Riung Marine Park Travel Guide

The marine park offshore of Riung, Flores is officially known as Pulau Tujuhbelas (or ‘Seventeen Islands’). Visitors stop here during a visit to Flores for a chance to charter a boat and explore the islands.

The name ‘Seventeen Islands’ is a tribute to Indonesia’s Independence Day (August 17) and undersells the two dozen islets found here. Some, like Pulau Ontolie or Pulau Bampa Barat, are large and hilly. The latter runs a modest fishermen’s camp where tourists may have the opportunity to buy fresh fish to take back to the mainland.

Other spots of land in Riung Marine Park are more like islets or simple rocky outcroppings. These play host to colorful coral gardens interspersed with sea grasses and mangrove forests. Snorkeling is great throughout the marine park, and swimmers are likely to spot starfish, sea urchins and countless varieties of tropical fish.

Tours guides are widely available in Riung village, leading snorkeling and island-hopping excursions into the chain of islands. Some guides can also take visitors to strategic wildlife-viewing spots where flying foxes (large bats) and komodo dragons congregate.

Getting There & Away

Access to the marine park is through Riung city proper, a relatively remote outpost with limited bus connections to other towns on the island. The best transportation options on this side of Flores are at Ende (3 hours, 30 minutes away by bus) where passengers can board an airplane for Denpasar, Bali (1 hour). Denpasar operates flights across the region.