3 things to do in Mentawai Islands

It is still remain unfamiliar to holidaymakers, the alluring islands of West Sumatra, with its beaches, vacation villages as well as villas and resorts. Though, the place is a great getaway destination for anyone who is looking for alternative holiday in Indonesia other than the already popular Bali or Papua islands. In these islands better known as the Mentawai Islands there are at least three recommended things that you can do. Surfing Most tourists who come to the islands are longing to do this one thing. In addition to its pristine beaches with sunbaked sands, the beaches in Mentawai Islands are dubbed as one of the best and most consistent surf destination in the world. There are around 400 surf spots in Mentawai and 13 of them offer international-scale waves as high as six meters. Some of them can be found in Nyang Nyang, Karang Majat, Karoni, Mainuk and Katiet islands. According to Mentawai regency administration, more than 80 percent of visitors to the islands are surfers. In 2011, the number reached 4,010 people with duration of stay around two weeks to six months. Most of the surfers were foreigners from Australia, the United States, England and Austria - only a few were Indonesians and they usually came from Bali. The islands recently hosted Asian Surfing Championship in Katiet on April, where Asia’s top 16 professional surfers, seven special international invitees and one Mentawai local surfer competed at the world class wave of Lances Right for a total prize of US$ 8,000. Going native If you love trips which involve interacting with local people or getting know their indigenous cultures and daily lives, then head to the Siberut Island, spend a few days with a sikerei (shaman) and his family in their humble traditional house called the uma. An uma can be located in the deepest part of remote villages such as the Madobak, the Ugai, the Butui and the Matotonan, it means your adventure will begin with the effort to reach the spot using a small frail wooden boat. The boat can only accommodate seven passengers, crossing rivers with silt and fallen trees here and there as obstacles along the way. Since the trip can take up to four to six hours, local tours usually provide food and arranged for a snack break so that their clients can have a memorable picnic at the boat in a river out of nowhere. The Siberut Island is also home to Taman Nasional (National Park) Siberut with more than 190,000 hectares of land area which consists of nature sanctuary area, protected forests and production forests and offers primate and bird watching, jungle and river trekking and mangrove ecotourism. Escape For someone who is looking for a perfect destination to get away from something, the Mentawai offers gorgeous and luxurious villas and resorts in secluded islands with private sandy beaches and some privacy to go with it. Surfers, divers and snorkelers will have a great time in establishments such as the Aloita Resort & Spa in Simakakang Island and the Kandui Villas in Karang Majat Island. Both resorts provide full services and gears to enjoy water activities. Meanwhile those who are looking to relax can also enjoy massage, spa, culinary, swimming in a pool or private beach and a private tour to remote villages in Siberut island. It does not hurt that cellular phone coverage is limited in the islands because you will be free from phone calls and text messages. However, WiFi networks are available in these resorts, thus you can still log in the internet to keep in touch with your loved ones.

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