Expedition to Pasola Festival on Sumba Island, peoples of Flores, multicolored Kelimutu lakes and Komodo dragons


March 4 - 13, 2024
Tor Sumba, Flores and Comodo, Indonesia

Tour to Central Indonesia, Kelimutu lakes, Pasola Festival

Go to the Indonesian archipelago, where the most ancient megalithic cultures are preserved on the island of Sumba, where the natives build unique houses with high roofs, worship their pagan gods and dead ancestors, and the priests of Marapu "agree" with the sea worms nyala to hold one of the bloodiest festivals on earth - Pasola.
Get to the warm waters of Flores, where the local manggarai cultivate the Lingko cobweb rice fields, and at the dominant height in the vents of ancient volcanoes, the lakes change their color every now and then.
See the Komodo Island - the home of flying lizards and the last dragons on Earth ...

Dates: March 4 - 13, 2024*

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost per person:
USD 2 490 subject to 11 – 12 participants, or
USD 2 650 subject to 9 – 10 participants, or
USD 2 890 subject to 7 – 8 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before October 4, 2023)

Everything is included (including domestic flight Tambolaka - Ende and full board meal) except for:
- international flight to Tambolaka and back from Labuan Bajo,
- international medical insurance,
- Indonesian visa (not required for Russian citizens)

Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Tambolaka and Labuan Bajo – Moscow via Denpasar: USD 1200 – 1500 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).
Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Tambolaka and Labuan Bajo – Moscow via Jakarta: USD 1300 – 1600 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).

Single supplement: USD 390 (single supplement is provided along the whole itinerary)


Flight via Denpasar (Bali) or Jakarta to Tambolaka, to the island of Sumba, arriving before 9 am.
Upon arrival at Tambolaka airport, a local guide will be waiting for us. We will head to the salt lake of Weekuri (Weekuri Lagoon) and then continue our way to Mandorak beach.
On the way, we will visit the village of Ratenggaro, where we can admire the traditional houses with high roofs.
After that, we will explore two more beautiful traditional villages: Tosi Village and Totok Village.
On the island of Sumba, the only megalithic culture preserved today. In ancient times, the construction of religious buildings from huge stones - megaliths - was widespread in almost all regions of the Earth. But gradually the tradition was lost almost everywhere, with the exception of the island of Sumba. The ancient tradition of buildings made of huge stones is still observed here, and in the coming days we will get acquainted with this amazing tradition.
Dinner and overnight at the Mario Hotel & Cafe.

Meals included: lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Mario Hotel & Café, Deluxe Room (Garden View or Sea View)

Recommended international flights:
- to Denpasar by Qatar Airways, flight QR-960, departure from Doha on March 3 at 8-05 am, arrival in Denpasar on March 3 at 22-30
- to Denpasar by Qatar Airways, flight QR-962, departure from Doha on March 3 at 2-05 am, arrival in Denpasar on March 3 at 16-30.
- to Denpasar by Emirates airline, flight EK-398, departure from Dubai on March 3 at 9-10 am, arrival in Denpasar on March 3 at 22-20.
- to Denpasar by Turkish Airlines, flight TK-66, departure from Istanbul on March 3 at 1-50 am, arrival in Denpasar on March 3 at 19-15.
- to Jakarta by China Southern Airlines, flight CZ-8353, departure from Shenzhen on March 3 at 19-15, arrival in Jakarta on March 3 at 23-20,
- to Jakarta by Etihad Airways, flight EY-472, departure from Abu Dhabi on March 3 at 10-30 am, arrival in Jakarta on March 3 at 21-40,
- to Jakarta by Turkish Airlines, flight TK-66, departure from Istanbul on March 3 at 2-30 am, arrival in Jakarta on March 3 at 18-00,
- or any other flight arriving in Jakarta no later than 1:30 am March 3 or arriving in Denpasar no later than 5:00 am March 3.
Recommended flights to Tambolaka:
- from Denpasar by Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ‑280, departure from Denpasar at 09:00 am on March 4, arrival in Tambolaka at 10:00 am,
- from Jakarta by NAM Air Flight IN-280, departure from Jakarta at 5:30 am on March 4, arrival in Tambolaka at 10:00 am,
- or any other flight arriving in Tambolaka no later than 10:00 am on March 4.


