Best-known for white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and world-class surfing, Sumba is one of the least-visited islands in all of Indonesia. Unlike the other islands in Indonesia, Sumba is not volcanic, and the locals here breed horses - a unique custom rare in Southeast Asia. Legend tells of a stash of gold hidden by the Imperial Japanese Army on the island during World War II, though it has yet to be found.
Because of the equestrian tradition of the local people, many of Sumba's activities and attractions center around horses, from the dynamic Pasola festival, where tribesmen conduct bloody, mock battles from horseback, to horse riding along the beaches and jungle paths of the island.
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Because of Sumba’s unique terrain and long equestrian traditions, horseback riding is an excellent way to see the island. From Nihiwatu Resort, one can take a ride along the beach and continue along jungle paths that meander through local villages.
Sometime between February and March of each year, Sumba hosts the exciting Pasola festival, a series of contests that originated as rituals to please the spirits of the harvest. The festivities include boxing matches, where contestants bind their hands in grass, and a battle between mounted horsemen, who use blunt spears. Because of the sheer scale of Pasola, blood and injuries are common, and deaths sometimes occur.
Visit a series of intriguing stone megaliths used in local burial practices; these monoliths are of varying age, with the most recent of them constructed in 1926. Many of these tombs are adorned with carvings of local chiefs and their families, as well as that of local animals, including horses, buffalo and cockerels.
Sumba is known for some of the best surfing in the world. There are small waves suited for novices, as well as excellent point breaks along the white sandy beaches.
Visit a traditional Sumba village and learn about their cultural practices and crafts, among them ikat weaving, traditional methods of construction, wedding customs, and funeral rites. Ikat is particularly interesting; a regional style of weaving, ikat is so elaborate that some pieces may take up to two years to complete. Visitors may commission an ikat design, which can be sent to them once completed.
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Cruising & Diving
Discovering Mysterious Sumba
Travel Indonesia’s mystical Sumba island on this thrilling 10-day luxury journey. Trek through the area’s lush natural surroundings, far off the tourist path. You’ll interact with locals in their small villages, marvel at iconic ancient tombs, and relax at the five-star Nihiwatu Resort on a white-sand beach.
- 10 days / 9 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $10,100
Gili, Satonda, Komodo: Island-Hopping in Indonesia
Hop from exotic island to exotic island on this breathtaking 11-day luxury cruise that will take you to some of Indonesia’s most beautiful islands. Spend time in the popular and scenic Gili islands, hike to a crater lake, and search the island of Komodo for its eponymous dragons - all part of your exciting adventure.
- 11 days / 10 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $19,900
Alamayah Boutique Retreat
Nihi Sumba (formerly Nihiwatu), 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, Nihi Sumba 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 Nihi Sumba 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. Nihi Sumba is made up of 12 estates, which are divided into one and multi-bedroom villas, all offering a different experience of the 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 (though you're more likely to use your private pool), and on the beach below is Nihi Sumba'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.
Indonesia Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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Peter & Bryna, New Jersey
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