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20 Things to Do in Nusa Tenggara (Must Visit!)

by Hindarko Luh Setyawanto

East Nusa Tenggara is a province located in the southeastern part of Indonesia. The capital of East Nusa Tenggara is Kupang located on the West Timor Island. East Nusa Tenggara has about 550 islands. The three main islands of East Nusa Tenggara are Flores Island, Sumba Island and West Timor Island.

It is not difficult to get to East Nusa Tenggara. There are many airlines offering routes to Kupang. Take time to explore Kupang. There are many things to do in Kupang.

East Nusa Tenggara, like regions in Eastern Indonesia, has an exotic nature. Its beauty is a combination of tropical nature and savannah. As well as many things to do in Eastern Indonesia, there are many interesting places to explore in East Nusa Tenggara. Let’s find out the top things to do in Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

1. Visiting Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991. Not all islands in Komodo National Park can be visited by tourists. The islands that can be visited to see komodo dragons are Komodo Island and Rinca Island.

To explore Komodo Island or Rinca Island, you will be accompanied by a ranger. There are 3 choices of trekking routes; short, medium and long. Make your choice based on your physical abilities. The contours of Komodo Island and Rinca Island are hilly and the hot weather will surely drain your stamina. Stay alert when meeting with komodo dragons. However komodo dragons are wild animals and their bites are deadly.

How to Get There

To get to Komodo Island or Rinca Island you have to rent a boat that costs starting from Rp 1.5 million / day. It would be cheaper if you joint with friends or other tourists because the capacity of the boat can be for 5-15 people. The trip to Komodo Island from Labuan Bajo takes about 4 hours, while Rinca Island is only 2 hours. The admission to Komodo Island for local tourists is Rp 90.000 while for foreign tourists is Rp 250,000. The admission to Rinca Island has become one with the admission to Komodo Island, so you don’t have to pay anymore. Not just seeing komodo dragons, there are many things to do in Komodo National Park.

2. Visiting Kelimutu National Park

Kelimutu National Park consists of hills and mountains. The most famous site is the Three Color Lake which has three different colors, namely red, blue, and white. The colors are always changing over time.

The Three Color Lake was discovered by Van Such Telen, a Dutch citizen, in 1915. The lake is located at an altitude of 1,631 meters above sea level. The local people believe that the Three Color Lake is the gathering place for the souls of the dead.

How to Get There

The Three Color Lake is located at the top of Mount Kelimutu, Flores Island, Ende Regency. From Kupang you catch a flight to Ende with a 40 minute flight. Then the journey continues with a mini bus to Kaonara Village, about 3 hours drive. From Koanara Village to the Three Color Lake you must walk along 2.5 km. The admission on weekdays for domestic tourists is Rp 5,000 and for foreign tourists is Rp 150,000. The admission on holiday for domestic tourists is Rp 7,500 and for foreign tourists is Rp 225,000. The Three Color Lake is not the only attraction in Flores Island. Take time to explore the island, you will find many things to do in Flores.

3. Visiting Pink Beach

Pink Beach is a must-visit place in East Nusa Tenggara. The pink color of the beach is a mixture of the color of white sand with debris from amoebas Foraminifera which has a red body shell. There are only seven beaches like this in the world.

Pink Beach also has the underwater beauty that deserves to be enjoyed. There are various types of fish, hundreds of species of coral reefs and various other marine biotas. Therefore you should take time for snorkeling activities.

How to Get There

Pink Beach is located on Komodo Island. From the pier of Komodo Island you need to walk about 4 hours to get to Pink Beach. Or you can rent a boat, the journey takes only 30 minutes. The admission for domestic tourists is Rp 10,000 and for foreign tourists is Rp 50,000. You will not get bored here, there are lots of things to do in Pink Beach.

4. Visiting Lasiana Beach

Lasiana Beach is a favorite tourist attraction in Kupang city. The beach has fine sand, clear water and relatively quiet waves. Lasiana Beach is always crowded by Kupang residents to swim and play by the sea.

