How to get to and from: Waingapu

How to get to Waingapu

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Umbu Mehang Kunda Airport (WGP) is five kilometres from the centre of Waingapu. Wings Air (a subsidiary of Lion Air) has daily flights to and from Denpasar, in Bali (65 minutes) and Kupang in West Timor (70 minutes). Wings limit baggage allowance to 10 kilograms, with additional weight charged extra. Nam Air (a subsidiary of Sriwijaya Air) fly the same routes three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The airport is small, in the usual style of regional airports in Indonesia. Upon arrival your exit will be blocked by touts offering rides into town and hotels. All Waingapu hotels offer free airport pickup, so if you’ve pre-booked they should be there waiting for you. If not, say a hotel name, and you should be driven there for free. If you prefer to look around first, the standard fare into town is 50,000 rupiah for the 10-minute ride. You could also walk out to the road and flag down a passing bemo for 5,000 rupiah.


Waingapu has two main bus terminals outside of the centre, and a third small connecting terminal in the middle of town. If buses are not full at the main terminals, they will do a loop to Terminal Kota in the centre, but it’s a better bet to go directly to the main terminals. A bemo from Terminal Kota to the other main terminals is 5,000 rupiah. Bemos anywhere around town are 5,000 rupiah. Prices are local and times are approximate. As a foreigner you are often charged more.

Terminal Kawangu is the southern terminal, 10 kilometres south of the centre, with buses to:
Melolo (20,000 rupiah; 2 hours)
Mangili (30,000 rupiah; 3 hours)
Biang (for Kalala; 40,000 rupiah; 4 hours)

Terminal Kampung Baru, four kilometres east of the centre, has buses east.
Lewa (15,000 rupiah; 1.5 hours)
Waikabubak (50,000 rupiah; 4.5 hours)
Waitabula (75,000 rupiah; 6 hours)
A daily truck (think cattle truck — not recommended) leaves for Tarimbang daily at 05:00 (50,000 rupiah; 5 hours).


The ferry port is nine kilometres from the centre of town, and separate to the ports for Pelni ships and cargo. Weekly ferries depart Waingapu for Flores, Sabu and West Timor. Current schedule and prices at time of research are below, plus approximate travel time. Schedules change regularly so check close to your travel time to confirm. (Waingapu is listed in the Kupang section).

Ende (Flores): 100,000 rupiah, takes 13 hours, departs Wednesdays 08:00, with a connection to Kupang.
Sabu: 120,000 rupiah, takes 15 hours, departs Thursdays at 12:00, with a connection to Kupang.
Kupang (West Timor): 220,000 rupiah, takes 28 hours, departs Fridays at 23:00.
Aimere (Flores): 70,000 rupiah, takes nine hours, departs Saturdays at 22:00, with a connection to Kupang.

Pelni, Indonesia’s large passenger ships, pass by Waingapu every two weeks with routes to and from Bali and all over eastern Indonesia. The Pelni office is at 1 Jalan HASANUDIN, WAINGAPU; T: (0387) 61665, (0387) 62605;

Getting around

Hotels can sort you out with car and motorbike hire. Expect slightly higher prices than other parts of Indonesia.

A recommended English-speaking local guide who can take you all over East Sumba by motorbike or car is Arye Tamelab. His rates as of March 2016 were 250,000 rupiah per day (excluding transport). T: (0813) 3942 9429;