best time to visit sumba island

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Time to Visit Sumba Island: Discover the Perfect Season!

Sumba might not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Indonesia. But this up-and-coming tourism hotspot is certainly worth visiting. Located near Bali, Sumba offers a wonderful natural scenery and a variety of wildlife you’ll never see before.

Most of the island is still untouched by humans, making it perfect if you want to explore a new place to your heart’s content. Think of it as the adventure of your lifetime!

If you’re new to this, no worries. Learn about what makes the island famous, the best time to visit Sumba island, and things you need to know before visiting!

Read Also: Top 10 Reasons Why Visiting Sumba is Worth It

Why is Sumba Famous?

Why is Sumba Famous

Source: Craig Tansley via International Traveller

Source: Craig Tansley via International Traveller

Sumba may be considered a forgotten island compared to its neighboring island Bali, but more and more people are starting to take notice of this beautiful place. Here are the things that make Sumba famous:

1. Natural Wonders

Sumba has everything that spoils your eyes: white-sand beaches, majestic cliffs, grand waterfalls, green forests, and vast savannas.

Be sure to go for a hike when you visit the island so you can experience these landscapes yourself. You’ll get to witness the rich wildlife in Sumba along the way.

Some endemic species you may find include Sumba buttonquail, red-naped fruit-dove, Sumba boobook, apricot-breasted sunbird, Sumba hornbill, and seven butterfly species native to the island.

You can even interact with the animals directly in some cases. For example, you’re allowed to ride a horse when you visit one of the many savannas in Sumba.

Bobocabin Bobobox

2. Heaven for Surfers

Another reason why Sumba is famous is due to the challenging waves of its sea. Surfers specifically flock to Nihi even though the place is rather exclusive; only ten surfers are allowed to brave Nihi’s perfect waves per day.

Unlike most beaches in Bali, this restriction gives the visitors the chance to fully explore the waves for themselves without having to compete with the crowd.

Read Also: Romantic Paradise: 3-Day Sumba Itinerary for Sunset Lovers

3. Well-Preserved Culture

What makes Sumba even more unique is the locals. The people of Sumba still preserve their culture very well, and it shows in their architecture, traditional ceremonies, and clothing.

You can learn about this culture directly from the locals when visiting the island. This includes the making of ikat, a gorgeous textile special to the island.

Better yet, you can witness some traditional ceremonies if you visit at the right time. Some are festive, like the Pasola in which the tribes’ representatives ride on a horse and fight with a spear. Be aware that some ancient rituals involve animal sacrifice to provide food for the entire village.

When is the Best Time to Go to Sumba Island?

When is the Best Time to Go to Sumba Island

Source: Itchy Feet via Unsplash

Indonesia is a tropical country, which means it only has two seasons: the dry season and the wet season. Sumba is no exception.

With this in mind, the best time to go to Sumba is between November to April when it’s mostly dry. As the Sumbanese landscape looks far more vibrant during this time, you can expect to see the greenest green and brightest sky. On the other hand, the rest of the year offers more of a gold and brown color palette.

As for the weather, January is supposedly the wettest time of the year, but Sumba will only rain a little during the day or evening while the majority of the day sees fine weather.

Alternately, if your agenda consists mostly of daytime activities, December is the best month to visit. It has the longest daylight compared to the rest of the year.

Read Also: The Intricate Art behind Sumbanese Weaving: Motifs, Significance, and Process

Things to Know Before You Explore Sumba Island

Things to Know Before You Explore Sumba Island


Visiting a new place can get overwhelming at times, what with the cultural differences, language barrier, and overall different atmosphere. To ensure that you come prepared, here is a list of things you should know before exploring the island:

1. Exchange Rate

If you’re used to using the dollar or pound as currency, the Indonesian rupiah may come as a shock. As of now, $1 USD equates to 15,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR). The math can pose quite a challenge when you’re out shopping.

Aside from that, be sure to always have cash with you as most tourist destinations in Sumba only accept cash. This is especially true when you’re visiting local stalls or markets.

