The outer islands of Sumatra, with it's beautiful calm bays and anchorages and short open ocean runs make it a sailors dream. On a boat one can access hundreds of miles of coastline and a huge variety of waves. Most days, boats will be anchored at a wave from sunrise to sunset allowing for a lot of time in the water and viewing the waves all day while resting and fueling up for the next session. If the surf gets good or other surfers go in, you can be the first one on it. If the conditions change the captain can decide to pull the anchor and head off to another protected corner. While motoring to the next area you can chill in the comfort of an A/C cabin or do some fishing. There is something to be said for being on the water, feeling the swell lift the boat and every little breathe of wind, watching the light change on the ocean surface through the day.
Getting to Padang, West Sumatra:
The launching point for all Mentawai Island trips and all boat charters destined for the Telo, Nias and Banyak Islands is from Padang(PDG), West Sumatra. Padang is accessible via flights from Jakarta(CGK) on Garunda Airlines or Kuala Lumpur(KUL) on Air Asia so your international flights will be booked to one of these two cities. (We are here to help you find the best routing for you.) You will have a free 30 day tourist visa upon arrival in Indonesia.
Once arriving in Padang we recommend giving your baggage claim ticket to airport porters and telling them which tour operator you are with. They will grab your gear and whisk you through to operator ground staff waiting outside the terminal. The cost for the port is Rp. 30,000.
Ground staff will then transport you to your hotel for early arrivals or directly to your boat. If you need an ATM, money changer, local SIM card, or some other item, ask the ground staff to help you organize that.
If you are staying in a resort then you will be taken to your hotel to rest for the night. Ground staff will then arrange to pick you up in the morning to transport you to the Mentawai Fast Ferry terminal which will depart at 07:00am on the morning of your trip start date.
What to bring:
Full travel insurance including emergency evacuation is mandatory for all of our trips. Your policy details will be collected prior to departure. We recommend the most reputable company that will come to your aid when you need it the most. Please click here for a quote: World Nomads Travel Insurance
About Mentawai Islands:
The Mentawai Islands are separated from West Sumatra by the Mentawai Straight, an 85nm wide and 5800ft. deep channel. There are steep drop offs on the ocean floor and this allows for swells to maintain there speed and size when entering the island chain. There are four large islands and dozens of smaller islands that span from north to south about 130nm (roughly the distance from the border of Baja to Malibu. That is a lot of palm fringed, white sand coastline and there are dozens of fun waves with world class waves practically around every corner.
For these reasons the area does attract a few people but our Surf Gurus are the best at finding uncrowded waves and hitting the right spots at the right time. You might have your funnest surf with just your friends at a wave you have never even heard of.
The Mentawai people, culture and wildlife attract visitors on their own. There is a long existing indigenous people and culture or 'Sikerei' that was largely unbothered by spice trade and surrounding islands until the last few decades. The Sikerei have and animistic religion, the focus being living in harmony with all elements of the earth, trees, sky, rain, and animals. In the Mentawais 60% of all mammals are endemic species, meaning they are only found there, including three species of monkey, a flying squirrel, and a species of deer.
Scenic beauty, warm clear water, and perfect consistent waves tick all of the boxes for a surfers dream trip!!
The equator runs directly through the middle of these outer islands of Sumatra. The weather is highly variable in this part of the world so if you don't like the weather at anytime just wait 15 minutes, it will probably change. The trade belt runs through the islands, at times bringing trade winds as it moves north and at times bringing monsoonal moisture as the trade belt moves south. Often it will go completely calm for days, even weeks in-between these cycles. Be ready for anything from hot still to wet and rainy days.
Staying at a resort in the outer islands of Sumatra is a perfect way absorb the island lifestyle and tap into the stunning natural surroundings there. There is always a variety of world class waves nearby and you can often surf out front of the resort or be transported in style by boat to and from the waves throughout the day. In between surfs, the bungalows offer a personal space to relax, enjoy the sounds of the jungle and the waves and really refresh yourself. This makes it a perfect place for couples and families, yogis, and those who want to put their feet in the course white sands of the islands.. You will surf certain waves multiple times and really get comfortable. There is something to be said for spending time in one area and getting to see the different moods and faces of the nearby waves.
Getting to Telos 101 Resort:
The resort of Telos 101 is accessible via international flights to Jakarta(CGK), Singapore(SIN), or Kuala Lumpur(KUL). From one of these airports there are three options.
Option 1) Fly to Medan, Sumatra(KNO) and have an overnight in Medan. You will receive a free 30 day tourist visa upon arrival in Indonesia. We recommend staying at the JW Marriott in Medan for a very high end room for about US$75. The morning of your trip start date at Telos 101 you will depart on Garuda Airlines GA7116 at 07:00am from Medan to Gunungsitoli, Nias (GNS), arriving at 08:00am. In Nias you will be greeted by ground staff of Telos 101 and transported to the harbor where you will meet Telos 101 private 37ft. enclosed cabin speed boat and transported to the resort with speed and comfort. You will be surfing in the Telos just after lunch.
Option 2) Fly to Medan, Sumatra (KNO) and connect to Gunungsitoli, Nias (GNS). You will have a free 30 day tourist visa upon arrival in Indonesia. Once arriving in Nias you will be greeted by ground staff of Telos 101 and transported to Kabunohi Sorake Resort, located at one of the best rights in Indo in Lagundri Bay. You can choose to spend any number of nights here. The morning of your trip start date at Telos 101 you will be picked up at 09:30am in Lagundri Bay by Telos 101 staff and transported to the resort with speed and comfort by private boat in their 37 ft. enclosed cabin speedboat with twin 200hp outboards.
Option 3) If it is in the budget, large groups may choose to fly into Padang, West Sumatra and Telos 101 will organize a private charter plane from Padang direct to the Telos where you will land just minute away from the resort.
The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. When all of that warm atmosphere mixes with the cold air of Antarctica it produces the most consistent swell making storm pattern on earth. The Indonesian Archipelago faces south west and is a direct hit for all of this swell, making for unparalleled consistency of surf able days.
A unique aspect of the islands is how the waves refract and wrap around the leeward side of the islands. you could surf a wave that faces west at sunrise and a different wave that faces east at sunset. This means that whichever way the wind blows you can usually surf a wave that is groomed and offshore.
The variety of waves in the area is also like no place on earth. There are waves for intermediate surfers, advanced, surfers and everything in between. There are fun playful waves and even a couple beach breaks or you can get the best barrel of your life. Usually at some point on a trip every guest will find what they are looking for.
With all of that said, it is still the unpredictable ocean. It does get stormy and it does get small, however these trips allow you get more quality waves and spend more time in the water than any other trip.
About Telo Islands:
The Telo Islands are the next group of islands north of the Mentawais located 115nm west from Padang, Sumatra and 55nm south from Lagundri Bay, Nias. It is made up of two main islands and dozens of smaller islands with many of them maintaining there old growth forests. They span 45 nautical miles from north to south and the strategic location of our resort Telos 101 means the entire island group is accessible within a speedboat ride of an hour tops.
There are dozens of waves and many of them are still closely held secrets by the resorts and only the most knowledgable captains. The Telo Islands have a more continental bottom contour with shallower outer waters. This makes the waves seem to move just a bit slower and be slightly more user friendly and your typical Indonesian reef breaks. There are still waves that deal out epic barrels over shallow reef, but over all the waves are suited to all surfers.
This area has a much mellower surf scene and a gentleman's surf etiquette that allows everybody to take turns surfing and have an uncrowded session. If a group is surfing and another resort shows up they will always wait for the others to get waves before slowly filtering new surfers into the line up.