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Discovering Mysterious Sumba

Spend ten days reveling in the simple pleasures of life as you explore and learn about the beautiful traditions and cultures of the mysterious Indonesian island of Sumba, with our fun and adventure-filled Discovering Mysterious Sumba itinerary. There’s plenty of beach and nature time on this lush untrodden island. See rare traditions as you meander through small villages and chat with the locals. Of course, there will be ample time to spend relaxing on some of the best beaches this part of the world has to offer

Highlights
  • See the exotic form of burial in ancient, megalithic tombs
  • Learn how the colorful and intricate ikat cloth is created
  • Visit traditional Sumbanese villages and learn about their well-preserved way of life first-hand from locals
  • Relax at the exclusive Nihiwatu Resort
Day by Day Itinerary

View Mysterious Sumba in a larger map
Day 1
Waingapu

Arrive in Waingapu, Sumba’s largest town, and check into the hotel of your choice. We recommend the Elvin Hotel, the top-rated hotel in town. That afternoon, you’ll get to know your exotic surroundings as you are driven to the picturesque Prainatang Valley. Take a short 15-minute climb to Prailang. Wander through an old hilltop village composed of ten small huts and imagine ancient lifestyles in simpler times. Finish the day with an evening stroll in the quaint harbor area before retiring for the day.

Day 2
Rende

Travel to East Sumba and see the intricate ikat cloth designs, considered to be the most beautiful in Sumbanese weaving. Visit a small village and learn how locals make the stunning cloth. This is a highly-skilled process involving preparing the cotton, spinning it into thread, tying the design into thread, dyeing, and finishing the final weaving on backstrap looms. Later that day, follow the coast from the Savu Sea to Rende. Rende is an ancient village some 3 hours from Waingapu with grand traditional houses and massive megalithic tombstones. Along the way, stop for lunch and take a stroll on the beach at either Kamber or Londalima’s beachfront.

Day 3
Anakalang to Nihiwatu

Begin the day bright and early to travel to the uncharted, wild west of Sumba. Stop by the Waingapu morning market and stock up on authentic Sumbanese bites and souvenirs before setting off. Next, marvel at the iconic tombs dating all the way back to the Stone Age in Anakalang. This is one of the few locations in the world where you can see the megaliths still being built and used to honor the deceased today as it has been for centuries. Visit the small village of Kampung Pasanga and see the impressive vertical tombstone containing the remains of a past Chief and his wife. Finally, you will reach the island getaway of Nihiwatu Resort. With just seven bungalows and three villas on one of the three best beaches on earth (according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine), Nihiwatu is Sumba’s best hotel and it boasts privacy and comfort as well as world-class diving, snorkeling, fishing and surfing.

Day 4
Nihiwatu

After breakfast, consider going for a drive around the island, stopping at points of interest. Pay a visit to a local village and market and talk with the residents to get an idea of how life works in this remote region. For the remainder of the day, relax on the beach or treat yourself to the spa.

Day 5
Nihiwatu

The trip concludes here by journeying to Denpasar and returning home. Alternatively, you may also choose to extend your stay on Sumba at the 5-star Nihiwatu Resort, and continue exploring the island’s ancient way of life and natural beauty.

Day 6
Nihiwatu

Spend your day today relaxing in paradise. Lounge on the beach, swim in the sea, and lounge by the pool all day. Work on a golden tan to take back home as a token of your retreat to paradise.

Day 7
Nihiwatu

Rise early this morning for a full day of outdoor adventure. After breakfast, set out to the sea for a day in the water. Go diving or snorkeling on some of the island's reefs. This part of the world is renowned for it's underwater biodiversity. Afterwards, relax a bit more on the beach and then enjoy a sunset dinner.

Day 8
Nihiwatu

Spend the morning at your own leisure at the resort. After lunch, set out for a horseback riding and trekking excursion. Explore the lush area on the island around the resort and seek out secluded beaches. Afterwards, go for a sunset stroll along the shore before dinner.

Day 9
Nihiwatu

Depending on the conditions and time of year, go with a guide to see turtle hatchlings crawl from their nests on the beach and return to the sea. Consider going for a boat trip to see the island from a different perspective. Enjoy a final sunset dinner on the island this evening.

Day 10
Departure

Spend the morning at your own leisure, but be sure to get some final beach time in before checking out of the resort. You will be transferred to the airport for your departing flight this afternoon. 

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
WAINGAPU
Elvin Hotel

Elvin Hotel


If you’re traveling off the beaten path in the lush natural ambiance of Waingapu, Sumba, there’s no better place to rest your head than the Elvin Hotel. Tucked away from the busy road, the Elvin Hotel is a quiet Indonesian getaway. With cobalt-blue tiled, domed roofs, the hotel is built with true Asian island architecture style, but not lacking in any modern day conveniences. Enjoy a light complimentary breakfast delivered to your doorstep every morning. The hotel has been recently renovated and is always spotless and well-maintained. Enjoy a workout in the recently-added gym. While there is no on-site restaurant, there’s a cafe and one of the island’s few bakeries just a short stroll away. The hotel is a short drive from the Waingapu airport.


 
 
SUMBA
Nihiwatu Resort

Nihiwatu Resort

Nihiwatu Resort, a small and exclusive island hideaway in eastern Indonesia, sits on 175 hectares of tropical forest, rice terraces and grasslands, and features 1.6 miles of headland-protected beachfront. Due to its location, Nihiwatu offers adventure sports such as world class fishing, surfing and diving, yet is an idyllic getaway for couples and anyone in need of rest and relaxation in pristine environs. Surrounding Nihiwatu are Stone Age sites and traditional villages that have remained unchanged for centuries; this unique tribal culture with its ancient animist rituals is truly incredible. Nihiwatu has seven luxury bungalows and three two-bedroom villas, offering complete solitude on remote Sumba Island. The thatched-roof bungalows and villas, hand-built by Indonesian craftsman using local materials, have balcony vistas stretching the full length of the beach to the headlands beyond. All are superbly outfitted in contemporary Indonesian style with large glass walls and doors to maximize the views. A swimming pool, cliff-top bar and living and dining room are close by the villas, and on the beach below is Nihiwatu’s jungle spa under a grove of Pandanus trees. Dining menus change daily and feature Asian and Western fare, and there is an extensive wine list with Old and New World bottles to suit any palate. The largest Sumbanese structure on the island is where private and group yoga, pilates and meditation instruction are available. Nihiwatu is a 50-minute flight from Bali.

 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Our Blog
Our co-founder Jay Tindall travels regularly to Indonesia. As well as relaxing in beautiful Bali, he loves visiting more remote areas such as Torajaland, Sumba & Kalimantan.
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