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Ruteng is a city in Flores in Indonesia.

Get in[edit]

Transnusa Airline fly everyday of the week from Ruteng to the capital Kupang at about 7 am , tickets can be elusive as government officials book them up in case they might use them, flights are often cancelled due to weather.

from labuan bago aiport , lots of drivers will negotiate a trip to ruteng for you , price from 250 to 600,000. Many local buses (and slightly more expensive 'Travel' which are cars) do the Labuan Bajo - Ruteng - Bajawa - Ende - Maumere route. Ask around.

Get around[edit]

There are many Bimo's (small minibuses) serving the town and surrounding communities.


Ruteng is a small town with no real attractions. The main points of interests are around the area. The surrounding nature is beautiful, and very accessible by motorbike. The main attractions are as follows:

  • Leang Bua Caves. Only a half-hour drive/ ride north of Ruteng town, these are prehistorical caves where the fossils of homo florensis were found. The caves themselves are not particularly special, but it's intriguing to sit under the stalactites and imagine that 1-metre high cave-people were living here only 17,000 years ago, while modern human beings lived in the valleys below. The surroundings are very pretty and only 50 metres down the hill there's a small museum with a replica of a Homo florensis skeleton, all writing is in Indonesian so you will have to rely on the photos if you can't read Indonesian. 10,000 Rp.  edit
  • Spiderweb rice-fields. About 20 min drive from town in the direction of Labuanbajo. After a short hike up a hill, you have the view of the valley and the spiderweb rice-fields. Definitely worth a visit. You sign a guestbook and pay 20000 rp.  edit
  • Rana mese Lake. 21 Km from town, on the main road towards Bajawa. Beautiful and very peaceful lake, interesting flora and fauna. It is possible to walk around the lake on a small path (around 45 minutes). The area is very calm with a few fishermen plying their trade. It is also possible to visit a 75m waterfall near one of the surrounding villages, ask the ticket officer of Ranamese Lake for more information. 5,000 Rp.  edit
  • Goro Curu. This small hill is a perfect early morning walk. It takes around 45 minutes from the center of Ruteng and the views are great, especially for sunrise. Start at 5 am if you are going to walk (an ojek is certainly going to hunt you down even at that hour - it is possible to go all the way to the top by ojek or car). To get there, walk on the main road Jl. Wae Ces that goes out of town towards Reo (north) for a kilometer or two from the center (a little after the airport, which you can't quite see from the road but you may see planes landing or taking off) until you cross a small bridge. At the bridge, the main road makes a sharp left turn. Don't take that, walk straight ahead on a smaller street to the right then take the left fork and follow it as it winds up the hill through Karot village to the graveyard. GPS trace here. Walking takes around 45 minutes. The views from the graveyard at the top to the east as the sun rises over the rice fields are amazing. To the south you have a view over the whole town and the "crown" of mountains around above it (the highest peaks in Flores actually). Walk back the same way.  edit
  • Poco Ranaka. The famous volcano in the Ruteng area. Some years ago, following some activity, a lava dome appeared that is called Anak Ranaka (the child of Ranaka). It is possible to drive all the way to the top on a sturdy motorcycle. The road is in bad condition. A 4WD might not even be able to make it. More information on Gunung Bagging  edit
  • Poco Ngandonalu. This is in fact the highest peak in Flores. The trail to climb it starts from the outskirts of town. Despite this, most locals haven't even heard its name and will assure you that Poco Ranaka is the highest peak (that is indeed even lower than Inerie near Bajawa). Information about climbing on Gunung Bagging. Best for sunrise before the clouds roll in.  edit

If you want a good driver ask for Jeff, who is a friendly young man. If you are lucky he will bring you to his family home. Everybody is so friendly you will feel warmly welcome! It is possible to sleep at his home. / 082 341 140 247 / tell him you are recommended by Emilie

