Public Transport in Flores
As further you travel to the east of Indonesia as more difficult it will be to find public transportation. In Flores it is very common to rent a private car with driver. Nevertheless it is possible to explore Flores by public transportation if you don't have a tight schedule. You should be also very flexible in your itinerary. It might be that you cannot reach your final destination on the day you have expected. It is often an adventure, but one of the good ones.
Public busses operate from city to city. They depart and arrive via public bus stations usually located far outside of the towns. Exact time schedules are not available and busses will only depart once all seats are occupied. Usually the busses in Flores are overcrowded and there will be a lot of luggage and also travellers on the roofs of the Be aware of your luggage which is stored on the roof. If you don´t lock it, it might happen that things get lost. These customers usually can travel for a tenth of the regular price.
Truk Kayu - Wood Sided Truck
These trucks operate mainly in remote areas where their high wheel base and sturdy construction are well-suited to poor road conditions. The Indonesian word "Kayu" means wood and it denotes the wooden sides and wooden benches used for passenger seating in the back of the trucks. "Truk Kayu" is the major form of transport for local residents in rural areas. When visiting West Flores be sure to enjoy the exciting experience of traveling on a "Truk Kayu".
Travel Companies provide comfortable minibusses for covering longer distances from one city to another. These busses operate on fixed routes and generally drives from point to point with no intermediate stops. The minibusses will, however, pick-up and drop-off passenger at their departure/arrival addresses. This is a relatively popular and comfortable way to travel among visitors and locals for reasonable prices.
Private Cars which operate as shared Taxis
Private cars and minivans as Suzuki ATV operate as shared taxis from terminal to terminal of each city. They can be identified by a yellow registration plate. There are no exact time schedules and you have to stop them on the street by show of hands. Before you enter the car ask first for the price. As the income of the driver depends on the amount of the customers most drivers attend to take more customers as seats are available. Therefore a four hours trip could become very uncomfortable. It is recommended to travel only with small luggage in private taxi cars. Private taxi cars drive always very fast and many steep winding roads make many passengers “sea-sick” so they become violently ill. In the worst case the car has to stop every 5 kilometer as it happened when I travelled from Bajawa to Ruteng.
Private Car Rental
Privately rented cars are by far the most convenient form of individual travel. Rental is typically on a "per day". The Trans-Flores route is well known to most drivers. Some drivers are also familiar with Bima-Sumbawa and Lombok-Bali routes.
It's recommended that you rent a car with a driver and guide in advance because rental cars are limited in Flores.