15 Hidden Gems in Sumba: Sumba is an exotic beach with many untouched destinations. It also offers a lot of different landscapes, from beaches, hills, waterfalls, to unique traditional villages. There is one thing to remember though, Sumba is a quite hot place. The dry season can cause a whole different change to the scenery. If you come right during the dry season, the green meadows will turn into savanna. Though both of them are great. Here are our top 15 destinations in Sumba!
1. Walakiri Beach
Walakiri beach is located in East Sumba with well-known characteristics of calm waves, white sands, and mangrove forests. The trees along the coastline are so unique, that other people call them the dancing trees. The dancing trees become sensational overnight, combined with a superb sunset view. To reach this beach, you will need to drive a scooter or a car for 30 minutes from Waingapu. Though the beach is located nearby the local community, it seems like there is no authortiy guarding this beach yet. Therefore, there is no entrance fee at all!
2. Waikuri Lagoon
This secret lagoon is one of the best-hidden gems there is in Sumba. Weekuri lake, unlike other lakes in general, has stunning see-through limestone water. The water is so clear that you can see what is on the bottom of the lake! There is also a unique gradation of deep and light blue, mixed with Tosca. A lake like this is rare to find. Unlike other lakes, Weekuri Lake is shallow, so you can take your kids to swim here with you. It is located far away from the hustle-bustle of the town, so it is a perfect little getaway. However, this beauty is difficult to reach. The access to this location is not yet developed with a paved road. Overall, you can’t miss this hidden gem!
3. Ratenggaro Village
Sumba has its own characteristics when it comes to tourism. One of the most magical attraction which becomes an Icon is the ratenggaro village. Located in East Sumba, Ratenggaro village is a cultural village that mimics the ancient stone age. Just wait until you know the meaning of Ratenggaro itself. Rate loosely translates to a graveyard, while Garo refers to the Garo people. Historically, there was a huge war where Garo people lost and were killed in their own village. That is why you would see 304 ancient graveyards in this village. The native still embraces their tradition to this day, that is to celebrate the death ceremony and to sacrifice water buffalos to their ancestors. Here, you can see their unique rooftops which can be as high as 15 meters tall. The higher it goes, the higher the status of a person in the village. So, would you come to visit?
4. Matayangu Waterfall
You would be surprised when you discover such a heavenly destination, yet so virgin and rarely visited. Matayangu waterfall is located in Manurara, Center of Sumba. It is around two hours drive from Waingapu. This waterfall has a beautiful blue and Tosca color, with a huge natural pool to swim in. However, due to its distance, it rarely gets visited. This waterfall is not only breathtaking but very sacred to the locals. They believe that the dead souls stay here before they finally descend to heaven. Don’t be scared to visit though! The waterfall only appears in the rainy season, between March to June, and October to December. The entrance ticket is only Rp.15,000 per person!
5. Wairinding Hill
Wairinding is a piece of the fallen heaven, says the local people. Located in Pambota Jara, it is only a 30-minutes drive from the center of Sumba. In the rainy season, you would see green hills with magnificent meadows and a touch of clear blue sky. Meanwhile, in the dry season, the meadow turned into a stunning savanna, just like what you in Africa. This exotic landscape becomes very attractive to the drone owners, as the bird’s perspective view would just be unreal. This untouched beauty is not yet developed, with no facilities surrounding it.
6. Mandorak Beach
Another unspoiled hidden gem in Sumba is this Mandroak beach. Located in south Sumba, this beach rarely gets visited by any visitors. That is why no facilities surrounding the beach, not even a restaurant. It takes 90 minutes car drive from Tambolaka airport to reach this beach. Access to this beach is pretty difficult, however, it is worth all the effort. Mandorak beach has a beautiful limestone color with white sands, and natural boulders surrounding the beach. Though the coastline is pretty short, there is no one else here so it feels like you own the place! There are also some surfing points on this beach, so get your surfing boards ready!
