SUMBA INDONESIA - NIHIWATU
If the water doesn’t interest you the countryside surely will. If your an experienced rider our Sumba horses can take you as far as you like and in any direction you choose. There are few roads, houses or fences to block your way. Be forewarned, Sumba horses may be small but they are feisty, so be prepared for a challenging ride.
For serious riders we offer half and full day guided horseback tours to secluded beaches, through forested countryside and to traditional villages. If you want a memorable riding experience you could go for a full moon ride along the beach, you will never forget it.
We have mountain bike tours available for those wanting to get a work out while covering some interesting terrain. We have a variety of guided routes that few ever have the chance to see; everywhere you go there are expansive views of the mountains and sea, small traditional villages with high peaked grass roofs, buffalo and horses, and the ever smiling Sumbanese children.
There are few islands in Indonesia where uninhabited space is the norm ... fortunately here in Sumba it is. We can design any manner of hikes and treks for all levels of endurance and skill. In the past we have guided rather strenuous overnight trips through heavily forested mountainous areas. Most of our guests choose to try something easier like our popular hike to a waterfall that will make your jaw drop.
We offer many half day and full day jeep tours to beaches and important traditional villages and markets. We can customize tours according to your interests, whatever they are.
Experiencing the Local Villages
A visit to a Sumba village is a must, its one of the most interesting things you can do during your stay. Our policy is to take small groups of guests at any one time to a village. We believe that this provides a more intimate experience for guests and does not overly disturb the village life.
Sumba Foundation Informative Trips
We are most proud of what we have been able to achieve for our neighbors with the support of our guests. Nihiwatu is proof that we all can make a difference somewhere, somehow. You can see how its done while you are staying with us, it takes only about two to three hours of your time to visit one of many Sumba Foundation clinics, schools, communal farms, the bio-diesel factory, and our carbon offset Teak plantation. We are quite sure that you will still be thinking about this sustainable tourism model, years from now.
With more than 300 species of birds Sumba is a birders paradise. The island is blessed with eight endemics found nowhere else on earth including hornbill, fruit dove, button quail and paradise flycatcher. Nearby to the bungalows is a nature trail on which you can see many of the birds in our area and we can arrange special birding trips to more remote areas. We also work with the local villagers in creating awareness of the importance of protecting the natural resources on the island.
World Class Fishing
Exceptional fishing grounds are only minutes away in our fully equipped deep-sea fishing boat.
Here you have the best chance in Indonesia of catching all kinds of big fish.
The sea around Nihiwatu provides anglers with a great range of big game and reef fish for sport or table. Large Marlin, weighing more than 300 pounds and Yellowfin Tuna over 150 pounds migrate close to the coast during the months of August though January, but there are masses of sizeable 130 pound Sailfish, 30 to 40 pound Spanish Mackerel and Wahoo, and 40 to 70 pound Trevally in the area throughout the year just waiting to be caught.
We practice catch; photo and release billfishing; Wahoo and Spanish Mackerel are brought home for the BBQ.
We are fortunate to have a choice of diverse dive sites that are right in front of the resort. Further afield, there is heart-pounding adventure diving on reefs and seamounts along the coast where masses of large pelagic fish congregate. Divers have even experienced close encounters with large Marlin, Sailfish and even Blue Whales. The excitement is guaranteed.
The west coast of Sumba is directly exposed to the full force of the Indian Ocean. It is this exposure that has protected the reefs from the destructive reef bombing that has damaged more than 70% of Indonesia’s reefs. Because of the consistent ocean swells along this section of the Sumba coast the blast boats cannot safely approach the inshore reefs to bomb. This is great for the reefs, and for divers, however the downside is that when there are large swells it will shut down our ability to dive.
These large swells generally occur on the full and new moons therefore the best dive conditions are usually the periods between these moon cycles. We have the equipment, we have the pristine reefs, and we have exceptional undersea geography but we do not pretend to be a destination dive resort. We cannot guarantee that diving will always be available if you stay with us, but when it is the diving at Nihiwatu will be memorable.
A Surf Travel Destination, Beyond Compare
Just 100 yards off of Nihiwatu beach is one of the world’s most perfect waves. Guests of ours have the added benefit of riding, or just watching, the incredible surf breaking on the reef directly in front of the resort. At times it truly becomes a spectacle.
Nihiwatu faces southwest into the Indian Ocean and is ideally suited for picking up swell arriving from thousands of miles away in Antarctica; the surf here is very consistent. If the surf is flat here you can be sure it is flat just about everywhere else in the archipelago.
When the surf is small we can teach you to surf, or we can get you on waves tandem surfing with our watermen. We have Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards available, with or without instruction. Our Boardroom carries all shapes and sizes of short and long boards, we also have Boogie Boards. Whatever it takes to get you in the water we have it.
The West Sumba coastline is absolutely stunning! Imagine perfect beaches and massive cliffs adorned with jungle and palms, all backed by distant mountains. We can take you to spectacular areas that are so remote that they can only be accessed by boat.
Cruising along a scenic coastline is an exhilarating experience and one should take this opportunity whenever or were ever it arises. Our full day excursions can include fishing, snorkeling and delicious luncheon buffets under the trees on the beach.
For nature lovers we can take you on a walking tour through lowland tropical forest just behind the beach. There you will definitely see hundreds of birds and with luck you just might see wild buffalo and groups of monkeys.
Nihiwatu is located in the heart of traditional Sumba. The megalithic culture of this area has remained intact and virtually unchanged through time, this is a very interesting place. The "Discovery" and "National Geographic" television channels have aired many documentaries on the unique tribal culture of the Sumbanese people.
The world famous "Pasola" rituals draw thousands of traditionally dressed people to witness battles on horseback. These cultural events take place each year during the months of February and March and are close to Nihiwatu. We are closed in February but open in March for the Pasola at Wanukaka, and we even have VIP seating for our guests. If you want to see this event please contact our office for the dates. The animist Priests decide on the date of the event about 6 weeks ahead so it is impossible to confirm until early February.
There are many smaller ceremonies taking place in nearby villages throughout the year that Nihiwatu guests are invited to. When they happen we will let you know, and if you want to go we will arrange a guide to escort you to them.
Weaving is an important part of the local culture, in fact Sumba is world famous for its traditional "ikat" weavings. You can see how its done by watching our weavers at work by the boathouse on the beach. If you want to learn the skill you can take traditional weaving lessons and you can take your weaving home when it’s finished.
Overland Tours and Village Visits
We offer many half day and full day tours to important traditional villages, to markets, to beaches, and to forests and waterfalls. We can also create tours that are customized to your interests; there is not much that we cannot do for you.
A visit to a Sumba village is a must, its one of the most interesting things you can do during your stay. Our policy is to take no more than eight guests at any one time to a village. We believe that this provides a more intimate experience for guests and does not overly disturb the village life.
The Sumba Foundation Tour
If you are interested, and want to see the award winning work that is being done for our Sumbanese neighbors, we can take you to clinics, schools, wells and farms to see some of Sumba Foundation projects firsthand. Your guide will explain how its done and you will get to meet some of the thousands of people that are benefitting from the many projects the Foundation has completed or is currently working on. You just may decide to help fund a project, as many of our guests do, and be a part of making life easier for people in need of our help.