Wae Lo Los Village
Deep into the West Manggarai District on the island of Flores, 35 km away from the city of Labuan Bajo, you’ll find Mbeliling Forrest.
Mbeling Forrest is home to the residents of the nearby Wae Lo Los village. Wae Lo Los is a small community which is comprised of a few hundred residents, who support themselves off the surrounding sawahs. Sawahs are rich soiled paddie fields, which harvest either rice or taro. Water buffalos graze freely around the lands, intrigued by our surprise presence.
Rice production is an important part of the Indonesian economy. Indonesia is the third-largest rice producer in the world. It was once considered a delicacy. The importance of rice in Indonesian culture is shown through the worship of Dewi Sri, the rice goddess of the ancient islands of Java and Bali. In Bali, the traditional subak was created to ensure the water supplies for rice paddies, managed by a priest and created around water temples. These water temples are now some of Bali’s most visited attractions.
Read my blog post on the nearby Melo Village
When to visit Flores Island:
April to September
The Cunca Rami Waterfall
I drove my scooter to the furthest point m navigation app could get me to, but there was still a hell of a journey left. I drove myself slowly through the potholes in the dirt path and found myself in an opening with a few houses made of bamboo; a very durable material, commonly used for housing in South East Asia. There were a few families sitting outside their houses, and kids playing on the ground near their cows; their dogs running around the roadside.
One of the girls to my surprise spoke great English and offered to be my guide for a little fee. Her name was Susil. So I accepted her offer, parked my scooter and off we went on our journey.
It wasn’t too long into the walk where the path vanished and all I was going by was Susil’s mental blueprint. I could barely see two metres in front of me as I’m cutting through the forest with a stick I came across. After wizzing her way, up and over rocks, Susil brought me to an opening, looking over a terrace of sawahs, with an epic view of the Cunca Rami Waterfall.
There are not many facilities in the area, so be certain to bring your own food and water. Aside from the one convenience store on the main road before you turn off, there aren’t any restaurants or public toilets along the way.
Getting to Cunca Rami
Due to the difficult roads that lead to Cunca Rami, not many tours offer this in the package. These here are the best two ways to get to Cunca Rami. As I’ve expressed above, this is one of the trickiest waterfalls to reach in Indonesia, so prepare yourselves.
Booking a tour to Cunca Rami Waterfall:
Driving to Cunca Rami Waterfall:
You can rent a motorcycle from Labuan Bajo at 75k IDR ($5.30) a day, petrol costs ontop. I prefer driving a motorcycle when travelling because it allows you the freedom of stopping at local markets and taking photographs of the day to day life happening around you.
Take the main road from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng. It is approximately 35km drive; you take the right just before the Puarlolo EcoLodge, in the direction to Werang.
Bus to Werang
You can jump on the daily bus that leaves from Labuan Bajo to Werang. The only problem is that the local buses have no regular operating schedule, so you can imagine what can go wrong there.
- Prepare for a long, tiring trip
- Bring lots of water & snacks
- Pack a battery pack for your electronics
- Put on insect repellant
- Wear hiking boots