Your guide to Sumba Island

Sumba is an island in eastern Indonesia. Its Indonesian name is "Pulau Sumba". It is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara and is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands.


There are two airlines that fly directly to Tambolaka Airport in Garuda Indonesia and Wings Air.

We recommend flying with Garuda Indonesia.

For international flights, you will need to travel via Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. If you are flying into Bali and then directly to Sumba, you will likely need to spend one night in Bali, if so, then stay at Bali’s Novotel Airport. You may escape traffic on the route to and from the airport and it is the most practical method. The hotel is clean, convenient, and affordable!

At Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport, you will fly from the domestic airport, if you are staying at the airport hotel it is extremely easy to go through. There will be a representative from Nihiwatu waiting for you at the airport there to guide you and make sure you are all set.

Flight Times:

Bali to Sumba: By Garuda, ETD Bali 1PM, ETA Tambolaka 1:50PM
Zumba to Bali: By Garuda, ETD Sumba 11:00MA, ETA Bali 12:10PM

Your journey to Nihiwatu from the airport is a 90-minute drive, transportation is included in your stay and you are also welcomed with wonderful homemade snacks in the car that are delicious for the soul! Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and avoid drinking too much water on the way (There are no toilet stops!).


Nihiwatu Resort is an award-winning hotel, known as ‘The best hotel in the world by Luxury and Travel Magazine and the only upscale hotel on Sumba Island. Nihiwatu is one of these special places you visit that has magic that draws you back to it and you don’t try to understand it but you adapt to the pace of living.

It’s a place where you already feel its roots embedded inside the ground and it grows on you. It’s a place where you feel you are isolated from everything. The beach is solely yours as far as the eye can see. A surfer’s haven. One of the many advantages: it is an all-inclusive hotel and thanks to very little competition close to none, Nihiwatu holds a special place. The itinerary is set right as your book and you will not need to worry about anything else, everything is taken care of.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the same restaurant and during your stay, you have an itinerary planned for you. You won’t find TVs inside your room and you won’t find Snickers or Mars bars. Their homemade chocolates and snacks are often what you crave when you leave. You will practice Yoga every sunrise and sunset.

Kids are welcomed but in my opinion, a certain age is required, in order to be able to participate in activities and go beyond the edge of the wilderness.

Recommended for:

Honeymooners, solo travelers, and adventure seekers are the main guests attracted to this beautiful place.


There are plenty of activities to do here at Sumba Island with Nihiwatu.

1. Horse riding

2. Visit Sumba Foundation

3. Diving and snorkeling

4. River SUP (Highly recommended)

5. Chocolate Factory Visit

6. Sunset and sunrise Yoga

7. Spearfishing

8. Surfing

9. Stand-Up Paddle

10. Rock Pooling

11. Private Boat Charters

12. Visiting villages

13. Trekking

14. Waterfall visits

15. Spa Safari (half day or full day)

16. Market tour of Waikabubak

17. Weekuri Lake

18. Learn about the different tribes

19. Cliff Jumping at Mandorak Beach

20. Visit Tanjung Mareha

21. Watch the rock formations of Watu Maladong Beach

22. Swim in Weekuri Lagoon


PHOTOGRAPHY – Make sure you pack your GoPro or underwater camera! Drones are also allowed!

VISA – For almost all, the visa is on arrival

MONEY EXCHANGE – You should exchange your money for an Indonesian Rupiah and better do it at your airport rather than in Bali or Indonesia so you do not lose a lot. Most currencies are accepted at Nihiwatu though.

LANGUAGE – In Sumba, the population barely speaks English and each village speaks a different Indonesian dialect, at Nihiwatu Resort, English is very well spoken and you will have a guide with you at all times.

ESSENTIAL PRECAUTIONS – Malaria is known to be popular deeper into the villages but is treated easily thanks to the Malaria Clinic founded by the Sumba Foundation, part of Nihiwatu Resort. Due to the resort being far away from those villages, the risk is very low and mosquito repellent is sufficient.

Please do not bring your diamond earrings or your heels on this trip. This is a barefoot luxury experience in the wilderness. Light clothes and bathing suits will be your daily wear!

Make sure you get good hiking shoes for your trekking experience and waterfall excursion.

There is a clinic available in Nihiwatu for any illnesses or injuries.

Nihiwatu will be planning your itinerary so you will be well organized before you travel on what to pack.


There are many ways in helping the community in Sumba. Shipping things in is quite difficult because you face high customs from international destinations to Indonesia and are heavily taxed. A suitcase filled with clothes is always a good idea, shoes, blankets, and baby clothes can always help. Please make sure of your luggage allowance on Garuda Indonesia as they are quite strict with this.

Another way is by working closely with the Sumba Foundation. It will be also part of your itinerary staying at Nihiwatu, to visit the foundation and learn more about their work. You can donate money at the resort as well.

Another great way to help is by supporting the local community’s work by buying what they make. When visiting the villages, you can purchase some handicrafts to support the locals or donate to one of the many organizations there.