Sumbawa is one of the less travelled places of Indonesia as most people flock to Bali, Lombok or the Gili Islands. That’s definitely a shame as West Sumbawa truly is a piece of unexplored paradise. Although it was previously just a spot that attracted surfers, more and more it’s becoming a place that anybody can travel. So if you don’t mind to discover unknown places, then we highly recommend you to travel Sumbawa for a variety of reasons listed below.
When you travel to Cebu in the Philippines, you can find one of the most amazing lagoons you’ll ever see but you definitely won’t be alone as it is a huge tourist attraction. This will not happen in Sumbawa where the hidden lagoons aren’t even on the map. That means you really got to find them by asking the local people and having a bit of luck. This is already a fun adventure as barely anyone speaks any English. And although locating these places can become a bit of a challenge, it does create something magical as you’re really looking to find something that very few people know about. Discovering a hidden lagoon was definitely one of our highlights of Sumbawa.
The beaches in West Sumbawa are like no other, they look like paradise and are totally empty, so empty that you might even get lonely. Seriously, they are definitely some of the things you want to see as there are very few places in Indonesia where you can still find this. One of the known beaches and a must see in West Sumbawa is Scar Reef. Scar Reef is a paradise beach that is known by the locals and can be easily reached by scooter.
As if there wasn’t already enough beauty in West Sumbawa, you’ve got plenty of beautiful rice fields that you can easily drive through. They don’t have different levels like the rice paddies in Bali, but they are greener than green and miles long. If you’re lucky you’ll find some of the local woman working in the rice fields who will probably be delighted to see a traveler since this doesn’t happen very often.
If you like to surf you’re definitely at the right spot, as West Sumbawa is known for having some of the world’s best surf spots. Although you can take some surfing lessons as a beginner, most of the waves are more for the advanced surfers. One of the best surfing beaches is called Yoyo or Yoyo’s, where you can surf really decent waves as you can see on the shot we took below.
West Sumbawa is a great place for the adventurous traveler that isn’t afraid to discover the unknown. You won’t be traveling this place with a full planned itinerary like you could do with Bali or Lombok. As a result you’ll discover a great place full of beauty that might be totally yours for the day as it is not on the tourist map yet!
If you’d like to really get a taste of Sumbawa, we encourage you to watch our Youtube video of West Sumbawa and we promise you that you won’t be disappointed.
Travel Tips West Sumbawa
Best time to visit West Sumbawa
The best time is between April and October, especially for surfers since this is the surfing season with the best surf weather.
Costs West Sumbawa
Almost everything in West Sumbawa is really cheap. You just got to make sure that you don’t pay the tourist price, which usually doesn’t happen because they’re not used to tourists. However, the more people discover this piece of paradise, the more this can happen which is another reason to take your advantage by traveling Sumbawa now.
Food West Sumbawa
If you love to dine in fancy restaurants, you’ll be a bit disappointed. Food in Sumbawa is a bit tricky as there are very few places to eat. We found one place where we could just grab a plate like you were home, which was pretty cool. In the end we just pointed out what we ate and were able to pay for it, which was by the way extremely cheap!
Transport West Sumbawa
We rented a motorbike and this is definitely the way to discover the area. You rarely have taxis and you need to get into a bit rougher terrain to be able to find the nicest spots. So make sure to have a good scooter or even a dirt bike if you can drive that. Below you’ll also find a section on how to get to Sumbawa and the good news is that Sumbawa doesn’t only have a ferry port but also an airport if you’d like to fly!
Culture West Sumbawa
Before you travel to West Sumbawa, it is good to know that the biggest parts are practising the Islam. That means that as a woman it is smart to cover up your knees and shoulders, especially if you’re going to some of the local markets. The local people will be happy you respect their culture.
Accommodation West Sumbawa
Although there aren’t tons of luxury resorts in West Sumbawa, you’ll find some hotels here and there and down this page we’ve recommended a few of them. If you like to surf and spend time in a beautiful location, we advise you to check out the Merdeka House that is also listed below.