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Nihiwatu – your luxury surf resort in Indonesia / Sumba

Nihiwatu, a small and exclusive island hideaway in remote eastern Indonesia is one of the most extraordinary resorts in an archipelago of the extraordinary. Nihiwatu is the ultimate in privacy, exclusivity, romance, and views of one of the most stunning locations on earth. Among travelers “in the know” who seek excitement with absolute privacy, Nihiwatu’s reputation is unrivalled — for starters, world class fishing, surfing and diving are sensational and right outside your door, and not far away are unforgettable activities that are absolutely beyond compare.

Spend your days meditating on the beauty that surrounds you, from the lush jungle on one side to the exclusive beach and Indian Ocean stretching out as far as the eye can see on the other. Nihiwatu encompasses 175 hectares of tropical forest, rice terraces and grasslands, while its stunning two and half kilometers of beachfront are protected by headlands that ensure total exclusivity for guests. With an idyllic setting that is pristine, romantic and endlessly peaceful Nihiwatu is the perfect tropical retreat for honeymooners and couples.

Do everything or do nothing.
Nihiwatu allows you kick back all day overlooking paradise, relax by the pool, take leisurely walks along the beach or island excursions. Excellent dining and suite accommodation are not overlooked, and the resort’s friendly staff and leisure facilities ensure that amid the wonders of nature you have plenty of creature comforts.

And then there is culture.
Surrounding Nihiwatu are Stone Age sites and traditional villages that have remained unchanged for centuries, this unique tribal culture with its ancient animist rituals is truly incredible. Nihiwatu, a place that time seems to have forgotten, but that you’ll remember forever.

We are passionately committed to enriching the lives of our guests through staff who feel proud to belong, proactive partnerships with our communities, and by embracing innovation.

Since 1989 our philosophy has been to create a model of tourism that gives more than it takes. We are proud to have become an acknowledged leader of the Responsible Tourism movement and we intend to continue to pave a path for others to follow. It is through our strong support of The Sumba Foundation, its mission and its efforts to help the Sumbanese people that a new paradigm of responsible tourism has been created.

Nihiwatu is the place to be if you are seeking a unique and entirely different vacation experience;
be it adventure or nature at its scenic best … or simply fulfilling the desire to lose yourself in another world!

Check out the Gallery and details for a full impression. If you wish to have more info on availabilty, prices and tips; don’t hesitate to contact us!

Accommodation details

During your stay at Nihiwatu, your home will be one of only seven bungalows and three two bedroom and three bedroom villas that have been hand built by Indonesian craftsman.
Each offers all of the comforts and the serenity expected. Your balcony features comfortable rattan chairs and a day bed with views to die for. All of our accommodations are ocean facing and fully air-conditioned with mosquito nets, mini-bars, in room safes, hot water, hair dryers and bathroom amenities.

During the months of April to the end of October there is a minimum stay of seven nights so that you can really experience all that Nihiwatu has to offer; the time you need to relax, to explore the island, indulge in sport, make friends among fellow guests and become part of the Nihiwatu family. A shorter visit hardly allows enough time to rest from the strain of travel and enjoy your holiday. We are fortunate to have a very high percentage of returning guests, most who stay longer on their second and third visits with us.

All accommodation rates include all meals, soft beverages, welcome drink, 1 complimentary full body massage per guest, and 1 complimentary traditional Sumba village excursion per guest, and airport transfers via Tambolaka Airport in West Sumba (there is a surcharge of US$150 per car per one way for up to 4 passengers from Waingapu Airport in East Sumba. This is about a 5 hour drive and we do not recommend it as a good option).

Our rates are quoted in United States Dollars and subject to 11% government tax and 10% service charges.