On the beach there are many gazebos made of wood with palm leaves. While relaxing in the gazebo you can enjoy various snacks sold by street vendors such as roasted corn, epe banana and young coconut ice. Lasiana Beach is also one of the best places in East Nusa Tenggara to enjoy the sunset.

How to Get There

Lasiana Beach is just 12 km from Kupang city. The access to the beach is very easy, you can use public transportation. The admission for adults is Rp 5,000 and for children is Rp 3,000. The parking fee for car is Rp 10,000 and for motorbike is Rp 5,000.

5. Visiting Koka Beach

Koka Beach is a hidden beach whose beauty is still natural. Koka Beach has clean white sand and is lined with cliffs. The beach on the right side looks fierce because it is decorated with rows of corals and cliffs that are hit by continuous waves. The beach on the left side looks softer because the panoramic view of hills and fine white sand.

Koka Beach is still rarely visited by tourists. The facilities here are still minimal. There is only one rest room and a few gazebos who sell young coconut ice and other cold drinks. In addition there is a homestay if you want to spend the night.

How to Get There

Koka Beach is located in Wolowiro Village, Paga, Sikka Regency. From Kupang you must take a plane to Maumere. From Maumere you continue the journey to Wolowito Village which is 48 km away. The admission is Rp 10,000.

6. Visiting Kolbano Beach

Kolbano Beach is a rising tourist attraction in East Nusa Tenggara. Kolbano Beach has a long coastline with typical colorful stones. The beach faces south that makes you can enjoy both sunrise and sunset.

On the Kolbano Beach there is a large rock that looks like a cliff. The rock becomes a photogenic spot to immortalize the beauty of Kolbano Beach. The charm of Kolbano Beach is still natural, there are no facilities built here.

How to Get There

Kolbano Beach is located in Kolbano, South Central Timor Regency, 140 km from Kupang. It takes about 4 hours by car to reach Kolbano Beach. It’s free entry.

7. Visiting Nembrala Beach

Nembrala Beach has high waves that are favored by surfers. In August to October, waves can reach 7 meters. No wonder many surfers are trying to conquer the waves here.

In addition you can enjoy the beauty of white sand at Nembrala Beach, sunbath accompanied by sea breeze and watch the reddish sky at sunset. Around Nembrala Beach there are several inns, ranging from hotels to homestay.

How to Get There

Nembrala Beach is located on Rote Island. To get to Rote Island you have to cross from Tenau Port – Kupang, to Ba’a Port – Rote Island. The ferry crossing (cost Rp 54,000) takes about 4 hours while the crossing by speed boat (cost Rp 160,000) takes about 1 hour. From the pier you need to continue by car to Nembrala Beach, the journey takes about 1.5 hours. It’s free entry. Besides visiting Nembrala Beach, there are lots of things to do in Rote Island.

8. Visiting Lake Weekuri

Lake Weekuri is a unique lake that resembles a lagoon. Lake Weekuri has white sand and turquoise water. The lake is located not far from the sea, only limited by coral cliffs. From the sidelines of the coral, waves pour into the lake.

Lake Weekuri has an unspoiled beauty. There are no facilities here. Along the road to Lake Weekuri you can see the forest and savannah. There are not many homes in this area.

How to Get There

Lake Weekuri is located in Ratenggaro Village, West Sumba, about 60 km from the city center. It’s free entry. The easiest way to get to West Sumba is by plane from Kupang. Don’t rush, make time to go for a stroll. There are interesting things to do in Sumba.

9. Visiting Lake Sano Nggoang

Lake Sano Nggoang is the largest volcanic lake in East Nusa Tenggara which covers 513 hectares. The lake is located at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level and surrounded by sustainable forest. You can see its clear water with a beautiful atmosphere.

