A city of 1000 church, 1000 temple, and 1000 mosque.
Getting to Kupang
Flight to Kupang from Jakarta
Before getting to other parts of Indonesia, most travelers will arrive at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. Several low-cost carriers travel from Jakarta to El Tari International Airport, Kupang. Companies that offer Jakarta – Kupang route are:
If you’re big on using Online Travel Agency (OTA), I would recommend a local unicorn startup, Traveloka. Find flight tickets, hotel, train tickets, to local attractions here! Moreover, if you’re traveling from Australia, there’s a direct flight from Darwin to Kupang.
Accomodation in Kupang
Kupang city accommodation has been developed for tourists. Especially when there was a direct flight from Darwin, Australia. You can find the range of hotels up to 4 stars hotel in Kupang! Here recommended hotels in Kupang. Additionally, you can book an Airbnb too!
Getting around in Kupang is mostly done via cars or motorcycles. Kupang has public transportation, but it’s unreliable that locals decided to use their vehicles everywhere.
Place to Visit in Kupang
Here are the top 6 places you must visit in Kupang. These places are possible to cover in 4-5 days trip considering the distance from one another.
- The Crystal Cave
The Crystal Cave of Kupang is a refreshing, hidden oasis, away from the city heat. To embark on this offbeat adventure, you will need to rent a motorcycle or vehicle and obtain basic directions from locals in Kupang.
The area is secluded and limited tourist information. It is best to arrive in the morning, hang around until the noon sun overhead illuminates everything before its pitch dark again. Then make your way back to town as the afternoon kicks off. The cave is not suitable for the elderly or pregnant women. To get in you basically, need to climb down through the rocks cave. There are no proper stairs to get in.
Location: Crystal Cave (Goa Kristal Bolok)
- Tablolong beach
Enjoying the Sunset at Tablolong Beach with good friends, what’s not to like? Tablolong beach is located 30km from the city center. Locals come to the beach to hang out at warungs (local shop) turned into a bar at the beach.
Location: Tablolong Beach
- Semau Island
Semau Island lies just west of Kupang, directly opposite Tenau Harbour. Its 8,000 odd residents occupy a handful of tiny villages scattered around the coast, connected by a network of dusty roads and a peaceful lifestyle in rustic paradise. There won’t be any accommodation on the island.
Start your journey early! Plan to arrive at Tenau Harbor before 9 AM. From there you can rent a boat for you and your motorcycle (yes, your motorcycle) to Semau Island. Traveling one way will cost about Rp 35,000 ($2) per person and Rp 35,000 ($2) for the motorcycle. It takes 30 minutes to transfer to Semau Island.
There are five beaches to explore; Otan beach, Yunian beach, Liman beach, Uituhtuan beach, and Onanbalu beach. You must use a motorcycle to explore the island as the distance between each beach is far. Also, you need a local guide as it’s not possible to travel by yourself. When I explored with a motorcycle, it took almost 1.5 hours to get from one beach to another.
Location: Semau Island
- SOE – Mount Mutis, Fatumnasi, and Bola Palelo
SOE (sometimes seen as SoE) is the capital of the South Central Timor Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. Car-free day (CFD) is the time and day of the week where particular areas in the city of Indonesia are closed for public transportation.Start your journey before 10 AM SOE, a 2.5 hours drive away from Kupang city center by private car or motorcycle. On our way stopped at Bola Palelo highland to see the majestic view of Kupang from afar.
Next, continue your journey to Kapan city before arriving at Fatumnasi village. During my trip, I was so lucky to see the Sbo Maekat dancing by the locals. The dance resembles a war dance where the women wore jewelry made from horsehair and gold plated bangles on their ankles.The places you must visit in SOE are Vatu Kolen – a massive rock pillar formation and Mutis Mountain. Also, if you have more than 3 hours of spare time, you can hike the mountain.
If not, enjoy the bonsai tree forest.
Location: Mount Mutis
- Oenesu Waterfall, Kolbano Beach, and Oetune Beach
Things to do today is visiting the famous Oenesu waterfall. The word “Oe” in local Timor tribe language (not Bahasa Indonesia) means Water. The Oehala waterfall located 100 from Kupang city center, which is approximately 2 hours drive.After that, visit the Kolbano beach and Oetune beach, 2 hours ride from SOE. I prefer the white sand and clear blue water of Kolbano beach than the dark brown sand of Oetune beach.
4 Day Trip Itinerary Recommendation
- Day 1
Crystal Cave, city tour, and enjoy the sunset at Tablolong beach.
Visit the Crystal Cave at noon or precisely 12 PM where the light of the sun penetrates the cave. Otherwise, it’s going to be pitch dark inside the Crystal Cave.
- Day 2
Car Free Day on Saturday, SOE – Mount Mutis, Fatumnasi, and Bola Palelo.
It’s going to be a long journey. There might be a local, but I’d recommend renting a car or motorcycle. Also, the temperature at Fatumnasi village drops at night, so wear comfortable clothes.Car-free day (CFD) is the time and day of the week where a particular area in the city of Indonesia is close for transportation. The purpose is for local to enjoy the area for any activities such as exercise, sell food, or space for them to dance. CFD start from 6 AM until noon located in El Tari street.
- Day 3
Oehala waterfall, Kolbano beach, and Oetune beach.
Don’t forget to climb the big rock at Kolbano beach. The view is majestic. You can see where the light blue water meets the darker one.
- Day 4
Explore the beaches of Semau Island.
Bring a local guide with you. Traveling by yourself is not recommended. The island has a limited of street signs and no street lights in many parts of the island. Hence, a local guide is a must!
In conclusion, traveling for four days in Kupang is manageable but very packed. The head of ASITA NTT, Mr. Abed Frans said it needs at least two weeks to visit the whole NTT.
Note: I partnered with ASITA NTT and Travel Blogger Indonesia; I had the chance to explore for four days in Kupang. The short time is a perfect kick for us to explore the city as maximum we can – plus an occasional rest time.
Mall in Kupang
- Lippo Plaza Fatululi (Jl. Veteran, Fatululi, Oebobo, Kota Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Tim., Indonesia)
- Flobamora Mall (Jl. W. J Lalamentik Oebufu)
Hospital in Kupang
These are recommended hospitals in Kupang.
- Siloam Hospital Kupang (website; emergency contact: +62 380 8530911; Jl. R.W. Monginsidi, Kel. Fatululi, Kec. Oebobo Kupang)
- Rumah Sakit Kartini (contact: +62 858-2976-0625; Jl. Frans Seda No. 17, Tuak Daun Merah, Oebobo, Tuak Daun Merah, Oebobo, Kota Kupang)
Money and ATMs
The currency unit in Indonesia is the Rupiah. Cash is king in Kupang and the rest of the country. Wherever you go you will need to have cash in small denominations whether to pay for parking, entrance to the beach, tips, or to buy knick knacks.
Avoid drinking water from the tap! Kupang and the rest of Indonesia’s tap water is not drinkable. Stick to canned drinks or bottled water.
Please note some posts do come from sponsors or invitation but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review.