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Waingapu is the capital city of Sumba in the Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia.


Waingapu is the largest town on Sumba and the capital town of the East Sumba Regency .

Get in[edit]

Waingapu is the gateway town to Sumba and many visitors arrive here.

By plane[edit]

Waingapu's Mau Hau airport (IATA: WGP - ICAO: WRRW) is a small single runway regional airport served by three regional arilines.

Merpati Nusantara Airlines [1] flies here from Bandung, Bima, Denpasar, Jakarta, Kupang, Mataram, Maumere, Surabaya and Tambulaka, with many of the flights stopping at multiple combinations of those cities.

The much smaller Batavia Air [2] connects from Denpasar, Ende, Kupang and Surabaya, and Pelita Air Services [3] from Denpasar and Maumere.

By boat[edit]

The Pelni [4] passenger ship Awu calls in at Waingapu twice on its 14 day round trip of Nusa Tenggara. This allows access from Kupang and several other cities in the region. The Awu is by far the safest and best way to reach Sumba by sea.

The ferry experience is very enjoyable. When boarding expect a tussle as the usually friendly and courteous Indonesians will push and shove their way past anyone to get on. If travelling economy class do not expect to get a bunk in one of the many dorm style rooms. The spaces go quickly, so it might be worth taking along a mat to sleep on and a heavier weight sarong for if the weather changes. Quite frankly, it's better on the deck as the rooms are very hot and do have a very strong odour. On the subject of odours, be prepared for the bathrooms. Not well maintained or cleaned very often, just be aware. Wet wipes for washing hands are recommended.

Food is served 3 times a day, just listen out for the words "economy" on the loud hailer. Just follow the crowds. You'll need to take your ticket with you. It's not much, so you might want to bring along your own food; dry biscuits and so on. Bearing in mind the state of the toilets a lightweight diet may be in your favour. Hot water is available for a few thousand Rupiah from the little kiosk.

From Lembar to Waingapu is about 26 hours.

Get around[edit]


  • Prailiu, (3kms from the city centre on airport road). Impressive megalithic tombstones and really good examples of hand woven Sumba Ikat cloth, coloured with natural dyes in traditional designs.  edit
  • Kawangu, (10km from town). Traditional Asli village and grave-stones.  edit
  • Rende (sometimes spelt Rindi), (70kms east of Waingapu, or 7kms east of Melolo). Large traditional houses with imposing megalithic tombstones.  edit



  • Kampung Kallu, (2km from town centre), (0387) 62414. Demonstration of traditional Ikat weaving-process and sale.  edit


  • Pasar Malam, Beside the old port/wharf. Seafood night market starts up from 6pm till late.  edit
  • YHS Cafe, Jl A.Yani 83. Local coffee, fruit juices and special 'fried chicken', in a hipster setting.  edit
  • Rumah Makan Primadona, Jl I.R Juanda 1. Traditional tasty Indonesian 'Nasi Padang' food and drinks.  edit
  • Mr Cafe, Jl Umbru Tipuk Marisi 1, (0387) 61605. Long standing establishment serving Indonesian restaurant food. (currently being renovated)  edit
  • El Cafe Sumba, Jl Pemuda 10, (0387) 62972. Indonesian food and drinks in a hotel lobby atmosphere. WIFI  edit



  • Merlin Hotel, Jl Panjaitan 25, (0387) 61300. Large three story hotel with clean rooms on a leafy corner. Management can arrange transport and overpriced motorbikes. WIFI 200 000-350 000.  edit
  • Hotel Tanto, Jl Prof. Dr. Yohanes (edge of town), (0387) 62500. A new hotel with all the modern conveniences. Restaurant attached. Rp 395 000/595 000/695 000.  edit


Get out[edit]

Buses to Waikabubak take 3.5 hours.

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