Liang Bua, aka The Hobbit Cave, is a limestone cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia, slightly north of Ruteng. The cave was the site of the 2003 discovery of a potentially new species of Homo genus, known as Homo floresiensis.
This is the only site where these remains have been identified, and it’s a significant debate as to whether the diminutive skeleton truly belongs to a different species, or is simply a pygmy version of Homo sapien, or some other one-off explanation.
Until more evidence is found, the claims remain inconclusive. Despite the lack of real hobbits, it’s a fun place to spend an afternoon.
The day we went to the Hobbit Cave, it was raining. By the time we were leaving, it wasn’t just a little bit of rain, but an Indonesian deluge. We were highly impressed with our driver’s skill at handling the twisty, muddy roads as we departed. Flores was beautiful and the rain didn’t diminish our enjoyment. Though it was probably wise that we left when we did.
As you can see in the video, we had a lot of fun with our guide and driver. This was one of the first limestone caves we visited and I loved the gnarly rock formations. We had no idea this kernel of experience in Indonesia would be the start of my love affair with limestone caves. Not that I’m going spelunking, or anything, at least not yet. But as Tim will testify, I dragged him to plenty of limestone caves throughout Thailand; many had temples inside of them, some did not.
We can absolutely recommend this as a stop on your tour of Flores Island in Indonesia. It’s not a huge must-see, but the setting, the museum and the cave itself are interesting and worth your time if you’re in the area.
While we were on Flores, we also visited Bena Village and Todo Village and we have videos covering those portions of the trip (click on the links to watch). But there’s a lot that didn’t happen at these particular places. This video covers the coolest stuff that happened in-between. As with any road trip, the journey is at least as important as the destination.