Luxury and Tranquility in Sumba, Indonesia (8 days)

Sumba, a tranquil island in Indonesia, is just a 1 hour flight from Bali. Here, the Sumbanese live a humble life and little has changed here in their villages over the past centuries. During this 8 day trip, you will stay at a luxurious resort on the ocean, eating delicious food and relaxing in your villa or at the beach. We have also included some fascinating excursions, like a visit to a Sumbanese village, horseback riding at sunset, surf lessons, and a visit to the Sumba Foundation to discover what it’s doing across the island.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

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Arrive in Sumba, Indonesia

AccommodationNihiwatu Resort

Meals: D

A short 1-hour flight will bring you from the busy south of Bali to the peaceful Tambolaka Airport in West Sumba. After meeting with your English-speaking guide, you will be transferred to your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle.

Sumba’s secret lies in the speed of things. Or shall we say the non-existant speed, that is. The Sumbanese don’t run, stress, have anxiety attacks, all the western traits we have inherited are not even in their dictionary. Whilst our impatience with their lack of speed might be unnerving, do remind yourself that you are on vacation ! To truly immerse yourself in enjoying their laid-back approach to things, allow their fetching smiles to instill calmness. Let some of their tranquil way of life rub off our highly strung ones. It does the body and mind a world of good.

The Sumbanese live a humble life and little has changed here in their villages over the past centuries. We suggest you refrain from offering gratuities to villagers during your stay, and as a gesture of respect wear conservative clothing when going on village tours.

Nihiwatu Resort lies secreted in a tranquil corner of Indonesia. Among palm trees and surf, the conventions of luxury travel are being reinvigorated. The resort’s slogan is “On the edge of wildness” and it does feel that at any moment the rolling palm and papaya trees could extend their reach and erase any trace of humanity. Perched on the dramatic coastline of Sumba, Nihiwatu offers an exotic combination of remote location and understated hedonism.

Despite the isolated location, Nihiwatu aims to please your palettes with quality cuisine. The resort’s social and eco-credentials are top notch. Food miles are kept to a minimum: two flourishing organic gardens, their own chicken farm, fish fresh from the sea, a plethora of local fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs enable a varied menu. The all-inclusive dining approach affords you the general comforts and amenities expected at any luxury resort at no extra cost. Included are three daily meals, as well as beverages (excluding alcoholic beverages) and snacks offered at the bar and lounges. Dining is available all day and meals are taken at your leisure with no set times. Two times per week you will enjoy a special event dinner, served and seated family style to socialize with other guests or listen to the tales of Nihiwatu narrated by the management.

Day 2

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Sumba

  • Enjoy your day at leisure, relaxing in your villa or at the beach

Accommodation: Nihiwatu Resort

Meals: B, L, D

Start your day with a sumptuous breakfast at the restaurant or have it served in your villa by your personal butler. Yoga classes are available every morning free of charge at the Yoga Pavilion with breath-taking views over the bay.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure to relax in your villa or stroll along Nihiwatu’s beach, just over two and a half kilometers long and a quick 45-minutes power walk or a leisurely hour and a half stroll to the point and back. It is great for hiking at low tide, with many fascinating rock formations and tidal pools towards the far end.

Nihiwatu is an intimate island resort where ancient tribal culture uniquely forms the backdrop to an experience of unregulated freedom, understated luxury and unforgettable memories. The property consists of 567 acres of land, of which only 65 acres are (and can ever be) developed. The rest will be kept as you see it today, and will be used only for farming projects and recreational use.

The story of Nihiwatu is a rare and fascinating tale that began as far back as when Sumba’s ancestors, the ‘Marapu’ landed on its secluded beach centuries ago. Whilst beliefs relating to their powers may vary, their spirit has remained a benevolent force, protecting the way of life on Sumba and in attracting significant custodians to ensure the spirit and stories of the Sumbanese people – past and present – carry on.

