Sano Nggoang Crater Lake is located approximately 35km east of Labuan Bajo. With depths of up to 500m, it is said to be among the world’s deepest crater lakes. The lake and an overall surrounding area of 5,500 hectares are proposed to become a protected area due to the remaining forests and endemic bird species such as the native Flores crow and the Flores monarch. Enthusiastic bird watchers and nature lovers should make sure to bring along their binoculars. Besides the birds, there is an abundance of attractive flora and fauna that can be spotted in this area.
Sano Nggoang offers the full range of nature tourism attractions and activities, from hiking to bird watching, swimming, or simply relaxing in a natural hot spring. What’s more, it offers you to gain an insight in the local people’s customs, traditional farming practices, and everyday life.
There are many possibilities to explore the Sano Nggoang Crater Lake. You can either go directly by car or take an ojek to the lake. There, you can go for excellent short or longer self-guided walks around the lake, passing the surrounding hills.
Another option is to hire a well-versed guide in Labuan Bajo who accompanies you on a hike along the so-called ‘eco route’, hiring a guide from Labuan Bajo. By car or motorbike it will take you around 1 1/2 hours from Labuan Bajo to Werang, the starting point for the eco route. Depending on your own pace, the hike that leads you across neat little village communities in a natural setting to the Sano Nggoang crater lake will take you between 3–5 hours. Whatsoever path you choose to reach the lake, strenuous or not, you definitely deserve a revitalizing bath in the sulfurous hot springs near Nunang Village.
If you have plenty of time and some energy left, you should combine this natural attraction with an excursion to Mount Mbeliling and/or the fabulous Cunca Rami waterfalls.
How do I explore the area?
Remarkably untouched by modern life, the surroundings of Sano Nggoang Crater Lake offer plenty of eco-tourism activities for visitors. However, there are hardly any guides operating from Sano Nggoang. Thus you may do well by organizing your tour and guide in Labuan Bajo or Ruteng.
• Hiking and trekking
• Therapeutic soaks in local hot springs
• Bike tours (if you bring your own bike or rent one in Labuan Bajo)
• Local horse excursions along the shoreline
• Nature tours:
• Bird watching
• Flora and fauna discovery
• Agricultural insights:
• Traditional cultivation and irrigation systems
• Care and propagation of domesticated animals
• Cultivation of cash crops in combination with traditional crops
• Local handicrafts
• Village traditions, dances, and local traditional ceremonies
Through the support of Burung Indonesia (the Indonesian bird conservation organization), there are around 14 home stays available in Nunang, the village near the crater lake. Some local houses are prepared to receive overnight guests. The smaller buildings can accommodate two people, the bigger ones up to four people. Each of them is equipped with simple bedding (including a blanket and mosquito net), and a squat toilet. For a simple meal (rice, vegetables, and egg) you will be charged Rp 15,000. Meat lovers can have some delicious chicken prepared for an additional contribution. The local guides from Labuan Bajo or tour operators can help to prepare and coordinate your overnight stay.
How to get there
Follow the main road from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng. At the crossroads after approximately 35km, turn right in the direction of Werang. The distance from the intersection to Werang is approximately 10.5km, and it is a further 16.5km from Werang to the actual lakeside. This last section takes approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours by motorbike, and 3 1/2 – 4 hours by foot. Please note that the road condition is poor, starting from the intersection on the main road. It may be difficult or even impossible to pass this part of the road during the rainy season. If you are traveling by local transport, it is recommended that you take an ojek in Werang for the remaining distance to the lake.