2. Drinking Tap Water is a No

Most foreign tourists are probably used to drinking their tap water. Unfortunately, the tap water in Sumba—and frankly everywhere in Indonesia—isn’t safe to consume.

You have to get bottled water instead. They’re easy to find at most street stalls. Alternately, you can simply ask your accommodation if they provide free drinking water.

3. Lack of Public Transportation

Unlike Jakarta—the capital city of Indonesia—Sumba has a much more limited public transport option such as:

    • buses with limited route
  • bemo, which runs constantly in the daytime but on shorter distances
  • biskayu or wooden buses, which are trucks with benches that run through roads with bad conditions
  • ojek, which are motorcycle taxi
  • taxi

You may want to consider renting a car instead. That way, you can freely explore the island without having to wait for public transport for hours.

4. Little to No Wi-Fi

Most places in Sumba don’t provide Wi-Fi, so be sure to get a SIM card and mobile plan before arriving on the island. Be aware that the reception isn’t always great though, especially in rural areas.

5. Clothing and Culture

It’s common for men in West Sumba to wear a sarong around their hips. This type of clothing looks like a skirt, but it actually hides a machete beneath.

So, you don’t need to be scared if you see them walking around with machetes around their hips. It’s part of the Sumbanese tradition after all.

Read Also: 7 Gorgeous Places for Sightseeing in Sumba, Indonesia

Where To Explore On Sumba Island?

where to explore sumba


in Sumba island, there are two distinct regions, each with its own airport, one situated in the east and another in the west. Despite this disparity, what remains consistent between the east and west of Sumba is the limited presence of tourist infrastructure.

Explore West Sumba

The western region stands as arguably the more frequented area of Sumba Island. Many travelers choose to discover the stunning Weekuri Lake, the picturesque coastline, and the wealth of traditional villages in this area.

1. Tambaloka:

Tambolaka Airport serves as the entry point to western Sumba. There aren’t many attractions or activities in Tambolaka, so it’s advisable not to linger here unnecessarily if you can avoid it.

2. Waikabukak

East of Tambolaka sits Waikabubak, a pivotal hub in Sumba surrounded by various communities. For backpackers exploring Sumba and seeking access to traditional villages, Waikabubak serves as an excellent base. This area offers several lodging and dining choices, and you can also locate public buses that traverse from the western to the eastern parts of Sumba.

Explore East Sumba

Conversely, the eastern part of the island isn’t as densely populated as the west. It boasts a dry, arid landscape where you can drive for extended distances without encountering much. Seaweed farming is a prevalent activity in the southeast of the island, and there are reports indicating the presence of crocodiles in these waters.

1. Waingapu

Waingapu, situated in the eastern part of Sumba Island, serves as another significant hub and hosts its own airport.

2. Pantai Kalala:

Kalala is situated along the coastline of East Sumba. It remains entirely untouched by tourism and stands as remote as one can possibly experience.

Enjoy the Beautiful Nature of Sumba in Bobocabin Sumba!

Enjoy the Beautiful Nature of Sumba in Bobocabin Sumba!

Want to appreciate the picturesque beauty of Sumba? Do it with Bobocabin, your go-to glamping experience provider!

Each cabin is powered by the Internet of Things to make your stay much more comfortable. With features like the smart window to give you privacy, a mood lamp to adjust your lighting, and a Bluetooth speaker to set the mood, you’re guaranteed to have great rest.

Better yet, you can relish the scenery while enjoying Bobocabin’s campfire and barbeque facility. 

Download the app for reservation and further information.


Header image by: Sheila Lalita

Written by:



Sejak tahun 2018, Bobobox hadir menawarkan pengalaman yang berbeda bagi para traveler untuk menikmati perjalanan yang sempurna. Bobobox menghubungkan traveler, dari pod ke kota.

All Posts


Rasakan sensasi menginap di hotel kapsul Bobobox! Selain nyaman, hotel kapsul ini mengedepankan teknologi dan keamanan. Bobobox bisa menjadi salah satu cara terbaik untuk menikmati perjalanan dan beristirahat, dan cocok untuk perjalanan liburan atau bisnis.

Top Articles


Follow Us

Latest Articles