East Nusa Tenggara
The province consist of over 550 islands, but it’s dominated by the three main islands : Flores, Sumba and Timor. The arid landscape of Eastern and Southeastern Nusa Tenggara is the result of hot, dry winds blasting in form the Australian continent. In fact, in many coastal areas not a drop of rain falls during the most of the year. Flores is a Portuguese name which means “flower” and ideally described the beauty to be found here. These long island between Sumbawa and Timo is crowded with volcanoes and mountains, dividing it into several regions with district languages and traditions. Predominantly Catholic and heavily influenced by the Portuguese, there are many examples of a strong European cultural heritage, like the Easter procession held in Larantuka and the royal regalia of the former king in Maumere. Formerly known as Sandalwood island, Sumba is now famous for its horses and it superb style for ikat clothe. West Sumba is famous for its enormous megalithic tombs and traditional thatched and peaked huts raised on stilts. Timor is the principal island in the province in terms of population and it is here that the provincial capital of Kupang is located.
Getting there :
Kupang as the provincial capital serves as the gate from Darwin (Australia) twice a week. Regular shuttle flights from Bali, Makasar and Surabaya provide excellent transportation links. There are PELNI ships calling at Nusa Tenggara Timur regularly sails from Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Makasar, Biak etc.
Pasola Jousting Ceremony in Sumba island East Nusa Tenggara. “Pasola” is west Sumba’s most exciting ritual. Scores of colorfully arrayed horsemen riding bare back, battle with lances. During these mock wars, riders charge one another flinging blunt spears. The ceremony is held during February in the Lamboya and Kodi Villages and March in Gaura and Wanokaka. It’s begin several day after the full moon and coincides with the yearly arrival of strange multihued sea worms of the region’s shore. This event will be held on February 2008.
Places of Interest
Kupang ; The provincial capital of East Nusa Tenggara in western Timor is the center of government, business, trade and education. The only sandalwood oil factory in Indonesia is located in this town. Kupang also the spot for international game fishing every October.
Camplong ; A lovely community about 45 km from Kupang with regular market days and a natural swimming pool, where local people bathe, do their laundry and socialize as they have for thousands of years. Camplong is also a forest reserve protecting rare animals such as “Cervus timorensis” deer and several species of parrots and monkeys.
Maumere ; A port town of the northeastern coast of Flores is a good place to stopover on the way to Ende to Larantuka. It is well connected by air with Kupang, Denpasar and Ujung Pandang and is noted for its good beaches. The bay of Maumere is considered the best diving spot in Flores, a paradise for divers, underwater photographers and anyone interested in marine biology. Ledalero museum on the outskirts of Maumere has an interesting collection of ethnological objects from the region. Visitors are welcome but advance arrangements should be made. Ledalero is also to a major Catholic. Seminary where many Florinese priests are trained.
Ende ; This town contains the home-in-exile of the first Indonesia President Soekarno during the early period of nationalist movements in 1936. The house has been repaired and is today a museum.
Semau Island. Thirty minutes by boat from Kupang, this untainted island paradise is well worth a stopover. The surrounding crystal-clear waters offer exceptional snorkeling and swimming. Bamboo bungalows are available on the white sandy beach and you can barbeque your freshly caught dinner while enjoying a spectacular sunset.
Mt. Kelimutu. East Nusa Tenggara’s most-visited natural wonder and one of Indonesia’s most mysterious and dramatic sights, is found on top of this mountain, some 66 km from Ende or 83 km from Maumere. The spectacular view of its three crater lakes, each with a distinct color, is not only a major tourist attraction but the stuff of myth and legends. The lakes have continuously changed their colors over the years: today the largest is light turquoise, the next olive green and the third black. The local people believe that the souls of young people go to the first when they die, the old to the second and the balck lake is reserved for thieves and murderes.
Larantuka. A little port nestled at the base of tall hill at the eastern end of Flores; Larantuka has a strong Portuguese cultural heritage. The annual Easter Procession held in this town is well worth the trip if you are here at this time of the year.
Lamalera Whale Hunting; Lamalera on Lembata island is a whaling village. The months of May to September are the whale-hunting season for the people of Lamalera. Using simple traditional tools as small rowboats and hand-thrown harpoons, the hunters sail out to hunt these giant creatures of the sea. The catch is either consumed or sold.
Waikabubak. An archaic little town in Western Sumba, full of old graves carved in motifs of buffalo horns, horses, nude men and women. These are several megalithic tombs. The fronts of many traditional houses are decorated with huge water buffalo horns from the animals sacrificed during rituals of years gone by. Tarung village, an important ceremonial center is located on top of a hill just a half kilometer to the west of Waikabubak.
Anakalang is the site of “Purung Takadonga Ratu”, an important mass marriage festival held every two years, on a date determinate by the full moon.
Komodo Island. A small island of 280 square km, Komodo is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. It is famous for its giant pre-historic lizards, considered the last of their kind remaining in the world today. Called “ora” by the local people, Komodo “Dragon” (Varanus Komodoensis) is actually a giant monitor lizard. Growing up to 3 to 4 meters in length, its ancestors roamed the earth up to about half a million years ago. The only human population on the island is at the fishing village called Komodo who supplement their income breeding goats which are used to feed the lizards. Law protects the Komodo and although they are considered harmless, it is advisable to keep them at a distance. Komodo island is now a nature reserve, home to a number of rare bird species, deer, and wild pigs, which are prey to the lizards as well. This island can be reached by boat from Labuan Bajo.
Rote Island is a part of Kupang Regency in the west coast of Kupang. Rote has many historical relieves including fine unique Chinese porcelains as well as ancient arts are traditions. Rote island also famous for its “Sasandho” a traditional harpa, which is made of palm, leaves.
Nemberela Beach is the most beautiful beach and ideal for surfing. Surfers from all over the world come here to try the rough surf from June to October. It is located at the South West part of Rote Island.
Labuanbajo is a little fishing town at the extreme western part of Flores, this town serves as a jumping-off point for the trip to Komodo island. It is a beautiful area for water skiing; wind surfing, fishing and many other marine activities.
East Nusa Tenggara Tour Package
Day 1 Maumere – In (D)
Arrive at Waioti airport Maumere in Flores island, meet and direct transfer to eastern Maumere town. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 2 Maumere-Kalimutu-Maumere (BLD)
After an early breakfast drive-up to Kelimutu volcano to see the three colored lakes. Upon arrival walk around 1,5 km and then ascend 127 steps to the top to view Kelimutus green, blue and black lakes. Afterwards descent to Moni village to view the beautiful hand-woven clothes and also visit Kowanara village, which is famous for its traditional Lionese houses. Lunch will be served at local restaurant in Wolowaru. After lunch continue to Wolosoko then return to Maumere. Dinner at hotel.
Day 3 Maumere (BLD)
Breakfast at hotel then leave hotel for visiting Wuring village to see the houses built on stilts over the sea. Afterward drive-up to Ledalero, a major catholic seminary to visit the museum with its various collection of local royal families. Then the journey continued to Sikka village, a center of ikat weaving by traditional process. Lunch will be served enroute. Dinner at hotel.
Day 4 Hotel / AirportBreakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight to next destination