Maumere, The Biggest City in Flores

Capital of the district of Sikka on the eastern coast of Flores Island, Maumere is the perfect staging place to embark on an unforgettable adventure to unveil the beauty of Flores. The town itself is blessed with a beautiful landscape of hills and mountains complemented with clear green and blue ocean.

Maumere is the biggest city in Flores, larger than Labuan Bajo at the west end of the island. The town used to serve as an alternative for tourists to go to the Komodo National Park aside from Labuan Bajo. While, those wishing to attend Easter celebrations in Larantuka, also start off from Maumere, which is more easily connected by air to other parts of Indonesia.

Located at the narrowest part of the island, from Maumere due south to near the town Nita at Koting village,  one can see as  far as the Flores Sea to the north and the Savu Sea to the Indian Ocean to its southern horizon.

Bunda Maria statue, Maumere city
Bunda Maria statue, Maumere city (Source :

Today, Maumere is also the stepping off point to see the Three-Coloured Lakes on Mt. Kelimutu on the way to Ende. The village of Sikka, some 30 km from Maumere is the center of weaving in this area. Here visitors can watch, on request, the complete intricate process of ikat-weaving, including dying the threats with natural colors. Another village known for its weaving is Watublapi, which distinguishes itself through the use of symbolic motifs such as lizards, horses, birds and geometrical patterns.

Maumere used to be a favorite snorkeling and diving area, made famous by the Sao Wisata Resort built by Flores own hero, Frans Seda. Unfortunately, the 1992 tsunami devastated parts of the sea and the city. Before that, Maumere was considered by many as the true illustration of “Flores” or Flower of the East Nusa Tenggara Archipelago. After nearly two decades, the town is now reviving, back to its former beauty with the newly renovated Frans Seda Airport (formerly called Wai Oti Airport).

View from the hills in Maumere city
View from the hills in Maumere city (Source :

Before the Dutch colonial merchants arrived, Maumere was known as Sikka Alok or Sikka Kesik. Here, traders from China, Bugis, and Makassar often came to trade with the locals. These traders often stayed for days near the seaport called Waidoko. With the arrival of the Dutch, they eventually built government offices in Sikka and gave new names to the area such as Maunori, Mautenda, Mauwaru, Maurole, Mauponggo, and obviously Maumere in Sikka.

Since the majority of its people are Catholic, the town’s existence cannot be separated from the church of Larantuka. Catholicism was first introduced in 1566 by two missionaries from Dominica named P. Joao Bautista da Fortalezza and Simao da Madre de Deos. They initially started their mission in Paga, a small town about 45 Km west of Maumere and were sent by P. Antonio Cruzz from the town of Larantuka. Every year congregations from Maumere head to Larantuka to join in the Semana Santa Easter Holy Week Ritual.


With its wide open seas, Maumere is obviously the Sea Food Paradise where an abundance of fish and other sea dwellers are available fresh every day. For a special treat, try the kasuami, the typical coastal dish of Eastern Indonesia popular in Ambon and Maluku Islands. Here, you can also find this dish in several restaurants.

The town has several cozy inns and hotels. Some of these are located in some of the best spots such as the coastline of Maumere. Here are some of the hotels you can try:

  • Sylvia Hotel in Jalan Gajah Mada
  • Permah Sari Hotel in Jl. Sudirman No.1, Maumere
  • Adi Darma Hotel in Jl. R.E. Martadhinata, Kalabahi

Situated in the east-end of Flores, Maumere is obviously the perfect staging place before you embark on your journey to Larantuka, Lake Kelimutu, Lembata, Ende, Labuan Bajo, and Komodo National Park.

While you are in town, you might want to explore the beautiful landscape of Maumere around Waiara Beach and the Kambing Island and Pangabatang Island. Waiterang Beach is definitely a must if you are in Maumere. Located only 31 Km from the heart of the town, the beach is renowned among divers, and also has the certified PADI diving course.

Koka Beach, 45 Km west of Maumere has the legendary white sand which is as soft as powder. Not too far from the beach, you can find the traditional village of Mau Lo’o with all its unique traditional houses.

Do not forget to visit the uniqe Bikon Blewut Museum located in the campus of Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Katholik Ledalero, a Catholic priest seminary, some 6 km. south of Maumere. Here you can find a large assortment of Flores history in artefacts collected by the priests. Here are rare ikat cloths, stone age tools, musical instruments, ceramics from China, traditional weapons, and fossil bones from the Mastodon, an extinct huge elephant like a mammoth which inhabited from between 400,000 – 10,000 BC.

The Museum opens Mondays to Saturdays in the mornings from 07.00 to 13.00 hrs.


Flights to Maumere are available from Bali and Kupang. Trans nusa Airlines serves flights between Bali and Maumere three times a week with seating capacity of 82. Lion Air serves connecting flights from Surabaya-Bali-Kupang-Maumere four days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Other Airlines that also serve flights to Maumere are Citilink and Garuda Indonesia.


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