Bajawa

The little town of Bajawa, surrounded by volcanos and rainforest.

Bajawa is a city in the central highlands of Flores in Indonesia.

At 1100 meters, Bajawa is much cooler than in the lowlands along the beach. Bring a sweater for the chilly nights. The attraction here is the traditional mangarai villages in the area surrounding the city.

Get in

All buses from Labuanbajo stop here for the night before leaving the next morning, but you might as well stay an extra day and make a tour of it. The cheapest option from Labuanbajo appears to be the Gemini bus (Rp 100,000), which leaves at around 5.30AM from the ferry jetty in Labuanbajo - free hotel pick-up can be arranged. Expect a long (12 hours) and bumpy ride with little comfort. However, the incredible scenery and friendly passengers and passers-by compensate a lot.

Public buses stop at the junction from where bemos wait to take you the 2 km into town. Expect to be asked to pay 5,000 Rp although less should suffice.

See

View of the Inierie volcano from the viewpoint at the radiostation in Bajawa.
A woman weaving Ikat in an Ngada village

There are many "tourist guides" in Bajawa. None of which are in any way trained and their primary skill is speaking English and overcharging. The best you can do is stay clear of them and just hire a motorbike (85,000 Rp.) or charter a bemo for the day (300,000 Rp.) and see the villages at your own pace.

There is an official, and very helpful, tourist information in the mayor's office. There are also many touts that has shops with "Tourist Information" signs printed on them. Don't be fooled by them, the real tourist information will not try and sell you something.

Eat

Sleep

Accommodation in Bajawa is scarce and overpriced, but since everyone passing through has to stay for the night, you have to suck it up.

Go next

There is a bus station near the market, but the buses will just as happily pick you up from your hotel at the same price. Be prepared to circle the town a few times picking up passengers (until full) before actually leaving for your destination.

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