  • Luxury Suiteis one bedroom completed with bathroom open to gardens, large front decks and a plunge pool
    • Luxury Villais two bedrooms in separate buildings with each bathroom open to gardens, large front decks completed with a living room, a kitchen, a bar and a large infinity pool
    • Whole residence (exclusive rental) is four bedrooms consist of 2 units Luxury Suites and 1 unit Luxury Villa, based on 8 pax occupancy in total, terms and conditions for extra beds apply. Normal Seasons: – April 1st – June 30th – September 16th – March 31st High Season: – July 1st – September 15th

Normal Seasons:
– April 1st – June 30th 2015
– September 16th – March 31st

High Season:
– July 1st – September 15th

Included in the rates:
All meals; breakfast, Lunch, dinner, afternoon teas and coffees
All drinks including beers, house wines, spirits and cocktails
Airport transfers via Tambolaka Airport in West Sumba
Sea and land activities, excursion and journeys based on a weekly activities offering
Scuba-diving and snorkeling in and around the Nihiwatu beach & surrounding sites when conditions permit
Mountain bikes, SUP expedition, Stand-Up Paddling boards
Excursion to traditional Sumbanese Villages and to Sumba Foundation’s Project
Scheduled group Yoga classes
One full body massage per adult for each week booked (not applicable for adult sharing by extra bed)

Surf trip by boat or car
2 hours early morning and afternoon fishing within the Nihiwatu area

Wi-fi internet access in-room and public areas of the hotel
* Inclusions could change without prior notice
*Inclusions for all marine operations are subject to weather conditions, safety & availability

Kindly note that all additional optional activities and services not stated in the above benefits such as drinks on the reserved list, tobacco, half day & full day fishing trips and full day boat excursion, Jet Ski, Tow Surfing, Dive Certification, Intro Dive Lesson, Spear Fishing, private Yoga instruction, and Waterfall Yoga, additional surfer, all spa treatments, Boutique “Mamole” gift shop purchased, Babysitter service and etc are available with additional charge.

Terms & Conditions:
• A one week minimum stay applies from April until end of October
• Nightly rates are subject to 21% government tax and service charge and are quoted in United States Dollars
• Children 5 years of age and above are welcome

Cancellation policy:
Nihiwatu bookings are typically made a year to 6 months in advance. Most international flights inbound to Indonesia are fully booked 2 to 3 months prior to planed arrival dates. Therefore we have little chance to re-sell cancelled accommodation and must treat them as unrecoverable.

Cancellations must be received by Nihiwatu IN WRITING either by email or fax. Bookings cancelled or reduced in number are charged as indicated below.

140 or more days = 1 day of accommodation

90-139 days = 25% of total booking

60-89 days = 50% of total booking

40-59 days = 75% of total booking

39 – arrival = 100% of total booking

No refund for No Shows or days not used resulting from Premature Departure.

In case of late arrival due to flight delays we will be happy to extend the stay provided there is space available, however we cannot be held accountable for such flight delays or cancellations.

We strongly advise that your guest always recommend the purchase of a reliable travel insurance policy.

We will arrange for domestic flights from Denpasar- Sumba and Sumba–Denpasar. The flights will be through Tambolaka, the closer airport in West Sumba. We will inform you the flight schedule and cost when the details determined however for your reference here is our 2012 flight schedule and rates:

Thursday (Nihiwatu charter flight) ETD Bali 11:50 am ETA Sumba (Tambolaka) 12:50 pm JET BAE-146 / PK.BRF Avia Star operate by TransNusa Airline

SUMBA to BALI Thursday (Nihiwatu charter flight) ETD Sumba (Tambolaka) 13:20 pm ETA BALI 14:20 pm JET BAE-146 / PK BRF Avia Star operate by TransNusa Airline

The 2012 price for return flight tickets Bali – Sumba – Bali is US$ 470 net per person. This price includes use of VIP Lounge at Bali and Tambolaka airport, excess baggage & bulk baggage, airport taxes and baggage handling. We are not charging any tax or service charge on flight tickets.

