Waikabubak is the main town in the western part of Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. The island’s second city, after Waingapu, is more a dusty village and is mainly used a base for visiting nearby traditional villages and attending the Pasola Festival.

Any point in Waikabubak town can be reached on foot in a few minutes such is its diminutive size. It is somewhat of a frontier town with a set of odd concrete government buildings, a large new mosque and street markets. The town lies at 600m above sea level and is quite cool at night.

The main attraction of Waikabubak is the surrounding traditional villages of Tarung, Puu Naga, and Tambeler. The most beautiful is Tarung with its unique architecture of thatched A-frame houses and multi-tier streets. It is spread over a hill for defensive purposes and is pretty austere. Hand-woven articles can be bought here.

Getting There & Away

Although there is an airport about 50kms from Waikabubak visitors are best off flying direct to Waingapu, the island capital, from Kupang or Bali and then taking a bus from there. Flight time from Bali to Waingapu is 1 hour, 20 minutes - the airport is 140kms from Waikabubak or 3 hours by bus. The nearest sea port is 50kms to the coast in Waikelo.

Things to Do

Waikabubak Attractions

Waikabubak amenities

There are no outstanding attractions in waikabubak; it is merely used as a base for visiting nearby villages and the pasola festival in nearby wanokaka.

Side trips from Waikabubak

Tarung village

The main attraction in the area is this fascinating traditional village which is spread over a hillside near waikabubak.


Pasola Festival

An ancient festival war ritual between two groups of sumbanese men on horseback throwing spears at one another. held yearly in february and march.