Sandalwood enigma of ancient times
From aqua blue lagoons to stunning beaches, pristine waterfalls and a stone age culture, Sumba is an experience. It is a wild place, untainted by tourism. Bronze age rituals, such as burial underneath megaliths, are still practised. Two exclusive high-end resorts can be found here, the top-hotel-of-world winner, the Nihi, and the luxury glamping resort of Watukaka. Exploring around Sumba do include Weekuri Lagoon, a heavenly turquoise swimming hole, miles from anywhere. A marvel of nature, the lagoon is fringed by trees and located right next to the ocean. Nature lovers will also be delighted that seven endemic birds and over 200 bird species can be found in nature reserves on Sumba.
Ancient tribal villages still abound, and its textile heaven. The island’s exquisite hand-woven ikats are made with natural dyes and have complicated intricate motifs. They are a true reflection of the ancient culture still very much alive on this island. Wild horses still roam the island, and the annual Pasola is a cultural highlight. This is an event where hundreds of horsemen engage in a mock battle, hurling spears at each other. It is not a tourist event, but visitors are welcome, and it’s a fantastic sight. Although generally in February or March, the date is only set 2 to 3 weeks before. The ratu (a Marapu village priest) sets the date after reading the ocean and predicting when thousands of seaworms will emerge from the sea. Sumba is a rare find and well worth the short 55-minute flight from Bali.
of ancient times
Generally speaking Sumba is much more barren than the islands to the West and one of the major challenges is access to water. While from December to April Sumba does experience a relatively rainy season, the winds that blow from the Australian mainland from May to November during the SE monsoon bring little rain so many streams dry up.
Still there is a culture of golden rice fields in the West and Nihiwatu Resort, a small and exclusive hideaway consistently makes it onto the lists of the world's best eco-hotels.
Pasola War Festival