Sumba is rarely talked about by tourist and is not well known. For the moment this is great as you can visit some amazing destinations without the crowds. Sumba is unlike other Indonesian islands in that it is not volcanic! It is still rather hilly though which makes for great treks and amazing viewpoints. If you enjoy trekking you have so much choice here with coastal walks, jungles walks, and even a savanna to trek across taking in the locals and stunning wild horses. You will also find a large selection of turquoise lagoons and waterfalls to enjoy a relaxing swim in. Village life still holds a lot of traditional beliefs in Sumba and a mix of religious has come to the country over time. Families are often very large and close all working together to support each other. When you have had enough of hiking and sightseeing you can relax on one of the many stunning beaches with white sand coastlines and turquoise waters.
Airport: West Sumba - Tambokala Airport (TMC), and East Sumba- Umbu Mehang Kunda Airport (WGP)
Local Language: Sumba Hawu (languages vary across Sumba)
Fun Fact: Sumba houses are designed to allow spiritual ancestors to enter and leave via the roof.
The Pasola festival is a big highlight of Sumba and definitely worth visiting when it is on. The traditional villages are simply stunning and so unique in the way the houses are formed and with the traditions they still uphold. If you like white sand beaches you will be spoilt for choice in Sumba. The trekking is excellent and terrain varies with each area.
Pasola- February and March
Pasola is the main reason a lot of tourists visit Sumba. The celebration happens about 10 days after the full moon, however the dates are not usually known until 2 weeks before. Mock battles are put on between villages. Horse riders also battle with spears. This is a traditional event and is not a show, more a test of the villages strength.
Wulla Poddu- October and November
Wulla Poddu means bitter month, celebrations are held after the last full moon in October and November. The event happens through the whole month and it is not allowed to hold weddings or funerals during this time. Wild boar are brought down from the mountains for food and villagers ward off evil spirits with shouts and cries. The main celebration follows, some villagers do not allow tourists as it is seen as bad luck.
Tarik Batu- Any time of year
This celebration began over 4,500 years ago and involves to process of pulling the large megalith stones into place for tombs. The pulling of the stone can take many days and those involved are encouraged with chanting and songs. When the stone arrives it is decorated with pictures of the persons life and also what they will do after death.
The dry season is May to July making the grasslands dry up and become golden in colour, this is the best time of year for good sunsets. The rain begins in August. If you want to enjoy the country with full waterfalls and green grasslands October and November are the best months, however there can be some rainfall.