In the morning we will go to Kreve beach where we will see the Pasola festival. Pasola is a series of rituals associated with the start of the planting season. The beginning of the festival is determined by the appearance of the so-called Nyale worm in the sea, which means the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the sowing of crops.
Pasola is an equestrian spear-fighting competition. Possibly the bloodiest tradition that has survived to this day. During Pasola participants throw wooden spears at their rivals to spill blood on the ground and celebrate the rice planting season. The word "pasola" means "spear" and comes from the Sanskrit "sula".
It used to be considered an honor to die during Pasola. Initially, participants rode horses and threw spears at each other in an attempt to spill blood on the ground to thank their ancestors for a successful harvest and ensure another flourishing rice harvest. The ritual eventually turned into more of an imitation of a battle. The spearheads are now blunt and their metal tips have been removed. But despite this, accidents still occur during Pasola.
After the festival, we will go to the traditional village of Sodan. This village on top of a steep hill overlooking the Manuleva Valley is a stronghold of the Marapu culture. It is the spiritual center where the most important priests of Sumba live.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Mario Hotel & Café, Deluxe Room (Garden View or Sea View)


Today we will walk to the Lapopo waterfall. Every year Marapu priests come here to pray for rain.
In the afternoon we visit the village of Kampung Tarung, located right in the center of Waikabubak city. It seems that time has stood still here. Despite the fact that the city is spread around, life here has changed little over the past 100 years.
Then we will visit the colorful local market of Waikabubak city.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Mario Hotel & Café, Deluxe Room (Garden View or Sea View)

Day 4. March 7, 2024. TAMBOLAKA - ENDE - SAGA - MONI

Early transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Ende.
Departure from Tambolaki to Ende via Kupang with Wings airline. Departure 7:00 am, stopover in Kupang 1 hour 50 minutes, arrival in Ende at 11:05 am.
Upon arrival to Ende transfer to Moni.
On the way we will visit the village of Saga. This is one of the few villages in the Lio area with well-maintained houses built in the traditional style of the Lio people. The village is located on the side of a hill that you have to climb to reach the top of the village.
Three different tribes live in the village. Ritual accessories are kept in the main house itself. Women are not allowed to enter some houses.
In case if we have some extra time, you can hike to a nearby waterfall.
The visit to Saga will end with a cup of coffee or tea at the house of a local guide.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Kelimutu Eco Lodge Hotel


Early start to Kelimutu volcano. Only 45 minutes walk from the parking lot to the observation deck, and now we are already meeting the dawn on the top of the volcano!
Be sure to bring warm clothes with you as it can still be cold early in the morning.
This is a mysterious place with three lakes, constantly changing their colors. Therefore, it is impossible to predict in advance what combination of colors we will see!
After that, we head to Bajawa, on the way we will stop and walk along the beach, where the locals are looking for green stones.
We will arrive to Bajawa in the late afternoon. This is a small town surrounded by volcanoes, located at an altitude of about 1200 meters above sea level, so warm clothes will be necessary here.
Dinner and overnight at Bajawa Roo hotel.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Bajawa Roo Hotel

Day 6. March 9, 2024. BAJAWA - SOA - BAJAWA

People in Bajawa live a traditional way of llife in which ancestor worship plays an important role.
Today we will trek through the beautiful surroundings of Bajawa, from village to village through many amazing views. It has a hilly landscape dotted with bamboo forest and stunning views of the south coast of Flores.
There are many traditional villages around, these places seem to have been forgotten by time.
The local Ngada people here are amazingly friendly.
Friendly locals will certainly invite us to drink tea in their homes.
In the afternoon we drive to Soa, famous in Flores for its natural thermal springs. Here we will plunge into hot water and admire the local landscapes.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Bajawa Roo Hotel


Today we will visit Belaraghi village. To reach the village, we will need to walk about 1 hour from the village of Pauleni. The path goes gradually uphill.
The village consists of two parallel rows of 16 houses.
For those living in Belaraghi, visitors from abroad are guests, not tourists. And guests are traditionally greeted with a ti'Ikaebunusi ceremony, which translates as "to give food to the ancestors."
The concert of the bamboo flute "suling" completes our visit to Belaraghi.
On the way to Ruteng we will see people working in the countryside and stop at places where the local drink arak is produced.
Ranamese means "big lake" in the local language. And it is located near Ruteng. This lake of 11.5 hectares was previously a crater, which eventually became a reservoir of water with steep banks.
The lake is surrounded by rainforest and is home to endemic birds.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Hotel Santa Maria Berdukachita


After breakfast, we go by car for an hour and a half ride through small villages and, of course, rice fields, accompanied by a local guide.
There are rare cobweb rice fields called Lingko.
We will continue our way to Labuan Bajo through one of the greenest parts of Flores.
On the way we will visit the village of Tado. We will be greeted with a traditional "adat", a welcoming ceremony and "Caci" - a ritual whip fight, which is one of the main elements of the cultural identity of the Manggarai.
We will have the opportunity to meet and engage in various traditional activities such as weaving mats and baskets and preparing traditional medicines.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Puri Sari Beach Hotel, Deluxe Room


