To visit Sumba is to go back in time. Located in East Nusa Tenggara, southwest of Flores, the mysterious, rugged island has tribal villages built on top of hills. Burnt down in 2017, the traditional village of Kampung Tarung in Waikabubak comprising bamboo-and-root houses with towering thatched roofs has been reopened for the public. The houses are arranged neatly around the village square characterized by a megalithic tomb, a temple, and a pole. There are many other traditional villages in Sumba, including Prai Ijing, also in Waikabubak, and Wangapu in Ratenggaro with a view over a scenic beach.
Not only does Ratenggaro boast majestic traditional houses and a fantastic beach, it is also home to slabs of carved megalithic stones dating as far back as 4,500 years ago. Other places where you can visit such stones are in Pasunga, Gallu Bakul, and Ana Bura, among others.
Moving on to Sumba’s natural wonders, there are so many amazing, unspoiled beaches here that travelers can choose to go to. Bawana, Watu Parunu, and Walakiri are among Sumba’s most Instagrammable beaches, while Kalala and Nihiwatu may just be every surfer’s wildest dreams with their prime breaks and stunningly raw natural surrounds. And to really top it off, head to Weekuri Lagoon, one of Sumba’s magical spots.
As you head inland, you will find Sumba’s seemingly countless waterfalls amid its jagged topography. Among them are Sumba’s biggest waterfall Waikelo Sawah; Waimarang Waterfall and its otherworldly pool; Tanggedu and its sequence of rapids that are perfect for river tubing; the unique Matayangu whose water shoots out from a crack on a cliff wall; the simply mesmerizing Koalat Waterfall; and the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it succession of waterfalls named Kanabu Wai, located deep in the jungle. And since Sumba’s is so famous for its breathtaking savannahs, one may want to take the time to take in the wondrous view of the zigzagging beds of green or golden grass — depending on the season — of Wairinding Hill.