Flores, Labuhanbajo to Ruteng 120 km, 4 Hours
What to See
Overnight in Labuan Bajo or in the Komodo Islands
Komodo Angel Island Resort
Komodo Kanawa Island ResortKomodo, Sebayur Island, Komodo ResortKomodo, Seraya Island Bungalows, Seraya Island
Labuan Bajo Waecicu Eden Beach Hotel
Labuan Bajo is a small and pretty harbor on the western-most tip of the island of Flores and is your entry point to the Komodo National Park (KNP) and the wonders of the island of Flores. At sunset. Labuan Bajo offers spectacular scenery as the many small islands that face this harbor silhouette dramatically against the darkening sea, creating a most magical effect.
With growing numbers of tourists travelling to Komodo and Flores, more star-rated hotels are now available. Prices of strategic lands have increased as the strong tourism potential around Labuan Bajo attracts major investors.
With the established of the regional administration in Labuan Bajo, transportation access to Labuan Bajo, by land, sea and air continue to be enhanced. Numerous economic and tourism developments are now in an advanced planning stage or under construction in West Manggarai. Labuanbajo, also spelled Labuhanbajo, is a city at the tip of Flores Island in Indonesia. It is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island to see Komodo dragons and the surrounding sea is idyllic for diving and snorkeling. Nearby Seraya Island is a great opportunity to do some diving and snorkeling and every evening at Kalong Island thousands of flying fox bats put on an amazing display.
Labuanbajo can be accessed by ferry from Sumbawa or by public bus from Ende and Maumere. There are also daily flights between Labuanbajo and Denpasar.
Komodo National Park encompasses a lot of water and islands west of Labuanbajo. If you want to go to Rinca or Komodo islands, or dive in the park you will have to buy a 3 day park pass for 15 $USD. Money from such user fees goes into conservation efforts (including armed patrols) that are apparently overseen by the WWF.
Rinca Island (Indonesian: Rinca Kecil or Pulau Rinca) is a more convenient place to see Komodo Dragons than Komodo island. Some dive operators might be convinced to combine a stop at the island with a days diving. There are big dragons that are often right in front of the pier when people arrive.
Scuba Diving within the park is excellent. There are three main dive operators that offer day dives as well as live aboard opportunities: Bajo Dive Club, Dive Komodo, and Reef Seekers. The Dive Komodo divemaster is a true enthusiast of manta rays (clearly evident by the tattoo on his back), who often spots manta rays from the boat between dives. He has been known to join divers in jumping into the water with snorkel gear to have a look at them.
Seraya Island (Indonesian: Seraya Kecil or Pulau Seraya) is an idyllic island and a great opportunity to get away from civilization and do some snorkeling and diving. Seraya is little more than a small, arid island outside of the Komodo National Park with a few bamboo huts for tourist lodging, a restaurant, and some villagers who let their goats graze on vegetation. The island’s cove is protected from the sea providing calm and clear water for snorkeling. At low tide the coral is exposed and local fishermen walk on the reef in search of prey. Rowboats can be rented and taken to nearby islands for snorkeling and diving. Make sure to run up to the top of the hill behind the resorts and check out the sunset. The lodges on the island do have showers, but running water is only available a few hours a day.
One of the more spectacular displays of nature in the area is at Kalong Island (Indonesian: Pulau Kalong), which literally means “Flying Fox Island.” The name is quite appropriate as the island is home to thousands of Kalong, or giant flying fox bats. Boats to Kalong can be chartered from Labuanbajo. Your boat will situate itself next to the mangrove island and at dusk literally tens of thousands of flying foxes emerge from the mangrove island and move over your boat towards Rinca Island. For the entire colony to emerge will take roughly twenty minutes of continuous waves of bats passing over your boat. The boat ride to/from Labuanbajo will take roughly one hour.
Labuhan Bajo Fishmarket
Batu Cermin (lit. Mirror Rock) is the limestone Mirror Rock that gives this outcrop its name. Depending on the time of year the sun shines into the canyon between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and is reflected on the walls. This creates a spectacular visual effect.
