With an elevation of 2,350m Ranakah volcano’s lava dome Poco Mandasawu is the tallest mountain on Flores. There’s a second smaller lava dome called Anak Ranakah (child of Rakanah) which formed during an eruption in 1987. The most recent eruption occurred in 1991 but Anak Ranakah has been emitting plumes of white smoke on and off since 2011.
Ranakah once boasted a telecommunications centre and tower, which have long since been abandoned but the good news is that the original access track provides an easy route to the top starting from Robo village, about a 1 hour drive from Ruteng. It takes about 2-3 hours to trek the 9km to the summit or around 45min by scooter as the track is still passable for two-wheelers.
However you reach the top, the 360 degree views from the summit are breathtaking, especially at sunrise, and well worth the effort. Along the way, you’ll also get a birds eye view of Anak Ranakah’s lava dome, which may be smoking if you’re lucky.
The access track is signposted from the main road at Robo village but if you miss it just ask a local to point you to it. Likewise, if you want to ride to the top by scooter, just ask around as the locals are usually happy to oblige for a small payment.