– As there are no international flights arriving early enough in Bali and most flights from Sumba to Bali are coming in late afternoon, to make the Sumba flight connection your guest will need to spend at least one night in Bali, prior and after from Sumba

– Our surfer policy is to book no more than 10 surfers per day on our main break and we are not block any spot for beginner surfer as there are other breaks that can be great for learning too as they can be more gentle. We allow only one surfer booked in a one bedroom or two surfers in a two bedrooms villa. Any additional surfers will be charged US$ 100++ per person per night. This price is subject to 21% government tax and service charge Please advise us upon make an inquiry whether your guest planning to surf (surfer) while staying with us or not.

– We strongly advise that your guest always recommend the purchase of a reliable travel insurance policy.

Please let us know so that we can help you celebrate a birthday or anniversary

If you have special needs, let us know when you make your reservations, and we’ll do everything possible to accommodate your request.

FOR SURFERS: If you are booking to surf at Nihiwatu please make close note of the following. We want to provide you with an unforgettable crowd free surfing experience and to do so we limit the number of surfers at Nihiwatu to nine only. There may be times, due to an extended booking, that an additional surfer is booked for a few days but generally we are very much committed to our nine surfer quota. For groups booking the whole resort there is no limit on the number of surfers. That is left up to the group to decide.

In the past two years too many guests have booked in as one surfer when in fact there were more. This has caused us considerable problems and of course complaints. To solve this problem we now allow one surfer in a bungalow and two surfers in a villa. Any additional surfers will be charged $100 each per night. We therefore need to know exactly how many of you will be surfing, and we need to know at the time of paying the deposit for your booking, your cooperation and understanding is very much appreciated. Adjustments will be made for additional surfers according to your response and added to your final billing.

Please note that only the registered surfers will be allowed to surf during your stay. If you do not respond and let us know how many of you will be surfing we will automatically book you as only one surfer for this booking and we reserve the right to deny additional surfers the opportunity to surf.

If you are planning to learn to surf, or a beginner surfer renting surfboards we need to know. You will be required to take a surf lesson before surfing on your own and your instructor will advise you of alternate surf breaks that are appropriate for your level of surfing abilities.

Getting There…
“Nihiwatu is far from everywhere, that’s the beauty of it!”

Nihiwatu is far from everywhere, that’s the beauty of it! When we started it took two and a half full days of travel to get here from Bali. It was a long and arduous journey that few would ever undertake. Now the travel time from Bali to Nihiwatu has been cut to just over three hours. It is an easy and interesting journey with much to see as you drive 1.5 hours through the countryside on your way from Tambolaka airport to the remote coastline of Nihiwatu.

Because there are no international flights arriving early enough in Bali to make the Sumba flight connection you will need to spend one night in Bali.
The domestic airlines are extremely unreliable therefore we strongly recommend that you book our Thursday charter flights through our office.
On the day of your departure to Nihiwatu our office staff will meet you with your flight tickets at the domestic terminal of the Bali airport and assist with your baggage check in. You will be escorted by our staff directly to the VIP lounge while waiting for the flight.

There are many airlines that fly to Bali via hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. From America we can recommend Singapore Airlines, EVA Air and Cathay Pacific. Our favorite would be Singapore Air followed by EVA Air, both have fast and easy one stop connections to Bali. EVA Air, via Taipei, offers what they call the Evergreen Class which is an old style business class seat for more comfort and with only a comparatively small additional fee.

From Europe there are many airlines that will get you to Bali. The fastest routes will generally be those that come through Singapore and connect onwards to Bali with Singapore Airlines. Singapore Air is the only one with multiple daily flights to Bali from Singapore. The others have only one flight a day, some only have several flights a week so make sure that you ask you travel agent for details or go online direct with the airlines for their schedules to Bali.

Your travel agent should be able to make arrangements for you but planning ahead is wise especially during the high season months of June though early September.
Flights into Bali are limited and last minute bookings can sometimes be problematic.


Horse Riding.
If the water doesn’t interest you the countryside surely will. If your an experienced rider our Sumba horses can take you as far as you like and in any direction you choose. There are few roads, houses or fences to block your way. Be forewarned, Sumba horses may be small but they are feisty, so be prepared for a challenging ride.

