Ende is a city in Flores. It mostly serves as the gateway between Flores and Sumba or Kupang. However, Ende is worth a visit in its own right. Being the biggest city in Flores, boasting both a university and a hospital, it has a middle class and curious young people with good English skills.
Ende was the site of a kingdom that existed around the end of the 18th century. The name today refers to the capital of the Ende regency, which includes the two autonomous territories of Lio and Ende.
Pelni serves Kupang and Sumba on a 2 week schedule. The boat leaves for Kupang, then returns 3 days later for Waingapu, rinse and repeat. Breakdowns and delays make it impossible to post a schedule. The very helpful Pelni office is on the same road as the Ikhlas Hotel. Just follow the road towards the port, and you can't miss it.
Wings air (Lion air) flies to Bali 3 days a week with a stop in Labuanbajo - Transnusa also covers this route. Merpati and Nusantara also flies to Kupang. If you are flying Wings Air, flights can be purchased with foreign credit card from the Lion Air website - otherwise tickets are best bought at a travel agent. Once again, the ever helpful Ikhlas Hotel can be your one-stop-shop.
Central Ende is very small and everything of interest to the traveller is literally within walking distance.
- The Bung Karno Museum is the old house occupied by Soekarno during his years of exile in Ende. Most of the old furnishings are still there. While inexile in ende, Soekarno wrote and staged few plays, together with the tonel Kelimutu theater group.
- Kelimutu is a holy mountain with three crater lakes, filled with water of different colors. Far removed from the civilized would, utter silence reigns around these lakes. The 1.690- meter-high mountain, 60 kilometers from Ende, was “discovered” by a Dutchmen Van Suchtelen and Le Roux, who came to explore it after hearing stories about the mountain which the local people regarded as the location of a heaven and hell. According to legend, the man Kelimutu was punished by the gods due to his cruel treatment of the weak. The story presumably refers to the giant Ata Polo Ria, who ill treated the orphans, Ata koo Fai and ata nuwu muri, as well as the old man Ata bupu. As a punishment, the gods put the giant to death.
- Rewa Rangga is a prehistoric site with foot prints and he imprint of what is said to be a giant’s behind. The site is located near Nuabosi village, eight kilometers from Ende. To reach it, one must walk for more than one hour from Nuabosi, over a small footpath.
- Tiwu Sora is a lake inhabited by holy ales, which are said to possess manes, like horses. It takes rather long hike to reach the lake. There is another calm to stop filled with holy ales in the vicinity. It’s location is near the village wolotolo, about 20 kilometer away from Ende. The last end of the way to be walked.
- Wutu weti is the stone bearing the imprint of a boat and man sitting inside it wearing headdress like that of tartar. It is in the village Nua Mbako, near Nggel, in the south of the Ende regency.
- The Portuguese Fort in Rendo Mau Pandi can be reached by motor boat from Ende in about an hour. Inside are an abandoned house, a well, and a few cannons. A similar fort is found in Numba Rada , about one and a half hour by car from Ende.
- Nua Kepi is a cave 14 kilometers from Ende. A couple of japaness scientist once conducted studies for more than a year inside the cave, in which many calm were found.
- Ndota Keli Lima is the myth of origin of people of Lio-Ende, and tells of the original ancestors, Bobi and Nombi. There is a tomb there, where the couple’s spirits are said to occasionally appear to people, bedecked with all kinds of edible crops probably symbolizing fertility.
Not far from the site of the tomb is a hill called Wolo Wita . It is believed to be the spot where the ancestors agreed to disperse to inhabit the various regions of Lio-Ende.
- Tanah Ka means edible earth. This area is in Tombe Radu, in the Ende district .People are said to eat the soil during periods of severe dog of famine. The area is 17 kilometers from Ende and can only he reached by walking.
- At Lasugolo , in the village Nida, near Maurole district, is geyser, spurting hot water in a three- meter-high column. It can be reached by car from Ende up to the village of Wologai. From there, one has to walk the rest of the distance for half a day.
- Mutubasa pond with boiling hot water is where people go to be cured of diseases. Its located near Saga 20 kilometers from Ende. It takes half a day to walk the distance.
- Buu Bei means “place to Dock”. It is the name of a village which lies at the floor of a crater, almost one kilometr below the rim. The sun shines only from 11 o’clock in the morning until two in the afternoon.
The village is located 17 kilometer from Ende. It takes half a day to reach it on foot. About 20 years ago, the inhabitants still wore loin cloths made of tree bark. Now they wear clothes.
- Fila Ria is a beach, south of Ende near the village Meti Numba. The steep hillside extends for nearly one kilometer along the coast. And is about 100 meters high. The beach however, is wide and the water is clean and calm. The site can be reached by motorboat in about two hours from Ende.
- Mozic Stones cover the seashore from Maunggora to Nangapanda village. There are stones that ae blue, green and black. The place can be reached by car in about one hour from Ende.
- Mari Longa was a hero who fought by himself against the Dutch. He died a natural death and was buried in his home village. The place on the hill where he defended himself are surrounded by bamboo poles filled with water.
- Mezbah and stone monument unusually called kanga and Tubu-Mase, are platforms for offerings. In this type of traditional agrarian village, this kind of ritual ceremony is usually held every stage of the process – from that of preparing the soil, to planting, tending the plants and harvesting.
