The small town of Bajawa, is located in West Flores, Indonesia, is quite well known for its many Ngada traditional villages that are in the area. This a must visit to anyone traveling through Flores. It is a also a great place to escape the likes of tourism from Komodo or Bali. It is about a 7 hours motor bike ride or a 30 minute flight from Labuan Bajo. The culture and traditions of the Ngada are are quite interesting and views and scenery of the area offers many wonderful views for the traveler. There are also two volcanoes that peak high above the morning clouds, two hot springs and a few beautiful waterfalls.
The area of Bajawa has much to offer the traveler both in around the town. From Traditional villages, volcanoes, waterfalls, local markets, sunsetpoints, and a unique culture. If visiting Flores, Indonesia, it should not be missed.
Pictured left to right. (Left Top)One of the local Markets in Bajawa. (Left bottom) Bena Traditional Vilage (Middle) Ogi Waterfall, located about 20 mine outside of Bajawa. (Top Right) A stunning sunset on top of Wolobobo. All images subject to are copyright. If you would like to use, please contact us share a link.
What are a few ways to get to Bajawa. By Local Transportation. There are public buses that run daily from Labuan bajo and even Moni, or Riung. By Flight There is usually a daily flight as well to and from Labuan Bajo airport. At the moment there is usually only one flight a day, but that will probably grow to more flights in the future. By Scooter If you are the adventurous type, you can take a scooter though the for about 7-8 hours through the beautiful landscapes of Western Flores. By Private Car There are also private car for rent that can take you there. Just check with your local townhome, homestay, or hotel for details on local buses or private car
The Ngada Culture and Traditional Villages. There are many reason to Visit Bajawa, but perhaps the most popular are the traditional villages of Bena, Luba, Tolo Lela. These are extraordinary traditional villages and the locals are all warm and friendly. Although there is a town central in the Bajawa area, the local in the traditional villages of Ngada still live a more primitive life and are very welcoming to vistors that want to come see their local way of life. If you are interested in a tour of Bajawa, contact us and we can help you meet the locals and get the real experience.
Bena Traditional Village Out of all the traditional village, Bena Village is the most popular by far. Even though, tourist to visit this village the most, there are still many days, when they may be no one there but the locals that live there. You can see traditional homes, each with skulls from sacrificed animals for building each home. It is very common practice to sacrifice animals for any ceremony such as wedding, funerals, or the building of homes. There are many cultural and traditional practices, such as jewelry making and tapestry making, that the locals do and they are incredibly interesting to learn about. We highly recommend, you hire a local Guide to see Bena traditional village, because there is so many things to learn and very of the locals even speak a word of english.
Ngada Culture of Bajawa Flores The Bajawa Plateau area is home to about 60,000 Ngada people. Christian is the dominant religiion, although they still do practice animal sacrifices, for many of the cultural rituals. The villages are mainly supported through farming and tourism. Each of the traditional villages are organized by clans (family), and it is typically mandatory to marry inside the village (although that seems to be changing with more modern times), and the property descends through women of the family. It is uniquely common in this area that the husband lives with the wife’s family until he pays the family. Typically this is anywhere from 20 million to 50 million rupaih and even some animals are usually given as gifts as well. In all of the village, Ceremonies are a common part of life for everything from finalising a home building, wedding, funerals, and births of a newborn baby. The locals have become accustomed to locals that come and go and are usually always happily welcome at any of the ceremonies that take place. The ceremonies range from animal sacrifices, usually a pig or bull, and singing, dancing, as well as sharing of a traditional drink.
The villages are extremely authentic and give you a sense of traveling back in time. There is much family history in each home and it is shown by the wood carving in the entrance to the kitchen. The is a lot of education to learn about the traditions, culture, and home building, which is why it is highly recommend to take a local tour guidewhen visiting these local villages. If you would like to schedule a tour, contact us and we can arrange that for you.
Although some tourists may say that they locals are becoming more modern, in fact, they would be correct. It is almost in possible to travel anywhere in the world without seeing someone with a smartphone these days, but the people that live in the local village are extremely proud of their ancestry and their way of life. When you Visit a local village, especially with one of our tour guides, you will truly see that the local traditional culture is very alive and extremely important to day life in this area. Bajawa the local area offer so many interesting things for the visitor, that none of them should be missed. The people are incredibly friendly and happy to show visitors their local customs and rituals.
What to do in Bajawa
There are many attractions around the area, including: Bena Traditional Village, Luba Traditional Village, ToloLela Traditional Village, Wolobobo, Wolokoro, Ogi Waterfall, Mengeruda (Soa) Hot Springs, Malanage Hot Springs, have lunch a Manalalu, or take a unique coffee tour. We recommend hiring a local guide so they can show you all around the area. The entire area is a beautiful place to visit and the locals are extremely friendly and welcoming, but the large majority of the people in the area only speak the local language, so it is highly recommend to have a tour guide.
Bena Traditional Village This famous village (Kampung Bena) is a megalithic Village that is located in the Regency of Ngada around the center of Flores about 20 km south of Bajawa. It is believed that the ancestors of the village have lived in the area for almost 1,200 years. When visiting the village, you will see 38 traditional homes with locals still living in them. The locals of the village believe that the protector of the village in a god by the name of “Yeta” who sits on top of Inerie volcano. In the middle of the village, there are a few small buildings which they call then ngadhu and bhaga. The building resemble the Female and Male and are used during traditional ceremonies, where the children gather with the oldest of the families. If you would like to visit the traditional village of Bena, contact us and we can set up a time to give a tour with a local tour guide that knows the local cultures, customs, and stories.
Luba and Tolo Lelu Traditional Villages These Village are less frequently visited by tourist but offer some of the some looks and culture feel as Bena. As well, you can find traditional houses, Skulls from animal sacrifices, as well as some local arts and crafts, which are usually for sale by the local people in the Villages. If you would like to scuttle a tour of Luba Traditional Village or ToloLelu Traditional Village, contact us and we will be happy to accommodate you.
Natural Hot Springs There are two areas that visitors can visit that offer hot springs for soaking in. Mengeruda (Soa), which is close to the airport, has now become a small park that has two different pools and a small waterfall. There an entrance fee and there are usually locals with families there enjoying the hot spring as well. Weekends are much busier than week days. Manalage is bit different, as it is in the middle of two small rivers or creeks. One is from the Hot Springs and the other is from the mountain so you get the mixture of hot water and cold water. You can go back and forth between the two. Manalage is not a park, but a stop on the side of the road. You do have to go through local person yard, but there is a trail that leads down to the hot springs.
Wolobobo and Wolokoro Wolobobo is about 20 minutes of the mountain from Bajawa and Wolokoro is about 30 mins west of Bajawa. Both are spectacular places to visit to see stunning scenery and each offer an extremely unique view. Considering what season you are traveling, it is recommended to bring warm gear and also rain gear, as in these areas, the weather seems to change a bit more than the town of Bajawa.
Olga Waterfall Ogi Waterfall is located in Faobata Village, about 7 kilometres on the east side of Bajawa. The waterfall is relatively close to the road, but you do have to walk through the dirt path of rice fields. It takes about 20 mins of walking before you come of to the waterfall. You may encounter a few local farmers during the day when you take the walk to Olga Waterfall.
If you would like to Visit Bajawa and the surrounding area, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we can acclimated you tour needs and work with you, to give you a great local experience while you visit Bajawa.