The Jakarta Post
Sumba is home to the country's vast savannah, as well as beautiful beaches, rolling hills and a rich cultural tradition. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Located in Indonesia’s eastern region, the island of Sumba in East Nusa Tenggara is home to a preserved ancient culture and breathtaking nature.
As locations are spread far apart and require hours of driving to travel between them, it is recommended to set aside several days to explore the island, as well as hire a car for safety reasons. Some parts, such as major areas across Southwest Sumba regency, also lack electricity access, meaning the roads are pitch black after dusk.
Despite the long drives, the stunning views will most likely keep you charmed along the way.
Here are some of the best destinations to visit on the island.
Read also: Jakpost explores Sumba
Weekuri Lagoon in Southwest Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Weekuri Lagoon is located in North Kodi, Southwest Sumba. It is one of the most popular destinations as the turquoise waters lure both locals and visitors alike for a swim. There is a jumping board for thrill seekers. It is important, however, to check the tides before planning a swim.
As tourism increases in the area, Weekuri is slowly being developed. A path was recently built around the lagoon's perimeter to make it easier to traverse the surrounding rocky cliffs. However, please be aware that toilet facilities are still very basic.
Mandorak Beach in Southwest Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
A short distance from Weekuri Lagoon is Mandorak Beach, a small white-sand beach framed by rocky cliffs.
The beach is actually located inside a private property but accessible for the public. Tourists are expected to pay locals a fee of Rp 50,000 to enter the beach.
Mananga Aba Beach
Mananga Aba Beach in Southwest Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Mananga Aba Beach is also located in Southwest Sumba, sitting on the northern coast of the island. A soft, white sandy beach with gentle waves makes Mananga a suitable swimming location.
Prai Ijing Customary Village
Prai Ijing customary village in West Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
After exploring Southwest Sumba, make your way to West Sumba regency and visit Prai Ijing customary village. Located in Waikabubak, the village follows the traditional layout of houses surrounding megalithic tombs that were built for the residents' ancestors.
The entrance to the village is perched atop a hill, offering sweeping views of the traditional housing cluster.
Residents are friendly and welcoming, creating a warm environment to learn about the village's history and people. Make sure to be respectful of local etiquette when entering the village. Visitors are also expected to leave a donation for the village.
Lapopu Waterfall in Central Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Located in Central Sumba regency in Manurara is Lapopu Waterfall. As it is located near Prai Ijing Customary Village, it is a convenient stop that can be done on the same day as the village.
It is best to come during the dry season, as visitors must traverse an uneven and slippery trail to the waterfall. The short trail, which is about a 15-minute walk, also passes a bamboo bridge to cross the river.
Lapopu is 90 meters in height. The refreshing river is perfect for a dip on a hot day.
The waterfall is a popular tourist destination, and visitors must pay parking and entrance fees, as well as hiring a local guide to help them reach the area. The fees amount to Rp 50,000.
During public holidays, Lapopu is popular among locals, who come for a picnic in the seating areas around the riverside.
Puru Kambera savannah in East Sumba. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Puru Kambera is home to East Sumba's vast savannah. Although located just a 30-minute drive from Waingapu, Puru Kambera presents a startlingly different landscape from its nearby town.
Open stretches of grassland with the backdrop of hills is found to one side, while on the other side the ocean can be seen in the background. If you're lucky, the scene is made complete when a team of sandalwood horses run by.
There is also Puru Kambera beach, which can make for a picturesque relaxation spot, especially during low tide, which would also expose more of its sand area.
Persaudaraan Hill in East Sumba (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Persaudaraan Hill is located a hop and a skip away from Umbu Mehang Kunda Airport in Waingapu. The scenic viewpoint offers panoramic views of the town's rice fields and surrounding hills.
Perched on a peak, the spot is also suitable for watching the sunrise or sunset. (wng)
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