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.
From Labuanbajo, Guning Mas runs daily buses to Ruteng and Bajawa, book ahead as this is popular and the buses have less than 15 seats. You can book tickets at any office (Perama is most reliable), if you find the bus office itself you can save a bit. They'll drop you at your accommodation, which can take up to an hour if you are last to get dropped.
There are many Bimo's (small minibuses) serving the town and surrounding communities. Hiring a motorbike from Hotel Rima is by far the best way to get around under your own steam, and even around town to get to restaurants, shops, etc. The only petrol station is a few kilometers east of town, but you can fill up at the roadside from locals selling fuel in bottles.
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:
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. [email protected] / 082 341 140 247 / tell him you are recommended by Emilie
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
The local market in town will have most things you need, like pharmacies, etc.
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.
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. Also rents scooters for R100,000.
Forget about fans and AC. Ruteng, just as Bajawa, is quite 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 bed and double rooms, both pretty small. Each room has private bathroom with excellent 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 alcohol or smoking inside the rooms, but smoking is ok outside. Some of the most peaceful sleep you'll get anywhere. This is by far the nicest place in Ruteng. Proceeds for room price go towards charity. Rooms start at 200,000, 300k for a double in high season. 10-15 minute walk from the city center. Some high school students hang out to help you out in return for practising english. Calling to reserve a room is pretty essential in high season. You can keep bags in reception if you still have things to do after the 9.00am checkout!
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.
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 100,000 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). In June 2016, Guning Mas bus company had departures at 7.00am and 1.00pm going to Bajawa and Ende, go to their office to book directly (from Hotel Rima, go north one block and west one block, its opposite the post office). Book as soon as you get to town, because they sell out frequently. If going to Bajawa, you have to get off on the highway and take a motorbike taxi (10k) or local bus into town. Be aware, you can spend an hour driving around picking up other passengers before you get going, but this company is the most comfortable by far.