Extra effort has been made to train our neighbors for employment, in order to give back to the surrounding community. The heart and soul of Nihiwatu will always be the Sumbanese.

Day 3

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Sumba

  • Trek through the Indonesian National Park
  • Visit the blue lagoon and waterfall
  • Spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming and relaxing

Accommodation: Nihiwatu Resort

Meals: B, L, D

See the breathtaking sights of the Wanukaka Valley during the 45-minute drive to Matayangu. After parking at a nearby village, you begin the 1.5 hour downhill trek, led fully by local guides, through the pristine Indonesian National Park forest to the blue lagoon at the base of the waterfall. As the trail emerges from the jungle, the breathtaking view of the size and scale of the waterfall basin is truly worth the walk. While you soak in your surroundings, guides will set up a picnic for a fresh leisurely lunch. You can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and swimming in this beautiful setting before trekking back to the vehicle. We recommend packing a sarong, swimsuit, extra shirt, camera and sturdy shoes.

Day 4

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Sumba

  • Visit Sumba’s largest town and shop at its unique market
  • Learn so surf

Accommodation: Nihiwatu Resort

Meals: B, L, D

After breakfast, see what life is like in the heart of West Sumba’s largest town, Waikabubak. Just a 30 minutes’ drive from Nihiwatu there is a boisterous and unique market where you can see the piles of dried fish, chili peppers, tobacco, and betel nuts that the locals so highly cherish. You are sure to meet some great characters and it’s quite interesting to see the “pasar” and all the vendors hawking their wares. A trip through town includes a stop at the local fruit stand, a local Sumbanese antique store and any other attractions that you might spot in passing. On Wednesdays you can see a traditional local market at Kabukarudi (Lamboya) and the market at Pededewatu (Rua) on Saturdays for more insight into the everyday lives of the Sumbanese.

After lunch, learn to surf the waves of Nihiwatu!

Let’s be honest, this is the main reason you are here with us in Sumba. Just take a look out from your window and you see why Nihiwatu is so special. This side of the island has always been known for its infamous currents, so be cautious during high tide and swells, as there will be strong currents. The larger the waves are, the stronger the outgoing current will be.

The surf at Nihiwatu is world-class; it is hard not to be mesmerized by the endless sets pounding the reef. Only registered surfers may enjoy the waves, unless you are with an accompanying waterman during a one on one lesson. Please check with the Head Waterman regarding weather conditions and tides before you head out as they can change drastically from day to day. Daily surfing in front of Nihiwatu is reserved for registered surfers only. Surf slots are confirmed at the time of reservation.

Day 5

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Sumba

  • Swim and sunbathe on the rocks at a waterfall
  • Horse riding excursion at sunset

Accommodation: Nihiwatu Resort

Meals: B, L, D

Excellent for families and friends, we begin today’s excursion with a 40-minute drive through the Wanukaka Valley before making the approach to the base of Lapopu. The waterfall originates at a mountain spring and the water cascades down moss-covered rocks for more than 100 meters into a natural pool, enclosed within a small canyon. This location is a wonderful spot for swimming and sunbathing on the rocks, and you are free to take in the beautiful surroundings for as long as you please while enjoying a packed snack from the kitchen. We recommend you pack a sarong, swimsuit, extra shirt and camera before embarking on the trip, and make sure to wear sturdy shoes.

Spend the afternoon at leisure in the resort before we invite you to another signature experience of Nihiwatu. Whether you are a horse lover or not, the connective experience with your inner self through natural equine interaction is truly life expanding. Horses live in the now and in being so they are more highly attuned to what and with whom they come in contact; their gestures and behaviors give us wonderful feedback to the energy we project.

As the sun sets, one of the most memorable ways to enjoy the changing beach hues is on one of Nihiwatu’s beautiful Sumbanese horses. All levels of experience are catered for; from a gentle stroll safely led by one of our local Sumbanese horseman to an exhilarating cantering through the rolling ocean shallows.

