- Koka Beach
In the district of Sikka, in Wolowiro Village, is the breathtakingly beautiful Koka Beach. This beach is special because it is two lagoons located next to each other connected by a single stretch of powdery soft golden sands that gently curves inward, creating the number “3” if seen from above. The entire beach is bordered by lush jungle vegetation and beyond that, soaring hills, namely Ndoja Hill and Ndate Sare Hill whose heights lend the beach the feel of a magnificent secret lagoon. The water here is clear and clean, startling deep emerald green and sparkling turquoise.
To view the beach from above, you can stand on plenty of rocky outcrops along the cliff’s edges or climb downwards to enjoy the entire stretch of beach. The waves, while larger than normal, are still relatively safe for swimming. During low tide, you could explore Lia Wio Cave located at the foot of Rodja Hill or venture out and visit Nusa Koka, which is said to be filled with mythical snakes. *Photo by @remaja_flobamora
- Mount Egon
Lovers of mountains and those who enjoy the physical challenges of mountain climbing must visit Mount Egon in the Sikka district of Flores. Did you know that there are more than 12 volcanoes across Flores that is suitable for trekking? Mount Egon is one of them. At the summit of 1671m, you’ll find a crater that is 350m wide and 200m deep. Depending on the season, there could be a lake in the crater.
To get to the summit, you’ll have to hike from Blidit Village over dry grasslands and savannahs before you reach wide-open landscapes for about 2 to 3 hours. Another hour’s hike will get you to the summit where you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the crater and the islands beyond.
The best way to enjoy this activity is with a local operator or professional guide from Maumere. *Photo by ndtv.com
- The Historic Church of Sikka
Sikka’s Old Church is an important historical icon in Flores’s Sikka regency. It is over a century old and was built by Pastor Yohanes Engbers together with King Sikka Yoseph Mbako Ximenes Da Silva in 1899 during the Portuguese Colonialism era. The architect was Pastor Dijkmans, who also designed the Cathedral Church in Jakarta.
Sikka’s Old Church is prettily Baroque, which was the most popular architectural style in Europe at that time and built mostly with wood. Inside the church, paints with ‘ikat tenun’ theme decorate the wall, giving the church a rustic and artsy feel. In front of the church, there is a statue of a Pastor holding a bible and nearby, a box for donations.
Next to the church is a little chapel that stores important religious relics including a few artefacts that were brought over by King Sikka Da Silva himself from Melaka. These two religious icons are only visible to the public during mass on Great Friday. There are also two old cannons located at the front of the church which is a great spot for a selfie.
This church is located in Sikka village, 28 km away from Maumere, the capital city of Sikka. Every day many locals from Maumere and Larantuka come to visit. If you are going to visit this church, please don’t forget to shop some Ikat Tenun nearby. There are also some ladies who sell unique rosary made of shells. *Photo by @yayantijuit
- The Bugis Village at Wuring
Here in Maumere, you could visit a small fishing village called Wuring, which is home to the Bugis and Bajo people and located just 6km away from the city. It is a fun and friendly place to visit as the villagers are welcoming and friendly to guests. The village itself comprises unique colourful wooden houses built on stilts, the traditional-style Bugis home, which are quite interesting to look at. The Bugis people are known as sea-faring people and explorers and are experts when it comes to exploring the oceans and discovering new places. In the past, the Bugis have sailed towards the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra to establish power and communities there and in Singapore.
Here in Wuring, the villagers are fishermen with amazing skills. They also build boats – although not the giant yachts or phinisis that they are known for. Women from nearby villages would visit Wuring to sell fresh produce and purchase fresh fish or salted fish.
If you’re planning to visit the Bugis Village, do remember to don conservative clothing as the villagers are predominantly Muslim. Feel free to take pictures with the children and explore the village with them. *Photo by floressustainabletravel.blog
- Traditional Watublapi Ikat Weaving
Watublapi is a small community in the Sikka district and is well-known for its traditional Ikat weaving. Ikat weaving is practised all throughout Flores but this community still uses practises weaving the traditional way whereas others have switched to industrial weaving and chemical colouring because is it faster and cheaper. The Watublapi weavers use traditional hand-spun yarn made out of local cotton and natural colours.
In the 1980s the community was assisted in preserving their way of living, with the traditional dances, music and Ikat weaving with the establishment of Bliran Sina; they now work with over 40 members who support each other with different issues like financially. Today, this community works together with Fair Trade organisations and you will be able to find Ikat weaving all over the world.
