The largest town in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia, Maumere is probably not the most popular travel place but it is normally an accidental drop by due to it being an alternative port to fly in to explore the rest of Flores.
Maumere, Flores, Indonesia Map
Go off the beaten path and explore the local living of Indonesia in the way of Flores, Nusa Tenggara. Hang around with the locals, visit fishing villages and markets and also explore the local hot springs, caves and beaches, all not exactly out to wow you but fun enough for the novelty of it. You will feel like the first explorer in these places.
What to see
Weaving villages – see local artisans produce traditional ikat cloth which is lightweight and is good as souvenirs
What to do
Uncover hidden hot springs and caves.
Chill and relax at remote and discrete beaches:
Ahuwair and Waiterang Beaches – more popuar relaxing beaches with few bungalows to choose from. Really chill out and off the grid with limited electricity and what more internet. There are diving and snorkeling choices here.
Gading beach – for less crowd (of the already little crowd) with its black sand beach but the sea is too rough for snorkeling.
Climb Gunung Egon
This is an active volcano with a summit of 5.5km where its peak that can be seen from the Waiterang beach. Start at the small village of Blidit which is the beginning of the hiking trail. It can be climb in 3 hours. Remember to slather in generous amount of sun blocks, if possible start really early in the morning.
Diving - scuba diving is here is remotely beautiful where you can even have chance to see the whales and dolphins which are ubiquitous here. Best times to spot sperm whales are during November and December monsoons.
Maumere Airport, Flores, Indonesia
How to get there
Fly into the Wai Oti Airport (Bandar Udara Wai Oti), which is more commonly known as the Maumere Airport. It lies 3 km from the town and you may hop onto any ojek (motorcycle taxi) to get to the town center for about 5000Rp. There are regular flights from Kupang, Sumba, Labuanbajo and Denpasar (Bali).
You may even sail on one of the local Pelni boats into Maumere from Makassar and Kupang. Frequency is about every 2 weeks but with no fix schedule, therefore you need enough time and ad-hoc planning to work it out when you are there. Tickets can be bought at the Pelni office in town.
If you are coming by bus, in one of the rare occasions, you can get a bus from Bajawa but with a long drive of 15 hours. You can get in/out or to/from Labuanbajo by bus, with a stop in Bajawa for 1 night. There are also buses between Moni and Ende that stops at Maumere.
People of Maumere, Flores, Indonesia
Where to go nearby
Bali (fly to Denpasar airport) for the many things to see in Bali,
Lombok and Gili Islands – can also be access via Bali or Labuanbajo
Makassar – take a pelni boat over to continue and discover Sulawesi from there
Labuanbajo (Labuan Bajo) – for diving, snorkeling and many beautiful islands and beaches
Komodo National Park – to see the famous komodo dragon. You can get there by land or air.
The famous tri-coloured lake at Gunung Kelimutu in Flores
Photo credits from top: Burmesedays and the rest Gabriel