Wae Rebo, a Mysteriously Charming Village in Flores


Flores Island is the big part of East Nusa Tenggara Province. In tourism world, Flores is well known for its pristine sea and marine biodiversity, as well as several exotic mountains with unique craters. You can find Mount Kelimutu and its changing lakes here.

The village on the hill. via Instagram/stevenlianel

However, the cultural aspect of this island is also remarkable. One of the most intriguing places you can find in Flores is probably the Wae Rebo Village. It is one of the highest village in Indonesia and is located in a very beautiful place. Here are some facts about Wae Rebo, a mysterious village in the height of Flores.

Location and how to get there

The serene village. via Instagram/ali_olfat

Wae Rebo is located at the highland in the southwestern part of Flores. The easiest access is via Ruteng, the capital of West Manggarai Regency. Ruteng is accessible via air from several big cities in Indonesia, the closest one is Denpasar in Bali. From Ruteng, you have to go to Denge or Dintor village. These villages are the last point of good road passable by vehicles.

getting to the village can be a bit of a challenge. via instagram/remaja_flobamora

From this point, you have to hike several hours to reach Wae Rebo. Most tourist prefers hiking on foot while enjoying the panorama along the way. However, if you want a faster trip, you can rent an ojek (ride-sharing service) or hop on the cargo area of timber truck.

The seven main houses

Mbaru Niang houses. via Instagram/komodoflores.id

When you Google ‘Wae rebo’ you will be flooded with pictures of several black cone houses on a hill. Those are the seven main houses of the village. These are very rare traditional houses called Mbaru Niang. Each house is the home of six to eight families. If you want to stay overnight in this lovely village, you can sleep in one of the houses that have been functioned as a very basic homestay for tourists. You will only get a humble pillow and blanket.

Spectacular view

Magnificent view of the village at night. via Instagram/rimaocta10

After you finished admiring the architecture of Mbaru Niang, you can start enjoying the magnificent view of the surrounding area. This village is strategically positioned in a hill that is surrounded by several other higher hills. Everywhere you go, you will see a beautiful lush green forest. This make Wae Rebo as a highly instagramable place.

Minangkabau descendants

They claim to be the descendants of Minangkabau. via Instagram/aryflores1987

Wae Rebo inhabitants believe that their ancestors are from Minangkabau, West Sumatra. They believe that they are descendants of Empo Maro, an adventurer who stayed in many places before eventually settled at Wae Rebo. However, even though they claim to be Minang descendants, the culture and names in Wae Rebo is vastly different from Minang.

The interior of a Mbaru Niang. via Instagram/finnahardjono

Wae Rebo is an exotic destination if you don’t mind a bit of an effort to get there. This village’s elevation is 1200 meter above sea levels and you have to hike most of those. However, you will not regret visiting this village because the culture is fascinating and the panorama is simply marvelous.

flores island ruteng Wae Rebo