Want to know how to hike Wae Rebo without a tour or a guide? It’s easy but requires some time & planning – find out all the transport options, how to avoid the entrance fees & more!

Wae Rebo is a traditional Manggaraian village of circular, cone-shaped buildings with thatched roofs.

From Ruteng via the Lingko Spider Web Rice Fields, there’s an early morning (10:00am?) bemo to Denge, the base town for the village.

It takes 3-4hrs to hike Wae Rebo without a tour. From Denge, you hike uphill 2 hours/9kms to reach Wae Rebo.

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Wae Rebo Entrance Fees:

  • 200,000 IDR / $15.00 for a day visit
  • 350,000 IDR / $26.25 to stay overnight with basic meals & beds

There are also fees for any miscellaneous activities, ceremonies or performances – all of which many tourists are happy to part with.

Why we didn’t visit Wae Rebo

Wae Rebo is one of the icons of Flores and undoubtedly, it looks stunningly picturesque in photographs.

But we here at DIY Travel HQ were concerned at the authenticity of a village that charges 200,000 IDR – 350,000 IDR / $15.00-$26.25 to visit.

Also, the timing & lack of accessibility were against us.

Instead, we went on to visit Bena & Wogo traditional villages near Bajawa, Flores & Tamkessi traditional village near Kupang, West Timor.

Hike Wae Rebo Without a Tour or Guide

However we did some research, & from maps, it looks like there’s a viewpoint ¾ of the way towards the official village entrance.

DIY travellers could hike up to this point, take in the views & hike back down – the best photographs of Wae Rebo are always from above, so you could potentially get an amazing view of the village, all the while completely avoiding all fees & mass-tourism pandemonium:

Group shot at Wae Rebo viewpoint

You can hike & see Wae Rebo from a viewpoint like this, without paying the exorbitant entrance fees

From memory, there’s only a 6:00am bus to Ruteng (no other destinations) but there are a few homestays to stay overnight in Denge.

*** Another option is hiring a motorbike from Ruteng to Denge/Wae Rebo in order to hike Wae Rebo without a tour ***

Once back in Ruteng, you may be able to catch a bemo onward to Bajawa but local transport on Flores is very limited & the one or two bemos a day may be long gone before noon.

Otherwise, there are private travel cars that can take you to Bajawa or your next destination.


If you choose to hike Wae Rebo without a tour, here’s how to do it from Labuan Bajo & Ruteng:

DAY 1: 

  • 7:00am Labuan Bajo–Ruteng (stopping at Cancar): 50,000 IDR local bus, 6 hours
  • Stopover in Cancar: 10,000 IDR / $0.75 bemo to/from Ruteng
  • Overnight in Ruteng

DAY 2:

  • 10:00am bemo to Denge, 3-4 hours
  • Hike up & down to the Wae Rebo viewpoint, overnight in Denge

DAY 3:

  • 6:00am bemo to Ruteng
  • Ruteng–Bajawa: bemo 40,000 IDR / $30.00; 70,000 IDR / $52.45 private travel car, 3 hours

*** The Final Word: Visit other traditional villages in Flores or West Timor instead ***

Have you visited Wae Rebo? Was it worth it?

3 Shovels

Accessible DIY travel to more distant locations via multiple connections or longer forms of public transport


Feature images is courtesy of Amazing Indonesia

Group image is courtesy of Mark Lockitt

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Visited in October 2015