Indonesia attracts a huge number of tourists every year and there is little surprise as to why that is so. It is home to both, amazing natural and man-made wonders that can delight even the harshest of souls. One such amazing natural retreat is the Tengku Lese Waterfall situated in Manggarai, Flores.
Tengku Lese Waterfall a.k.a Cunca Lega
This waterfall is also known as the Cunca Lega in the Manggaraian language where Cunca refers to a waterfall. This waterfall takes its name from a village that is just a few kilometers from it. The two level waterfall and the surrounding consisting of evergreen forests and rice terraces makes for a compelling picture that is clearly visible even from a distance.
Approaching the waterfall
From most of the surrounding villages you will be able to approach this beautiful waterfall by simply hiking to it for a few kilometers, like from Nanu Village you only have to hike for about 2.5 kilometers. Since the roads leading to the waterfall are surrounded by lush green hills, amazing rice fields and well farmed land, there is little that you won’t enjoy while hiking to the waterfall itself.
Do keep in mind that the trekking path is essentially a dirt track that has been used by natives and tourists alike to get to the waterfall, there aren’t actually any well paved roads to get you to the waterfall itself. Thus the trekking path consists of narrow tracks that are also supplemented by dangerous bridges. So be rest assured, that this hiking trip is definitely not for the faint hearted.
From other places like Ruteng, you need to drive for at least two hours to reach the base of the trekking path. Liang Bua is another village in the vicinity that is just 15 kilometers from this amazing waterfall. You could take a shorter route from Ruteng that will take less than 2 hours if you pass through Liang Bua to reach the waterfall.
The Amazing waterfall
The massive two level Cunca Lega will leave you stunned and you will be welcomed by small rainbows all over the base of the waterfall. Since the waterfall has an impressive height of 100 meters it makes a lot of noise also; but to most people this sound is like a soothing melody as opposed to a nuisance.
The Tengku lese waterfall is surrounded by nature at its finest in Manggarai, Flores. The natural forests and well cultivated rice fields add to the beauty of the cascading waterfall.
Activities at the Waterfall
After hiking 2.5 kilometers to get there, the big rocks on the periphery of the waterfall’s base are a welcome relief. You can sit on those rocks but do be cautious as those rocks are very slippery.
Jumping into the waterfall might seem like a good idea, but it is best not to. The water at the base of the waterfall is under a lot of pressure and is very turbulent. The turbulence can also be judged by the harsh water spray being sent in all directions. A bit further away from the waterfall there are pools that are smaller but also calmer and present the perfect spot to swim and relax in.
This is a natural spot that is thankfully not dotted by shops. So you need to bring along your own snacks and water. The base of the waterfall and the nearby pools, are both excellent picnic spots.
Best months to visit Manggarai, Flores
The best months to visit the Cunca Lega are July, August and September. During these months, the temperature is temperate in Indonesia and this region does not experience heavy rainfall. Trekking through the jungle might seem like an exhausting task in these seasons but the surrounding forest keeps the temperature and the hike really pleasant.
If you visit in the rainy season you won’t be able to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature to its fullest, the rain will make it extremely hard for you to trek through the forest and you won’t be able to take a dip in the pools situated near the water fall either.
Best places to visit with the waterfall
You can make the trip to the waterfall all the more exciting by visiting some of the other exotic nearby places in Indonesia such as the Spider Web Rice Field. This field has rice cultivated in the shape of massive spider webs and is a true marvel to take delight in. These fields have also been host to a lot of ceremonies and ritual harvesting done by native tribes.
While you are exploring this area be sure to visit the Liang Bua Cave also. Situated to the North of Ruteng, the Liang Bua Cave is a limestone cave in which fossils hinting at a different kind of human species were discovered. So if you are a history enthusiast you are going to enjoy the visit to the cave immensely.
Just a few kilometers from the waterfall is the Ruteng PU’U. It is a village that showcases some of the traditional type of residences found in the area. Native tribes are also known to perform their rituals and religious ceremonies over here from time to time.
It is recommended that to visit multiple places in one day you leave just at the crack of dawn, so by the time you reach the waterfall after all the hiking you will be lucky enough to see the splendid rainbows. Moreover, getting a head start in the morning also gives you enough time to hike all the way back and then visit other places.
Indonesia is full of splendid natural wonders and Cunca Lega is one of them. It is one of those compelling sites that can help cleanse you from your worries and offer you a very welcome shelter from the everyday conundrum of your life. If you are investing in a tourism package or planning a trip from scratch all on your own, it would be really worth your while if you add a visit to Manggarai, Flores in the things you plan to do.