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Flores island local culture and tradition

Visit one of Local Culture Traditional West Flores’ traditional villages to gain insights on local culture and the daily lives of local residents. Friendly and welcoming villagers are eager to share their traditions and folklore with international visitors.

General background information - Tado:

  • Tado is located approximately 45 km east of Labuan Bajo, Local Culture Traditional West Flores
  • Tado is comprised of two closely connected traditional West Manggarai villages: Nampar Macing and Golo Leleng, both rich in local culture and traditions
  • Community-based ecotourism Culture Traditional villages welcome visitors and give them a chance to observe traditional rural life in West Flores
rangkuk alu
Rangkuk alu – a traditional game and dance performed with 2 sets of bamboo poles clapped together rhythmically. Agile dancers must dance between the poles, avoiding being caught between the bamboos
In the rangkuk alu an inexperienced dancer risks the painful consequences of being caught between the fast-moving bamboo
tado women
Colourful hand-woven ikat sarongs worn by men and women of West Flores

The local Tado community members have prepared a series of activities intended to share their rich cultural heritage and diversified natural environment with visitors.

Visitors are asked to pay a one-time entrance fee of approximately US$ 4 entitling them to participate in four of the following ecotourism activities:
a. Pandan palm mat weaving

b.Manufacture of traditional medicine

c. Manufacture of traditional seed-oil lamps

d. Making dishes out of coconut husks

e. Cooking and preparation of traditional foods

f. Rope-making demonstration using sugar palm fibers

g. Local ancestral rites tied to rice agriculture

h. Consumption of edible insects

i. Weaving of bamboo baskets

j. Carving childrens’ wooden toys

Note: An additional US$ 1 per activity will be charged for those wishing to participate in more than four of the listed ecotourism activities.

Special request tours:
The following special tours are available by advance booking Culture Traditional flores:

Ancient rituals
As a part of the Tado cultural conservation program, villagers will share with you ancestral songs, stories and dances which have been handed down over the generations. Locally renowned caci dancers will share the rituals, legends, mysteries, and music associated with this famous Manggarai dance. As an added bonus, guests will be invited to witness the centuries-old practice of palm wine extraction. A tasting of the strong locally-produced tuak is included.

Jungle survival demonstration
In ancient times the trip from Tado to Labuan Bajo took an entire day and a night on foot, traveling along dense forest trails. This program recreates this trek and includes the re-creation of ethno biological practices used in earlier times to obtain food, water, and herbal medicines from wild plants. A special “take-away-along-the-trail” lunch of traditional foods and packaging will be provided.

Traditional artistry & craft
On this tour you will receive experience in the crafting of native crafts and games using clay pottery and multicolored weavings produced on traditional looms. An unforgettable experience which allows you to bring home hand-made souvenirs.

For these tours an advanced booking of 1-2 days is required, either by SMS Fast Call : +62 8 5 6 3 7 3 7 5 3 5 Advanced bookings are strongly recommended, especially if your plans include an overnight stay. All special request tours last between 3 - 4 hours, and include drinks, snacks, and a home-cooked meal.  

tuak.jpg   tuak
The process of fermenting juice from the aren palm tree will provide you with a traditional drink of "tuak" or palm wine.
"Tuak" - a traditional wine produced from the aren palm tree served during local cultural ceremony
How to get there:
  • Located around 45 km east of Labuan Bajo on the road to Ruteng
  • Transportation by car or motorbike rental
  • By local transport; Ojek (motorbike taxi) or Bemo (local buses)
The recommended best means to get to Tado is with a local driver and guide.

Follow the main road from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng. After 45 km you will reach a Dahot settlement - the village of “Nampar Macing,” where you must make a right turn. Less than one kilometer down this road you will enter the village of  "Golo Leleng". The two villages of ‘’Nampar Macing’’ and ‘’Golo Leleng’’ are jointly known as Tado.
Map of Tado village
Map of Tado village

Please note that Tado is a new eco-tourism village. There are no established tourist facilities nor commercial restaurants or accommodation providers found in this area.

Overnight stays can be informally arranged by staying in a local household where you will enjoy traditional foods prepared by your host family.
The Tado community has established a code of conduct expected to be followed by every visitor. Please consult your host or guide regarding local rules of conduct.

Visitor’s code of conduct:
Tado community People Flores Traditional has established a code of conduct to help visitors to the Tado community respect and sustain their delicate traditional culture.

You are asked to accept the following “code of conduct” when visiting Tado:

a.Please dress conservatively. Indonesian’s show respect for each other by paying careful attention to dress and grooming. Please avoid wearing short pants, short skirts, sleeveless blouses, or low-cut or transparent clothing in social settings

b. Please do not hand out sweets, money, or toys to children. No matter how well-intentioned, such behavior teaches children to beg, encourages potentially dangerous commercial relationships between children and predatory adults, and destroys the general discipline in the villages

c. If you would like to take a photo of people or their personal property, please be polite and ask permission beforehand. Local villages would be thrilled if you make the effort to send copies of the photos to them later

d. Please do not wander around local villages and lands unaccompanied. Community members are happy to act as escorts during your visit

e. Please help to keep the Local Culture Traditional villages and traditional lands clean. Place waste in appropriate containers and do not dispose toxic chemicals into local water systems. Please take used batteries home with you, as the villages do not have a safe way to dispose them

f. Please do not harm or destroy cultural artifacts, local facilities, or our flora & fauna.  If you would like to collect local handicrafts, or wild or cultivated plants to bring home with you, please seek permission beforehand from a local elder or your hosts

g. We ask our visitors to behave with discretion: Please refrain from public displays of affection, and use enclosed facilities for your toilet and bathing necessities

h. Overnight visitors are asked to respect local moral codes, unmarried men and women must sleep in separate accommodation


Spider- web-like rice fields or lingko are found on the way to Tado village. The crucifix standing at the center of the rice field signifies the strong Christian influences found in the region.   A lingko or  spider- web-like rice field as seen from  hill above Cancar, some 40 km east of Tabo.
Spider web rice fields or lingko are found on the way to Tado village. The crucifix standing at the center of the rice field signifies the strong Christian influences found in the region.
A lingko or spider web rice field as seen from a hill above Cancar, some 40 km east of Tado
Tado: Village elder
 A village elder weaves a pandan mat

Flores island local culture and tradition