Banyak Islands Travel Guide

The Banyak Islands are a remote set of deepwater islands off the west coast of Sumatra in Aceh Province. They are primarily visited by surfers and surf charters and boast large, uncrowded barrels.

The islands are around 50kms off of the southwest coast of Aceh and comprise two main islands: Tuangku (Great Banyak) and Bangkaru, with dozens of little ones surrounding them. The main town of the Banyak Islands is Alaban on Tuangku, the largest island. Bago Island is on the eastern side of Tuangku and also has some decent surf and habitation.

Surf charters are popular out to the Banyak Islands, with many named and nameless breaks. There are all sorts of waves here, including big left- and right-handers, deep barrels, and line peelers. The best thing is that most breaks are uncrowded, plus there’s the option to go trekking in the rainforests in the main islands, as well as snorkeling and fishing.

Getting There & Away

The only real way to get to the Banyak Islands is to fly and Sibolga is the main gateway town. Flights arrive in Medan (the North Sumatra capital) from Jakarta and Singapore, from where domestic flights go to Sibolga Airport. You could also cross from Medan to Sibolga by bus in around 8 hours. Charters then run out to the Banyak Islands from Sibolga in around 3 hours by speedboat.