Bajawathe capital (ibu kota) of Ngada regency is a small and pleasant town. Sitting at an elevation of 1300 meters it is comfortably cool and in a scenic environment surrounded by mountains and bamboo forests. There is a colourful local market on the outskirts of the town, a few nice tourist restaurants and full of guides. If you need one they probably will find you first.


Bajawa has a few dozen hotels. The best one is Bajawa Roo Hotel, a 15 minute stroll from the towncentre. The simple but welcoming Cinnamon Guesthouse is the best bet for budget travelers. In the summer months from June to September it can be a problem to find a room. Check first before leaving. Also check this section


Outside the local stuff there are some "real" restaurants on the mainstreet in Bajawa. Try a dish in Maibeth, Anugerah, Dito's Resto, Emtry Cafe, Lucas Restaurant or Milonari. On Saturday night you should visit the lively Taman Kartini, the park of Bajawa where kaki lima are set up which serve local food.

While you have your dinner you often can enjoy live music in Maibeth, Milonari or Emtry Cafe. Ask for your favourite song and don't forget to ask for a local one. The repertoire is a mix of English evergreens, Spanish, Indonesian, Ambon and local songs. Some of the singers are awesome, like Ryan a singer songwriter. Also a few wanna be Eric - Morgan - Claptons amongst them. There are quite a lot musicians from Bajawa and surroundings, like Aldo who has won The Voice Indonesia in 2019.

Aldo Voice Indonesia singing Langit abu abu

Aldo, the winner of The Voice of Indonesia 2018-2019

Local people often spend the evening together with tourists bringing moke (arrack), their own local drink.

A local recipe of an arrack cocktail:

- moke (arrack)

- lemon juice

- Sprite

- basil leaves (kemangi)

salt ...

No ratio, just mix as you prefer. Cheers!
Today in Maibeth they serve local mojito with moke, sprite, lemon and mintleaves which taste more than ok.
For a good cup of quality coffee please visit
Lekosori Coffee Shop in the northern part of town. Their coffee is from their own plantation and worth a visit.


Typical for Indonesia is drying laundry in the sun but because of the weather in Bajawa often cloudy or rainy this means you have to wait for 2 days to pick up your laundry again. Most tourists do not have that much time. The good news is that Bajawa has a few decent express service laundry using a dryer.

D Kl
in Laundry on Jalan Ahmad Yani and near the "touriststrip" is a new place (March 2023) with a 2 hour service and decent prices. For 3 kgs you pay Rp 30.000 (folded) or Rp 45.000 (ironed). Tel. +62 81337491031 (WhatsApp).
Another decent one is Cleonsels Laundry on Jalan Mengeruda with a quick service as well and with a pick up and drop service at your hotel.
+62 81239068603 (WhatsApp).

TRANSPORT see also



There is a direct connection with Labuan Bajo and Kupang (Timor). The airport is near Soa, 18 kms north east of Bajawa and it takes 30 minutes to get there. Cars await you at the airport. The charge is Rp 70.000 per person. For people who are in a hurry, the Wings Air flight Bajawa-Labuan Bajo is an interesting and quick one. You also can fly Bajawa-Denpasar with a transit in Labuan Bajo and continue with Batik Air. Be aware that for the separate Wings flights to Labuan Bajo and Kupang you need to pay for check in luggage, for the transit flight to Denpasar luggage is included.



There are buses to Mbay, Ende, Labuan Bajo, Riung and Ruteng. They leave at the junction with the Trans Flores Road a few kilometers out of town. The bus for Moni leaves at 6:00 am, the bus for Riung at 13:00 pm; well that's the plan ;-)



Bemo/angkot Rp 5000



Available in the tourist area on Jalan Ahmad Yani near hotel Korina, Lucas Restaurant. Your guesthouse or hotel can also help you with that. Or, contact me if you need one. Also check car with driver 



Rp 5000 to Rp 10.000 for a ride. Keep in mind that after 8 pm it is hard to find an ojek.



