Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra

by - June 15, 2019

Now we will discuss the Mentawai islands in West Sumatra. One island that is still only known to local tourists and international tourists. Many say this island is like a paradise for surfing. Also referred to as Hawaii in Asia. Read it until it's finished !!


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The charm of the Mentawai Islands

The Mentawai Islands are an island district located on the westernmost side of Sumatra Island. Administratively, the Mentawai Islands are a part of the West Sumatra Province. The Mentawai Islands consist of four islands. Namely Siberut Island, Sipora Island, North Pagai Island and South Pagai Island. The largest island among the four is Siberut Island. On Siberut Island, most of the Mentawai Islands inhabitants live.

This location far from the island of Sumatra means the Mentawai people have very little communication with the outside world. The Archipelago is thought to be separate from the island of Sumatra around 500,000 years ago and since the 20th century, outside influence began to have an impact on local communities. At present, the Mentawai still adheres to traditional culture and lives most of its land. The local community has a strong spiritual connection with the forest with a belief system that emphasizes harmony with creation.

It is believed that people first came to inhabit these islands at least several thousand years ago. Most anthropologists classify Mentawai people as Protomalay which means they have a culture that is mostly Neotlithic but have not been influenced by Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism.

Tattoos are an important symbol in Mentawai culture and reflect maturity, maturity and status. The art of tattooing this body has been inherited from ancestors and ink made from natural fibers.

The largest city on Siberut is Muara Siberut on the southeast coast. This is the main entry point for tourist groups from the mainland. From here, you can travel with local guides and road trips to several Mentawai villages. If your language is good enough, chat with locals and enjoy their hospitality.


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Another great attraction for visitors to these islands is the world-class surfing spot. With some of the best surfing conditions in the world, waves and monster waves that remain throughout the year, this is the attraction of surfers that must be visited.

Here is a place for some world class surfing. There is no season here, big waves throughout the year. Warm water, perfect vats and limited crowds - after you surf the Mentawai islands, there is no other place in the world that can compare them.

Besides being beautiful, Mentawai also plays an important role for conservation. Since 1981, the UN Agency for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has designated Siberut Island in Mentawai as one of the biosphere reserves so that its existence must be protected and kept away from exploitation.

The exoticism of Siberut is added by four Mentawai endemic primates, namely simakobu or pig tail monkeys (Simias concolor), dwarf bilou (dylobates klosii), joja or mentawai langur (Presbytis potenziani), and mentawai beruk (Macaca pagensis).

To examine the richness of this Mentawai primate, the Primate Center of the University of Gottingen, Germany, in collaboration with the Bogor Agricultural Institute established the Siberut Conservation Project.


Facts about the Mentawai Islands

There are some facts that you need to know before visiting the Mentawai Islands:

Populated by Tribes that Maintain Their Customs
In this archipelago there are tribes who still maintain their culture strongly. One of them is a traditional tattoo that uses all-traditional equipment, the process is still using tapered wood and then beaten gradually. Tattooing for the Mentawai tribe has its own meaning. One of them is an arrow symbol symbolizing the way of surviving the Mentawai tribe. Usually the image is owned by sikerei (traditional healer).


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Global Spot Surfing
Face to face with the Indian Ocean, the Mentawai has waves that are much in demand by world surfers. In 2016 these islands hosted a world-class surfing competition called Mentawai Pro. Seven of the 71 total surf spots are part of the ten best surfing spots in the world.

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Defined to be a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO
It is located on Siberut Island, approximately approximately 155 km from the city of Padang. Unspoiled forests and rare animals that live here, make Mentawai designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. There are at least four endemic animals such as bokkoi, mentawai, lilou, and simakobu lutung that live in these islands.

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Consisting of four main islands
The Mentawai Islands consist of three main islands with a large enough size. Namely Siberut Island, Sipora Island, North Pagai Island and South Pagai Island. Each island has a natural panorama that is still beautiful and awake. Some global surfing spots are also divided into four islands.

