Off the beaten track, no direct flights from international airports, and that’s good. it keeps Rote paradise uncrowded and unspoilt.
Fly and boat
If you’re seeking a hidden gem in Indonesia with pristine beaches, untouched landscapes, and a laid-back atmosphere, look no further than Rote Island. Located in the southern part of the country, Rote is a paradise waiting to be explored. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the various transportation options available to help you reach this enchanting destination.
- Fly to Kupang:
The most convenient way to reach Rote is by air. Start by booking a flight to El Tari International Airport (KOE) in Kupang, the capital city of East Nusa Tenggara province. Several airlines offer regular flights to Kupang from major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, and Makassar. From Kupang, you have several options to continue your journey to Rote.
- Ferry from Kupang:
Once you arrive in Kupang, you can take a ferry from Tenau Port to Ba’a Port in Rote. Ferries depart regularly from Kupang to Rote and the journey takes around two to three hours. The schedules can vary, so it’s advisable to check the latest information before your trip. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the port, and it’s recommended to arrive early, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Private Speedboat:
For a faster and more flexible option, you can hire a private speedboat from Kupang to Rote. This option is ideal for those who prefer a more personalized experience or have a larger travel group. Private speedboats can be arranged through local operators or travel agencies. The journey typically takes around one to two hours, depending on weather conditions.
- Public Transportation within Rote:
Once you arrive in Rote, you’ll find various modes of public transportation available to explore the island. The most common mode of transportation is the motorbike taxis called “ojeks.” Ojeks are an affordable and convenient way to navigate around the island, especially for short distances. Alternatively, you can also rent a scooter or a bicycle to explore Rote at your own pace.
Remote & stunning
Rote Island, also known as Pulau Rote, is located in the southernmost part of Indonesia. It is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province, which comprises a chain of islands stretching from the eastern end of Bali towards the eastern tip of Timor Island. Rote Island itself is situated approximately 500 kilometers north of Australia and 170 kilometers southwest of Timor-Leste.
Geographically, Rote Island is positioned between the Savu Sea to the north and the Timor Sea to the south. It spans an area of about 1,200 square kilometers and has a population of around 130,000 people. The island is characterized by its picturesque landscapes, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
Rote Island is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, a volcanic archipelago that includes well-known destinations such as Bali, Lombok, and Flores. It shares similar geographical features with these neighboring islands, including rugged coastlines, rolling hills, and volcanic terrain. Mount Patah, an inactive volcano, is one of the notable landmarks on Rote Island.
The island is divided into several districts, with the capital town being Ba’a. The main areas of interest for tourists are Nemberala, T-Land, and Bo’a, which are known for their beautiful beaches and world-class surf breaks. These areas offer a tranquil escape with their untouched beauty and a more laid-back atmosphere compared to other popular tourist destinations in Indonesia.
Rote Island enjoys a tropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season usually extends from May to October, characterized by warm temperatures and minimal rainfall. The wet season, on the other hand, falls between November and April, bringing occasional rain showers and higher humidity.
Due to its remote location, Rote Island has managed to maintain its natural charm and cultural authenticity. The local population primarily consists of the Rotinese people, who have a distinct cultural heritage and traditions. Traditional practices such as weaving, traditional ceremonies, and the use of traditional musical instruments are still prevalent on the island.
Whether you’re seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, a relaxing beach vacation, or an exciting surfing experience, Rote Island offers a unique and enchanting destination. Its secluded location and unspoiled beauty make it a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in nature and culture.