For serious riders we offer half and full day guided horseback tours to secluded beaches, through forested countryside and to traditional villages. If you want a memorable riding experience you could go for a full moon ride along the beach, you will never forget it.

Mountain Biking
We have mountain bike tours available for those wanting to get a work out while covering some interesting terrain. We have a variety of guided routes that few ever have the chance to see; everywhere you go there are expansive views of the mountains and sea, small traditional villages with high peaked grass roofs, buffalo and horses, and the ever smiling Sumbanese children.

There are few islands in Indonesia where uninhabited space is the norm … fortunately here in Sumba it is. We can design any manner of hikes and treks for all levels of endurance and skill. In the past we have guided rather strenuous overnight trips through heavily forested mountainous areas. Most of our guests choose to try something easier like our popular hike to a waterfall that will make your jaw drop.

Overland Tours
We offer many half day and full day jeep tours to beaches and important traditional villages and markets. We can customize tours according to your interests, whatever they are.

Experiencing the Local Villages
A visit to a Sumba village is a must, its one of the most interesting things you can do during your stay. Our policy is to take small groups of guests at any one time to a village. We believe that this provides a more intimate experience for guests and does not overly disturb the village life.

Sumba Foundation Informative Trips
We are most proud of what we have been able to achieve for our neighbors with the support of our guests. Nihiwatu is proof that we all can make a difference somewhere, somehow. You can see how its done while you are staying with us, it takes only about two to three hours of your time to visit one of many Sumba Foundation clinics, schools, communal farms, the bio-diesel factory, and our carbon offset Teak plantation. We are quite sure that you will still be thinking about this sustainable tourism model, years from now.

Bird Watching
With more than 300 species of birds Sumba is a birders paradise. The island is blessed with eight endemics found nowhere else on earth including hornbill, fruit dove, button quail and paradise flycatcher. Nearby to the bungalows is a nature trail on which you can see many of the birds in our area and we can arrange special birding trips to more remote areas. We also work with the local villagers in creating awareness of the importance of protecting the natural resources on the island.


World Class Fishing
Exceptional fishing grounds are only minutes away in our fully equipped deep-sea fishing boat.
Here you have the best chance in Indonesia of catching all kinds of big fish.

The sea around Nihiwatu provides anglers with a great range of big game and reef fish for sport or table. Large Marlin, weighing more than 300 pounds and Yellowfin Tuna over 150 pounds migrate close to the coast during the months of August though January, but there are masses of sizeable 130 pound Sailfish, 30 to 40 pound Spanish Mackerel and Wahoo, and 40 to 70 pound Trevally in the area throughout the year just waiting to be caught.

We practice catch; photo and release billfishing; Wahoo and Spanish Mackerel are brought home for the BBQ.

Exceptional Diving
We are fortunate to have a choice of diverse dive sites that are right in front of the resort. Further afield, there is heart-pounding adventure diving on reefs and seamounts along the coast where masses of large pelagic fish congregate. Divers have even experienced close encounters with large Marlin, Sailfish and even Blue Whales. The excitement is guaranteed.

The west coast of Sumba is directly exposed to the full force of the Indian Ocean. It is this exposure that has protected the reefs from the destructive reef bombing that has damaged more than 70% of Indonesia’s reefs. Because of the consistent ocean swells along this section of the Sumba coast the blast boats cannot safely approach the inshore reefs to bomb. This is great for the reefs, and for divers, however the downside is that when there are large swells it will shut down our ability to dive.

These large swells generally occur on the full and new moons therefore the best dive conditions are usually the periods between these moon cycles. We have the equipment, we have the pristine reefs, and we have exceptional undersea geography but we do not pretend to be a destination dive resort. We cannot guarantee that diving will always be available if you stay with us, but when it is the diving at Nihiwatu will be memorable.

A Surf Travel Destination, Beyond Compare
Just 100 yards off of Nihiwatu beach is one of the world’s most perfect waves. Guests of ours have the added benefit of riding, or just watching, the incredible surf breaking on the reef directly in front of the resort. At times it truly becomes a spectacle.