Batu Cermin is located 4 km east of Labuan Bajo, an impressive prominent rock formation near a series of caves. Batu Cermin is also home to interesting local flora and animals, including monkeys that frequent sighted in this area. The excellent panoramic view of the mainland area and the islands near Labuan Bajo can be seen while you’re here, but please do not forget to bring a flashlight to view the inverted perches of the bats. The Batu Cermin caves are home to many bats. The main cave of Batu Cermin is located at the centre. A ladder walkway connects the central area where the main cave is located. The walkway leads through a series of chambers before opening into the main narrow canyon of the “Mirror Rock”.Observe bats and spiders in the caves. While bats are found in abundance, you have to be very lucky to see the local spiders who, when approached, quickly scamper out of sight.
Suggestion: Bring your own water, food and flash light. Batu Cermin offers a pleasant morning or afternoon trip.
Cunca Rami Waterfall
Cancar Spider Web Rice Field
In Manggarai you will certainly notice the impressive lingko fields. The most amazing view over a number of these fields is offered at Cara Village situated on a small hill 17km west of Ruteng in Cancar. With their round, spider-web structure, these pieces of land are unique eye-catchers in Manggarai.
Long before wet-rice cultivation, the ancestors of the Manggaraian people grew dry rice, corn, and tubers in the lingko fields. Every village used to own several fields. During planting and harvesting time, ceremonies and ritual offerings were held at the lodok, the ritual center of the lingko. The lodok features a wooden pole and a rock. These two objects symbolize the reunion of the male and female, the heaven and earth, and the creation of mankind. If a new lingko was developed, the sacrifice of a water buffalo was required. The division of a new lingko was guided by the tu’a teno, the Lord of the Land. This traditional leader had the authority over the land and the rituals and ceremonies related to the agricultural cycle. The distribution of the fields to different families was carried out at the lodok. Every family of a community had the right to work a certain piece of land. Depending on the family’s size, the head of the family held a certain number of fingers to the pole in the lodok. The distance between the fingers was marked on this pole. From these two points, lines were drawn to the outer circle of the lingko, defining the size of a family’s land. These pie segments were called moso, which means ‘hand’ in the Manggarai language. The moso were not conceived as the private property of a single person or household. Traditionally the lingko was farmed with a system of shifting cultivation, thus claims of constant land tenure were not yet common. After a two-year utilization period, the old fields were given up, and virgin forest – which in the past was abundant – or former fallow land, was cleared for new fields. Even though these fields still exist today, their agricultural and ritual context has changed drastically.
Nowadays the lingko fields are primarily used for wet-rice cultivation. With the dominance of this new form of farming, the significance of the traditional agricultural
calendar with its rituals and ceremonies, embedded in the planting and harvesting of dry rice and corn, has also faded.
In Cara Village you will not find any tourist facilities. Ruteng, located 16km from Cara Village, offers some accommodation and restaurants.
How to get there:
Located only 17km from Ruteng, Cancar is easily reachable from Ruteng by motorbike or car. Bemo also frequently head to Cancar from the market in Ruteng. From the terminal in Cancar it is about a 1km walk to the viewing point in Cara Village. While passing through the village, you are expected to stop at the adat house to sign the guestbook and leave a small donation.
Liang Bua Cave
The Liang Bua is a limestone cave on the Island of Flores, in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia was the site of the 2003 discovery of a potentially new species of Homo genus, Homo floresiensis, the remains of which are coded LB1, LB2, etc., after the cave. So far it is the only location in which such remains have been identified.
A market town and meeting point for the hill people of western Flores, Ruteng is the heart of Manggarai country, which extends to the west coast from north of Aimere. The town is surrounded by rice fields on gentle slopes beneath a line of volcanic hills.
Ruteng is a pleasantly cool town of broad streets, but it’s spread out and not particularly atmospheric, though there are some interesting sights in the vicinity. Most people just spend a night here, stopping to break the interminable bus journey.Ruteng’s lively, sprawling pasar (Jl Kartini) is a meeting place for people from the surrounding hills.Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/nusa-tenggara/ruteng#ixzz21W2S7l9s
Ruteng is a small town on the western end of Flores Island, Indonesia. It is the capital of West Manggarai regency. The population is predominantly Roman Catholic, but still preserve the ancient Manggarai custom of caci (whip fighting), which is usually practiced at weddings, and serves as a tourist attraction.
