Insiders Guide to Wae Rebo Village

Mbaru Niang Houses in Wae Rebo Village

The Wae Rebo village has become increasingly popular since UNESCO named it the world’s only village. Wae Rebo has become a new attraction to pull in tourists from everywhere.

When you climb over the hill after a three-hour hike, you are struck by the view of seven cone-shaped Mbaru Niang houses of Wae Rebo sitting in a semi-circle on a flat plain in a valley. The hills surrounding the settlement are topped with higher peaks, which form a backdrop for the rolling hills in front of them. Thus, making the scene quite picturesque.

Taking a few weeks off to go to Wae Rebo is one of the best decisions you will ever make. It’s somewhat historical, traditional, and full of culture.

So, ready to learn more about Wae Rebo? Read on!

Mbaru Niang Houses in Wae Rebo Village
Photo by Ash Hayes on Unsplas

Short Introduction

Wae Rebo is a Manggarai village. The Manggarai tribe lives in the West Manggarai, Manggarai, and East Manggarai provinces of Flores. As you know, diversity has always been the best word to describe Indonesia. And just like that, Flores in itself is diverse. There are six local languages spoken in Flores alone.

As if it isn’t impressive enough, the Manggrai tribe has its form of martial arts. Caci is a Manggarai martial art that is well-known in Flores. It is an exciting tourist attraction in the port town of Labuan Bajo.

The main attraction of Wae Rebo is the Mbaru Niang houses. The Mbaru Niang buildings, often called ‘drum houses,’ are communal structures. It is built around a central post with supporting bamboo beams and thatched roofs. These houses are enormous structures. Built to be about five stories tall, these houses can house up to 8 families, their crops, and food.

A girl travelling at the airport
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

How to Get to Wae Rebo Village?

The pleasant thing about Wae Rebo is how isolated it is. It takes a 28-kilometer hike through dense rainforest to reach Denge, the nearest village. At the moment, the only way to visit is if you stay overnight. Isolation limits the number of tourists that come to Wae Rebo Village, making the journey more about the experience.

You can get to Wae Rebo on a short plane ride from Bali. Take a flight from Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar, Bali, to Labuan Bajo Airport in West Manggarai to Wae Rebo Village.

Once you arrive, you’ll have to go through Ruteng, a small city in Manggarai Central District, for four hours. While you’re there, you can see Lembor or Cancar’s rice-shaped cobwebs. After the trekking to Denge Village, the last village before Wae Rebo Village, the trek to Wae Rebo Village can begin.

There you have it. You’ve arrived at Wae Rebo Village. Sounds pretty impressive, right?

Mbaru Niang Houses
Photo by MahmurMarganti on Pixabay

Staying with the Locals

If you go to Wae Rebo Village, you will immediately experience its traditions and cultures. A ceremony called Waelu is held in Wae Rebo to welcome guests. The village leader performs this duty. They pray for your safety and well-being during your stay in Wae Rebo Village. This custom may seem strange to foreigners, but it is simply part of our tradition and should be respected.

It is important to wear proper clothing when visiting Wae Rebo. Furthermore, if you wish to take a picture, you must ask for permission from the locals. You must note that it is cold in Wae Rebo Village, so you should bring a sweater or jacket.

Wondering what you should do during your stay in Wae Rebo Village? During the day, you may wander through the valley, meet local people, or simply relax while reading a book. It’s your choice. At night, you may capture photos of the constellations, which are visible in abundance. You may sleep in one of the Mbaru Niang houses.

Final Words

Wae Rebo is one of the few cultural sites in Flores that is genuinely enthralling. The distinct building designs, the magnificent setting, and the requirement to stay the night there make for an exciting journey.

Be sure to plan your journey ahead of time. Double-check things you might need, such as jackets, insect repellents, sunscreen, mini umbrellas, comfy shoes,  etc.

If you are a nature enthusiast, we highly recommend it! For more information about tours around Flores, please visit this web page.