Although world-famous destinations such as Komodo National Park have rightfully put NTT on the global tourism map, it’s the secluded beaches and caves scattered across Sikka regency that have made it a must-visit among vacationers.
Among these beaches is Koka Beach in Wolowiro village, approximately 35 kilometers from Maumere, the capital of the regency. Koka Beach, popular among tourists as a slice of heaven on earth, is not to be mistaken as the average panoramic destination, as it boasts a host of little-known natural attractions waiting to be discovered by curious travelers.
Rodja and Ndate Sare hills, which bookend the western and eastern wings of the beach, make for a particularly memorable view. The hills make the beach seem even more like a miraculous pocket of paradise. At the foot of Rodja hill, thrill-seekers may wish to visit a natural cave, dubbed Lia Wio, during low tide. The cave, which goes on for about 500 meters, is filled with icicle-shaped mineral formations called stalactites.
Neighboring Ndate hill is also home to unique locales. Locals have regarded the hill as a sacred place, which only grants entry to a select few. According to locals, there is a derelict Japanese military bunker from World War II at the foot of the hill.
The beach itself is a sight to behold. Astute vacationers will notice that the curves of the shoreline encircling the beach resemble the number three. The pearl-white sands, coupled with the turquoise-blue waters, make for an unforgettable panorama.
Adventurous souls may be intrigued to venture forth, crossing the beach, to visit a small island dubbed Nusa Koka. The island is said to be chock-full of mythical striped snakes. According to local folklore, the snakes are crew members of a ship that got stranded on the beach decades ago. Therefore, locals never hurt the snakes since they are said to be vessels of human souls.
Sikka Tourism Agency head Kensius Didimus said that in addition to Koka, the regency boasted several other exotic beaches such as Kajuwulu, Waiara and Pangabatan.
“The beaches around here are still largely untouched [by tourists]; they exude natural beauty,” Kensius told The Jakarta Post. He went on to say that the regency had recorded a steady increase in tourist arrivals, both domestic and international, over the years, thanks to the allure of the beaches.