Sumba, probably become the most exotic island in the country. This island is really rich with its nature and culture.
How to get there?
Depends on which side of Sumba island you want to explore. There is no direct flight to Sumba from Jakarta. From Jakarta, you have to transit in Bali then you can continue fly to Tambolaka airport in West Sumba or Waingapu airport in East Sumba. I took flight to Tambolaka airport because i did the road trip from West Sumba to East Sumba and took flight back to Jakarta from Waingapu airport. I think that’s the best option if you have extra time to explore the island. The flight ticket price was 2.8 million rupiah (202 usd) each by Lion Air or you can pay 4 million rupiah (288 usd) by Garuda.
The best way to go around Sumba is renting a car with the driver. because you don’t have to get lost to find some places since mostly the roads in Sumba is not a proper asphalt road. since i fly to Tambolaka in West Sumba, i took a night stay in Oro Beach Resort. This resort is only 15 minutes drive from the airport. Greeted by the owner’s wife from Flores, we had a nice stay there. With private beach and no one is around, only with 600 thousand rupiah per night, and located on the north of Tambolaka town, it’s quite easy to drive around to some must visited places such as Pero beach to see the sunset, Kodi beach, Waikabubak village to see the nice traditional houses and to buy some clothe with west sumbanese motif, Weekuri lake- the saltwater lake (come in the morning so you can swim in the lake while high tide), Ratenggaro village to see the megalithic tomb stones.
At the second day, we stay at Sumba Nautil Resort in south west Sumba, close to the famous Nihiwatu resort. This resort close to Marosi beach and the big yard use for Pasola (Pasola is a game played by the Western Sumbanese to celebrate the rice planting season. The game is played by throwing wooden spears to the opponent while riding a horse. The game is played by two different groups of men from different clans or tribes. It is a game that requires a high skill at horse riding andspear throwing skill), and also with 1 hour driving and 15 minutes trekking, you can go to Lapopu waterfall, the most beautiful waterfall i ever seen.
From Lapopu waterfall, we continue our journey to Tarimbang beach and stay at Marthen homestay. Tarimbang beach is a remote beach but has beautiful view with long coast line and big waves, surfer’s favourite beach. It took 5-6 hours to go from Lapopu to Tarimbang beach. Electricity only on from 5-11 pm. There’s no air conditioner or fan there, but the night was cold.
From Tarimbang, it took 5 hours driving to go to East Sumba. Make sure you stop at Warinding hills, because the scenery is beautiful. We stay at Puri Cemara Hotel, at Puru Kambera area, where you can have beach view from your room and you can do trekking at the savanna at the other side of the hotel.
On the 5th and 6th night, i stayed at the hotel in Waingapu. On the 5th day i went to Pantai Cemara and Walakiri beach for sunset. this beach is famous of its mangrove trees, and usually low tide during sunset. Be careful when you walk on the sand because there are hundreds or probably thousand of small sandy starfish. Make sure you don’t step on them.
On the 6th day, my local friends took me to Walakiri beach in the afternoon (and it was high tide and looks so beautiful) and watched the sunset at Watu Parunu beach. What makes Watu Parunu beach unique is because it has a huge rock cliff from thousand years ago. Very beautiful.
And the next day before i took my flight, my friends took me to Puru Kambera beach and a village there, and the hill next to the airport where you can see many small caves where people used to hide during a war with Japanese.
The car rent standard price is 600 thousand rupiah in East Sumba or West Sumba area. Note that if you rent a car from East Sumba and do road trip to West Sumba, they will charge you more than a normal price
When visiting Ratenggaro village or any village, usually some local people and kids will offer you anything they can sell to you and they will keep offering until you give up to buy or until you leave the place.
The motifs on the clothe in West Sumba is different from East Sumba. If you love to buy some traditional clothe, East Sumba’s motif is more variatif than West Sumba. Make sure you bargain when you buy, but not too low, because everything they made is hand made and the process takes long time and not easy as it seems. We have to appreciate what they do.
During dry seasons, all the hills and trees are very dry and the colors are yellow-brown, and during rainy seasons (start january/february), everything looks green. So depends on what kind of scenery you want to see.