Ruteng is a Hinterland east of the port area of Labuhan Bajo and close to the other ports of West Manggarai regency and it really another ‘passing through’ area in Flores’s western area. Whether you area heading to Komodo and the eastern islands of extensive protected wildlife and or towards the east in search of incredible peaks and mountains it is likely that you will find Ruteng a convenient stopping point. Ruteng is a beautiful place to explore when passing trough or residing in any of the coastal area in the west, southwest and northwest of the Flores Island.
Ruteng is a town that deals will the export of the tropical fruits and vegetables from which the farmers of its surrounding areas produce as the largest industry and traditional of the area. Beautiful traditional villages surround the large town, these villages extend high into the mountains offering cooler and more humid mountain fresh climates with amazing sunrise views and the ability to grow and sustain a larger selection of crops. crops here include Pineapple, cinnamon, cloves, sweet potato and many other spices and fruits.
Points and areas of interest that Ruteng has to offer include Golo Curu, the ‘welcome mountain’ this beautiful view point can be reached by heading out from Ruteng towards Reo but going straight after the bridge when instead of following the main road round to left. from here you area lead to an unpathed road that is only a 20 minute to the top. As with most of the Mountains in the Flores area, Golo Curu is subject to clouds manifesting around its peak during the day but is almost always clear in the morning, if you make it for first light you will witness an incredible sunrise over the city of Ruteng and its surrounding mountains and hills. upon the mountain of Golo Curu the very top is obstructed by vegetation but a little further down there are some excellent panoramic viewpoints. there is also an alter to the virgin Mary after a reported sighting and message that one should be built, the church agreed to build it but so far this is where the story ends.
Another worth while experience is to visit and witness a local marriage, marriages are an interesting and pleasant event and usually feature one of the most potent elements of Flores’ culture, the whip fighting. Whip fighting is a social display that is more of a dance then a fight but does feature a competitive edge. The whole ceremony is a good experience and if you are appropriately dressed and know how to behave according to the customs then you will be warmly welcome even as a stranger. The best way to look for this if you are interested is to ask in Indonesian at the market or employ the help of someone who speaks English to help you and advise you on how to behave and what to wear.
The traditional village of Ruteng Pu’u, located 4km from Ruteng, is one of the most popular places to see the traditional compang, a round, stone platform surrounded by a circle of stones and traditional houses.
The compang is the center of traditional ceremonies and rituals, e.g. for sacrificial offerings. An impressive waringin tree (Ficus Benjamina), locally known as a ‘ruteng’, once grew in the center of the compang. It is now replaced by a dadap tree. On the east side of the compang, there are two tall traditional houses with spiked roofs.
Ruteng, which is situated only 4 km from Ruteng Pu’u, offers some low-budget accommodation and restaurants.
How to get there:
Ruteng Pu’u can be reached within 10 minutes from the center of Ruteng and is accessible by car, motorbike, or on foot.
Wae Rebo Village
Wae Rebo is an old Manggaraian village, situated in pleasant, isolated mountain scenery. The village offers visitors a unique opportunity to see authentic Manggarai housing and to experience the everyday life of the local community. In the village of Wae Rebo, visitors can see mbaru niang – traditional, circular cone-shaped houses with very unique architecture. Nowadays, it is still a place to hold meetings, rituals and Sunday-morning prayers together.
The village can only be reached by way of a three-hour hike (depending on your physical condition) from the lowlands. The hike is definitely worth the effort: the dense rain forest along the narrow path to Wae Rebo is one of a stunning biological diversity. Not only does it host interesting vegetation, including orchids, palms, and different ferns, but also an impressive population of singing birds.
Wae Rebo has been supported to become the major culture tourism attraction in West Flores. Together with a team of Jakarta-based architects and the Indonesian government, the local community renovated four of their mbaru niang – or ‘drum houses’ in the Manggaraian language.
