Tado Village, located 45km east of Labuan Bajo, is one of the best places to get a hands-on experience of the long-standing Manggaraian way of life. Rather inconspicuous at first sight, it reveals an immense cultural and traditional wealth. Tado villagers, wearing their traditional costumes, will be happy to receive you with a traditional welcome ceremony.
Throughout the journey from Labuan Bajo to Tado Village, you will get a good impression of the natural treasures that can be discovered on the Florinese mainland. Not only will you come across local villages, hills with spectacular views, and lush forests, but also pass the world-famously unique spider web rice fields, locally named ‘lingko’. The actual purpose behind these eye-catching structures used to be the division of land ownership among the different families of a village.
Tado is practicing community-based ecotourism. As part of a cultural conservation program, the villagers often gather together to share and revive ancestral songs, stories, and dances which have been handed down over many generations.
Traditional activities and cultural tours – a unique experience
In order to sustain the community-based ecotourism system, the villages charge small fees to guests to participate in their cultural and traditional life.
You will be able to join exciting ecotourism activities such as pandan mat weaving, preparation of traditional medicines, the manufacture of traditional seed-oil lamps, dishes made from coconut husks, cooking and preparation of traditional foods, rope-making using sugar-palm fibers, local ancestral rites tied to rice agriculture, consumption of edible insects, weaving of bamboo baskets and carving of children’s wooden toys.
Special-request tours and overnight stays booked in advance
Beside the listed activities, Tado ecotourism village also offers special request tours that are an integral part of the village’s cultural conservation program. The ‘ancient ritual’ tour features locally renowned Caci performers who will get you acquainted with the rituals, legends, and music associated with this famous element of Manggaraian culture. Guests can also witness the centuries-old practice of palm wine extraction, but a tasting of the potent locally produced tuak should be enjoyed moderately. In addition, you can choose between a ‘jungle survival trek’ that includes a special takeaway lunch of traditional food. If you are more into arts, do not miss the ‘traditional arts and crafts tour’ to dabble in clay pottery and weaving methods.
Please make a booking 1–2 days prior to any visit so that the community can make the necessary preparations to offer you an unforgettable time in Tado. For bookings, please contact Pak Yeremias Uril either by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (+62 813 80709223).
For guests who want to spend the night in Tado, overnight stays in a local household can be arranged. You will indulge in traditional food prepared by your host family, and of course you will gain an even more profound insight into the everyday life of the villagers. Please respect the community’s code of conduct. For more information, ask your guide or host family about these rules.
As Tado is quite a young tourist spot, there are no tourist facilities, commercial restaurants or accommodation providers in this area yet. Only 9 homestays in the village can be an overnight option and can be arranged for you by Pak Yeremias Uril (see contact details above).
How to get there
Follow the main road from Labuan Bajo to Ruteng. After about 45km or approximately an hour from Labuan you will find a yellow sign on your right that reads “Tado Ecotourism Community”. Turn right, pass Nampar Macing village, and after less than 1km you will reach the village of Golo Leleng. The two villages called of Nampar Macing and Golo Leleng are collectively known as ‘Tado’.
It is recommended to hire a local driver and guide. You can also use a motorbike taxi (ojek) or a local bus (bemo). The more adventurous among you may rent a motorbike in Labuan Bajo and drive to Tado separately.