Visiting Watublapi is a true one-of-a-kind experience and when you register in advance the people will give you a warm welcome with dances and music and you will even be dared to taste sirih pinang (betel nut chew), which is a tradition from the Sikka district. It is believed it will strengthen the teeth but do not worry; the red stain will not last forever. You will also be able to watch the Ikat weaving process from step to step and you can also join the workshop! *Photo by flores-indonesia.com
- Kajuwulu Beach
Just 9km west of Maumere, you’ll find Kajuwulu Beach. This beach is special because, in addition to it being a beautiful and pristine seaside location, Kajuwulu Beach is also a Marine Park. The beach offers breathtaking panoramic views, white sands and clear blue waters, which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling in. The waters surrounding Kajuwulu is thriving with coral reefs, home to hundreds, if not thousands of magnificent tropical fish and underwater creatures.
In the backdrop are verdant rolling hills which are lush and green during the rainy season and yellow during the dry season. Visitors would be pleasantly surprised here as there is a large cross located on top of one of the hills, which you can reach by climbing up three hundred steps. This activity would be a great option for those who want to grab the chance to see for themselves the glorious views that surround the area while enjoying the cool, fresh air. *Photo by Indonesia-tourism.com
- Maumere’s Traditional Markets
For those of you who are still looking for some gifts or souvenirs for your loved ones at home, you could visit Maumere’s traditional markets to shop, and to enjoy a uniquely exciting and culturally stimulating experience.
Alok Market or Pasar Alok is open every day but Tuesdays are special because the market will be transformed from a place of transaction into a hub for social gatherings. If you want to see some traditional bartering, make sure you arrive at the market no later than 7am. The market will stay open until midday at the latest. If you want to experience the market at a quieter time, go on Sundays as most people will be at church on this day.
Geliting Market or Pasar Geliting is iconic; trading here dates back 100 years. The market used to be a meeting point for sailors who would come by to get fresh water from a well. Later on, seafaring traders would come by to trade with the locals. Nowadays, the area has turned into an important point for trading goods, especially on Fridays when locals from villages nearby would barter, sell and buy livestock and fresh produce.
Since the time of the Dutch colonial government, the market was expanded and given permanent stalls and shops. The market offers all different kind of goods like fish, cattle and fruits but you can also find traditional treasures like the Ikat here. *Photo by flores-tourism.com
- Doka Village
Flores Island is not only famous for its spectacular natural beauty, but also for its valuable tradition. If you’re coming to Flores, do visit Doka village in Maumere to witness the making of Flores’s traditional woven fabric called the “Tenun Ikat”. Located in Bola district, Doka Village is just 20 km away from Maumere city. Your journey there will be filled with mesmerizing views or lush, rolling hills, cacao plantations, cashew trees, and many more. Go by motorbike or car; your best bet is to hire a driver who knows the way.
More than just a traditional woven fabric, the Tenun Ikat is extremely important to the people of Flores and is present in almost all cultural events and ceremonies including births, weddings, deaths and other rituals. It is also part of a wedding dowry, usually given by the bride’s family.
It is the women who play an important role in the creation of each Tenun Ikat and in doing so, they continue to preserve a unique and ancient tradition. It is said that in every Flores household, there is one woman who must be able to weave. The women in Doka Village use natural dyes to colour their Tenun Ikat, which is made from fruits. While you’re there, you could purchase a handmade Tenun Ikat to bring home with you for IDR 250,000 to IDR 2 million per piece.
A trip to Doka Village is sure to stay in your hearts and minds for years to come. It has been dubbed one of the best tourism destinations in Flores; the locals are friendly and warm and they welcome visitors with the TuaraTala’u dance, accompanied by music produced from traditional drums and gong. Traditionally, this sort of welcome is reserved only for the warriors returning from war. In the actual dance, the bravest warrior will be placed on top of a bamboo pole, while others will dance all around him while supporting the bamboo. You’ll see that the dancers are wearing the Tenun Ikat throughout this performance. Visitors are welcomed to join in the dance together with the others. It’s definitely a fun experience!
Visitors will also, be served with traditional foods and drinks including the alcoholic Tuak. Do try a small bite and a sip, as it is rude to reject a show of welcome from the local villagers. *Photo by travelandindonesia.blogspot.co.id