  • Traditional houses. There are a couple of traditional Manggarai houses in Ruteng itself. For the 10000 rp fee you get too see inside the wooden houses that have the shape of a spiderweb (the same pattern as the rice fields). They have some traditional drums on display. There are also traditional villages around Ruteng with more authentic architecture.  edit


Drive to Bajawa is beautiful , more scenic than the famous Ubud area with massive amounts of terraced rice fields down the mountain to the sea



As with every other Indonesian town, there are many Masakan Padang places to eat at, showing off the selection of food in their window. As the evenings can be chilly, the local soup (Baksoto and Soto ayam) places are popular with the locals. The fried bananas (Pisang Goreng) here are delicious, especially when still hot (ask is they are 'hangat').

The Rumah Makan II at the bottom of the town square offers slightly more expensive but very good food with a varied menu of Indonesian dishes.

  • Rumah Makan Chacha, Jl Diponegoro 12, (0385) 21489. Balinese style restaurant that offers quality meals and drinks.  edit


Kopi Mane Inspiration Coffee Shop - Jl. Yos Sudarso No. 12 mobile: 0385 22489 Need a fix of your local coffee shop like back home? This quaintly decorated place with pleasant music should do the trick. Wenti, the young, passionate barista who runs the shop is friendly and speaks solid English. Menu consists of tea, export-quality, locally-grown coffee, beer, and a few Indonesian food dishes. Highlights include authentic French Press coffee and the unique Wedang Ronde. The Ginger Milk is pleasantly delicious - try it hot or cold. Free wifi as well! Open every day of the week. 8am-10pm. After 10am on Sundays once Wenti returns from church service.


Forget about fans and AC. Ruteng, just as Bajawa, is quiet cool, especially at night. Better ask for an extra blanket!

Hotel Susteran One of the most unique places to sleep in Flores, as you'll be joining the Catholic Sisters at this convent. They have private rooms, single beds only. Each room has private bathroom with hot water shower. Rooms and the property are as clean as they come. Very simple breakfast included each morning from 6:00am-7:30am. Lockout curfew is at 9:00pm. No smoking or drinking on grounds. Some of the most peaceful sleep you'll get anywhere. This is by far the best value in Ruteng. Proceeds for room price go towards charity. Rooms start at 200,000. 10-15 minute walk from the city center.

Hotel Ranaka is in the center of town and is the typical cheapie. A single room with shared mandi is 50000 rp (May 2014). There are also rooms with bathrooms, doubles and triples. You probably won't find cheaper than this. The staff is friendly and it is quiet. A bit worn but very clean.

Hotel Sindha further down Jl. Yos Sudarso than cheapie Ranaka, this is the more up-market option in Ruteng, caters to business travelers in the area and tour groups, very clean and tidy. Rooms start at 350,000 Rp and are around a pleasant garden area, more expensive rooms upstairs. The hotel has fast wifi which non-residents can utilise by visiting the restaurant which is reasonably priced. The owner, Stefanos, is a very friendly and helpful chap.

  • Hotel Rima, Jl Ayani, (0385) 22196. checkout: 12pm. Swiss style hotel made of dark wood, it even has a Swiss cuckoo clock at reception. 250,000rp will buy you a room with clean sheets, hot water shower, western style toilet and breakfast for 2, which is banana pancake and local Ruteng coffee. Can organise travel and motorbikes. 150 000-250 000.  edit


Get out[edit]

Labuanbajo is four hours away by bus. You can choose between a "normal" (old, rusty, loud and sometimes cramped van) (50000 rp), a newer modern van (70000 rp) and a "travel" (a big Toyota car, from 80000 rp). All of these go around the center of Ruteng collecting passengers before they head to the main bus terminal for western destinations, which is about 3 km west of Ruteng on the road to Labuanbajo. From there they usually leave when full (or on not so busy days, half empty).

Bajawa is five hours away by bus. Unless they pick you up from the hotel after you book, you will have to go to the eastern bus terminal (by ojek or bemo).

Further east are Ende, Moni for Kelimutu, Maumere and Larantuka.

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