Early in the morning we will take a boat trip to Komodo Island in Komodo National Park to see the legendary Komodo dragons! Komodo Island is the largest of the two islands where you can see the famous dragons. Accompanied by one of the rangers, we will go for a walk in the national park, where, if we are lucky, we will be able to see flying lizards and the rare yellow-crested cockatoo. There will be some time left for snorkeling in the afternoon.
In the evening we return to Labuan Bajo.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Puri Sari Beach Hotel, Deluxe Room

Day 10. March 13, 2024. LABUAN BAJO - RETURN FLIGHT

Free time and transfer to the airport. Return flight to Jakarta or Denpasar (Bali) and further international flight.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: no

Recommended flights from Labuan Bajo:
– to Denpasar by Lion Air JT-6330, departure from Labuan Bajo at 13:35, arrival in Denpasar at 14:50,
– to Denpasar by Indonesia AirAsia JT-6330, departure from Labuan Bajo at 9:40 am, arrival in Denpasar at 10:50 am,
– to Jakarta by Lion Air JT-6332, departure from Labuan Bajo at 9:50 am, arrival in Jakarta at 13:50,
- any flight from Labuan Bajo with arrival in Denpasar or Jakarta before 14:00 March 13.

Recommended international flights from Jakarta or Denpasar:
– from Denpasar by Emirates airline, flight EK-399, departure from Denpasar at 19-50, arrival in Dubai at 1-10 am on March 14,
- from Denpasar by Qatar Airways, flight QR-963, departure from Denpasar at 18:00, arrival in Doha at 22:50 on March 13,
- from Jakarta by Emirates airline, flight EK-357, departure from Jakarta at 17-40, arrival in Dubai at 23-05 on March 13,
- from Jakarta by Etihad Airways, flight EY-475, departure from Jakarta at 17-05, arrival in Abu Dhabi at 22-05 on March 13,
- from Jakarta by Turkish Airlines, flight TK-57, departure from Jakarta at 21-15, arrival in Istanbul at 5-30 in the morning on March 14,
- from Jakarta by China Southern Airlines, flight CZ-8354, departure from Jakarta at 0-20 am on March 14, arrival in Shenzhen at 6-40 am on March 14,
– any flight departing from Denpasar or Jakarta after 17:00 on 13 March.

* The order of the program depends on the appointment of the dates of the Pasola festival and can be changed, provided that all main activities are preserved. If certain visits and/or activities cannot be completed due to external conditions, they will be replaced where possible.

** A member of an expedition to Indonesia must be respectful of the culture of local tribes, understand the goals of the expedition and possible changes in the program due to changes in the dates of festivals and celebrations, due to weather, security or other reasons, be able to adapt to new conditions and culture.

Cost includes:

∙ domestic flight Tambolaka – Ende
∙ accommodation in hotels on a double basis (TWIN / DBL)
∙ three meals a day throughout the route
∙ drinking water everywhere along the route
∙ all ground transportation according to the program in all cities: Toyota Hiace minibus up to 9 people, or Toyota Coaster bus for a group of more than 9 people, with working air conditioning and an experienced driver
∙ all boats with experienced drivers
∙ participation in Pasol
∙ visiting all villages according to the program
∙ visiting Komodo National Park and all permits according to the program
∙ all entrance fees according to the program
∙ chef, local guides and helpers throughout the route
∙ all activities and excursions according to the program
∙ local professional English speaking guide
∙ Russian and English speaking team leader throughout the route

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid) :

• international flight to Tambolaki and back from Labuan Bajo
• international medical insurance
• Indonesian visa (if required)
• single occupancy
• soft and alcoholic drinks and personal expenses
• tips and gifts to the local people

To take with:

· 3 sets of clothing (pants, long sleeve shirt, T-shirt, underwear, socks, sunhat; synthetic materials are preferred;
comfortable trekking shoes, light shoes (sneakers)
· Light jacket;
· raincoat;
· bathing accessories;
· sunglasses and cream
· headtorch;
· Anti-mosquito net for a bed (required);
· Backpack or bag for luggage
· a small backpack for personal items
· various repellents for skin and clothing;
· personal hygiene items (including towels, wet wipes, soap);
· personal first-aid kit (analgesics, antiseptics, antibiotics, antivirals, multivitamins, rehydron, other personal medicines);
· antimalarial prophylaxis (you decide, but recommended, strains of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax);
· No COVID vaccination certificate or PCR test required (requirement subject to change)
· waterproof case for documents;
· photo and video equipment
· additional set of batteries and a power bank for the photo and video equipment,
· waterproof cover for photographic equipment (preferably)
Sumba island, Comodo and Flores islands, Central Indonesia

Best season: March – October

An expedition to remote islands, to peoples living in complete harmony with nature, who have preserved their unique culture.

Trekking to the colorful lakes of Kelimutu.

The Pasola Festival is an equestrian spear fighting competition and a celebration of the rice planting season.

Encounter with Komodo dragons - the largest lizards on the planet.

Famous traditional villages with gabled roofs of local peoples.

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