Lake Sano Nggoang has high sulfur content. Therefore you will not see any fish in this lake. Lake Sano Nggoang also has hot springs whose temperatures range from 30 degrees to 100 degrees Celsius.

How to Get There

Lake Sano Nggoang is located in Sano Nggoang Village, Nunang, West Manggarai Regency, about 4 hours drive from Labuan Bajo. It’s free entry.

10. Visiting Oenesu Waterfall

Oenesu Waterfall is one of the main tourist attractions of Kupang Regency. The waterfall has four levels and is surrounded by green trees that make this spot pleasant with cool air.

Oenesu Waterfall also has natural pools for bathing or swimming. During the dry season Oenesu Waterfall still has a steady flow. Around the waterfall there are gazebos where you can rest while enjoying the cool atmosphere.

How to Get There

Oenesu Waterfall is located in Oenesu Village, West Kupang, about 17 km from downtown Kupang. The admission is Rp 2,000, car parking fee is Rp 2,000 and motorcycle parking fee is Rp 1,000.

11. Visiting Cunca Wulang Waterfall

Cunca Wulang Waterfall is one of the must-visit spots in East Nusa Tenggara. Cunca Wulang Waterfall has a height of about 30 meters and surrounded by rock cliffs. The water is greenish and so clear.

It’s not easy to get to the location of Cunca Wulang Waterfall. You need help from a local guide to not stray. From the parking lot you have to walk about 45 minutes to see the beauty of Cunca Wulang Waterfall.

How to Get There

Cunca Wulang Waterfall is located in Wersawe Village, Mbeliling, West Manggarai District, about one hour drive from Labuan Bajo. The admission is Rp 100,000.

More Attractions in East Nusa Tenggara

Indeed, here are more things to do in Nusa Tenggara :

12. Visiting Cunca Rami Waterfall

Cunca Rami Waterfall has unspoiled beauty and is rarely visited by tourists. The waterfall is three-story and has a height of up to 100 meters. Under the waterfall there is a natural pool where you can play water.

To get to the location of Cunca Rami Waterfall you will cross the Mbeliling Forest. Uniquely the journey to the waterfall, which is at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level, is declining. The journey to Cunca Rami Falls takes about 45 minutes.

How to Get There

Cunca Rami Waterfall is located in Cunca Lolos Village, Mbeliling, West Manggarai Regency, about one hour drive from Labuan Bajo. The admission is Rp 100,000.

13. Visiting Batu Bolong Reef

East Nusa Tenggara has an amazing underwater beauty. For diving lovers, Batu Bolong Reef has stunning underwater scenery that is worth a try. There are millions of colorful fish, turtles, and healthy coral reefs.

Batu Bolong Reef is a great dive site. But please note that the current is very strong, you have to be careful. Make sure you listen to local dive instructor who really understands the site’s condition.

How to Get There

Batu Bolong Reef is located in Komodo National Park. There are lots of tour operators offering diving tour at Batu Bolong Reef.

14. Visiting Kanawa Island

Kanawa Island has a stunning natural beauty. Its beach is white sandy with a turquoise sea. There is a bungalow located on the beach with a small port nearby for tourists who visit.

Kanawa Island also has an amazing underwater beauty. For those who love to dive, you will be spoiled with beautiful coral and various colored fish. Here you can also see pearl cultivation and shark breeding.

How to Get There

Kanawa Island is just 40 minutes from Labuan Bajo. To get to Kanawa Island you can rent a boat that costs around Rp 60,000. But you should take a day out for a walk in Labuan Bajo. You will find many things to do in Labuan Bajo.

15. Visiting Padar Island

Make sure you visit Padar Island while in East Nusa Tenggara. Padar Island is an uninhabited island dominated by savannah. The island is surrounded by blue sea that makes the landscape look contrasting.

The best place to see the beauty of Padar Island is from the top of the hill. You will have a 360 degree viewing angle. The best time to visit Padar Island is between 8 am – 11 am, when the sun has not been so hot.

