West Sumba Travel Guide

West Sumba is the more remote part of the southern East Nusa Tenggara island of Sumba. It is usually appealing to the more discerning traveler in search of quieter beaches and a bit of ancient culture.

The capital of the West Sumba regency is the small, dusty and uninteresting town of Waikabubak. You can get here by plane from Kupang and Denpasar, although it is a better bet going through Waingapu in the east. Attractions in Waikabubak include ancient stone tombs, while the traditional Sumbanese village of Tarung is the main attraction and lies atop a hill just west of town.

There are many more of these ancient villages in West Sumba, which are always on a hill and feature the old style thatched houses with steep roofs. Anakalang village is one such village (20kms away), famed for its huge megalithic tombs.

Farther afield is a nice waterfall in Waikelo, while Pero Beach is on the west coast and the best in the area. Nearby Kodi also has plenty of cultural highlights. Be sure to check out the Pasola Festival, which happens in February and sees locals on horseback throwing spears around.

Getting There & Away

You can fly to Waikabubak from Kubang (West Timor), although the airport is 50kms from Waikabubak and requires a bumpy bus ride to town. Waingapu Airport in East Sumba is the main gateway to the island and flights come in a few times a week from Denpasar (Bali) in 1 hour, 20 minutes.