Enjoy the Coral Reef
Almost all beaches in the Mentawai Islands have soft white sand and beautiful coral reefs. You will find it easy to find beautiful coral reefs along the east and south coasts. You will feel satisfied diving and swimming enjoying the beauty of the sea of ​​the Mentawai Islands. In the Mentawai Islands itself there is a water conservation area. This conservation area is known as the Taman Laut Aquatic Strait and its Surrounding Park. Management is not managed by a government agency. Conversely, the management of the park is independently with the surrounding community.


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Tourism that must be visited in the Mentawai Islands

Only a few recommended tourist spots for those of you who are going on vacation here. As a travel guide.

Awera Beach


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Somewhat little of the island is so great that you will find a beach tourism destination that is the awera beach. This awera beach is located on one island, namely the awera island. To be able to get to the beach, you have to use sea transportation such as boats if you are from the sub-district city. Awera Beach itself is located right in front of the capital Tuapejat. The view on the beach is also beautiful, for those of you who like to dive with the underwater world this place is the one that suits you. Because the water on this beach is quite clear and blue. The underwater world of the seaside itself still preserves its ecosystem including fish and coral reefs. So don't regret if you travel here.

Nyangnyang Beach


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One tourist destination in the Mentawai Islands is Nyangnyang Beach. This beach itself is located in the middle of the island in the Mentawai Islands. We know that there are many separate islands in the Mentawai archipelago and one of them is Nyangnyang Island. This Nyangnyang beach is located in the South Siberut District, Nyangnyang Island. Approximately 2 hours to get to the Nyangnyang beach if from the city district. And you have to use sea transportation like a speedboat to get to this beach. It is said that the waves on this island are quite large and include the highest waves in the world.

Kulu Kubuk Waterfall


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The waterfall tourist destinations in the following Mentawai islands are Kulu waterfalls. Kulu Kubuk Waterfall is located in Madobak Village, South Siberut District, Mentawai Islands Regency. In the middle of the deepening of the village forest, you will find a waterfall called Kulu Waterfall, the cove. The beauty in Kulu Kubuk waterfall is also still maintained because we know it is very far from the locals so that the place still looks clean. Once there, you will be presented with fresh air and clear fresh water from the Kulu waterfall. Not only taking pictures, you can also take a shower and feel the fresh water from the Kulu waterfall.

Karamajat Beach


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Not only famous for its tattoo, the Mentawai islands are also famous for very large waves and high on the beach. And one of the beaches that has big waves in the Mentawai Islands is Karamajat Beach. This karamajat beach is located on the Karamajat island of the Mentawai Islands. Here you will be presented with a cool breeze. The waves on the beach of Karamajat Island reach 2-4 meters. In terms of the beauty of the beach it is also not inferior to some of the beaches in the Mentawai Islands. In accordance with the high and large waves, it is perfect for those of you who like to surf on this Karamajat beach.

Siruso Beach


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The next coastal destination of the Mentawai Islands is Siruso Beach. As the name suggests, this beach is located on Siruso island in Sikakap sub-district. To get to this beach location you have to use a boat or speed boat from Sikakap. And the duration of the trip from Sikakap to the beach location is approximately 1 hour. Once there you will be presented with clear blue and white sea water in the coastal area of ​​Siruso.

Bat Soumang Waterfall


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Not only beach tourism destinations, in the Mentawai Islands there are several waterfall tourist destinations that you can visit. One of the waterfall tourist destinations in the Mentawai Islands is the Bat Soumang Waterfall. The tourist location of the Bat Soumang Waterfall itself is located on the largest island of the Mentawai Islands. Right in the middle of the forest there is a waterfall called Batsaomang Waterfall. Located in Madobak Village, South Siberut District, Mentawai Islands Regency.

