Main areas and cities in Sumba Island
Sumba is one of three big islands in the province of East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia (Flores Island, Timor Island and Sumba Island). Sumba is divided into four regencies. The most popular and developed regencies for tourism are Southwest and West Sumba. Hotels in East and Central Sumba are more limited and the transport infrastructure is less developed. The largest town on the island is Waingapu. The island is roughly of oval shape, and the greatest concentration of those who worship spirit (of Merapu) is found in the West of Sumba, where two-third of the population hold on to their traditional religion. Sumba might not be as popular as Bali or Lombok, but being quite a big island, it has almost everything a traveller could wish for; pristine beaches, impressive waterfalls, endless hills, tropical lagoon, rural rice fields, ancient traditional culture and old ways which remain alive.
Main areas and cities in Sumba Island
There are four administrative regencies in Sumba, which are Southwest Sumba, West Sumba, Central Sumba, and East Sumba. However, we divide our tour regions into West Sumba which covers the southwestern & western parts, and East Sumba which covers the central and eastern parts. This is also in correlation with the two airports available in Sumba which are located on the western and eastern part of the island.
East Sumba Island
East Sumba is known among the travelers for its endless savannahs such as Puru Kambera and Wairinding hills, as well as other beautiful natural attractions like waterfalls and beaches. Administratively, Waingapu is the capital of East Sumba regency and is also the largest city in the island.
Waingapu is the capital city for East Sumba with around 35,000 inhabitants. It is the biggest city in Sumba where all the modernity take place on this part of the island. But outside the city is what’s worth exploring.
The city is filled with shops and markets that you can explore at day and when it becomes dark and the people have to eat, all sorts of grills and barbecues pop up where you can have a nice meal with the great atmosphere of the Sumbanese people.
Waingapu is the perfect base to start exploring the rest of East-Sumba because villages like Melolo and Rende are easy to reach from this point and afterwards you can go back to relax in a comfortable modern hotel.
Southwest Sumba Island
This is the latest formed regency, decentralized from West Sumba. We can find a lot of virgin beaches such as Pero, Bawanna, Mandorak and Watu Malandong. Apart from that, we can find traditional villages with Sumbanese houses, easily identified by its thatched roofs that rise up to 30-meter-high, and that is Ratenggaro village.
Waitabula is the capital city of the South-West-Sumba regency. Aviation code records the name as Tambolaka but that is in fact the airport of Waitabula. Tambolaka is one of the 2 commercial airports from where people can arrive at from outside of Sumba. With its central location in the south-west district, it is very easy to execute trips from here.
The city itself is a one of the three modern places in Sumba which makes it a very comfortable place to retreat from the adventures of Sumba.
West Sumba Island
The central city of this part is Waikabubak, where traditional blends with modernity. Here is where the Sumbanese holds annual festival of Pasola. Depending on the month the festival is decided, the field where the ‘battle’ takes place will be in Lamboya area if held in February, and Wanokaka if in March. The famous Lapopu waterfall can also be found here, and a lot of beautiful sandy beaches.
With slightly less than 30,000 inhabitants this is the second largest city in Sumba. Waikabubak is the capital city of West-Sumba regency and like the 2 other biggest cities of Sumba, this location is great to start trips from because of its proximity to Lamboya and Wanokaka district where amazing attractions of Sumba can be explored.
Central Sumba Island
Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park in Central Sumba is the only area with low-ground forest left in Sumba. It is a great place for birdwatching with as many as 87 endangered species of birds inhabit this area, as well as 118 species of plants. Moreover, here is where you can find Matayangu waterfall, one that is so beautiful that you can’t miss to visit in Sumba.
Map of the main areas and cities in Sumba island
In the following map we have marked the main areas and cities in Sumba island to help you plan your route around the island more easily.