East Nusa Tenggara's Nagekeo regency has so many interesting naturally beautiful places, most of which haven’t been touched by tourism.
The Jakarta Post Travel picks three destinations that are ready to welcome tourists, yet still have that unspoiled charm.
The pristine white sands of Rii Taa Islet
Among the most sought after is the sandbar of Rii Taa Islet, or as the locals call it Pulau Pasir Putih.
When the tide is high, the islet is only about 20 meters square but during the low tide, it can be as vast as 2 hectares.
The islet can be reached by boat in under an hour from Maropokot harbor at Mbay, Nagekeo regency’s capital.
Legend has it that the islet used to have fresh grass growing all over its surface hence the name given by the residents of Tonggurambang: Rii Taa, which literally means fresh grass.
Since 2010, the department of tourism and culture of Nagekeo regency has promoted the islet, resulting in increasing numbers of visitors.
Despite there being not much to do on the islet except for sunbathing on the pearly white sand, the magnificent view alone is more than enough to attract tourists to visit this pristine natural beauty spot.
A simple hut is to be built in the middle of the islet, according to Tonggurambang village head, Toa Mualaf. Toa said the hut would not sink despite the usual high tides that only leave a small part of the islet visible above the sea’s surface.
The magical healing of Nangadhero natural hot spring
After visiting Pulau Pasir Putih Rii Taa, you can visit the Nangadhero natural hot spring, in Nangadhero village.
The hot spring water is believed to have a lot of health benefits.
During my visit, I met Kalimantan native, Ahmad Taa, whom had regained his ability to walk after several months in a wheelchair. He said he had been taking this treatment for over a year, bathing regularly twice a day until he could finally walk again.
Ahmad is one of many people who has regained their health after bathing in the natural hot spring at Nangadhero.
Marapokot natural hot spring
Another hot spring to visit is the Marapokot natural hot spring, which is located in Marapokot village, not far from Nangadhero.
The unique thing about this hot spring is that the villagers often use the hot water to cook eggs.
How to get there
Visitors can take a bus from Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai or Maumere in the eastern part of Flores to Marapokot harbor at Mbay.
If you want to continue on to Pulau Pasir Putih, you can rent a boat from the harbor. The return trip is said to cost from Rp 200,000 ( US $ 16.95).