This is a kind of shared “taxi” (a Toyota Avanza or APV which runs from door to door). Travels run to Ende, Maumere, Mbay, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo. Costs around Rp 150.000 for each stretch. Or you can contact Gunung Mas. Your host at the accomodation can also help you with booking a travel.



Every week on Tuesday and Friday there is a ferry from Aimere (1 hour from Bajawa) to Waingapu (Sumba).  Departure 8 am and from Waingapu to Aimere at 22:00. The journey wil take between 8 and 9 hours.

See also the transport sect



Coming from Ende there is a turn off to reach Wogo, a traditional village. South of Bajawa are more fine (and sometimes less touristy) traditional villages. Bena (on UNESCO-waitinglist) is the most famous and visited one. Tololela only a few kilometres further south is more peaceful in a wonderful setting and worthwhile a visit and one of the prettiest villages. On 13th August 2018 a fire destroyed most of the pretty village of Gurusina but has since been rebuilt. Other interesting and less visited villages are Bela, Langa, Luba, and Maghilewa.


Tip 1:

You can hike from Bena to Tololela and on to Gurusina with one of the guides from Bajawa. Ask for Uni, Melki,  Iggy or Ryan. The hike takes 1 to 1,5 hours and leads through rain- and bamboo forest.

One of the beauties amongst the traditional villages is Belaraghi, which can be reached from Bajawa (trekking with guide, 7 to 9 hours) or from Aimere by car (7 kilometers, 20 minutes from the mainroad).

Tip 2:

Another hike is from Belaraghi to Paukate (not far from Aimere). You are going downhill; the walk will take 1 hour with views on the plateau, mount Inerie and the sea.

Tip 3:
Starting at the end of the year the villages celebrate the New Year, called Reba held in December and January. Ask your hotel or guesthouse for the exact dates.


Gunung Inerie, the almost perfectly shaped conical volcano and with an elevation of 2245 meters above sea level dominates the area. There are organised climbs of 8 to 10 hours which start at 2 am at the northern flank of the volcano and you will be back between 10 and 12 am depending on weather and your climbing skills. Please don't go on your own as this can be quite risky as the weather can change quickly. Good guides are Uni, Santos, Beni, Iggy or Ryan. A 2-day trekking is also possible but because of the weather actually the dayclimb is more recommended.

A few kilometres before the turn off to Bajawa (coming from Ende) there is a small road which leads through the forest to the top of Wolobobo hill where you can enjoy fine views of Gunung Inerie in front of you or even as far as Aimere on the south coast on a clear day. Malanage Hotspring (actually hot ánd cold spring) is not far from Gurusina village. North west of Bajawa, via Boloji you can reach the hill with the Mother Maria statue.
When visiting the area of the traditional villages you must stop at Manulalu V
iewpoint located at Heavens Door Resto where you can enjoy the great views from the balcony of the resto while having a coffee or a nice meal. They also sell Dr. Arak, moke the local drink of Flores.

Wawo Muda one hour from Bajawa is like a mini Kelimutu with three small lakes in various colours which change from time to time however in the dry season the lake can be dried up. Watu Nariwowo is located between Langa village and the volcano and a nice hike as well.

In Manubhara Mr. "bamboo" Markus is in charge with his bamboo products which have already reached the presidential palace in Jakarta. Ask your driver or guide to make an appointment for a visit. He also has a small shop near the old market in Bajawa town.
The Ngada district produces nice tenun ikat and don't forget to make a stop at a coffee plantation as this is one of the areas with the famous Flores coffee.


In Soa, not far from the airport you will find the Mengeruda hotspring a good place to bath and relax. On Sundays it can be crowded, on other days you will have the hotsprings for yourself.
Ogi waterfall (entrance fee Rp 20.000) is worth a visit as well but best 
in the rainy season. If you have the time take the road in north east direction for beautiful views of landscapes and ricefields

The road Soa to Boawae offers nice views on mount Ebulobo and a beautiful landscape. If you have your own wheels and you drive in eastern direction ask your driver to take this route instead of the mainroad.

