The limestone Liang Bua cave, where the remains of the Flores ‘hobbit’ were famously found in 2003, is about 14km north of Ruteng. Archaeologists believe that the lip along the entrance permitted sediment to build up as water flowed through the cave over the millennia, sealing in human and animal remains. Listen out for rumours of more recent, sacred sightings.
Local guides, whose service is included in your 30,000Rp entry fee, will meet you at the cave’s entrance and explain why Liang Bua is considered sacred. The road to the cave is bumpy and can be impassable during rainy season. In the cave itself are remnants of excavations; a small, separate museum contains information in Indonesian, photographs, fossil casts and replica bones. To get here take an ojek (100,000Rp) from Ruteng.