In the Asia Pacific Heritage Awards 2012, Wae Rebo, a traditional village located in the Manggarai district of Flores, earned top Awards for Excellence from UNESCO. This small and remote village is recognized for its Mbaru Niang traditional houses due to its demonstrations of the spirit and cooperation of the community to improve its village welfare and sustainable tradition.
This small village is built 1000 meters above sea level and about a 3-4 hour walk from the Denge village. Wae Rebo is surrounded by panoramic mountains in addition to the dense forest of Todo Rich. The vegetation includes not only ferns and orchids but also the peaceful chirping of songbirds. A few things to note is that mobile coverage doesn’t reach this village. You’ll be off grid! Furthermore, electricity is only available from 6 to 10pm. The dry season is dominated by cold weather, so prepare your winter clothing if you are planning to come for a visit.
The villager’s main ancestor and founder was a man called Empu Maro. He built the village around a hundred years ago. Now, the people living there are his 18th generation descendants.
Wae Rebo is known for its unique houses called Mbaru Niang. They are shaped like a cone and standing tall, with lontar completely covering it from the top to the ground. We believe these houses were once common throughout the region. In spite of this they’re now exclusively found in this village.
The people’s main diet is cassava and maize. They also plant coffee, vanilla and cinnamon which they sell in the market about 15km from the village. Wae Rebo has slowly grown into a tourist destination for ecotourism enthusiasts around the world. This adds some economic welfare to the village. The locals are always happy to receive visitors who wish to observe their village and traditional life.
Interested in visiting this small and charming village in Flores? Adventure Riders offers packages for a grand tour around the archipelago in Indonesia. You can also visit this untouched paradise and rural villages of the islands on a schedules Flores dirt bike trip.