Essential Nusa Tenggara

Island-hop in search of Indonesia’s magnificent Komodo Dragon, explore Sumba’s megalithic tombs and hike to see traditional villages and sacred crater lakes on our captivating Essential Nusa Tenggara holiday.

At a glance
  • See sunrise over the spectacular Kelimutu crater lakes
  • Walk over striking blue shingle at Nanga Panda beach
  • Visit remote villages to learn about Sumba culture
  • Sleep in a homestay under a traditional tall thatched roof
  • Cruise Komodo National Park, seeking dragons
  • Snorkel pristine reefs around the coast of Sabolon island
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Sumba - 3 nights

East of Bali and just south of the Komodo National Park, Sumba transports you to a time of ancient customs and unchanging landscapes. Local animist beliefs remain part of daily life, and it’s one of just a handful of places in the world where megalithic burials are still practised. The Lamboya region, on Sumba’s south west coast, is green and wide, with open grassland and clear beaches backed by gnarled hilltops peppered with farming villages, rushing waterfalls hidden within the jungle, and wide fields where horseback riders armed with ceremonial spears compete in the ancient festival of Pasola.

Day 1 - Arrive Tambolaka, drive to Lamboya

Includes:

On arrival in Tambolaka, Sumba, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel in the beautiful, rural Lamboya region.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

Day 2 - Explore West Sumba's villages & ancestral tombs

Includes:

Head into Waikabubak, the small capital of West Sumba, to gain deeper insight into the tribal traditions and ancient beliefs of this unique culture. On the outskirts of the expanding city are the twin villages of Tarung and Waitabar, full of examples of typical Sumba three storey houses topped with high, thatched roofs. After lunch continue to Anakalang, known for its abundance of ancestral burial tombs. The Royal Tomb complex in Pasunga is particularly impressive, featuring a huge vertical stone slab carved with images of the chief and his wife. Drive on to the picturesque village of Praiijing to chat with some of the villagers and further explore how ancient traditions remain part of everyday life.

Day 3 - Explore the traditional Kodi Region

Includes:

Drive north to Waikabubak to visit the bustling local market and shops selling Sumba’s famous ikat weavings. Continue to the Kodi region, in the north-west of the island; a stronghold of traditional Merapu culture, rich in traditional villages and funeral sites, within a landscape of cassava fields, cashew nut plantations and pristine beaches. Picnic beside the sands at Mandorak house, a relief project that supports the Kodi tribe, and take the opportunity to swim and relax in beautiful surroundings. Go on to nearby Wainyapu, a village in a dramatic clifftop setting overlooking the Indian Ocean, where traditional houses with extended thatched roofs surround imposing ancestral tombs and spirit stones.

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Flores - 6 nights

Flores is rich in culture and natural scenery, boasting hidden beaches and endless rice fields, dotted with smoking volcanoes. Spectacular crater lakes lie within the Kelimutu volcano: naturally coloured by minerals dissolved from the rocks, one is often bright blue, another green and the third red, although the colours can change suddenly. Photos give you some idea of their beauty, but nothing compares to seeing them for yourself. Stay in a select handful of village communities, experiencing the unique characteristics of each, and the overriding laid-back determination that defines the island.

Day 4 - Fly to Ende on Flores & drive to Moni

Includes:

Transfer to Tambolaka airport in time for your mid-afternoon flight to Ende on the island of Flores where you will be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel in Moni.

Day 5 - Mount Kelimutu sunrise, drive to Bajawa

Includes:

Set out at 4am to drive to Kelimutu National Park and embark on a short trek up the slopes of Mount Kelimutu, reaching the peak just in time to witness sunrise over the park below. From your vantage point, watch the sun’s first rays illuminate the three individually coloured crater lakes as they shift from blue to green, red to black, depending on the mineral content... although local legend states that the colours reflect the shifting moods of ancestral spirits. Drive on to Ende via Nduria’s bustling fruit & veg market and the traditional Lionese village of Saga, then continue west to Bajawa, stopping en-route to stretch your legs along the unique blue pebble beach near Nanga Panda, and to visit the traditional Ngada village of Wogo.

Day 6 - Immerse yourself in the Ngada culture & overnight in a homestay

Includes:

Explore the region around Bajawa and learn about traditional Ngada culture. Visit a bamboo plantation, and gaze at the scenic views of Gunung Inerie: Flores’ gigantic volcanic pyramid. Continue to Luba, a village at the foot of Mount Inerie where animist traditions still thrive, and the ancient megalithic tombs and ancestral shrines dotted throughout the village form an integral part of daily life. From Luba, take a 15 minute walk to Bena, where traditional thatch-roof houses frame the central square. In the afternoon continue west to Paukate for a scenic walk through bamboo forests and dry savannah, with beautiful views over the Sewu Sea. Stop at Belaraghi to mingle with the villagers and participate in the ‘ti’i ka ebu nusi’ welcome ceremony (roughly translated as ‘give food to the ancestors’), and enjoy a traditional dinner with your village hosts before spending the night in a thatch-roofed homestay.

Day 7 - Village visits, drive to Mbolata Beach

Includes:

Your morning will be at leisure to explore Belaraghi village, talking with the villagers and learning about their unique lifestyle. After lunch, drive south to the coast, stopping in the village of Aimere to visit an arak factory and learn how this local alcoholic drink is made, before continuing on to the coast close to Waelengga. Check in to your Mbolata Beach resort and take the remainder of your day at leisure to swim and relax on the beach.

Day 8 - Drive to Ruteng

Includes:

Head inland to the western district of Manggarai, an agricultural region key to Flores’ rice and coffee production. Stop at the large crater lake of Ranamese, believed to be the home of lost spirits, and continue on to the higher altitude of Ruteng in the volcanic highlands. It was from here that a Catholic mission spread across the island, and tiny Ruteng is home to over 50 churches. With a nod to the town’s Catholic heritage, spend a night in a convent, making sure to be back from dinner in town by the 9pm curfew!

