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Waikabubak is a small city on the island of Sumba in the Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia.


This small city is the capital of western Sumba. It and the surrounding area is known as Wanukaka, and there is a population of about 10,000. This remote region is home to Sumba's most spectacular attraction - the pasola - and some truly stunning beaches.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tambolaka airport (IATA: TMC, ICAO: WADT) is the nearest airport to Waikabubak. From airport to Waikabubak town is around one hour by car.

Merpati Nusantara Airlines [1] flies here from Denpasar and Kupang.

TransNusa Air Services flies from Denpasar, Ende, and Kupang.

Wings Air flies to Denpasar

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Pasola is a ritual horseback jousting competition in western Sumba to celebrate the rice planting season. The jousts involve throwing wooden spears at the opponent from a different clan. Horse-riding skills are paramount and the joust ends when the wooden spear hits the bare flesh of an opponents. The Sumbanese ancient beliefs state that spilled blood will fertilize the land and increase the output of the rice paddy.

In the Wanukaka region, as part of the ritual, early in the morning the Marapu priests and their entourage go the beach to perform a prayer. They sacrifice a black rooster to the gods and check the heart of the cock to read the signs from the gods as to whether to proceed with the pasola.

The timing of pasola rituals is very much a moving feast determined by factors which nobody outside Sumba seems to understand. If you are planing to visit Sumba especially to witness this truly unique event, it is best to check first with agents in Bali or Lombok where many visits to Sumba originate. All that being said, March seems to be a popular month.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are various Rumah Makan, small warungs and sate stalls around town.

  • D'Sumba Ate, Jl Ahmed Yani 148. 10am-10pm. Bali style restaurant serving Indonesian and Western food, cocktails and mocktails, cold beer.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Rudy Backpacker. Around 15 kms from Waikabubak in the little village of Wanokaka there s a Rudy Backpacker homestay. He has one room for guests and charges 150.000RP per night incl all meals. There s a wi fi and even AC in the room. Compared to overpriced and poor value hotels in Waikabubak itself, the place is very recommended.Rudy speaks perfect english and can give a lot of tips regarding surrounding area. Contact him under +62 813 1017668

  • Hotel Artha, JL Veteran 11, (0387) 21112. Clean rooms set around garden courtyard, near Kampung Tambelar, walking distance to town centre. Manager Timo can arrange transport and motorbikes. WIFI 200 000-400 000.  edit
  • Hotel Pelita, Jl Ahmad Yani 2, (0387) 21104. Traditional Indonesian hotel in the centre of town. 125 000-150 000.  edit


Get out[edit]

Tambolaka is 1 hour by bus. Waingapu is 3 hours by bus. Create category

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