Around a small forested island on the westernmost tip of Indonesia, fish and corals are flourishing and untouched. This island is called Rubiah. It’s located on Sumatra island, several minutes from the inner coast of Weh island’s northern isthmus. Sitting in the gulf of Sabang bay, the water around Rubiah is named as one of the best Sumatra’s special reserve area.
Formerly known as a transit island for pilgrimages, Rubiah now gets a new name, the best underwater paradise on Sumatra. With its crystal clear water and superb coral scape, Rubiah tempts snorkelers and scuba divers to spend one day there or two. You can even find the colorful coral only by diving at the depth of 3 meters beyond the shore. Enjoy dramatic landscape ranging from wall, deep canyon to rock pinnacles as you drift down to the sandy bottom. You have plenty to see down there including turtles, manta ray, lionfish, tigerfish and even occasional sharks.
You can start snorkeling everywhere along the coast, but if you want to go diving, the best view is on the northern part. Keep diving to the north as you find a rocky slope and be charmed with a field full of white gorgonians which forms a magnificent underwater savannah at 18 meters. Here, occasional shark and giant reef rays are sure sightings among hordes of fusiliers, trevallies, snappers, and even the vibrant butterfly fishes. The deeper you get, the scenery changes into massive boulders with red and orange sea fans as the blanket.
If you fancy something more relaxing, you can go on a glass bottom boat and cruise around Rubiah island. This gives you two advantages – you can witness the underwater beauty while enjoying the ocean breeze. There is hidden beach on the south part of the island. It’s sort of a small bay with short coastline which is perfect for relaxing swimming as it boasts clear and shallow water.
The island is accessible from a port at Iboih beach, one of the most popular beaches on the island of Weh. If you are a strong swimmer it is possible to make your own way there. Watch out for strong currents, however, especially at the southern part of the island. There is no hotel to stay in on the island. So, for those who plan to spend several days there, you can find accommodation at Iboih beach. From your inn at the beach, some other pristine beaches are within reach. Iboih itself offers beautiful shore but for the best beaches on Weh island, you better head for Sumur Tiga beach near Sabang town and Long Beach, a little way north of Iboih.