- The Hollow Stone is on Numba Beach Nagakeo village, in the Nagapanda district, 12 kilometers from Ende. This hole was presumably produced by punch, delivered by a powerful young lady from Wio ( Sumba), who was looking for her younger sister, who had married a nobleman of Roja, Ende.
- Ae Wau is a complex of pools with water containing sulfur. There are three pools, which are much visited by the people coming from all over Flores, as well as tourists. It is located 80 kilometers from Ende, near nggela village, and can be reached first by public vehicle, the by walking for a distance of half a kilometer from the village of Nggela.
- Ae Petu is a hot water pool, located near the village of Detusuko, 33 kilometers from Ende. It can be reached by car. At the pool’s side, sands statue of the Virgin Mary.
- Tolo Rose is the family grave of the lord Wololele. It is locate in the village of Wololelel A, Wolowaru district. The grave lies on a hill and accessible over a stairway buffalo heads, the symbol of greatness’. From the top of the hill, or can admire the beauty of the surroundings, up t the beach of Maumere in the Sikka regency. The peak mount Kelisoke is visible in the distance constanyly covered by clouds. Besides boasting beautiful scenery, the mountainside is also good for climbing. Start from Ende towards Wolowaru, at a distance of 64 kilometer. From Wolowaru, it takes a hike of more than three hours to reach the summit.
- Watu Api is the village where the hero Nipa Do was born. He was a commander of Nangapanda kingdom, who revolted against the Dutch government, who imposed excerssive tax burdens and hard labor on the people for the construction of a road network on Flores. Together with his field commanders epa biu, Laja Dhosa and Deru gore, he waged guerrilla war against the Dutch. Nipa Do was eventually trapped and shot to death. A few of his war commanders were captured and put in prisons in Java. The rebellion of Nipa Do is known as the Watu Api War, which took place between 1916 and 1917.
In every traditional house, or Sao Nggua, many sacred items are kept. They maybe pieces at gold shaped like sickle, chains, elephant tusks, cannons, swords, knives, book concerning Christianity, and bowls for the preparation of rice mounds. Woven Ikat cloths are produced in cottage industries. The largest pproducers are the southern areas such as Mbuli, Wolojita, Nggela, Ngtupolo, Wolotopo, Ndona, and Ende. Sarongs and shawls from Ende have various motifs each reflecting the social status of its wearer.
- Colorful stones. Ende is famous for its export of colorful stones. Families will gather every day on the shores of the black sand beaches to gather and sort the stones washed up by the sea. The stones are then exported primarily to Japan for its stone gardens. Ojeks will take you there, but it's really just rocks and not that spectacular.
- Black sand beaches. The beaches around Ende are absolutely beautiful (except near the market where the beach is filthy) and completely undeveloped. Pack lunch and head for the beach. You can combine this with a visit to the village of Wolotopo. If you already went to Bena this village is less spectacular, but it does make for a nice getaway.
- Markets. The markets are big and interesting, if that is your thing. Take a stroll through the markets near the port, and you will find fish of all sorts, fresh vegetables and of course, the omnipresent Ikat.
Walk in any direction for 2 minutes and you will have passed at least one warung selling Sate, Mie Goreng, Padang etc. Up-market restaurants are scarce, if any.
- Restoran Istana Bambu. Serves mostly seafood, also has a bakery counter. The waitresses are charming and also work at the beauty salon next door.
- Sari Rasa, Jl Ahmad Yani (Located midway between Ikhlas/Safari hotels and entrance to airport). Noodle soup and other traditional dishes, all 15,000 or under. Friendly English-speaking Chinese owner. Brightly lit but clean and welcoming. All dishes made to order; better than the cold buffet warungs mostly found in this area.
On Jl Ahmed Yani, near the soccer field, is a street vendor selling Martabak (chocolate pancake) which is excellent. Buy an extra one to take with you if you are flying with Wings Air because there is no food on board.
Besides the hotels listed here, several homestays are located on the same road towards the port. These 2, however, are head and shoulders above the rest.
- Ikhlas Hotel, Jl Ahmad Yani 69, ☎ +62 381 21695. A wonderful budget hotel close to the airport. The staff is very helpful, and can arrange all your onwards travel. Surprisingly, the cheapest rooms are the best. Choose between shared/private bathroom and fan or a/c. Rates includes a simple breakfast (Coffee and toast or perhaps a sweet bun). s/d: 40,000-90,000/70,000-125,000 Rp.
- Safari Hotel, Jl Ahmad Yani 65, ☎ +62 381 21997. Right next to Ikhlas, this hotel has budget and midrange rooms with TV. Rates include breakfast. 200meters from the Airport, can walk. 100,000 Rp(double).
There isn't much nightlife to speak of in Ende. If you're desperate for a beer, try Star One.
- Star One Pub & Karaoke. Karaoke bar. Sells beer, arak and assortment of whiskeys. Some of the high-heeled ladies here appear to be 'on the job'. This a bit of an odd bar, though the only one locals will recommend.
- Internet (opposite Safari hotel). cafes are dotted around town with fast and reliable internet. 5,000 Rp/h.