About Sumba

East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is, in many ways, different from the rest of Indonesia. NTT includes 566 islands, of which only 42 are inhabited, and the bulk of the population live on the three main islands of Timor, Flores and Sumba. It is geographically, ethnically and culturally a border area where the transition from Asia to Australia and Micronesia takes places. Islands have been formed by the protruding peaks of a mountain chain that begins in northern Sumatra, stretching eastwards across Java and Kalimantan, until the peaks are separated by the deeper waters of East Nusa Tenggara. These deep offshore trenches and inter-island channels allow plenty of swell to hit the southwest-facing coast of Sumba, where waves of consequence get thrown onto the reefs of dead coral, volcanic rock and boulders. Sumba is not for everyone; the food and accommodation are basic in this 4th poorest province in the archipelago and the mixed ethnic population speak 3 different languages, none of which are Bahasa Indonesian. But for those willing to make some sacrifices, there's an authentic, ancient culture that worships spirits, with none of the layers of Hinduism or Islam found elsewhere in the country. Huge megalithic tombs and traditional thatched and peaked huts raised on stilts dot the landscape, while in the line-up, intrepid travellers are now sampling the oceanic power of this ancient island.


  • Consistent groundswells

  • Many empty top-class spots

  • Some quality resorts

  • Tribal culture

  • Cheap living costs


  • Wild & windy sometimes

  • Isolated, unpredictable spots

  • Lack of beach lodging choices

  • Expensive travel and surf camp

  • Malaria

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