Sano Nggoang: The Shady Burning Lake

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Sano Nggoang in Manggaraian language means burning lake. However, in contrast to its name the lake is clear, green and calm.

The lake is ​​513 hectares in size and has a depth of 600 meters and is located at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level. Sano Nggoang Lake is flanked by three villages—Wae Sano, Pulau Nuncung and Sano Nggoang in Sano Nggoang District, West Manggarai regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province. The largest volcanic lake in eastern Indonesia has clear green water that sometimes looks blue when exposed to the reflection of the sky.

The lake can be seen clearly from the top of Mount Golodewa, located about one hours climb from Nunang hamlet in the Wae Sano village. If you are reluctant to walk, visitors can borrow a horse (without saddle) from the local church beside the lake and enjoy the scenery.

Other than enjoying the view, there is also a diverse range of attractions that can be experienced when visiting the lake. One of the options is to enjoy a traditional spa by soaking yourself in sulfur water. There are 3 hot springs with temperatures of 30, 70 and 100 degrees Celsius. In the 100 degrees-spring, many visitors use it to poach an egg or some cassava.

For those who like bird watching, Sano Nggoang is an ideal location as it is surrounded by forest which is home to various bird species. Four species of birds endemic to Flores can be seen in this region, they are: the Flores Monarch (Monarcha sacerdotum), Flores Scops-owl (Otus alfredi), Wallace’s Hanging-parrot (Loriculus flosculus), and Flores Crow (Corvus florensis).

To get to Lake Sano Nggoang, visitors have to first travel to Labuan Bajo. This small port town is accessible via daily flights from Denpasar. Labuan Bajo is the main entrance to the island of Flores and Komodo. This is where a variety of accommodation options are available to travelers-from budget to luxury five-star hotels or bungalows. Many of them have internet access available.

Visitors can hire a motorcycle or a car with a capacity of up to 6 people, and travel for 3 hours from Labuan Bajo to Sano Nggoang. The rental price per day for motorcycles is around IDR75,000 and for cars around IDR800,000. The road is partially paved and rocky and can be a challenging drive. If you want to spend the night in Nunang to experience the life and culture of the local community, visitors can stay in the community-run homestays.