Nihiwatu faces southwest into the Indian Ocean and is ideally suited for picking up swell arriving from thousands of miles away in Antarctica; the surf here is very consistent. If the surf is flat here you can be sure it is flat just about everywhere else in the archipelago.

When the surf is small we can teach you to surf, or we can get you on waves tandem surfing with our watermen. We have Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards available, with or without instruction. Our Boardroom carries all shapes and sizes of short and long boards, we also have Boogie Boards. Whatever it takes to get you in the water we have it.

Boating Expeditions
The West Sumba coastline is absolutely stunning! Imagine perfect beaches and massive cliffs adorned with jungle and palms, all backed by distant mountains. We can take you to spectacular areas that are so remote that they can only be accessed by boat.

Cruising along a scenic coastline is an exhilarating experience and one should take this opportunity whenever or were ever it arises. Our full day excursions can include fishing, snorkeling and delicious luncheon buffets under the trees on the beach.

For nature lovers we can take you on a walking tour through lowland tropical forest just behind the beach. There you will definitely see hundreds of birds and with luck you just might see wild buffalo and groups of monkeys.


Nihiwatu is located in the heart of traditional Sumba. The megalithic culture of this area has remained intact and virtually unchanged through time, this is a very interesting place. The “Discovery” and “National Geographic” television channels have aired many documentaries on the unique tribal culture of the Sumbanese people.

The world famous “Pasola” rituals draw thousands of traditionally dressed people to witness battles on horseback. These cultural events take place each year during the months of February and March and are close to Nihiwatu. We are closed in February but open in March for the Pasola at Wanukaka, and we even have VIP seating for our guests. If you want to see this event please contact our office for the dates. The animist Priests decide on the date of the event about 6 weeks ahead so it is impossible to confirm until early February.

There are many smaller ceremonies taking place in nearby villages throughout the year that Nihiwatu guests are invited to. When they happen we will let you know, and if you want to go we will arrange a guide to escort you to them.

Weaving is an important part of the local culture, in fact Sumba is world famous for its traditional “ikat” weavings. You can see how its done by watching our weavers at work by the boathouse on the beach. If you want to learn the skill you can take traditional weaving lessons and you can take your weaving home when it’s finished.

Overland Tours and Village Visits
We offer many half day and full day tours to important traditional villages, to markets, to beaches, and to forests and waterfalls. We can also create tours that are customized to your interests; there is not much that we cannot do for you.

A visit to a Sumba village is a must, its one of the most interesting things you can do during your stay. Our policy is to take no more than eight guests at any one time to a village. We believe that this provides a more intimate experience for guests and does not overly disturb the village life.

The Sumba Foundation Tour
If you are interested, and want to see the award winning work that is being done for our Sumbanese neighbors, we can take you to clinics, schools, wells and farms to see some of Sumba Foundation projects firsthand. Your guide will explain how its done and you will get to meet some of the thousands of people that are benefitting from the many projects the Foundation has completed or is currently working on. You just may decide to help fund a project, as many of our guests do, and be a part of making life easier for people in need of our help.

Sorry – the rates are not available at the moment

That doesn’t mean your journey ends here! Contact us for more information on rates and prices and we will always respond within 24 hours (probably much faster).
Tel:: +316 55 828 727

Questions? We might have them covered right here!

When are the Indonesia waves at their best?
March and April: glassy conditions, a few more rights, less people but smaller waves.
May, June, July and September: Big surf – high season.
Late September and October: glassy conditions, a few more rights, less people but smaller waves.
November, December, January and February: Rainy but still good surface conditions and smaller waves with no one around. Clean waves.

How to get there?

Simply book a flight to Ngurah Rai (DPS)  with airlines like Emirates/Singapore Airlines/Etihad/ Sri Lankan/ Qatar ( free surf boards ) or Turkish Airlines / Tiger Airlines/ Air Berlin / Condor

How do I make a reservation?
1. Contact us regarding your request and/or any questions you may have. Use the form above, call us (+316 55 828 727) or write us an e-mail (
2. Together we will arrange your trip from A to Z.
3. Have you read our Booking Terms? Before confirming, please read them.

