Labuan Bajo is a fisherman village situated in east of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Labuan Bajo is set to become a pilot project of Indonesian government in order to rebuild Indonesia’s tourism after the pandemic.
Despite Komodo Island, many other interesting sites can be visited also located around Labuan Bajo from the nearby Goa Batu Cermin or mirrors stone cave to the farthest Cuca Wulang waterfall, a hidden waterfall located on the outskirt of Labuan Bajo.
Goa Batu Cermin
Mirror Stone Cave or Goa Batu Cermin
Goa Batu Cermin is a small tunnel located approx. 4 kilometers away from the town surrounded by rain forest where you can find long-tailed monkeys and wild boar. It earns its name from the walls that sparkle when catching the morning sun through a crevice in the roof. The sparkling occurs because the cave walls contain salt, believed to be present from the time that the cave was presumed to be underwater thousands of years ago. Corals and fossils of marine animals have been found in the cave walls supporting the presumption that the district was once underwater.
Goa Batu Cermin is a perfect destination for all visitors who want to spend their half day in town before catch a flight in early evening.
Travel with the expert
Another cave that worth to visit near Labuan Bajo is called Rangko Cave, a natural blue colored swimming pool. This fabulous site located in Rangko village around 45 minutes from the town center.
Rangko cave is only accessible by boat, you need to drive to a small harbor in Rangko village then take a boat ride around 15 minutes to Rangko Cave. It features a small mouth of the cave. However everyone can fit in. To get inside the cave you need to walk through small path and wooden bridge, once you enter the cave, you can find many stalactites and of course it’s natural swimming pool.
The best time to visit Rangko cave is at the noon time where sunshine will illuminating the pool that make the cave brighter and perfect light to take some pictures. The water is clear and cool that always tempting to swim in.
Amelia Sea View or Sunset Hill
Ameli Sea View
If you have just arrive in Labuan Bajo and wonder where the best point to watch sunset, Amelia Sea View or Sunset Hill is the right answer. Located around 6 kilometers north of the town, Amelia Sea view is made up of rolling dried hills overlooking the surrounding bays of Labuan Bajo. Offering breath-taking views of tropical rain forests, rugged landscapes, dazzling waters view and some tiny island in distance.
There are few hills that you can walk up to that over a perfect spot to watch the sunset. As the sun sets, the hills reflect golden in the light, and sprawling views of the small port city, as well as a great view over to the islands in the distance.
To reach the place you are able rent a motorbike or grab a taxi but we are not recommend to walk to get there because it will take more than an hour from the town and there is no lighting on the road after sunset.
Waerebo is a unique traditional Manggarai ethnic village with traditional houses. It is located at an altitude of 1,125 m above sea level among the Nature Conservation forest. There are 7 traditional houses or Mbaru Tembong and each of them houses more than one family. The people live of agricultural products like coffee beans, taro and vegetables.
To get there, you need to drive to the last village that accessible by car called Denge, it takes approx. 3 hours drive from Labuan Bajo. Most visitor will stay a night in nearby homestay before continue their trip to Waerebo. From this point you have to hike for 3 until 4 hours depending on your physicals condition passing rain forest and creek. Wae Rebo is completely surrounded by panoramic mountains and the dense Todo forest. This tropical forest is rich in vegetation, where you will find orchids, different types of ferns and hear the chirping of many songbirds. There is also no mobile coverage in this village, and the electricity is only available from 6 to 10 pm. The air is relatively cold, especially in the dry season, so don’t forget to bring your jacket.
Once arrive at the village you will be warmly welcome by head village. If you want to stay overnight in this lovely village, you can sleep in one of the houses that have been functioned as a very basic homestay for tourists. You will only get a simple pillow, mat and blanket. Please be remembered that one house will be shared with other guest either male or female.
Whip or Caci Dance
If you would like to see something different around Labuan Bajo and learn about their culture, Melo village is the best option to go to. It offers outstanding panorama view stretching from Labuan Bajo to the island of Komodo National Park. Melo Village located approx. 17 km from Labuan Bajo and can be reached by motor taxi, public bus or book a private tour.
The villagers of Melo rely on farming such as coffee plantation, durian, pineapple, bananas and much more. You might be able to have a closer look on their traditional way of planting and harvesting that offers an unforgettable and unique experience.
Melo village also offers a range of village-based tourism activities, exciting cultural art performances such as the traditional bamboo pole jumping game ‘Tetek Alu’, the ‘Ndundu Dake’ dance, and the well-known Caci performances. The cultural cooperative of Compang To’e will be eager to receive you with a warm traditional welcome ceremony.
If you are looking to relax, you can also unwind and lie back in the ‘Panorama’ hut. This is the cooperative’s headquarters. The building is made of bamboo and is the perfect place to have a cup of coffee or taste of Sopi, the traditional palm liquor of Melo village.