The circular, cone-shaped buildings were all rebuilt in a traditional way. In contrast today’s rectangular buildings, the hearth is situated in the center of the house. The massive roof, made out of palm fiber, is supported by a central wooden pole. The ceremonial house – differing in size from the other buildings – is the place where sacred heirloom drums and gongs are stored, and where different ceremonies and rituals are held. This house is a communal building, gathering eight families who are descended from a common ancestor under its huge roof. Its structure symbolizes the unity of the clan, with the sacred drums considered the clan’s medium to communicate with the ancestors.
When you visit Wae Rebo, you will not only see the authentic Manggaraian housing, but also get an opportunity to experience the daily life of the local people. Most of the people work in their gardens from early morning until dawn, busy with harvesting coffee and processing the beans. Even though weaving is not a major activity in Wae Rebo, you may encounter some women weaving traditional songket cloth. Visitors are welcome to spend the night in the mbaru niang, and to socialize and dine with the Wae Rebo community. You will sleep on a tikar, a woven mat made out of pandanus leaf, in the mbaru niang, and get a taste of how life used to be when the extended families still lived their lives under one roof.
If you would like to stay in Wae Rebo for a night, there are several local guides as well as tour operators who can organize trekking and overnight stay for you, e.g. Leonardus Nyoman on +62 8123662110 or www.floresexotictours.com, Yeremias Uril on +6281380709223, or Martinus Anggo on +6285239344046 or . Blasius Monta (+6381339350775) can organize a local homestay in Denge. As the community offers you to experience their daily life, you will dine together with them and they will also take care of your well-being. Nevertheless, it is recommended to bring your own water supply with you.
How to get there
There are several options for getting to Wae Rebo:
Car or motorbike from Ruteng:
Start the 2.5 – 3 hour drive by heading south towards Golo Lusang. After having passed Pong Nggeok village, you will cross Wae Mese bridge. Go ahead to Narang village, followed by Nanga Ramut village, and you will end up in Dintor. From this small fishing village you can see the beautiful Mules Island. The road to the north brings you to Kombo – Wae Rebo’s twin village – and finally to Denge village, which is the starting point for the hike to Wae Rebo.
Truck (oto kayu) from Ruteng:
From the Mena Bus Terminal, the truck route will take you across the villages of Cancar, Pela, Todo, and Dintor before you finally reach Denge Village.
The oto kayu usually departs from the terminal in the afternoon. The trip takes about 3 – 3 1/2 hours. If you want to go back from Denge to Ruteng, you will have to wake up early as the bis kayu departs from Denge at 5.30am.
The boat trip is a good option if you start the trip from Labuan Bajo. Head south to the coastal village of Nangalili. Once there, you have to rent a boat (about Rp 400,000) to take you to Dintor. As there is no regular boat schedule, it is highly recommended to charter the boat in advance (contact Pak Irwan, +62 812366 89171). The boat trip takes about two hours and leads you across to Mules Island. After having arrived in Dintor, continue your trip to Denge by ojek (about Rp 10,000) for about 20 minutes.
In Denge, start the hike by taking the path between a local homestay and village SDK (elementary school). The hike will lead you across three rest spots. The first one is at Wae Lomba River, which is less than an hour from Denge. After another hour of trekking, you will find the second one, Pocoroko. This is an important place for villagers (and visitors) who want to make phone calls and send text messages from their mobile phones, as there is no mobile signal in Wae Rebo. From Pocoroko you will reach the third post, Nampe Bakok, which takes about 40 minutes. From here, enjoy the beautiful hill scenery before you reach Wae Rebo.
About an hour before Ruteng, but off the main road towards the south, is the village of Todo. It’s a traditional village where a traditional house can be seen. If you are lucky, the old village men will give you some explanation about the old Manggarai traditions.
A compang is a stone altar usually found in the yards of traditional homes of the Manggarai community. The Compang is the center of traditional ceremonies, among which is the penti, a ceremony to thank God for a bountiful harvest. Water buffalos and cows are tied to this Compang to be subsequently sacrificed.
The Compang Ruteng is located in the center of the Ruteng Pu’u village in Golo Dukal sub-district, Manggarai, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The stone Compang and the yards surrounding it are on higher ground than the local homes. A Beringin tree (Ficus Benjamina), locally known as a Ruteng, once grew in the center of the Compang. The tree is no longer there and is now replaced by a Dadap tree. To its east, the Compang has two local traditional tall houses with sharp roofs.
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