The Jakarta Post
The fantastic view of Pangabatang Island. (Shutterstock/File)
Maumere, the capital of Sika regency in East Nusa Tenggara, is blessed with breathtaking nature as well as fascinating history and culture.
Below are five of the most recommended places to visit for those lucky enough to travel to the town.
Sikka Old Church
“We must always remind ourselves that we are pilgrims until we arrive at our heavenly homeland, and we must not let our affections delay us in the roadside inns and lands through which we pass, otherwise we will forget our destination and lose interest in our final goal.” (St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest) . . #stignatiusofloyola #gerejasikka #sikka #desasikka #lela #maumere
Designed by the same architect that created the Jakarta Cathedral, this European and Sikka-styled church was built in 1873. Despite its old age, it still standing strong with a 10-meter dome supported by roof columns made of teak.
The influence of the Sikka style is particularly seen when you enter the church where all the walls are adorned in Sikka tenun ikat (traditional woven fabric) with Gabar (designated for the royals) and Wenda (generally used by the locals) motifs.
Stained glass at the altar that has been there since the church was established adds a nice touch to the place.
Read also: 13 must-visit places in Semarang
Located around one hour from Laurens Say Port in Maumere, this place will especially attract those seeking a getaway. Inhabited by only 60 to 80 people, it only has one small port for some fishing boats to dock.
Being there will make you feel like you're in a private island, welcomed by the still undiscovered vast white sand complemented with pristine Tosca blue water and peaceful ocean waves.
Expect to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and diving while you are on the island.
This place is famous for its 28-meter high Bunda Maria Segala Bangsa (Mother Maria of All Nations) Statue that has graced the hill since 2004.
It usually greets pilgrims as well as vacationers since it is surrounded by lush trees and a beautiful flower garden.
After parking your vehicle at the entrance gate area and walking around 500 meters to reach the statue, you can expect to marvel at the view of Maumere city as the attraction is situated 1,600 meters above sea level.
This mountain, which erupted in 2013, is located on the 41-kilometer wide Palue Island. To get there, you can take a boat from the ports in Maumere or Ropa.
After you arrive, take a break at the Awa kampung before you start hiking for four hours to reach the peak of Rokatenda. The quite exhausting journey will be worth it as you will be welcomed by the vast barren soil from the mountain's crater that will make you feel like you're in another planet. Walk further to another side and you will discover a breathtaking view of the Flores Sea as far as the eye can see.
Merchants selling traditional fabrics in Maumere market. (Shutterstock/File)
Before going home, make sure to drop by this market to buy some souvenirs. This oldest market in Sika is where merchants gather to sell various local products, from tenun ikat to moke (sugar palm liquor) stored in plastic bottles.
You can also opt to purchase various agriculture products or fresh fish to be cooked as breakfast in the market. (kes)