Day 9 - Drive to Labuan Bajo

Includes:

Set out early from the convent to visit Ruteng Pu’u: one of the few Manggarai villages to have kept traditional tall houses with their typical spiked roofs. Your guide will point out the all-important ‘compang’ - a round, stone platform used as an altar. Continue west to Labuan Bajo, stopping en-route at Cancar village where a 20 minute walk leads to a hilltop offering views over the amazing ‘lingko’: symmetrical, spiders web-shaped rice fields. Arrive at Labuan Bajo, the westernmost tip of Flores, in the afternoon, enjoy a late lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the harbour, and settle in to enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

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Komodo Islands Plataran Cruise - 2 nights

Encompassing the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar and the west coast of Flores, Komodo National Park is often cited as the epitome of national park best practise. Well managed reefs teeming with diverse marine life make it a diver’s dream, and visitors are always eager to observe its unique onshore wildlife too, particularly the infamous Komodo Dragon. Over the course of a three-day cruise, stop to explore the islands, keeping an eye out for the world's largest lizard among other extraordinary wildlife, swim and snorkel in the clear waters, and sit on deck soaking up the scenery.

Day 10 - Cruise through Komodo National Park

Includes:

Transfer to Labuan Bajo harbour where your luxury Plataran boat will be waiting moored to a private jetty. The crew will welcome you aboard the traditional wooden phinisi - your home for the next couple of nights - before setting sail towards your first stop at Rinca Island. Meet your ranger and start your trek through the island’s parched grasslands, which affords little camouflage for the Komodo Dragon so there is a good chance of an encounter. Continue your cruise to Kalong Island where you will moor for the night. Also known as ‘Flying Fox Island’, Kalong is home to a large bat population that you’ll see glide out of the forest every evening in search of food. Enjoy a shared dinner on deck before turning in for the evening.

Day 11 - Search out dragons on Komodo Island & snorkel Manta Point

Includes:

Breakfast on board as the Plataran sets sail for Komodo Island: the largest in the National Park. Walk through the prehistoric landscape with a ranger by your side, to Banunggulung where there is another chance of spotting Komodo dragons, as well as wild deer, wild boar and numerous indigenous birds. In the afternoon, set sail for Manta Point - a small island, popular as a dive and snorkelling site, where manta rays fly beneath the waves alongside turtles, white-tip shark, giant trevallies, huge clams and cuttlefish. Enjoy sunset drinks back on board before dinner is served.

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Day 12 - Snorkelling safari, return to Labuan Bajo & depart

Includes:

Spend your final morning in Komodo National Park exploring the awesome underwater world, with snorkelling stops around the islands of Kanawa and Sabolon. Back on board, sail back towards Labuan Bajo arriving into the harbour around midday. Having disembarked, bid farewell to the Plataran crew and transfer to Labuan Bajo airport in time for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3 - 4 5 - 6
First Class £2,689US$3,522 £2,482US$3,251 £2,403US$3,148

Sumba Nautil Resort

On a sloping headland overlooking the Indian Ocean, within walking distance of the white sands of Marosi Beach, this charming resort... See more

Kelimutu Ecolodge

Located a 20-minute walk from the village of Moni, Kelimutu Ecolodge enjoys a picturesque setting beside a small river, surrounded by rice fields... See more

Homestays

Homestays have been operating in various parts of Asia since travellers started to seek a more authentic travel experience in less-visited regions....

Spring Hill

With its cluster of wooden bungalows in the hill town of Ruteng, Spring Hill is a comfortable and convenient place to take a break from exploring Flores...

Puri Sari Beach Hotel

Set on a 350-metre stretch of secluded beach, amidst lush tropical gardens, the Puri Sari Beach Hotel is a convenient, tranquil base from which to explore the western tip of Flores and the Komodo National Park... See more

Plataran Ambasi

Chartered sailing aboard the traditionally-built Plataran Ambasi is the ideal way to explore the reefs and islands of the Komodo National Marine Park at your own pace… See more
Superior £2,806US$3,676 £2,600US$3,406 £2,521US$3,303

Sumba Nautil Resort

On a sloping headland overlooking the Indian Ocean, within walking distance of the white sands of Marosi Beach, this charming resort... See more

Kelimutu Ecolodge

Located a 20-minute walk from the village of Moni, Kelimutu Ecolodge enjoys a picturesque setting beside a small river, surrounded by rice fields... See more

Homestays

Homestays have been operating in various parts of Asia since travellers started to seek a more authentic travel experience in less-visited regions....

Spring Hill

With its cluster of wooden bungalows in the hill town of Ruteng, Spring Hill is a comfortable and convenient place to take a break from exploring Flores...

Plataran Komodo Resort

Situated right by the sea at Labuan Bajo - the most convenient launch point on Flores for boat trips to Komodo National Park - the Plataran Resort offers stylish villa accommodation... See more

Plataran Ambasi

Chartered sailing aboard the traditionally-built Plataran Ambasi is the ideal way to explore the reefs and islands of the Komodo National Marine Park at your own pace… See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as July - September and Christmas) hotels often levy a surcharge, and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Shared cruise including cabin accommodation & all meals
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will require a visa to enter Indonesia but this is obtained on arrival. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Kate – Indonesia tailor-made specialist

'The islands of Nusa Tenggara are starting to pop up on the tourist radar, but still offer a completely untainted and authentic Indonesian experience. Go now!'

KateIndonesia tailor-made specialist

Speak to Kate on 01273 670 001

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.