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Top 10 Things to Do in Ende, Indonesia

Blue Stone Beach in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Blue Stone Beach in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia | © Danaan / Shutterstock
On the wide and intricate map of Indonesia’s tourism destinations, Ende is seemingly unheard of. But this exotic region on Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, holds raw and untouched charms. From historical sites to gorgeous natural attractions, discover the top things to do in Ende, Indonesia.

Walk the historical park

Taman Renungan Bung Karno (or Taman Renungan Pancasila) is more than just your average park. This is where Soekarno, one of Indonesia’s founding fathers, often came to sit, read, and think about the nation’s future. This is also the place where he first came up with Pancasila, which is still used as the philosophical foundation for Indonesia until today.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Today, this historical park serves as a charming open space to walk around and enjoy fresh air. It has lush tall trees and benches that will allow you some quiet and mindful time out, and who knows, maybe it’s your turn to come up with something great that will go down in history.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Explore Kelimutu Lake

This three-colored lake in Ende is one of Indonesia’s most prized (and mysterious) natural attractions. Perched on the top of Mount Kelimutu, this spot offers stunning 360-degree views of lakes, hills, and skies.

Kelimutu Lake Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Comprising three different lakes with different colors that tend to change over time, local tribes believe the lake’s activity can foretell the future of politics or economy in the country. Another myth says that if the crater walls collapse somehow, causing the three lakes to merge into one, it means the end of the world is imminent. Intrigued?

Looking out at the lakes Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Visit Bung Karno’s exile home

About a decade before Indonesia’s independence, founding father Soekarno or Bung Karno was exiled by the Dutch for four years. This charming house in Ende was home for Soekarno and still has many of the first president’s stuff. He’s also known as a humble and friendly man who liked to walk around the village and interact with locals — something you’re very welcome to do as well.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Inside, there are preserved objects and old photos of the president. Visitors can tour the house and see his old bedroom or simply admire the old, historical house.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Relax at Blue Stone Beach

Among many beautiful spots in the coastline of Ende, this beach sets itself apart from others, thanks to its stretch of blue stones scattered lovingly across the sand. These pebbles come in different shades, too — turquoise, different hues of blue, and some of them with tints of reds, creating a wonderful, otherwordly sight alongside the glorious crashing waves and horizon.

Blue Stone Beach, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia © Danaan / Shutterstock

Visit the Tenun Ikat Museum

Ende’s ikat weaved clothing has been the locals’ pride for generations. The intricate patterns and fine craftsmanship represent the fascinating local culture like nothing else. Unfortunately, the traditional practice of ikat-making is now widely abandoned, especially by the younger generation. But thankfully, the Tenun Ikat Museum is there to preserve these exquisite cultural objects from Flores.

Explore Saga Traditional Village

Saga Village is home to the indigenous Lio tribe of Ende. The tribe’s rich culture and philosophy is reflected in their physical dwellings, making this village worth exploring. Visitors are also welcome to observe the iconic traditional house, artifacts, and—if your timing’s good—traditional ceremonies.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

But if you want to go beyond observing, don’t hesitate to say hi and interact with the locals. They’d be more than happy to show you around and tell captivating local stories unheard by most.

The Sasak traditional village in Ende, Indonesia Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Swim at Ende Beach

When it comes to the beach, it’s often the whitest sands that are coveted, but this black sand beach east of Ende has brilliant charms not to be missed. As well as a popular destination for swimming, this beach is also famed for its breathtaking sunset and mouthwatering fresh seafood along the coast.

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia © Raiyani Muharramah / Shutterstock

See Table Mountain

This majestic mountain has a peculiar flat top that makes it one of the most iconic sights from Ende. There are many legends around how the mountain is the way it is, but it was actually the local government who ‘cut’ the mountaintop to facilitate aviation activities at the nearby airport. But that doesn’t make this mountain any less intriguing and beautiful to visit.

Flores Island, Indonesia © Ilya Sviridenko / Shutterstock

Shop at a traditional market

If you want to really experience Ende the local’s way, traditional markets are the place to go. This is where you’ll spot real locals going about their daily lives — bargaining for groceries and hard at work.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

You may even want to buy something for yourself too, whether it’s fresh fruits or handmade souvenirs to bring home.

Putu Bagus / © Culture Trip

Plunge in the Murondao Waterfall

This waterfall has everything you need to feel refreshed and relaxed. Cold breeze, lush surrounding greeneries, rushing fountain, even thriving wildlife! This glorious waterfall is still relatively untouched, so you can expect to see Ende’s natural beauty in its purest state.