From Golewa a small road crawls through countrys
 down to the sea. Nothing special there, just a quiet and serene landscape with awesome views. Not far from Wogo village Kampung Turetogo is located surrounded by bamboo forest. It's a training centre for bamboo applications and actually the first one in Indonesia. Bamboo is the future! A few kilometers further south the Padhawatu waterfall awaits you, if you don't mind the 1000 steps....

The road to Riung has been renovated in the last years and today it is 2 to 2,5 hours driving time from Bajawa. You also can take the alternative route via Nagekeo. Take the road from Soa to Boawae then go north to Mbay and west to Riung. This will take 1 hour longer and the road leads through various landscapes.
Riung is a sleepy muslim village with only a few wooden houses on stilts left and it is the base for visiting the Riung Marine Park 17 islands off the coast of Riung. You can rent a boat to take you around the islands.
The setting is beautiful and somehow more peaceful and laid back than the islands west from Labuan Bajo. Rutong island is one of the favourites, as is "bat" island with thousands of bats hanging in the trees or once they flock in the sky. Still few tourists here. Boats directly booked at the harbour (Rico Rico) start at Rp 500.000, another Rp 100.000 
is added per person but in high season prices might be a bit higher. Bookings via your hotel or guesthouse will be more expensive but usually includes the entrancefee and barbecue on one of the islands and sometimes with a guide if needed; you really get value for money. One way or the other, it is far much cheaper than Labuan Bajo.
The entrancefee for foreigners is Rp 100.000 per person.

There is also a possibility for camping on one of the islands, however this has to be arranged the day before. Ask your host at the guesthouse or hotel.

As an alternative you also can stay in Mbay, Nagekeo which is 75 minutes from Riung. Mbay is more lively and has more options to have dinner, there a few supermarkets and a few good hotels. When choosing for a boat in Riung you also can stay one night in Riung and the other night in Mbay so that you have the chance to see the ricefields north of Mbay and save time the next day.
Another opt
ion is overnight at Erma Omah B&B near Lenkosamby Beach, 35 minutes from Riung and 45 minutes from Mbay. See also Nagekeo district.


West of Riung, around 20 minutes by car there is a beautiful coastline called Watu Mitong which is also a wonderful place for sunset. More close to Riung you also can climb Bukit Watuzape for an amazing view both the islands and Watu Mitong.
Since the road between Riung and Reo has been improved you also can travel to Reo via the north coast with beautiful views and landscapes, of coastline, beaches and rivers. If you travel from east to west, best option is to visit Bajawa first, then Riung and then on to Pota and Reo to Ruteng. When travel
ing from west to east the other way around of course, so first Riung and then Bajawa.

For Riung

See also stories


In Riung there are some simple hotels and a few eateries. Nirvana Bungalows has the best rooms, however not available via or Both Sangrila Mentos Bungalows and Riung Guesthouse have decent (and less expensive) rooms and a helpfull staff.


Following the Trans Flores Highway to the west the next stop is Aimere which is only one hour from Bajawa but you will need more time as the views are gorgeous and inviting to take pictures with the Gunung Inerie on your left between km 8 and 16. Aimere is also the port for boats to Waingapu on Sumba (twice a week on Tuesday and Friday at 7 am, 8 to 9 hours) and a popular stop for buses or travels coming from Ende or Ruteng.
From A
imere a small road leads to Belaraghi one of the most beautiful villages, more than worth a visit and only 20 minutes from the mainroad. 

And you may stop to visit an arrack farm to see the proces of the moke production and buy a small (or large) bottle of moke (arrack).  see also

Please always che
ck pr
ices and times before you travel. I do my best to update frequently but these can change without prior notice.


Anne Mieke  -AM PHOTONESIA©-