A Time Forgotten Island


Sumba is located in the east portion of Lesser Sunda Islands which forms East Nusa Tenggara province along with Flores and Sumbawa. The size of Sumba is twice the size of Bali island but the population is considerably small. At the 2010 census, there are only 656, 259 people inhabiting the island who mostly claim to be Protestants. They, however, still pay homage to their indigenous Merapu belief meaning they also believe in spiritual forces.



Pasola Rider Throwing His Spear by Ulet Ifansasti


The island is undoubtedly the best kept secret within Nusa Tenggara province. As the land of Merapu belief, thrilling traditional rituals can be easily encountered throughout Sumba. Wedding ceremony and funeral ceremony are all unique, but the most distinctive one is Pasola. The ritual which aims at fertilizing the upcoming crop seems seriously violent. During the ritual, two groups of people from mountain and the coast are engaged in spear war while riding horses. They won’t stop except there is blood on the arena.



“Sumba’s landscape contrasts sharply with that of Indonesia which is generally dominated by volcanoes and lush forests. Instead, it bears more resemblance to that of the mainland Africa which is mainly covered by savanna and limestone hills.”



Behind its dry land and scorching weather, Sumba surprisingly boasts countless hidden natural beauties. Exploring this island, you will be fascinated by untouched white sandy beaches and savanna with cattle (especially buffaloes and Sandalwood horses) grazing freely. Visit the countryside and you’ll find megalithic traditional villages everywhere.


Here are the most recommended places of interest in Sumba you must explore:

East Sumba

“Possessing two big ports, East Sumba becomes the main gate to Sumba.”



On your first day in east Sumba, you better visit Praiyawang village to discover Indonesia’s most ancient megalithic artifact. As you drive closer to the village, you can already see from afar a group of traditional houses with high-thatched roofs. Wander around the village and discover numerous unique giant megalithic tombs weighing more than 10 tons built in the front yard of every house. If you are lucky, you can watch and even take part in traditional dances being carried out prior to customary rites.


Megalithic Tomb

Megalithic Tombs in Praiyawang Village


Adventurous travelers are suggested to come to Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park in the southern part of east Sumba. Home to many exotic endemic birds including Julang Sumba (Sumba hornbill), Sumba Bookbook Owl and Red-naped Fruit-dove this park offers you a rare bird-watching experience. Having tired of trekking across the park, taking a dip in waterfalls within the area will be so refreshing.


Exploring beaches along the coast of East Sumba is an important agenda during your overland trip in this region. Those looking for comfortable beach to practice surfing, Kalala beach in Melolo district must be your first stop. The beach is very quiet and features not-so-high waves. Thus, you can freely and safely practice your surfing skill there. Watching local people catch fish around the beach is very interesting as they still use spears to do so instead of net or fishing sticks.


Puru Kambera

Shining Shore of Puru Kambera Beach by Patty Patricia


Further to the northwest, you’ll find Puru Kambera beach. The tranquility offered by these two beaches will make you feel like relaxing on private beaches. You can wrap up your beach exploration in east Sumba in Walakiri beach which is beautifully lined by a group of coconut trees. We suggest you to stay on Walakiri till afternoon as this beach boasts stunning sunset.

West Sumba

“West Sumba is the best destination for curious tourists hoping to see Sumbanese’s legendary tradition, Pasola.”



We suggest you to visit west Sumba on February or March if you dream of watching Pasola which is regularly held in Walakaka district. You better arrive in Sumba ten days before the ceremony is held in hope of watching the preceding ritual called Nyale or iridescent seaworm catching festival.



Towering Roofs of Houses in Ratenggaro Village


While waiting for the day of Pasola, you better take several days to explore West Sumba’s popular traditional villages. Start your trip in Ratenggaro village where you’ll find traditional houses with uncommon 15-meter high thatched-roof. The village looks more mystical as it is surrounded by hundreds of giant megalithic tombs.



“After days of tiring adventure, treat yourselves to magnificent panorama in one of ten best beaches in Asia, Nihiwatu beach.”



Continue your tour to Tanjung village to discover distinctive megalithic burials decorated with corpses of sacred animals like buffalo horns and hog tusks. Matakaheri village may feature the most majestic megalithic site in Sumba as the place is home to 70 ton-stone grave of Anakalang King which needed three year-long process of making.


After days of tiring adventure, treat yourselves to magnificent panorama in one of ten best beaches in Asia, Nihiwatu beach. This 2.5 meter-long white sandy beach will be undoubtedly new chief destination for surfing lovers worldwide as the wave on this beach is one of fastest waves in the world.



Paradise in Nihiwatu Beach by CNT


Several other beaches are no less beautiful than Nihiwatu. Mandorok beach, for instance, offers you different panorama. Surrounded by steep rock, the beach will fascinate you with exotic view of cliff being washed by thunderous waves. Mamboro and Pero are other not-to-miss beaches in west Sumba. Mamboro will make you in awe due to its scenic view with vast savannah on the backdrop. On Pero beach, meanwhile, you will find many fishing boats moored on the turquoise beach.


West Sumba also owns a wonderful lake named Weekuri. The lake is actually a lagoon located in north Kodi district. Take a time to swim in this shallow lake and feel yourselves the freshness of its clear green water.


The above article covers only the highlights of Sumba tour. Find out more about Sumba tourism on and book your trip today.

Pasola Festival

Pasola is a thrilling spear war tradition to welcome the new planting season. It requires blood sacrifice that is believe to be able to fertilize the soil.

What is Pasola Festival

Nihiwatu Beach

Nihiwatu is already well-known among tourists especially from Europe. Boasting extensive clean shoreline and one of fastest wave in Asia, this beach evokes an imagination of paradise.

What is Nihiwatu Beach

Weekuri Lake

Weekuri is like a lagoon that the water comes from the sea. This lake is just like a pool with a bigger space and clearer water.

What is Weekuri Lake

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      East Java, Indonesia

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