Bulasat Beach


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Nyang Nyang Island, located in Katurei Village, has very high coastal waves. You will find waves of 4 meters on the island Nyangnyang. And the other island that has high waves is Karamajat Island. Although there are many beaches on this island that are up to 4 meters high. However, there are also some beaches on this island that have small and calm waves. One of the beaches is Bulasat beach located in the hamlet of Bulasat. To be able to get to this beach you have to pass through the hills and if from the sub-district city it takes approximately 3 hours to get to the location of this Bulasat beach. Once there you will be presented with a beach with white sand in the coastal area of ​​the coast.

Bosu Katiet Beach


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The beach with large and high waves in the Mentawai Islands is the beach of Katiet Bosua. This beach is located in Katiet Hamlet, Bosua Village, Sipora District, Mentawai Islands. To be able to get to this beach location you have to use a water vehicle such as a boat or speedboat from the Tuapejat village. Suitable for you who want to surf here, because the waves on this beach reach a height of 3-4 meters.

Karoniki Beach


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Karoniki Beach is one of the tourist destinations that you must visit in the Mentawai Islands. Not only famous for its beauty, this beach is also often used as the nesting place for turtles. Many turtle eggs are found on the coast of this karoniki. It is strictly forbidden for you to take or look for turtle eggs on the Karoniki coast. As the name suggests, this beach is located on Koroniki Island, South Siberut District. To get to the beach location it takes about one hour from the city of the district. You also have to use sea transportation to get to this beach location. Once there you will be presented with high waves and high cliffs. Many locals also provide rock climbing facilities on this beach.

Pokai Beach


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As the largest island in the Mentawai Islands. Ciberut Island has many tourist destinations that you can meet. One of the tourist destinations of ciberut island is pokai beach tourism. This beach is located in the area of ​​ciberut island north of Simalegi Village. Along this Pokai Beach there are fertile green pine trees. Pokai beach tourism from the northern island of Ciberut is also famous for its coolness, this is probably due to the many winds in this coastal area. So that the waves on the beach are also not calm. If from the sub-district city you have to use sea transportation such as a speedboat to get to this beach. The view on this beach is also beautiful, you can also move or travel to the island which is not so far from the island. About 5 minutes you can use to be able to move from one island to another.

Sinakak Bay


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Sinakak Bay is the best choice for those of you who want to tour the Mentawai Islands. Not only is presented a beautiful sea view, here you can also enjoy the sunset or enjoy the sunset from the coast. As the name suggests, the bay of Sinakak is located in Sinakak Village. To get to the location of Sinakak Bay you have to use sea transportation and travel a distance of approximately 3 hours from the city of the sub-district.

Tips for visiting the Mentawai Islands

  • The local community does not mind being photographed but it is more polite to ask first.
  • The terrain in this forest is steep and muddy so if you come to climb, bring good hiking shoes and appropriate clothes. Depending on what tour you choose, prepare for some long and hard trips, accommodation and food.
  • Common mosquitoes and leeches here. The forest here is so wet that it is a good idea to coat your packaging with a plastic bag. Remember to bring a torch, and warm clothes because it's cold here at night.
  • Washing in the river, but you must keep the sarong or bathing suit at all times.
  • Bring your own surfboard with you, because it might be difficult to find a surfboard shop in Mentawai.
  • Bring all your medicines.
Are you interested in visiting the Mentawai islands. Don't miss the Mentawai islands when you are in Sumatra. Thanks for reading. Don't forget to subscribe so that you don't miss the tours in Indonesia ^^

How to get there : From the city of Padang and cross to the Mentawai Islands on Siberut Island. But unfortunately, crossing to the Mentawai Islands is not served every day. Only 2 times in one week. Thursday night and Sunday night only. That is why, you cannot go in and out of the Mentawai Islands every day. Moreover, the duration of crossing takes around 5 to 7 hours. As an alternative, you can head to the Mentawai Islands by air transportation. So that in less than one hour, you will arrive at the Capital of the Mentawai Islands, Tuapejat.

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