Lake Kelimutu : Indonesia Three Color Lakes
Kelimutu National Park is located on the island of Flores, Indonesia. It consists of a region with hills and mountains, with Mount Kelibara (1,731 m) as its highest peak. Mount Kelimutu, which has the three coloured lakes, is also located in this national park. This natural attraction is a destination for tourists.
The Kelimutu National Park in Flores island in the NTT province of Indonesia, features a 3 colored crater lake that changes color rather often. At the time of the nation’s independence (1945), the three lakes were white, red, and blue in color. Now, they are black, brown, and green. The lakes are separated by a very thin and steep cliff of rock that is rich in minerals, and the whole national park is full of exotic biodiversity nestled in a very natural rainforest setting.
Some endagered plant species are protected in this national park, such as: Toona spp., Anthocephalus cadamba, Canarium spp., Diospyros ferra, Alstonis scholaris, Schleichera oleosa, Casuarina equisetifolia and Anaphalis javanica. Some endangered animals can also be found here, such as: Javan Rusa, Wild boar sp., Red Junglefowl, Elanus sp. and Drongo sp. (Dicrurus sulphurea).
The four endemic mammals in the park include two montane rodents: Bunomys naso and Hainald’s Rat (Rattus hainaldi).
In this area, there is also an arboretum, a mini jungle (4,5 ha) represent flora biodiversity of Kelimutu National Park. The arboterum consists of 78 types of tree plants which are grouped into 36 families. Some of the Kelimutu’s endemic flora collections are uta onga (Begonia kelimutuensis), turuwara (Rhododendron renschianum), and arngoni (Vaccinium varingiaefolium).
Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the town of Moni in central Flores Island of Indonesia containing three summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red in color, respectively. The lake colors do vary on a periodic basis. Subaqueous fumaroles are the probable cause of active upwelling that occurs at the two eastern lakes.
The lake have been a source of minor phreatic eruptions in historical time. The summit of the compound 1639-m-high Kelimutu volcano is elongated two km in a WNW-ESE direction; the older cones of Kelido and Kelibara are located respectively three km to the north and two km to the south. The scenic lakes are a popular tourist destination. Keli Mutu is also of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet reside at the crest of the same volcano.
According to the local officer at Kelimutu National Park, the colour changed by chemical reaction of any minerals contained in the lake in triggered by volcano gas activity. The closest airports are Maumere, and Ende. There are regular flights to Maumere from Bali. The drive from Maumere to Moni, the town at the base of Keli Mutu, takes about 3 hours.
Lake of Kelimutu is one tourist attraction that is very interesting volcanic tourism, the lake is the mainstay of tourism on the island of Flores. Flores Island is an island located in the eastern Indonesian archipelago. From Jakarta, we can travel by using a flight from Jakarta (airport cengkareng) – Flores (Airport Wai Oti) by commercial aircraft.
To reach Lake kelimutu then continue our journey of about two hours from the town of Ende, Ende province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), taken with a rental car through winding roads, ravines and cliffs, as well as road conditions are not smooth. It felt tiring and challenging, let alone carried out in the early morning trip.
But it all disappeared after entering the village of Moni, the nearest village to reach Lake of Kelimutu. The village is situated in the village of Moni Koanara, District Wolowaru, Ende, a distance of 13 kilometers from Lake of Kelimutu. From Moni only takes about 45 minutes to reach the mouth of Lake of Kelimutu.
By history, “Kelimutu” is a combination of the word “Keli” which means mountain and “Mutu” which means to boil. In mid-2006 and occurred several times, especially for the two lakes adjacent to the “Lake tiwu nua muri ko’o fai ” and “Lake tiwu ata polo”. “Lake Dead tiwu nua muri ko’o fai ” who formerly green, in June last year had changed to blue. While the “Lake tiwu ata polo ” which previously turned dark brown slightly reddish color. A separate lake is “Lake tiwu ata mbupu” stay dark green or moss.
Morning is the best time to watch the Lake Kelimutu. Shortly before noon, let alone in the afternoon, the fog that blanketed the lake blocking the view. That’s why the tourists usually stay overnight in the village of Moni and the left Kelimutu early morning.