ECO-SEA: The Ethnobotanical Conservation Organization for South East Asia

Traditional Manggarai Village Culture
with the Tado Community

Our Program

To experience authentic Flores Island life and culture, we invite you to visit Tado. We can open your eyes and heart to a part of Manggarai that few tourists ever experience.

We invite you to share traditional foods, handicrafts, songs, stories, rituals, and games: all part of a unique program to actively conserve our culture and ancestral lands.

We have prepared a series of traditional ecotourism activities linking our cultural diversity (indigenous knowledge & practices) with our biological diversity (native wild and cultivated flora & fauna).

By participating in these ecotourism activities, you are actively supporting biocultural diversity conservation within the Tado Community!

You are also providing much-needed supplementary income to our community members.




Ecotourism Activities
  1. Pandan mat weaving
  2. Traditional medicines
  3. Making an old-style seed-oil lamp
  4. Traditional coconut husk dishes
  5. Cooking traditional foods
  6. Making rope out of sugar palm fibers
  7. Ancestral rice culture
  8. Edible insects
  9. Making a woven bamboo basket
  10. Carving traditional child’s toys
Special-Request Tours


As part of our ongoing cultural conservation program, as part of this tour we will share ancestral songs, stories and dances that have been handed down over the generations. Locally renowned Caci dancers will teach you the rituals, legends, mysteries, and music associated with the famous Manggarai Caci dance. As a special treat, you will also be invited to witness the centuries-old practice of palm wine extraction and given a chance to taste locally-produced tuak.


Historically, trips from Tado to Labuan Bajo took a day and a night on foot, along dense forest trails (if we were hauling a water buffalo, the time doubled!). In this trek, we will re-create some of the ethnobiological practices used in earlier times to obtain food, water, and herbal medicines from wild plants, and to make fire. A special “take-away-along-the-trail” lunch of traditional foods and packaging will be provided.


In this tour, we invite you to get your hands dirty and play! We will teach you how to craft traditional games, old-style clay pottery, and lovely multicolored weavings using traditional looms. An unforgettable experience, including one-of-a-kind, hand-made souvenirs!

Fees (and where the money goes)

We have carefully kept visitors’ and tour fees at a reasonable price that still allows these activities to be sustainable. 60% of your fees are equitably shared amongst your hosts and guides; 40% of the fees are divided between the Tado Community Research and Education Center (P3MT) and a general community development fund that supports local initiatives in healthcare, education, and sanitation.

If you would like to make an additional donation, please ask your hosts for a donation form. We are doing our best to ensure a fair division of benefits from our ecotourism activities, thus we strongly discourage gifts made to individuals, including tips or material goods.

To keep things simple, we ask tourists to pay a one-time visitation fee of Rp 50,000. This amount entitles you to participate in four ecotourism activities (from the list above) of your choosing. Please indicate your choices to a Tado Ecotourism Facilitator immediately upon arrival, so that we can inform the responsible host families.

** If you would like to participate in more than four ecotourism activities, we ask that you contribute an additional Rp 10,000 per activity.

Special-Request Tours

These tours require advance notice of 1-2 days, All special-request tours last 3-4 hours, and include drinks, snacks, and a home-cooked meal. Special-request tours cost Rp 100,000/pax.


Visitor's Code of Conduct

We have established this Code of Conduct to help visitors to the Tado community to respect and conserve our culture.

We ask you, and your guides, to take this Code very seriously.

We ask our visitors to dress conservatively: in Indonesia, this means no short pants or skirts, and no sleeveless, transparent, or low-cut tops.

Please do not hand out sweets, money, or toys to our children. This encourages them to beg, and makes it hard for us to maintain discipline.

If you would like to take a photo of people, or of personal property, please ask permission first. Of course, we would be thrilled if you made the effort to send us copies of the photos you have taken!

We ask that you do not wander around our village or our lands unaccompanied. Our community members are happy to escort you during your visit: please ask your hosts for help with this.

Help us keep our village and traditional lands clean. Please place your waste in appropriate containers; and do not dispose of toxic chemicals in our water systems. Please take used batteries home with you, as we do not have a safe way to dispose of them.

Please do not harm or destroy cultural artifacts, local facilities, or our flora & fauna. If you would like to collect local handicrafts, or wild or cultivated plants to bring home with you, please ask permission from a local elder or your hosts first.

We ask our visitors to behave with discretion: please refrain from public displays of affection, and use enclosed facilities for your toilet and bathing.

We ask that our overnight visitors respect our local moral codes: women and men sleep separately, unless they are formally partnered.



To learn more about the Tado Cultural Ecology Conservation Program (TCECP), or Community-Based Ecotourism, you can contact one of our associates:

ECO-SEA Indonesian Branch Office
TEL: +62 (0) 81 224 855 75

Indonesian Ecotourism Network (INDECON)
TEL: +62 (0)21 9827 2744

Pusat Penelitian dan Pendidikan Masyarakat Tado
Desa Nampar Macing & Desa Golo Leleng
Kec.Sano Nggoang, Kab. Manggarai Barat (P3MT)
Kotak Pos 3
Labuan Bajo, 86554 NTT