Don’t forget your:
– Surf equipment (+ repair kit)
– Passport (at least 6 months valid upon date of return)
– Visas. For Indonesia you get a 30 day free visa upon arrival.
– Travel insurance
– Board shorts, sunscreen and slippers
– Music
– Books


Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort 4

Nihiwatu resort

Nihiwatu resort

The Surf

Nihiwatu is a destination for surfers to bring their partners or families and do whatever they want in style and serious comfort. Nihiwatu is situated on one of the premier lefts in Indonesia, and the resort strives to restrict the number of surfers booked into the resort to only 10 or less at any one time.

There is no doubt that Nihiwatu is one of the top waves in Indonesia and the world. The professional surfers who have visited Nihiwatu over the years have attested to this.
There have been several surf movies made here with the arraignment of the owners and with the agreement that the filmmakers and photographers would not name the location.

Nevertheless the word has leaked out and now there is a cult following of surfers who know about Nihiwatu. In some circles Nihiwatu has already achieved legendary status.

The wave breaks from deep water onto a shallow reef directly in front of the resort, tubing from start to finish. It is thick and steep on the takeoff and sucking a lot of water up the face. Nihiwatu is one of the fastest rideable waves anywhere, taking only six to ten seconds to travel the 250+ yard length of the wave.

This is not a hot dogging wave, at any size its down-the-line surfing. One slight mistake on your take-off and you probably won’t make it to the channel. Nihiwatu breaks best at 4′ and above and the bigger the swell the better the wave becomes. 8′ to 10′ swells are common here and there are usually several 12’+ swells each year.

The coral reef is relatively surfer-friendly. The coral is pounded flat by the waves and hitting the bottom does not necessarily mean getting cut. In fact over the past twelve years there have been very few surfers with reef cuts and no serious injuries.

The wave breaks 80 to 100 yards off the beach and ends in a deep channel. The setup is ideal and paddling out through the channel is easy without having to punch through the waves at all. If you do not make the wave the sweep of the water over the reef will push you back into the channel very quickly.

Tides in Indonesia change only about three feet during neap tides and up to 8 feet during the full and new moon periods. The wave at Nihiwatu has different personalities depending on the tide. At extreme high tide the wave is fuller and much easier to ride, perfect for surfers who are not accustomed to fast tubing waves. On extreme low tide, during the full and new moon periods, the wave breaks onto dry reef and is un-rideable except for the 50-yard end section. These extreme tide periods occur four days before and three days after the new and full moons. It is during these periods that surf can almost be guaranteed at Nihiwatu.

Typically the novice surfers go out at high tide with the accomplished surfers preferring to go out for the two to three hours of mid tides on either side of the peak high tide. That’s when its serious tube time at Nihiwatu. During the neap tides the change is minimal and does not affect the wave at all, one can surf all day on the high and low tides. These really are the optimum tides, providing there is swell.

Nihiwatu resort is protected from the prevailing crosswinds during the months of March to December. Unlike Bali, the trade winds do not blow day and night and for months on end. There can be periods of strong wind for four or five days then followed by very light wind conditions, even when it is blowing hard in other parts of Indonesia. Generally the peak winds will occur during the months of June, July and August although we have experienced a whole month of July with no strong winds at all.

When it is blowing hard the wave will be affected. Not by the wind on the wave, which is cross shore on the take off and offshore on the last half of the wave, but by a wind swell that comes from outside of the point and crosses the face of the wave during take off. It makes for tricky take offs, but once on the wave the face cleans up nicely and keeps tubing.

Even during the peak wind conditions the wind will be offshore in the morning before turning side shore by around 10am. During the worst conditions the wave will become blown out between 12:30 to 2 pm. This does not happen regularly but when it does then its time to try other activities like horseback riding on the beach, fishing and scuba diving, bird watching, mountain biking, trekking to a waterfall, relaxing at the pool or having a massage at the Jungle Spa.

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