tiwu Nuva Murray Coo Pai – such as “The Lake of Young Men and Girls”, because it is for the souls of the young.

As part of Kelimutu National Park, however magnificent they are with their diversity, the lakes of the same name are not the only reason that attracts tourists and adventurers to this end of the world. This color palette is surrounded by a botanical gardens – a forest of 4.5 hectares representing the rich biodiversity of Kelimutu (78 endangered plant species and several species of animals and birds). Thus, from May to August, when the blooming season is, the whole area resembles a Garden of Eden, populated by the lyrical tender bird voices. A narrow but well-marked path will take you through the uneven terrain to the top of the volcano, where all three magic lakes await you. And if you’re wondering where to stay, the possibilities are a lot.

Most of the tourists choose bungalows and hotels in Moni, but places fill fast and are far from luxury. A more convenient alternative would be to stop in the other big city – Mumarre or in the comfortable hotel in Ende – about 3-4 hours from your final destination. Among the newest additions in the local bed base is the holiday eco-village, named after the crater lakes, with all the necessary tourist facilities. Because of its idyllic atmosphere and magnificent location, it already enjoys great attendance. And the entrance to the National Park is just a 20-minute drive away, and a 20-minute walk along the stone steps to the lakes. The truth, however, is that in whatever village you are staying, you will be able to get to the crater lakes Kelimutu  without difficulty. In most places there is organized transport, and if you use your own carriage, you will be oriented on the signposts. The most important thing is that you are well-equipped because it is windy at the top, and that you observe the rules of conduct in this saintly place for the island of Flores.

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