Sumbawa is often skipped by travellers, and if not passionate surfers, most of them would just pass through this island on their way to the more famous Komodo or Flores Islands. But whoever decides to stay for a bit will be well-rewarded.

The island of Sumbawa has astonishing scenery that combines secluded bays, abundant vegetation and majestic volcanoes overlooking sapphire seas. One of the less known islands in the Indian Ocean, yet a household name among all surfers – Sumbawa boasts stunning beaches and epic swells.

The coast of Sumbawa is renowned for mighty swells

TOP SURFING LOCATIONS 

1.The most popular Sekongkang & Maluk are the twin-spots where the (ill)famed Supersuck is located –  the famed shallow lefthand barrel where the waves reach 3-4 m high. Yoyo and Scar Reef are another two well-known sites of the world-class surf.  Sekongkang Bay has got some reasonably cheap, safe and clean accommodation, e.g. Rantung Beach & Maluk Beach.

2.The Coastline of Dompu, near Hu`u has also got top surf breaks. Lakey Peak is probably the most visited part of the island, exclusively by surfers. Note that in the main surfing season, the place gets often fully booked.

3.The roughest wave breaks are at the Wane Beach (Dedjoeng Wane), 1 hour south of Bima (Wara Point). This challenging surfing spot is only for the toughest ones (very poor facilities).

The famous YoYo Reef – one of the best surfing locations in Sumbawa

Find out more at: travelmarbles.com/australia/#1465102454522-e3765fbd-1d07

WHERE TO STAY 

There are three main towns on the island – Sumbawa Besar (which is also the gateway to the resort island of Moyo), Bima and Sape. These towns have a good range of accommodation. Besides, there are several surf camps around the island and basically, every of the above-mentioned surfing locations has got a good accommodation for the Westerners.

NOTE Booking in the peak season are essential as the accommodation is limited and the swell too attractive 😉

The Maluk Beach

Maluk Beach, West Sumbawa

WHAT TO DO IN SUMBAWA (APART FROM SURFING)

  • Visit the private Moyo Island and stay in the remarkable Amanwana Resort if your budget allows (booking is essential)
  • Swim in the refreshing Jereweh Waterfalls in the middle of the thick jungles of Sumbawa
  • Discover the countryside and forgotten villages of the island. The very strict Islamic community does not allow any married woman to uncover their face, except eyes
  • Stroll around the local markets and taste the flavours of Muslim food – the spice level in Sumbawa rises along the waves 🙂
  • Visit the Sultan`s Palace in Bima and watch one of the local dancing performances in the capital
  • Become one of the very few mountaineers and climb through virgin jungles, steep slopes and ridges to make it up to the summit of the supervolcano Gunung Tambora (2751 m), one of the deadliest volcanoes in the world (3-day long route with a guide)

Amanwana Resort, Moyo Island, Sumbawa

TRAVEL TIPS

Sumbawa is strictly a Muslim realm and the inhabitants are not much familiar with other fashion styles, so every visitor should be advised to dress conservatively unless in the ocean.

You will need to get around by scooter and the majority of roads in Sumbawa are unsealed and they get washed away during heavy rainfalls and that makes travelling here impossible.

Gunung Tambora, Sumbawa

WHEN TO TRAVEL

The main surfing season runs between May and October, during the dry season and most of the island become accessible.


HOW TO GET THERE

Overland route from Labuhan/Lombok by slow ferry to Sumbawa/Poto Tano

Overland route from Flores/Labuan Bajo by slow ferry to Sumbawa/Sape

Most of the surfers will want to fly to Denpasar/Bali to catch a flight to Mataram/Lombok, hop on a shuttle bus to Labuhan Lombok from where there is a fast boat to Maluk/Sumbawa (see https://www.garuda-indonesia.com/)

For all international flights check out www.skyscanner.com or www.momondo.com

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Eva Bodova

By Eva Bodova

Thursday 21 July 2016

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