Day 6

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Sumba

  • Visit a Sumbanese village
  • Enjoy a bush-cooked breakfast
  • Indulge in some spa therapy, overlooking the Indian Ocean

Accommodation: Nihiwatu Resort

Meals: B, L, D

This very special “Spa Safari” offers you a beautiful day-long experience journeying across Sumba’s dramatic west coast to the secluded nearby Nihi Oka Valley. Depart the resort at 7.30am as you trek up through the surrounding palm tree forest. Your guide will talk you through the changing environment as you pass by local wildlife and traditional villages and huts before taking a stop in one traditional Sumbanese village. After the village, you descend down into Nihi Oka valley, over fresh water streams and out into the cascading rice paddy fields, leading to panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

You will be welcomed with wet towels and a freshly chopped coconut before starting morning yoga under the palm trees followed by your reflexology treatment. A bush-cooked breakfast awaits you, served in a lovely tree house platform nestled in ancient rocks perched above the coast and crashing waves. After breakfast your spa therapist, who will perform any number of pre-selected treatments amidst uninterrupted views overlooking the Indian Ocean and cascading rice paddies, escorts you to your private Bale for the day. When you are ready to return to the resort, an open-air safari vehicle will be standing by for your perusal.

Day 7

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Sumba

  • Discover what The Sumba Foundation is doing across the island
  • Enjoy an afternoon at leisure

Accommodation: Nihiwatu Resort

Meals: B, L, D

We invite you to discover what The Sumba Foundation is doing across the island. The close relationship with the resort and many of our guests has brought health, nourishment, education, and enriched the lives of many indigenous Sumbanese people. Visit a local water project, a Malaria- combating health clinic, or volunteer one morning with the school lunch program. Our prearranged tour will also make a stop at the Foundation headquarters, located just outside the gates of Nihiwatu. The deep-rooted philosophy of Nihiwatu is maintained and all profits repatriated into The Sumba Foundation that Nihiwatu had founded in 2001, coupled with the help of some guests as a philanthropic vehicle dedicated to fostering community-based projects. The result was a unique collaboration between Nihiwatu and the local community that today co-exists with compelling interdependence: the resort has become the biggest employer on the island and the Sumba Foundation gives back to the local communities.

Over the last thirteen years, the Foundation has set up over 15 primary schools, built 48 water wells, five clinics; supplied 172 villages with clean water and reduced Malaria by 85% in neighboring villages to Nihiwatu.

You will return to the resort for lunch and enjoy the last afternoon at your own leisure.

Day 8

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Departure: Flight back to Bali

Meals: B

Today is your last day at the edge of wildness. Your luggage will be collected separately in the morning, brought to Tambaloka airport and checked into your flight back to Bali by Nihiwatu’s airport representative. Approximately 2.5 hours before your flight’s departure you will be transferred to the airport. Our representative at the airport will assist with the pre-check-in procedure and you will depart back to Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali.

Accommodation

Nihiwatu Resort, Sumba, Indonesia

Nihiwatu Resort lies secreted in a tranquil corner of Indonesia. Among palm trees and surf, the conventions of luxury travel are being reinvigorated. The resort’s slogan is “On the edge of wildness”. Perched on the dramatic coastline of Sumba, Nihiwatu offers an exotic combination of remote location and understated hedonism.Despite the isolated location, Nihiwatu aims to please your palettes with quality cuisine. The resort’s social and eco-credentials are top notch. The all-inclusive dining approach affords you the general comforts and amenities expected at any luxury resort at no extra cost. Included are three daily meals, as well as beverages (excluding alcoholic beverages) and snacks offered at the bar and lounges. Dining is available all day and meals are taken at your leisure with no set times. Two times per week you will enjoy a special event dinner, served and seated family style to socialize with other guests or listen to the tales of Nihiwatu narrated by the management.

Luxury and Tranquility in Sumba, Indonesia (8 days)