The hill town of Bajawa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Flores, surrounded by lush slopes and striking volcanoes. Gunung Inerie is just one of the active volcanoes near Bajawa: it’s an arduous but rewarding hike, and if it’s clear you can see all the way to Sumba from the summit.
Bajawa is the largest town in the Ngada district, an area that maintains its status as the spiritual heartland of Flores. Here, despite the growing encroachment of tour groups, indigenous animist religions flourish and the villages maintain traditional houses, megalithic stones and interesting totemic structures. Up to sixty thousand people in the Ngada district speak the distinct Ngada language, and a good proportion of the older generation don’t understand basic Bahasa Indonesian.
Mount Inerie with its beautiful, harmonic pyramid shape, is an eye-catching peak in the Florenese ‘mountain skyline’. With an altitude of 2245m above sea level, Mount Inerie is also one of the highest volcanoes in Flores.
If you would like to climb to the top, you do well to start your trip at night or in the very early morning. You will be rewarded with a magical moment when the sun slowly rises up behind the hills. From the top of Mount Inerie, you have a stunning view that sometimes even goes as far as Sumba Island in the south. Starting from an altitude of about 900 meters, the hike will take you about 2½?4 hours. Be aware that climbing Mount Inerie demands a good physical condition, and the expertise of a local guide who knows about the safe trails and weather conditions.
Besides mountain climbing, the area around Mount Inerie itself has much to offer. Exploring the slope of the mountain in surroundings of lush green trees is refreshing for both body and soul. As in many mountainous areas in Flores that are of high biodiversity, you can also observe the endemic birds and listen to their amusing songs here. If you wish to enrich your Inerie explorations with some cultural experiences, nearby traditional villages such as Gurusina or Bena offer you opportunities to experience the fascinating Ngada culture.
Mount Inerie has not shown any significant activity for centuries. However, in the year 2000, due to small eruptions, a red-colored lake emerged out of the mountain’s crater named Wawomudha. Thus, the new-born lake was called Wawomudha Crater Lake. This spectacular natural phenomenon is located a 1½ hour hike from Ngoranale Village.
From Bajawa to Ngoranale it takes about 15–20 minutes (8–10km) by motorbike or car. In Bajawa, you start driving toward the Bajawa market and continue toward Hotel Kembang. There, you turn right in the SMA Regina direction, passing Kantor Kelurahan Susu, and then drive up toward Ngoranale Village.
As Bajawa is just 10km away from the starting point (Watumeze Village), you can stay there for your exploration of the area and choose from the few accommodation and catering options available.
How to get there
The most popular starting point for climbing Mount Inerie is Watumeze Village, just 15km from Bajawa (about 20–30 minutes). From Bajawa head to Terminal Watujaji; then take the right side of the road which leads to Langa Village, and then straight up to Bela Village. From here, continue driving in the direction of Watumeze Village.
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