A lovely hill town surrounded by volcanic hills, Bajawa is the ideal base to visit traditional villages and learn about the Ngada culture and the interesting animist rituals. More and less challenging trails, hot springs, traditional houses, ancestral shrines and stone formations are some of the fascinating features of the area. Take the Paukate village trek and visit Bena village to appreciate the beautiful stone monuments, the megalithic structures and traditional houses decorated with carved pillars, water buffalo and wild pig horns and jaws. As well, you can admire hand-woven ikat made locally and behold the view from the path to the Gurusina and Tololea villages. You can even stop at Malanage hot springs for a dip, learn about arak and rice wine distillation near Aimere or simply explore the multitude of traditional villages in the surrounding area.
The green slopes of Gunung Inerie and Wavo Muda dominate the landscape, and both volcanoes offer rewarding treks. Bajawa is also the gateway to Riung and the Seventeen Islands Marine Park, a national conservation area home to a large variety of wildlife. Eagles, partridges and white herons cross the sky and Timor monitor lizards, monkeys and Timor deer live on land, while in the sea over 25 different species of corals populate the reef teeming with biodiversity. Hop from one island to the next on a traditional boat and have your underwater camera at the ready as you spot parrot fish, cuttlefish, schools of dolphins and even whales. Rutong is the island for beach life, while you can head to Ontoloe and Katong to be part of the spectacular sunset flight of hundreds of flying foxes over mangrove trees. Riung itself is a pleasant lovely town lined with coconut trees and rice fields, known for its homely atmosphere.
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