With its almost perfect conical shape rearing into the skyline in magnificent solitude Mount Ebulobo is possibly Flores’s prettiest volcano. It also happens to be one of the easiest to climb, taking no more than 4-5 hours to complete up and back. The trail begins at Molakoli Village at 924 metres with a short steep section but soon settles into a more modest gradient as it winds through verdant rainforest alive with birdsong.
The forest edge is reached about 400 metres and 45 minutes shy of the summit where the trail makes an abrupt upward turn. This last section to the summit is steep but the rocky surface is firm all the way to the crater rim. It takes another 15 minutes to circle the rim, carefully negotiating the jumbled rocks, holes and cracks as you go, to reach the highest point of 2,137 metres the western side of the rim. From here, the views across the surrounding valleys are magnificent. On a clear day you can see all the way to Bajawa and Mount Inerie smoking away in the west and even the smell of sulphur wafting on the breeze won’t deter you from lingering awhile to soak it all in.
Due to travelling time along the Trans Flores Highway from either Ende or Bajawa, it’s best to spend a night between these major centres at the town Boawae, then set out fresh for your climb up Mount Ebulobo the following morning. Approximately 8km west of Boawae turn south towards Molakoli Village which is another 15km’s and 20 minutes from the turnoff. Before setting out on your trek, you need to report to the Molakoli Village chief to request permission and a guide, which at the time of writing, cost Rp200.000 plus a Rp20.000 donation to the village.