West Sumatra is often said to be the most striking part of the island, and the rapidly growing tourism industry speaks for itself. Padang`s endless stretches fringed with coco palms, and virgin offshore islands simply cannot fail to delight! And to all foodies, Padang offers an extraordinary culinary journey. This is Indonesia`s capital of spicy food that boasts recipes for any gourmet – provided that you like it hot!
PADANG COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
About 3-hour drive south of Padang, there is a coastal town of Painan – another beach heaven. The bay is well-known for the splendid Carock Beach and its offshore islands, including the Cingkuk, Kerabak and Turtle Islands.
The little-visited Mandeh Bay is a hidden gem of the region, and one could say it is the “Raja Ampat of Sumatra”; awe-inspiring landscapes and glorious scenery will come to sight at arrival in Puncak Mandeh. The tropical coral sanctuary of the Cubadak Island is a place to be, especially, if you are a scuba diver and beach lover looking for seclusion.
PAINAN COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
The coral sanctuary on the CUBADAK ISLAND is a place to be, especially, if you are a scuba diver, snorkeler or beach lover seeking for undisturbed peace.
Apart from all the tigers, elephants, rhinos and orang-utans, the Lampung province has got fabulous strands, and once again the Indian Ocean does not let any surfer down.
Krui is very popular with Australian surfers, and it is always a dilemma which one to go for – Krui or the Mentawai? Whereas the Mentawai provide consistent surf, Krui has got terrific breaks and staggering beaches.
Photographers and nature lovers will like the coast – it is wild and unspoilt, but it is surely not a place for ‘splishy splashy’ or wading in the sea.
KRUI COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
The striking distance of Anak Krakatau and its surrounding volcanic islands makes Lampung a territory treated with respect. Apart from the tourist highlight – boat tour to Krakatau, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming and dolphin spotting are favourite activities in this area. There are many marvellous offshore islands, beaches and coves, teaming with radiant corals and tropical fish. Kiluan Island is probably the favourite with its absolutely splendid natural lagoon-like swimming pool.
LAMPUNG BAY COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
The year 2004 is remembered as an important landmark in the Sumatran history. That is when, out of sudden, one of the world`s deadliest tsunamis hit the north-western coastline of the Aceh province. Caused by a 9.3 earthquake, the powerful, over 30 metres high tsunami-waves hit the shores and left 230, 000 people dead.
The province is slowly getting back on feet and tourists are starting to return. The coastline of Aceh is not ordinary at all. Actually, Aceh can easily be claimed to have the best beaches in Sumatra – the only problem here is the lack of development and infrastructure. Passionate scuba divers and surfers know the area well, for there are world-class surfing beaches and diving locations.
ACEH COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
OK, it is a household name that West Sumatra is the island`s queen of the beaches, but have you ever heard of Bangka-Belitung? Well, its epithet “Seychelles of Indonesia” may imply that it will not be a random place. The islands are blessed by the idyllic scenery of crystal-clear, azure waters decorated with gardens of corals, palm trees and granite boulders.
In fact, Bangka-Belitung offer more than Seychelles – affordable seclusion and crowds left behind.
BANGKA-BELITUNG ARCHIPELGO COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
The chain of Islands spanning along the West Sumatran coastline is sort of an extension to the astounding shores of Padang. The archipelago is predominantly visited by experienced surfers, but it also makes a perfect beach holiday destination; with crystal-clear azure seas, underwater corals, white powdery sands, coco palms, beachfront bamboo huts and tropical waterfalls, there is nothing more you wish.
Moreover, the surf in the Mentawai Islands is epic. Its unusual consistency is caused by the islands` broad exposure towards the Indian Ocean. Hence the islands get crashing waves all year around. There are plentiful surf camps and eco-resorts to choose from in around the Siberut Island where tours can be arranged and snorkelling/diving equipment hired.
THE MENTAWAI ISLANDS COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
8.NIAS & BATU ISLANDS
The outlying offshore islands of North Sumatra are also internationally famous when it comes to surf, yet less known with tourists. The archipelago is quite a special place, not only for splendid beaches – the remote archipelago is home to one of few remaining megalithic tribes on Earth.
Almost touching the equator, the islands of Nias and Batu are defined by sweltering heat, high humidity and a vigorous swell of the Indian Ocean. This is Indonesia`s last beach & surf frontier.
NIAS & BATU ISLANDS COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
9.BANYAK & SIMUELE ISLANDS
Not far from the Nias and Mentawai Islands, this is a series of more than 100 tropical isles that present unspoiled nature, coral reefs, terrific swells and excellent surfing beaches.
While the Banyak is closer to the mainland Simeuele is rather a far-flung corner of Sumatra. Both archipelagos have nice surf camps and eco-resorts where you can also hire diving and snorkelling equipment; the archipelago offers extraordinary fringing coral reef teeming with marine life. Various tours can be arranged at any resort.
BANYAK & SIMUELE ISLANDS COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
Pulau Enggano is a magnificent island in the Indian Ocean, not far from Krui. It is facing nothing but wide-open ocean and the Cocos & Christmas Islands).
Enggano offers fantastic snorkelling, diving and jungle trekking. This little paradise is a tropical oasis for birdlife and indigenous ethnic groups, but more importantly an outstanding Indo-surf location.
NOTE you will need to bring your own tent as there is no commercial accommodation on the island
PULAU ENGGANO COASTAL HIGHLIGHTS
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