Batu Cermin cave is set within an impressive prominent rock formation near Labuan Bajo. Through a hole in the cave, rays of light find their way into the cave’s inside walls where they perform a spectacular show of reflected sunlight. This fascinating effect is caused by some slick, mirror-like rock surfaces that reflect the light. Hence the cave’s name, Batu Cermin, which means ‘mirror rock’ in Indonesian. If you want to experience this visual delight in all its beauty, make sure to be there at the right time: depending on the time of year, the sunrays only hit the hole between 9 and 10am.
However, the cave is a lovely site not only during these morning hours, but at any time of the day. Batu Cermin lies in a fantastic natural environment with an excellent panoramic view over the mainland and the islands nearby. It is surrounded by forests where long-tailed monkeys and wild boars live.
A ladder walkway leads you along the last meters to the cave, passing through a series of pre-chambers before entering the actual ‘mirror rock’ site. Inside the cave, colonies of bats go about their daily business. While bats are found in abundance, you have to be very lucky to see the local spiders, who, when approached, quickly scamper out of sight.
At the entrance of Batu Cermin, a guard will ask you to sign the guestbook and pay a small entrance fee of Rp 10,000 for international visitors and Rp 5,000 for domestic. Although it is most unlikely you will get lost in the cave, there are local guides who are more than happy to accompany you for a small fee. They can also lend you a flashlight. Please bring your own water and food.
How to get there
Located only 4 kilometers from central Labuan Bajo, a visit to Batu Cermin makes a pleasant morning or afternoon trip. It is an easy 1 1/2 hour walk – just ask for the directions along the way – the location is well known among the locals. If you want to save your energy, you can also hop on a motorbike taxi (ojek) or drive there by yourself. It takes just 15 minutes. Just drive to Wae Mata traffic light junction, then turn left in the direction of the police station/ Kantor Bupati. After a local minimarket you will see a junction signposted Jalan Batu Cermin; from there it’s quite close to Pasar Batu Cermin.