Even the most casual observer can’t help but notice Mount Inerie. With its almost perfect conical shape, looming almost irreverently over Bajawa and the villages nestled in its shadow, Inerie demands attention.
Bagging the 2,245m high Mount Inerie peak would undoubtedly be one the highlights of your Flores adventure but it’s not a trek to be undertaken lightly. It is steep, at times strenuous and requires a reasonable level of fitness but there’s no need to rush. Most climbers complete the return trek comfortably in around 6-8 hours, often starting in the early hours of the morning and completing the ascent in the darkness in order to catch sunrise at the top. With or without sunrise, the views from the summit are sublime. On a clear day you can even see Sumba Island far off to the south.
The Inerie summit trek begins at an elevation of 900m from Watumeze village, just 15km from Bajawa. It starts over easy, flat grasslands, taking around 30min to reach a steep set of switchbacks climbing up the volcano’s grassy flanks. After an hour of monotonous zigzagging, “halfway rock” signals a change in the terrain. The ground underfoot becomes rockier, sometimes slippery and increasingly uneven as the trail crosses the hardened volcanic rock. It’s tempting but ill advised to take your eyes off the trail to admire the views until the trail flattens briefly as you reach the crater rim, offering a brief respite before the final push to the highest point on the northern side of the crater.
If you’d like to climb Mount Inerie it’s best to set off first thing in the morning as Inerie’s peak often becomes shrouded in mist later in the day. It’s also advisable use a local guide who knows the trail and understands the local weather conditions. Your hotel or guesthouse in Bajawa should be able to help you organise one or contact the Ngada Local Guide Association on +62 384 222 3633 about this and other hikes in the area.