Photo: Crater time in Lewa.

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Did you blink? The small village of Lewa is conceivably the most geographically central town in Sumba — in the middle of the middle. On the main east-west road between Waingapu and Waikabubak, Lewa lies on the eastern edge of Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park.

The surrounding region is East Sumba’s largest rice-producing area, and a journey to Lewa is filled with turn after turn of superb rural scenery. Lewa’s higher elevation provides a cool break from Sumba’s otherwise baking temperatures and it doesn’t see a lot of foreign tourists, except for the occasional birdwatcher — nearby has some of the best sights for viewing Sumba’s endemic bird species.

We’re on a road to nowhere… Photo taken in or around Lewa, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

We’re on a road to nowhere… Photo: Sally Arnold

Most people just pass through, but Lewa provides a pleasant break if you’ve been to Tarimbang before heading to one of the larger towns, and a chance to explore the national park. One of the highlights is an interesting and accessible meteor crater lake, Kanabu Wulang, sometimes simply called Dampak Meteor (meteor impact).

As far as food goes, Rumah Makan Adelia (T: (0813) 9303 5084, open daily 07:00-22:00) is the only restaurant in town. They serve Indonesian standards involving chicken, fish, noodles and rice, with meals priced from 10,000 to 25,000 rupiah. They also sell cold beer. Folk here are extremely friendly and run a small boarding house (kos) in one of the backstreets, where it’s also possible to stay.

Orientation Accommodation in simple local homestays is comfortable and friendly. They can help you out with visiting the national park. A BRI ATM that may accept international card is in the middle of town, on the main road.

The police station lies east of the ATM, and the post office is at the western end of town, also on the main drag. A small local hospital is three kilometres from the centre out in the ricefields, near the national park office.

Buses run daily between Waingapu (15,000 rupiah; 1.5 hours); and Waikabubak (50,000 rupiah; 3 hours). To and from Tarimbang requires private transport — ask at your accommodation.

Travelfish subscriber resources

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Lewa.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Lewa.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
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