7. Wai Marang Waterfalls
Waimarang waterfall is located in the eastern part of Sumba. It has a unique characteristic that makes this waterfall stands out. That is a waterfall that flows in between a cave. There are three levels of the waterfalls actually, but you should always aim for the last waterfall which is hidden in a cave. Though the waterfall itself is not as tall as the others, the natural pool has mesmerizing colors. Especially surrounded by natural rocks offers a unique ambiance. This spot is a heaven!
8. Tanarara Hills
This unspoiled beauty is Tanarara hill, located in Matawai La Pawu East Sumba. This destination offers a road trip with an incredible view of infinity meadows. However, if you are visiting this hill during the dry season, the hill turned into a magnificent savanna. Tanarara is a local word meaning red soil because the hill ground consisted of clay soil. To reach Tanarara, it would take an hour’s drive from Waingapu. This destination can be very easy to access, as the road is well paved.
9. Tanggedu Waterfall
Tanggedu Waterfall is an oasis in the middle of a searing hot savanna. Located in east Sumba, Tanggedu waterfall is a refreshment in open nature. The locals say that this waterfall resembles the one in the canyon. This virgin waterfall has clear turquoise water, with a clean pool to swim in. The waterfall is only 8 meters tall. The rocks surrounding it also have a gradation of brown and white color, creating a majestic landscape. It is also located inside lush forestry with many trees providing fresh air to breathe.
10. Watu Bella Beach
You would be very surprised that a beach this beautiful rarely welcomes visitors. Located in West Sumba, this is white sandy beach has a limestone ocean with a healthy population of coral reefs. The beach is so clean, you would not suspect any human trash! There is a tall cliff diving two coastlines. The cliff has a small meadow where the locals usually let their buffalos out to eat. Here, you can see the shepherd ride the buffalo, sometimes standing on the buffalo’s body while playing around. Before you visit this virgin destination, you will come across another traditional village with friendly people. Don’t forget to visit them and learn about their unique houses.
11. Mbawana Beach
Mbawana beach has a unique icon, which is a majestic ring of a cliff standing high and strong. This beach is so beautiful that it received a nomination from Anugerah Indonesia as one of the most popular new destinations. A Swedish magazine also nominated this beach to be a must-visit. Located on the Western side of Sumba, it takes one hour and a half from the Tambolaka Airport. However, it is pretty difficult to access this road, as there are 300 stairs to climb with no safety fence. One of the best moments you can capture on this beach is the phenomenal sunset, creating a silhouette in the ring of the cliff.
12. Waikelo Dam & Ricefields
If you are looking for a countryside experience with a fresh breeze of air, you can try coming to the Waikelo dam. In 1976, the government of Sumba built a dam in Waikelo to produce electricity for the locals. Situated on a foothill and surrounded by lush forestry and ricefields, Waikelo ricefield offers a calm and serene ambiance of the countryside. The dam becomes a main clean water source for the locals. This is why you might see the locals wash their clothes or bathe here. To reach this destination, it only takes a 40-minute drive from the Tambolaka Airport.
13. Halura Island
Halura island is one of the most southern parts of Indonesia. It is around 800 miles from the Australian continent. It is a tiny island with residents working as sailors and fishermen. However, they are friendly to visitors and very welcoming. The local residents usually give complimentary bracelets made out of lontar leaves and give you water to wash your face. This tradition is to keep you off the negative energy you bring from the outside. This island has many to offer. From a long coastline of white sands, turquoise ocean, savanna, to hills.
14. Lokomboro Waterfall
Located in Locomboro village, this waterfall is among one of the tallest waterfalls on this list. With a strong stream of water, the government decided to build a power plant here. That is why the access to reach this waterfall is very easy, only 6-7 km away from the nearest town. This waterfall is as tall as 62 meters, creating a breathtaking landscape. It is also surrounded by lush forests and natural rocks. With the serene ambiance and the sound of waterfalls, many people come here to meditate or just to relax.
15. Lailiang Beach
Last not but least, Lailian beach is a must-visit beach in West Sumba. It is only an hour’s drive away from Waikubabak town. The access is a little bit difficult due to the narrow road, but at least the road is well paved. This white sandy beach is situated in between two high cliffs. The ocean is clean, pollution-free. It also has beautiful waves for swimming. However, the best thing about this beach is nobody visits!