Sumbawa is a hidden treasure in Indonesia, offering a unique blend of nature, culture, and adventure. Nestled in the heart of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain. The island shares its boundaries with Lombok to the west, Flores to the east, and Sumba to the southeast.
Sumbawa is relatively untouched by mass tourism, making it perfect for travelers seeking an authentic experience. The island has a few regencies, specifically Sumbawa Besar, Bima City, Dompu, and West Sumbawa, with their charm and beauty.
It is the capital of the Sumbawa Regency within the province of West Nusa Tenggara. You will find a blend of tradition and modernity. Explore the local markets, taste traditional Sumbawan cuisine, and witness captivating dance performances that depict the island’s rich culture. The province has few historical buildings from the Dutch colonial era. For adventurous travelers, swimming with whale sharks in the Saleh bay is a surreal experience.
Just off the coast of Sumbawa Besar, Moyo is a beautiful and untouched island. It has some beautiful white sand beaches, and the stunning Mata Iju waterfall. Snorkeling and diving around Moyo island is also very nice, with frequent sightings of sharks, eagle rays and plenty of tropical reef fishes.
Heading east, you will reach Bima, a paradise for water enthusiasts. It is the largest city on the island and located on the eastern shore of Bima Bay. The crystal-clear waters surrounding this region are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Bima has several well-known tourist destinations, such as Mount Tambora, Wawo Traditional Village, Sambori Traditional Village, Snake Island, Ana Fari Lake (Lake of the Angels), and Satonda Island.
Dompu, located in the eastern part of the island, is a heaven for surfers. The waves at Lakey Beach are world-renowned, and the beach is used as a location for international surfing competitions. If you are not a surfer, no need to worry; there are plenty of trekking and cultural experiences to enjoy. Dompu has several famous tourist attractions, such as Mount Tambora, Satonda Island, and Doroncanga Savannah. Doroncanga Savannah is a savanna that is so unique that travelers call it Africa van Sumbawa.
It is a region brimming with natural beauty. Maluk Beach and Plampang Beach beckon beach lovers, while the National Park of West Sumbawa Island offers a pristine wilderness to explore. Here, there are several tourist destinations like Kenawa Island, Puncak Bukit Mantar (Mantar Village), Kertasari Beach, Ai Mual Waterfall, and Tropika Beach.
Things To Do in Sumbawa
This pristine island is a haven for adventure seekers. The island offers various activities to satisfy your wanderlust, from scuba diving in crystal-clear water to the thrill of swimming with the majestic whale shark. Sumbawa’s great macro life is spectacular, making it a scuba divers paradise.
Best time to go: April to November
Scuba diving in Sumbawa is available year-round, with the most favorable conditions generally experienced between April and November. During this period, the weather is relatively stable, the sea is calm and better visibility underwater. Exploring the underwater of Sumbawa reveals a diverse range of marine creatures inhabiting this environment.
The Sumbawa’s rugged and expansive terrain, characterized by numerous protruding and winding peninsulas, creates diverse sheltered bays for its islands that can be found along the northern coastline, including Moyo, Sangeang, and Satonda. Discover more than 45 dive sites, the island offers you the chance to witness everything from expansive and vibrant walls, active underwater volcanic vents, rich breeding sites, and ideal conditions create exciting opportunities for exceptional muck diving experiences. These dive sites become your private underwater sanctuaries, allowing you to savor the untouched reefs peacefully.
Swimming with Whale Shark
Best time to go: April to November
Swimming with whale sharks is a dream-come-true experience that Sumbawa can offer. These whale sharks, known as the “gentle giants of the sea,” often grace the waters around the island. This creature can be found in Saleh Bay area (including Moyo Island and Gili Dua) usually they can only be seen in the morning at 6.00 AM around the fishermen boats.
The magnificent yet gentle giant whale sharks in Sumbawa continually captivate the interest of curious marine enthusiasts worldwide. Indonesia stands as the perfect destination to encounter these majestic creatures.
Climb Mount Tambora
Best time to go: May to October
Experienced hikers might consider conquering Tambora Mountain. This volcano erupted in 1815, ejecting approximately 100 cubic kilometers (25 cubic miles) of material into the atmosphere with a force akin to several hydrogen bombs, resulting in the infamous ‘year without summer’ in 1816.
Situated on the northern tip of Sumbawa, the vast caldera, standing at a towering 2,821 meters (9,250 feet) in height, offers breathtaking vistas on clear days. The journey begins in Calabai, a small coastal logging town. This three-day climbing is exceedingly challenging, and the presence of a guide is indispensable.
Sumbawa Island invites adventurers with its pristine waters and unique wildlife encounters. Whether you’re a scuba diving enthusiast eager to explore vibrant coral reefs or dream of swimming alongside whale sharks, Sumbawa offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s wonders.
Remember to prioritize responsible and sustainable tourism practices to preserve the beauty of Sumbawa’s underwater world for generations to come. So, pack your snorkel, dive gear, and a sense of wonder, and let’s create an unforgettable journey to Sumbawa with us, where adventure and natural beauty await at every turn!