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Hidden Gem in The Land of Sumba

With its rugged undulating savannah's and low limestone hills knitted together with fields of maize and cassava instead of rice, the island of Sumba in East Nusa Tenggara Province offers its own distinct splendors in the eastern part of the Indonesian Archipelago.

Located between the islands of Komodo and Sumbawa, and directly facing the Indian Ocean the island is also a surfers' paradise. The large rolling Sumba barrels usually appear between May through October when waves can be either very high and strong or very flat as breaks are directly exposed to wide open ocean swells. This kind of powerful surf, however, though very challenging, should only be ventured by professionals. Nonetheless, throughout the year, swells rise from 3 to 6 feet.


Sumba Horse

Horse has historical ties with the people of Sumba. Horses have been part of life in the most southern island of Indonesia since the mid of 18th Century, far before the Dutch brought cattles to the island and assigned Sumba as cattle breeding center in 1914.

Moreover, horses are a cultural identity in Sumba that has existed for a long time. Generally, Sumbanese people prefer raising sandalwood pony which named after the Sandalwood trees as a major export of the island. The sandalwood pony is one of the finest in the island of Sumba, partly due to the great amount of Arabian blood. Over 100 years ago, British traders designed a special ship and sent it to Sumba for transporting the horses.

To the people of Sumba, their life is really inseparable from those horses. Horses are used for many purposes; as the most important dowry in wedding rituals, as offerings during funeral ceremonies. Horses also represent the social status of each family.

No wonder, almost every family in Sumba has at least one horse. In the past, even there were families that owned more than two horses. There’s a prevailing belief on the island that someone will only obtain recognition from society if he owns many horses.


Nihiwatu Beach

Sumba Nihiwatu Beach which is ranked 17th for the most beautiful beaches in the world, is also known for the best place to enjoy sunset in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara. The sunset view is very charming and even better with clear sea water and sandy beach. Nihiwatu Beach even managed to beat the beauty of the famous panorama in Hawaii, Hanalei Bay.

This beach does have a quiet and comfortable atmosphere so it is suitable for those who want to be alone and enjoy the atmosphere of the beach. This is because the location of Nihiwatu Beach is far from the hustle of the city and has not been touched by industries in Indonesia.

Mbawana Beach

A hidden gem with its sunset beauty is difficult to match. Mbawana Beach is unique because of the high cliffs that surround the beach. In one corner of the beach, you will find a rock with a semicircular hole formed naturally.

Sumba Ikat Weaving

Is one of cultural wealth owned by East Nusa Tenggara Province. Ikat weaving is an exotic fabric created by weaving artists from East Sumba. It is not a cloth that can be created by just anyone because it needs a complex and lengthy process to produce a large piece of ikat woven fabric and the whole process of collecting materials and making ikat weaving are done manually. Weaving artist usually work on a piece of woven fabric for 2 to 3 month and can be 5 months if the size is large. It is a long process because they have to look for raw materials and coloring materials in the forest. All Sumba ikat fabrics are made entirely from plants, including the coloring too. Every piece of Sumba woven cloth that is ready to use has passed 42 stages of work process and can not be done alone.

How to get there?

Sumba is connected by air via the Tambolaka Airport in Southwest Sumba Regency and Umbu Mehang Kunda airport in Waingapu Town, East Sumba Regency. Most flights to the island depart from Bali, so if you are in another city make sure to get to Bali first or get a connecting flight.


Source:,,, unsplash

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