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How To Get From Flores To Lombok By Local Transport


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Casi Battles



Exploring the beautiful islands of Flores and Lombok in Indonesia is a dream come true for many travelers. Flores offers stunning landscapes, breathtaking beaches, and the renowned Komodo National Park, while Lombok boasts pristine beaches, lush green mountains, and a vibrant culture. However, getting from Flores to Lombok can be a bit of an adventure. If you’re up for the challenge and want to experience the local way of travel, you can follow this guide to navigate the local transport options.


Getting from Flores to Lombok requires multiple modes of transportation, including ferries, buses, and public boats. While it may take longer than flying, this local transport option allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and witness the stunning scenery along the way.


In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step journey from Flores to Lombok, highlighting the various modes of transport, approximate travel times, and tips to make your journey as smooth as possible. So, put on your explorer hat, and let’s dive into the adventure of traveling from Flores to Lombok by local transport.


Getting to Labuan Bajo

The first step in your journey from Flores to Lombok is reaching the town of Labuan Bajo, located on the western coast of Flores. Labuan Bajo is the gateway to the famous Komodo National Park and is well-connected to other parts of Indonesia by air and sea.


The easiest and most convenient way to reach Labuan Bajo is by taking a domestic flight from major cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Bali, or Surabaya. Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo receives regular flights from these cities, with multiple airlines operating daily services.


Flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo are particularly popular, usually lasting around 1 hour. Bali serves as a major hub with frequent connections to Labuan Bajo throughout the day. It’s advisable to book your flight in advance, especially if you plan to travel during peak tourist seasons.


If you prefer a more adventurous option, you can also reach Labuan Bajo by sea. Regular ferries operate between several ports in Flores and Labuan Bajo. The journey by ferry may take longer, depending on the route and weather conditions, but it offers an opportunity to witness the stunning coastlines and picturesque islands of Flores.


Once you arrive in Labuan Bajo, you will find a range of accommodations, from budget guesthouses to luxury resorts, to suit your preferences and budget. Take some time to explore Labuan Bajo and its bustling harbor before continuing your journey to Lombok.


Ferry from Labuan Bajo to Sape

After exploring the beauty of Labuan Bajo, it’s time to embark on the next leg of your journey from Flores to Lombok. The next step is taking a ferry from Labuan Bajo to the port town of Sape in East Sumbawa. This ferry journey will be an adventure in itself, as you traverse the scenic waters of the Flores Sea.


Ferries operating on this route offer both economy class and VIP class options. The economy class is more budget-friendly, while the VIP class provides a more comfortable experience with air-conditioning and reserved seating. It’s recommended to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during high season, to secure your spot.


The ferry journey from Labuan Bajo to Sape typically takes around 9 to 10 hours, depending on the weather conditions and the specific ferry you choose. It’s important to note that the schedule and frequency of ferries may vary, so it’s advisable to check the current schedule before planning your trip.


As you sail across the Flores Sea, take in the picturesque views of the surrounding islands and enjoy the sea breeze. The ferry makes a stop at several small islands along the way, giving you a glimpse of their beauty. You can even catch a few glimpses of the majestic Komodo dragons swimming between these islands.


During the journey, you will have access to basic amenities on board, such as toilets and a small canteen where you can purchase snacks and drinks. However, it’s a good idea to bring along some food and water for the journey, as well as any necessary medications or entertainment to keep yourself occupied.


Once you arrive in Sape, be prepared for the hustle and bustle of the port town. From here, you will continue your journey to the town of Bima, where you can catch a public bus to continue your journey to Lombok.


Bus from Sape to Bima

After arriving in Sape, your next step in the journey from Flores to Lombok is to take a bus from Sape to the town of Bima. Bima is located in the eastern part of Sumbawa Island and serves as a major transportation hub for travelers heading to Lombok.


From the port area in Sape, you can find local buses or minivans (known as “bemos”) that regularly ply the route to Bima. The journey takes approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. Be prepared for a bumpy ride, as some parts of the road may be unpaved.


The buses and bemos in Sumbawa usually don’t have fixed schedules, but they depart once they are full. It’s advisable to arrive early in the morning to increase your chances of getting a seat. You can also consider hiring a private car or joining a shared taxi if you prefer a more comfortable and convenient option.


During the bus journey, you’ll witness the natural beauty of Sumbawa Island, with its rolling hills, lush green landscapes, and local villages. Keep your camera ready to capture the stunning views along the way.


It’s recommended to bring some snacks and water for the journey, as there might not be many options for food and refreshments along the route. It’s also a good idea to have some Indonesian currency (Indonesian Rupiah) on hand, as some buses may not accept other forms of payment.


Once you reach Bima, take some time to explore the town or grab a bite to eat before continuing your journey to Lombok. From Bima, you will need to catch a public boat that will take you to Senggigi, a popular tourist area in Lombok.


Note: It’s always a good idea to check the bus schedules in advance or ask locals for the most up-to-date information, as services may vary.


