Indonesia is a vast, beautiful and diverse country. The country’s landscape and seascape look like from the pages of a fairytale book, and yet most parts have not been explored yet by visitors. If you’ve been to Indonesia before and would like to explore the country beyond the usual Bali or Jakarta basics, then a visit to Maumere in Flores Island will be a great addition to your trip. This 5-day suggested itinerary will lead you to Maumere’s famous tourist attractions and will help you make the most of your trip.
Things to know before traveling to Maumere, Indonesia:
Language – Bahasa Indonesia is the national and official language of Indonesia. English is taught in schools and is widely used in Indonesian cities like Jakarta, so do not worry about not knowing local phrases or words. It is, however, recommended to learn some Javanese if you are heading towards rural areas. Like other countries in the world, speaking at least some Indonesian phrases or attempting to learn is greatly appreciated by locals.
Currency Exchange – The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the official currency of Indonesia. Exchanging money is easy and follows the same standard to elsewhere in Asia. You can exchange currency at the airport, hotels, malls, local banks, and money changers throughout Yogyakarta. ATMs are plentiful, all accepting international credit cards and debit cards, so it’s easy to withdraw your money in Rupiah. Credits cards are commonly accepted in most mid-range to high-end restaurants and hotels.
Etiquette – Despite being open to foreign influences, Indonesia remains a fairly conservative nation. Handshakes are common when meeting someone. Avoid touching someone’s head as the head is considered sacred in eastern culture. There’s no need for a foreigner to feel obligated to dress in traditional Indonesian clothing. Modesty is the key in Java. If there is some kind of ceremonies going on, it is imperative to follow simple temple rules. To get into the temple, temple costumes should be strictly put on, while for other days one should wear polite dress with temple sash circled around waist. It all means to show respectfulness to God and to local tradition which ensure a memorable experience.
Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Indonesia. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Avoid all travel to Central Sulawesi, East and West Kalimanta, and Papua due to serious threat of terrorism and kidnapping. Every traveler should take safety precautions because there has been an increase in reported armed robberies and other opportunistic crimes targeting tourists. Driving on your own is not recommended because road travel can be very challenging and locals have little regard for traffic regulations.
Day by day itinerary: Discover Maumere, Indonesia in 5 days
Day 1: Maumere
To get to Maumere, you can fly to Frans Xavier Seda Airport from major Indonesian cities like Denpasar, Bali. Once in the airport, you can take a local taxi or shared mini-bus taxis to get to your chosen accommodation. You may also get to Maumere by land from Moni which is about 3 hours away by bus or kijang (shared van). To get to the islands surrounding Maumere, you can easily charter a private or shared boat from the port.
Hotels to consider in Maumere:
Start off your day with breakfast at one of the breakfasts and brunch spots in Maumere. After breakfast, it’s time to hit the sun and bask in the laid-back beach culture of Maumere’s star attraction, Koka Beach. Known for its brilliant turquoise waters and its perfect white sand beach, Koka Beach provides great swimming, snorkeling and beach experience. Due to its remote location (48 kilometers away from the city center of Maumere), it is guaranteed you will have a quiet and relaxing stay. You can laze around all day, spend your afternoon in a hammock reading a book or visit the nearby village of Mau Lo’o.
Day 2 to 3: Wae Rebo Village
For one of the most memorable sunrises you’ll ever see, take a walk at the beach of Maumere. Though the town is not luxurious compared to other beach towns in Indonesia, it will compensate for a beautiful beach with some of the best snorkeling sites. Please note, the village is not yet a tourism hotspot, so there is no infrastructure in place for more commercialized tourism.
After a filling breakfast, set out for the day to visit the Traditional Village of Wae Rebo on the outskirts of Maumera. Here, you can get an insight to the Manggaraian ethnic culture, specifically their traditional cone-shaped houses. Because the village is quite far from Maumere, staying overnight is recommended (the cost is 325,000 IDR per person or approximately 24 USD. The price includes a sleeping mat, a pillow and a blanket, as well dinner, breakfast and coffee or tea. Do not forget to bring your own towel and toilet paper).
Day 4: Sikka Weaving Village
On day 4, embark on one of the most exciting day trips out of Maumere by heading to the Sikka Weaving Village, located just 1.5 hours away from the town center. Known for its fine traditional ikat weaving using local natural dyes and traditional hand-spun cotton, the village also boasts traditional Sikkan dance and music performances. While you can absolutely do this tour on your own, we highly recommend availing a guided tour so you can appreciate the village’s cultural and historical relevance. Whole day tours include visit to Bikon Blewut Anthropology Museum in Ledalero a local market and warung (local eatery) for lunch.
Day 5: Maumere
Today is your last day in Maumere. After a filling breakfast, you may check out some of the attractions you might have missed. You may also go shopping at Geliting Traditional Market, where you can get some souvenirs like traditional batik sarongs, local cooking ingredients, herbs and spices, among others.
Have you been to Maumere or anywhere else in Indonesia? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: Mangrove trees on a beach in Maumere, Flores, Indonesia (Laurens Hoddenbagh / Shutterstock)