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  • Coastline Powder sands and swirling seas
  • Coast Life Surfing and spiritualism

‘Undiscovered tropical idyll’ barely does it justice – with perfect beaches, swirling cerulean surf and lush tropical forests, the island of Sumba, almost untouched by tourism, is somewhere you’ll want to keep to yourself…

Even within the rest of Indonesia, the mention of Sumba tends to elicit blank looks. A couple of hours’ flight southeast of Bali, the island is little known and little visited compared to its more well-trodden neighbours on the archipelago, attracting mainly hardcore surfers who’ve heard rumours of its legendary breaks. Beyond the pristine untouched beaches and rideable waves, however, Sumba is full of unexpected joys. Its richly spiritual tribal culture dates back millennia, still preserving its ancient religion and megalithic burial tradition. The island’s forests brim with birdlife and its seas swarm with tropical fish, making it the ideal destination for nature lovers and scuba-junkies, but it’s the unspoilt tranquillity, the stunning scenery and the escapist air of romance that makes Sumba such a perfect pocket of paradise.

Do go/Don’t go

Although drier than many other areas of Indonesia, Sumba has a rainy season between January and March that is best avoided; April is the ideal time to visit.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes An hour’s flight east of Bali, Sumba has two airports – Tambolaka and Waingapu's Mau Hau airport – served by domestic flights from Denpasar, Jakarta and other Indonesian islands.
  • Automobiles The condition of the island’s roads can be unpredictable: leave driving to the professionals.
  • Taxis As Sumba is still a relatively undeveloped island, it has no formal taxi service; you should always arrange for a car service with the resort.