Visit Komodo National Park? Check. Meet Komodo dragons? Check. Admire the sunset at Padar Island? Check. Stroll around Pink Beach? Check. Great, you have been exploring packs of Komodo’s exceptional, picturesque landscape and now you just need one more thing to end your Flores tour perfectly. A place with the same vibe of rare, natural wonders that is so typical of Komodo. That place is the famous, yet so hidden, traditional village in Flores: the Waerebo Village.
A winner of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards of Top Award of Excellence in 2002, the Waerebo is the definition of a wonderfully preserved ancient tradition against the move of time. The village lies hidden behind Flores’ gorgeous undulating hills, deep after the end of roads. It’s quite exclusive as it is far from the bustles of cities. The Waerebo village sits on the peak of a valley, 1,100 meters above the sea level. Peaky mountains and tropical forest surround the little village, earning its nickname as “a village above the cloud”. Thin fogs hang on the surrounding which gives a slight cool and mysterious vibe to the village. Imagine a foggy and chilly morning as you sip a cup of freshly brewed Flores coffee and witness the sunrise. What a perfect way to start the day.
The Houses of Waerebo, Mbaru Niang
One of the reasons that makes Waerebo Village attractive is its unique and ancient dwellings. Their houses, which they called Mbaru Niang, have unique conical shape rooftops made from thatches. There are only seven Niang in total in this village, however, one Niang can accommodate 6-8 families. Not only the unique shape of the house but the spaces inside the house also one of a kind.
Mbaru Niang is divided into five levels. The first floor is a place where the whole family lives and sleeps. Then, the second one is to store the foods and goods. Next is the storage for seeds. The fourth level is also the food storage for emergencies (natural disasters) , and the last one is a sacred place for their ancestors.
If you are taking a Labuan Bajo Tour or Flores Tour, choose the one that has a route to visit this village. You will get a chance to experience this unique architectural house and live in Mbaru Niang for a day.
The People and Culture Heritage
Almost entirely, the locals of Waerebo do not follow the modern era. They choose to live in a humble traditional way and pass down their cultural heritage to their heirs. And surprisingly, they are delighted with it! The villagers are always kind and ready to give the warmest welcome to new visitors.
We suggest you take the Labuan Bajo Tour and visit this village around September or November because you’ll witness the interesting and authentic ceremony hosted in the village. Although their religion majorly is Catholics, all of them are still believed in primitive beliefs. During that ceremonial day, the locals will wear their traditional clothes and demonstrate their traditional dance to you. It’s a rare momentum to see because they are not having the ceremony every month, so if you get a chance, don’t waste it! If you are lucky enough, you can try on their traditional clothes!
What makes traveling thrills you is not only because of the destinations but also the experiences you won’t forget for the entire of your life. Hello Flores is likely to arrange a Labuan Bajo tour, where you can learn a whole new culture from Waerebo village.