Public Boat from Bima to Senggigi

After reaching Bima, the next leg of your journey from Flores to Lombok involves taking a public boat from Bima to Senggigi. Senggigi is a popular tourist destination in Lombok, known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife.


In Bima, head to the Bima Bay Port, where you will find public boats that operate regular trips to Senggigi. The boat ride takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on weather conditions and the type of boat you choose.


You’ll have two options when it comes to public boats: speedboats and traditional wooden boats. Speedboats are faster and more comfortable, but they tend to be more expensive. Traditional wooden boats, on the other hand, offer a more authentic and local experience, and they are typically cheaper.


During the boat journey, you’ll sail across the Lombok Strait, which offers breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters and surrounding islands. Keep your camera ready to capture the picturesque landscapes along the way.


It’s advisable to bring some snacks, water, and sunscreen for the boat ride, as there may not be many amenities available on board. Additionally, consider keeping your belongings in waterproof bags or containers to protect them from any splashes or rain.


Once you arrive in Senggigi, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, along with restaurants, shops, and other tourist facilities. Senggigi serves as a great base for exploring the beautiful beaches and attractions of Lombok.


From Senggigi, you can easily explore other popular destinations in Lombok, such as the Gili Islands or Mount Rinjani. Public transport options, including taxis and minivans, are available to take you to different parts of the island.


Remember to check the boat schedules in advance and arrive early to secure your seat. The schedules may vary depending on the season, so it’s always a good idea to inquire with locals or your accommodation for the most up-to-date information.


Enjoy the scenic boat ride and get ready to explore the wonders of Lombok!


Local Transport from Senggigi to Lombok

Once you’ve arrived in Senggigi, you’ll have various options for local transport to explore the stunning island of Lombok. Whether you want to visit the pristine beaches, hike to waterfalls, or discover the unique culture of the Sasak people, there are plenty of transportation choices available.


Taxis and Ride-Hailing Apps: Taxis are readily available in Senggigi, and you can find them at designated taxi stands or by hailing one on the street. Alternatively, you can use ride-hailing apps like Gojek or Grab to easily book a car or motorbike taxi at your convenience. Just make sure to negotiate the fare or check the app”s pricing before starting your journey.


Rent a Motorbike: Renting a motorbike is a popular choice among travelers in Lombok, allowing you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. There are numerous rental shops in Senggigi where you can choose from a variety of motorbikes. Remember to wear a helmet, carry an international driver’s license, and familiarize yourself with local traffic rules.


Public Buses: Public buses are a budget-friendly option for getting around Lombok. The Damri buses operate on fixed routes and schedules, connecting major towns and attractions across the island. You can catch a Damri bus from Senggigi to popular destinations like Mataram, Kuta, or the capital city, Praya. Keep in mind that public buses may be crowded and run on specific timetables, so plan accordingly.


Private Drivers and Tours: For a more customized and guided experience, you can hire a private driver or join a tour. This option allows you to have a knowledgeable local guide who can take you to the best spots on the island. There are many tour agencies and private drivers available in Senggigi, offering a range of options based on your preferences and budget.


Ojek (Motorcycle Taxi): If you’re traveling alone or have a short distance to cover, taking an ojek (motorcycle taxi) can be a convenient and affordable option. Ojeks can be found near main intersections or tourist areas. Just make sure to negotiate the fare upfront before hopping on the back of the motorcycle.


Horse-Carts: In some areas of Lombok, such as the Gili Islands or some traditional villages, you may come across horse-carts known as cidomo. These colorful carts offer a unique way to explore the local surroundings. Negotiate the fare with the driver before the ride.


As you venture out with local transport in Lombok, it’s recommended to plan your itinerary in advance and allow for some flexibility in case of delays or changes in schedules. Lombok is a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and stunning landscapes, so take your time and enjoy the journey.



Traveling from Flores to Lombok by local transport is an adventure that will not only take you through breathtaking landscapes but also allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the true essence of Indonesia. From Labuan Bajo to Senggigi, each leg of the journey offers its own unique charm and beauty.


As you navigate the ferries, buses, and public boats, you’ll witness the stunning coastlines, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque islands that make Indonesia’s archipelago so captivating. The journey may be a bit time-consuming, but the opportunity to interact with locals, take in stunning views, and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations makes it all worthwhile.


Remember to plan your trip, check the schedules, and book tickets in advance to ensure a smooth journey. Be prepared for the unpredictable, as weather conditions and transportation availability may vary. Stay flexible and embrace the serendipity that comes with traveling off the tourist path.


Whether it’s the Komodo dragons of Labuan Bajo, the vibrant culture of Bima, or the enchanting beaches of Senggigi, each destination holds its own allure. Take your time to explore, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to get from Flores to Lombok by local transport, it’s time to embark on your own adventure. Pack your bags, unleash your spirit of adventure, and get ready to discover the wonders of these beautiful Indonesian islands.


Safe travels!