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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Horse Riding

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.

Pasola Festival

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.

Stone Megaliths

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.

Traditional Village

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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