A popular attraction for visitors to Labuan Bajo on the Indonesian island of Flores, Batu Cermin (Mirror Rock) Cave takes its name from the light that shines through a small gap in the rock and bounces off its silica walls. Though it has some interesting marine fossils, stalactites, stalagmites, and bats, it’s the light effects that make this small cave special.
There is a small fee for visiting Batu Cermin Cave, and for an additional small cost, independent travelers can hire a local guide (with flashlight) on-site. Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo National Park, and some Komodo-based park tours stop at Batu Cermin Cave. Tour the cave with an expert guide to ensure that you get the timing right to experience the natural light show, which only happens at specific times of day.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Timing is essential at Batu Cermin Cave. If you visit at the wrong time of day, you’ll miss out on the full experience.
- There are no facilities on-site, so bring water (and snacks if you need them).
- If you’re not on a tour or planning to hire a local guide, bring a flashlight.
- The rocky terrain and ladder walkway on the approach to Batu Cermin Cave mean it is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Just 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) outside Labuan Bajo, Batu Cermin Cave makes for a pleasant walk. If you’re driving, turn left at the Wae Mata lights towards the police station; after the minimart, follow the junction with a sign for Jalan Batu Cermin. Virtually all tours that stop at Batu Cermin Cave include round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
The light effects that gave Mirror Rock its name and dazzle on Instagram happen only at very specific times, when rays of the sun shine through a natural hole and dance around the cave. To see them, you need to be at the cave on a clear day between roughly 9am and 10am, depending on the time of year.
The Caves of Flores
The island of Flores is riddled with limestone caves, some of which host impressive finds. The pristine sea cavern Rangko Cave, near Labuan Bajo, is a popular, out-of-the-way swimming hole. At Liang Bua Cave, near Ruteng, the remains of a group of miniature prehumans were discovered in the early 2000s. Named Homo floresiensis, they are known informally as Flores hobbits.