Seven Traditional Houses of Wae Rebo

How to Hike Wae Rebo Without a Tour

In Hiking, Indonesia, Traditional Villages & Markets by Sheena2 Comments

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

We recommend Lonely Planet Indonesia to help you plan your trip.
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*** 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

 

Comments

  1. Is IDR 200k is expensive for you?
    So you would take something for free i.e. photographs and give them nothing?
    From those photographs you can write a blog that generates revenue, while the villagers at Waerebo stays ‘traditional’.
    They charged IDR 200-350k so they can advance their society.
    It is free loading tourists like you that does not help with their effort.
    I was just there, paid the rate provided, talked to the people and learn their culture. You don’t just take picture and leave. #RUDE

    1. Author

      Hi Indonesian Tourist, thanks for your feedback. This post is more about how you can hike Wae Rebo & reach the site by local transport, without a tour – ensuring that all the entrance fees goes to the village, if that is so important to you.

      Yes, 200-350k is expensive for us which is why we chose not to do it – also because we didn’t have the time.

      I don’t see a problem with hiking to a lookout & taking a photo of the village – nature is free & for everyone. The money you’re paying is to meet the people, go into their homes, food, accommodation, performances, etc. To us it wasn’t worth it, we don’t judge others who choose to do it.

      We preferred visiting less touristy villages in Indonesia such as Bena & Wogo near Bajawa, who welcomed us without asking for any payment (donations appreciated).

      Also sadly our blog generates no money – best of luck to you!

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