Lake Kelimutu – three crater lakes of varying colors..


Lake Kelimutu or ‘the three colored lake’ is three crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu located on Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The three crater lakes are a haunting—and possibly haunted—sight. Considered to be the resting place for departed souls, the lakes are locally referred to as “the lake of old people,” “the lake of young men and maidens,” and “the lake of evil spirits.” Bizarrely, all three lakes change color dramatically and unpredictably, from blue or green to black or red. The exact location of this mountain village Pemo , District Flores , Ende. In administrative, Lake Flores is at 3 districts, namely District of Detsuko, District and Sub-District Wolowaru Ndona, all three are under the auspices of Ende regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province.

The lake is known as the Lake of Three Colors because it has three different colors, namely red , blue , and white. Even so, the colors are always changing over time. The first lake named Tiwu Ata Mbupu, the second lake with called Muri Koo Fai Tiwu Nuwa and the third lake called Tiwu Ata Polo.

Some people suspect, discoloration of water in the lake due to the activity of Kelimutu Volcano, refracting sunlight, the presence of micro- organisms of water, the dissolved chemical substances , as well as due to the reflection color of the walls and the bottom of the lake. A brief explanation that the water color changes to blue and white (now green) is made possible by changes in the chemical composition of the water of the crater due to changes in volcanic gases , or may be due to increased temperatures.


The locals believe that the lake is the third color change indicates that natural phenomena will arise as a volcano erupts, the presence of landslides, natural disaster or other calamity. Meanwhile, the increasing concentration of iron ( Fe ) in the fluid causes the red color to black ( dark brown now ) . The moss green moss made ​​possible certain types of organisms. Then about a wall of separation between Tiwu nua muri ko’o fai with ata polo Tiwu given a brief explanation that the geology of the corner, the wall section of the lake is the most unstable. With the adjacent position, especially if an earthquake with large scale, it is possible to merge these two lakes. Moreover, given the Flores Island including seismic area, required studies to inform travelers on where to take cover when the location was in the vicinity of Lake Kelimutu.

kelimutu 2

The first and second lake is located very close together, while the third lake is located about 1.5 km in the west. The third broad lake was approximately 1.051 million square meters with a volume of 1292 million cubic meters of water. Boundary between of the lake with is a narrow stone wall prone to landslides. The wall is very steep with a 70-degree angle. The Wall height of the lake ranging from 50 to 150 meters. The lake has a height of 1,640 meters above sea level. Flores is a combination word of “keli” meaning mountain and the word “quality” which means to boil. According to local belief, the colors on the lake Flores has the meaning of each and have a very powerful natural forces. Lake or Tiwu Flores in the top three sections corresponding to the color – the color that is in the lake. Blue lake or ” Nuwa Muri Koo Fai Tiwu” is a gathering place for the souls of young people who have died. The lake is colored red or “Tiwu Ata Polo” is a gathering place for the souls of the dead and as long as he lived always commit a crime / magic. While the lake is white or “Tiwu Mbupu Ata” is a gathering place for the souls of parents who have died.

2-kelimutu-lakes-mothaibaphoto-prints danau-kelimutu2

The color of water from three lakes are different from each other and constantly changing from time to time, especially color of the water Tiwu Nuwa Muri (twelve times change within twenty-five years). A few years ago they were white, turquoise and red. In November 2009 they were black, turquoise and coca-cola coloured. In July 2010 the smallest ,Tiwu Ata Mbupu, was clear bottle green, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai , the largest, was turquoise from the copper below, Tiwu Ata Polo was moss green. The lakes change colour suddenly. In addition to Kelimutu volcanic activity caused by, discoloration is allegedly due to the refraction of sunlight, the water micro-biota, the dissolved chemicals, and due to the reflection color of the walls and bottom of the lake.


The third area of ​​the lake is approximately 1,051,000 square meters with a volume of 1292 million cubic meters . Boundary between the lake was a narrow stone walls prone to landslides. This wall is very steep with a 70-degree angle . Lake wall height ranges from 50 to 150 meters.

Earlier this area was discovered by Van Such Telen, a Dutch citizen, in 1915. Beauty is widely known after Y. Bouman describes in his writings in 1929. Since then the foreign tourists started to come enjoy the lake known as anchor for the local community. Those who came not only a lover of beauty, but also researchers who want to know the nature of events that are very rare.


The natural wonders of Kelimutu Lake, providing exceptional charms. In addition to these three lakes, at Kelimutu is also has arboretum, mini forest which have an area of 4.5 hectares, where the growth of various types of trees that represent the potential biodiversity of the Kelimutu National Park. There are various types of flora whose number 78 Flora, 2 (two) of them are endemic species of Uta Onga Flores (Begonia kelimutuensis) and Turuwara (Rhondodenron renschianum) and three types of mammals, namely rats lawo (Rattushainaldi), Deke (Papagomys armandvillei), Wawi ndua (Susheureni). At the time of the flowering season between May to August this area is like a flower garden of Eden because it will give a red color on the edge lakes. There is also a type of bird species endemic to Kelimutu, Gerugiwa (Monarcha sp), endemic bird whose voice is very melodious and often called bird of the soul, because it seldom appeared and difficult to find. With the noisy chirping birds Meandering is what always welcomes your arrival in Flores each day break, a chirp with 11 different voices.


National Wildlife Conservation Area

Flores area has been determined to be the National Natural Conservation Area since February 26, 1992.

 forest type

  • Dipterokarp Forest Hill is a forest area located at an altitude between 300-750 meters .
  • Forest Hill Dipterokarp 300-750 meters
  • Forest Dipterokarp Up altitude 750-1200 meters
  • Montane Forests 1.200 to 1500 meters
  • Forest Ericaceous > 1,500 meters

Some of the flora that can be found around the lake, among others Kesambi (Schleichera oleosa), Casuarina (Casuarina equisetifolia) and perennial flower Edelweiss. While the fauna around the lake, including deer (Cervus timorensis), wild boar (Sus sp), Jungle chicken (Gallus gallus) and the Eagle (Elanus sp).

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