Liang Bua is a cave in a limestone hill in Manggarai District, Flores. The local community is familiar with this cave because of its huge size (50 meters long, 40 meters wide, and 25 meters tall). Due to its size, it was once used as a religious worship place and school.
Liang Bua is famous the world over following the finding of an ancient skull. The skull was that of a short human called Homo floresiensis, found at a depth of 6 meters. Its brain measured only 380 cc (compared to a minimum 1200 cc for a normal modern human brain). Archaeologists are of the opinion that this skull originated from an era back in time some 18,000 years ago.
In addition, in a depth of 10.7 meters, ancient animal bones were also found including those of stegodon (an ancient elephant), komodo, turtles, and lizards.
No restaurant or food stalls are available here. The nearest restaurant is in Ruteng. Restoran Merlin, at Bhayangkara Street, serves various types of Chinese and Indonesian foods. In addition, Agape Cafe, which is also located at Bhayangkara Street, is a new cafe serving espresso, beer, and Western, Chinese and Indonesian foods.
No souvenir or handicraft shops are available near Liang Bua.
No hotel is available in Liang Bua. The nearest hotel or motel is in Ruteng pending availability. Rima Hotel, Losmen Agung, Hotel Sindha and Hotel Dahlia are good choices to stay in Ruteng.
Despite its famous archaeological findings, no replica or information about these findings is located in Liang Bua. Visitors can only see the massive cave with stalagmite stones, imaginating that ancient elephants, komodo and short humans (Homo floresiensis) once lived here thousands of years ago. Near Liang Bua, there are other caves such as Gua Galang (with bathing stones) and Gua Tanah. You can walk to these caves.
Liang Bua and its surrounding areas are only accessible by foot.
Liang Bua is located 14 kilometers from Ruteng, the capital city of Manggarai district. Bemo (rural public transportation) and trucks carrying passengers from Ruteng usually pass this site but their schedule is tentative. The best way to visit this cave is by taking a rented car or a motor taxi. To reach Ruteng, you can take land transportation from Labuan Bajo, Ende or Maumere. Everyday there is a flight from Kupang to Maumere and Ende. There is also a daily flight from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo, and a twice a week flight from Kupang to Ruteng.
Please bring along your own food and drinks. Be careful when taking a private car or a motor taxi because the road to Liang Bua from Ruteng is very narrow and only accommodates one car in width. Its driving conditions are also dangerous due to many turns and hills.