How to Get There

Padar Island is about 3 hour away from Labuan Bajo. Almost all tour operators include Padar Island in their list.

16. Visiting Alor Island

Alor Island has amazing marine tours. There are 42 dive sites listed on Alor Island. One of the interesting marine tourism that you can’t miss is seeing the appearance of dugong.

You can also try typical Alor food cooked without frying. Some of the culinary that is worth a try is corn titi, corn bose, sour sauce fish, hair cake, papaya flower vegetables, and banana heart sweet potato. For souvenirs you can buy a typical woven fabric that has fish and sea turtle motifs. The point is you’ve got many things to do in Alor Island.

How to Get There

From Kupang you can catch a plane to Alor. The flight from Kupang to Alor is about 50 minutes with ticket prices ranging from Rp 300,000. The cheaper alternative is to take a boat from Kupang to Alor with a ticket price of about Rp 150,000 for a 10 hour journey.

17. Visiting Kelor Island

Kelor Island is usually visited last when island hopping in East Nusa Tenggara. Kelor Island has an unspoiled beauty. This uninhabited island has white sand and crystal clear sea with beautiful color gradations.

Kelor Island also has a stunning underwater beauty. You can see the coral reef with various colorful fish. You can also do a free dive because the waves on the beach are quite calm.

How to Get There

Kelor Island is just 20 minutes from Labuhan Bajo. Almost all tour operators include Padar Island in their list.

18. Visiting Wae Rebo Village

Wae Rebo Village is one of the most beautiful villages in Indonesia. Wae Rebo Village lies at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level so it deserves to be called a land in the clouds. The natural scenery of the mountains combined with 7 traditional houses gives the amazing impression.

It takes extra energy to get to Wae Rebo Village. You have to walk for about 3 to 4 hours. As a tourist destination, Wae Rebo Village is well managed. This village is given guidance by Indonesia Ecotourism Network.

How to Get There

From Labuan Bajo you take a bus to Ruteng, the journey takes about 6 hours. From Ruteng you continue by car to Denge Village, the journey takes about 2 hours. From Denge Village the journey continues on foot to Wae Rebo Village, the journey takes 3 – 4 hours. The admission to Wae Rebo Village is Rp 100,000, if you want to stay in the village the fee is Rp 325,000

19. Visiting Kampong Bena

Kampong Bena has about 45 pieces of traditional houses facing each other. The livelihood of the male population is farming and women are weaving for sale to tourists or to the city. Kampong Bena also has stunning views of Inerie mountain.

Time seems to stop when you visit this place. The existing buildings are said to be the same as those of the building 1000 years ago. Its people still keep the local wisdom and live in harmony with nature.

How to Get There

Kampong Bena is located in Ngada Regency, about 19 km from downtown Bajawa city. From Kupang you can rent a car to Bajawa city. From Bajawa city you can continue the trip by ojek to Kampong Bena. There is no admission, but donations are welcome. Kampong Bena is open to tourists from 8 am – 5 pm.

20. Visiting Batu Cermin Cave

Batu Cermin Cave was discovered by a Dutch missionary who served in Ruteng diocese. The cave has an area of about 19 hectares and a height of about 75 meters. Sunlight enters the cave through a cave slit and is reflected by a stone wall so it illuminates the cave.

Stalactites and stalagmites in the cave look glittering when illuminated by flashlight or sunlight. The shine is caused by the salt content. You can also see the fossil of coral and sea animals attached to the cave wall.

How to Get There

Batu Cermin Cave is located in Batu Cermin Village, Labuan Bajo, Regency of West Manggarai. The admission is Rp 20,000 and guide fee is Rp 50,000. Opening hour is 9 am 5 pm.

Ok guys, now you know the top things to do in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. No doubt East Nusa Tenggara has the best Places To Visit in Indonesia with its beautiful nature and culture. Let’s visit East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia..!

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