SUMBA

  1. Description
  2. Tours
  3. Map

Sumba is one of the quieter islands of Indonesia, hence, fewer visitors. Historically, this island was known as Sandalwood Island (although the sandalwood forests have long since been depleted). Here you can see stone megalith burial sites; observe the spring Pasolas Ceremony (jostling battles), visit traditional villages (such as Waingapu and Waikabubak) or surf some of the best beaches in Indonesia. There is much to discover in Sumba: lots of culture, traditional lifestyle, friendly and hospitable people, bizarre landscapes, untouched nature, and many beautiful beaches. Bird watchers find this Island fascinating, having four vulnerable bird species known to the area: the secretive Sumba boobook owl, Sumba hornbill, Sumba buttonquail and the red-naped fruit dove. There is a chance to even see a Sumba green pigeon, Sumba flycatcher, or apricot-breasted sunbird; more common local birds. Saltwater crocodiles can still be found in some areas. Roads and trails meander through cassava, teak, banana, and even cashew plantations; where it is common to view birds, monkeys, and brilliant butterflies. Consider it a must stopover to see Waitabula, the Island’s "capital" and main trading centre; having the largest and permanent market on Sumba.

Tarimbay Bay is a surfer’s paradise with 2 to 3 meters tall waves; numerous other surfing venues, such as Watu Mandorak Cove, can be discovered, completely hidden behind rocky mountains and cliffs of Sumba. Capacious white sandy beaches, and myriads of waterfalls with turquoise pools, sprinkle this tropical island. Hilltop villages are scattered throughout the countryside, with thatched clan houses clustered around huge megalithic tombs and burial grounds. Here, villagers still pay respect to their indigenous marapu religion, with animal sacrifice. Consider purchasing a locally made and naturally dyed “ikat” garment (an age old dyeing technique to pattern textiles). Also plan to attend the annual “Pasola Festival”, where several hundred bareback horse-riders fight with spears to ritualize old tribal conflicts; engaging one another with hand-carved but blunt spears, often drawing blood. Before the Pasola can begin, priests in full ceremonial dress must first wade into the ocean to examine the nyale worms at dawn (usually found on the eighth or ninth day after a full moon). Understandably, it’s easy to see that the desire to be part of Sumba can run deep.

Komodo Travel offers custom guided tours in Sumba