It is actually hard to find clear information on the internet on how exactly to get to the traditional village of Wae Rebo. I will try to explain the direction with a simple but clear explanation in the following paragraph.
How to get here from Labuan Bajo:
- Get a van with a driver in Labuan Bajo (or arrange it before your arrival). It is better if you can go around 1PM because it takes about 7 hours through winding road from Labuan Bajo to Ende. 4 hours on a proper 1-lane highway and 3 hours on paved-but-damaged roads; there is one damaged bridge too. So prepare plastic bag in case you would get motion sickness. The budget for a car of 6 usually about Rp2.0 million to Rp2.7 million. If you’re getting more, probably you are being ripped off. Check another. The price includes the driver’s accommodation.
- Check in at Pak Blasius Homestay (recommended) and stay a night. Ask Pak Blasius to arrange for a guide to Wae Rebo. It is compulsory to hire a local guide.
- Begin trekking at 6AM (best time and it’s already hot anyway). 5am if you prefer earlier. We took about 2 hours 30 minutes ascending and 3 hours to descend. It depends on your ability to hike. The trail is clear but steep. Bring at least a 1.5litre of water. Don’t rush and enjoy the view.
- You will arrive at the gateway to enter the village. Your guide will shake a bamboo-made instrument to signal the villagers of your arrival.
- From there henceforth, no photos or other activities are allowed until a welcoming ritual completed by the Head of the Main House. There’s nothing fancy on the ritual, though, so you won’t miss anything on camera.
- Stay at Blasius Homestay: Rp 200k per pax inc. breakfast
- Welcoming ritual fee: Rp 50k
- Guide fee: Rp 200k per group
- Village Entrance fee: Rp 200k per pax (inc lunch); or if you plan to stay a night, Rp 325k per pax inc breakfast/lunch or breakfast/dinner.
About the hiking trail:
This is a photo of one of the stop along the 9km hiking trail from Denge to Wae Rebo. The hiking is relatively easy although some part can be quite steep. The hike usually takes about 3 to 4 hours. But, we managed about 2 and half hours only.
The village of Wae Rebo is located at 1.2km above sea level but we only need to hike about 600m above sea level.
The hike will take you along the 9km trail that will go through three rest stops. The first one is at Wae Lomba River about less than an hour walk from the village and you are actually walking on a paved road. The second stop is Pocoroko about an hour from the first rest stop. I heard that this stop is important for the villagers because there is a spot where they can make phone calls and send text messages from their mobile phones, but I’m pretty sure my phone could not get any signal at all when I was there.
Mind you that some people said that you can get the phone signal in Wae Rebo, but it’s not true. There is no possibility to get a signal there as the closest signal tower is near Dintor. There is no way a signal could go through the thick jungle at a high elevation like Wae Rebo.
About 40 minutes later, you will arrive at the third post, Nampe Bakok. From here, you can take a sneak peek of the Wae Rebo village from this point. In less than 30 minutes later you will arrive at a small shed where the guide will shake a bamboo-made instrument to signal the villagers of our arrival.