15 Exhilarating Surfing Destinations You Should Visit in Indonesia

As one of the largest archipelagic state, Indonesia’s coastline spreads for 54,716 km (33,998 miles) long, which makes Indonesia, the second country with the longest coastline in the world. That’s why, visit Indonesia is a must for wave hunters, as it is Asia’s surfing capital and a surfers paradise. For those with a passion for surfing, here are 15 of the most exhilarating surfing destination from the western through eastern tip of Indonesia:

1 | Aceh: Simeulue

At the eastern tip of Indonesia there is Simeulue. Over the past 10 years Simeulue has become a growingly popular surf destination. Located 150 km (93 miles) off the west coast of Sumatra, Simeulue was once a part of West Aceh Regency but became a separate Regency in 1999. For wave hunters, this island provides multiple and consistent waves all year long and still remains as one of surfing last frontiers.

The island holds around 100 km long of reef and coral surroundings, so there are plenty of waves to be discovered. One of the most seek out wave in this island is known as The Peak. It can handle 8 feet plus and features nice wall sections, hollow barrels and fun air sections at the end. It is better suited for intermediate to experienced surfers, however beginners can also learn on small swells located a few minutes away. Other exiting surfing spots in Simeulue include: Monkey Trees, Dylan’s Right and Alus-Alus Bay. Most surf spots are for intermediate to advanced surfers and all offer barrels.

2 | North Sumatera: Nias

Located approximately 125 km west of Sumatra, Nias Island consists of 131 islands, covering an area of about 5,000 square kilometers. For surfing lovers, the bays of Sorake and Lagundri on Nias island is the ultimate destination. The Sorake Bays are also an internationally renowned surfing spot. Every year, surfers assemble from across the globe to visit Indonesia and head for the Sorake Bays for a chance to surf the legendary point break that delivers non-stop waves throughout the entire year, making any time of year the best time for surfing.

Praised as the second best surfing spot in the world after Hawaii, International surfing competitions have been held in Nias since 1993, including the world championship surfing competition in 2000. The highest waves are between May and September, with most competitions being held from June till July.

3 | West Sumatera: Mentawai

When visiting Indonesia, surfing enthusiast are advice not to miss the western coast of Sumatra, popularly known as the Mentawai islands. The Mentawai Islands are made of four large islands: Siberut, Sipura, Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan. These Islands are home to some of the best waves the world has to offer, such as Hollow Trees (aka HTs or Lance’s Right), Maccaronis, Rifles, Greenbush or Nokanduis.

The blue tropical waters surrounding the islands offer year-round epic waves up to 15 ft (4.5 m), perfect rights and lefts, reef and point breaks, spitting tubes, incredibly fun rides,. warm water, perfectly shaped reefs, light winds, and consistent long distance swell, this area is a true surf heaven on earth.

4 | West Java: Panaitan

Another great destination for passionate surfers lies in the western tip of Java in the Sunda Strait, the sea that links the island of Java and Sumatra, and it is known as Panaitan Island. This island is part of a world Heritage Site, the Ujung Kulon National Park. Panaitan Island is abundant in wildlife as it is in the rolling waves that surround its reefs.

The island holds several point breaks which is well known by surfers from around the globe. The waves include one of the longest left-hand barrels in the world set on the stunning backdrop of a wild tropical forest on the island called One Palm Point, then there’s a right-hand reef break for advanced surfers called Apocalypse, for advanced surfers there is a hollow left-hand wave which is extremely shallow and also breaks over a treacherous reef called Napalms, and also Ombah Tujuh meaning ‘Seven Waves’ that produces some of the biggest ride able waves in Indonesia.

5 | West Java: Sukabumi

The visit Indonesia to explore surfing destination continues in West Java. Now we head to Cimaja, a village in the regency of Sukabumi, about 8 km west of the regency capital and well-known beach destination Pelabuhan Ratu. Cimaja is known as a surfers destination with relatively easy access from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Surfing is the main attraction in Cimaja beach and the perfect location for surfers to enjoy dynamical waves which reach an average of 5 to 7 feet high. The Cimaja break, a right that rises off a rocky reef, is approximately 300 meters walking distance from the main road through rice paddies. This spot is highly favored by surfers because it has a solid and angular rock bottom perfectly attuned to south and southwest swells rising out of the Indian Ocean.

6 | Yogyakarta: Wediombo

Big waves and breath taking sceneries, Wediombo beach is another paradise for passionate surfers. Located in the south coast of Jepitu Village in Gunung Kidul, around 75 km from Yogyakarta, which is one of the highly popular tourist destinations in Indonesia.

Riding the waves of Wediombo’s gorgeous beach is a delight for surfers from around the world, which is best explored around the month of August through October. This beach is often used as a site for surfing competition and is the number two most popular Indonesian surfing destination. Besides surfing, other appealing activities to enjoy in this exotic beach vary from snorkeling, sunbathing and pampering your fondness for seafood.

7 | East Java: Banyuwangi

Several beaches in Indonesia are well known to have potential waves that are enticing for surfing lovers around the world. At the extreme eastern end of the island of Java, there is one city that has became a surfers must visit surfing destination, which is the city of Banyuwangi. This city has hosted several international surfing competitions and is well known to have a beach dubbed as “The Seven Giant Waves Wonder” better known as the G-Land or Plengkung Beach.

The G-Land tide rolls could consist an average of seven layers and reach six meters high on a good waves season, which is around April through August. Other beaches in Banyuwangi that is also favored by surfers are The Red Island Beach, and Tabuhan Island Beach. Explore a super fun surfing adventure in all three of the beaches in Banyuwangi.

8 | East Java: Pacitan

Still in the island of Java, head up to East Java and get ready to be amazed and have an unforgettable surfing experience in Pacitan, approximately 2.5 hour drive from Yogyakarta. This small seaside town is gaining popularity as one of the most visited surfing destination on weekends for all types of surfers, beginners through expert/professionals.

There are four surf spots within the Pacitan area, the first is Watukarung Beach. Located in the village of Watukarung, the tide in its beach could reach up to 4 meters high, with plenty of corals along the middle of the beach which is probably better suited for a more expert surfers. Beginners could enjoy a safer surfing experience in Teleng Ria Beach, located very close to the downtown area. The coastline of this beach is around 2.5 kilometers long. This area is also suitable for non-surfers who prefer fun activities such as camping, outbound or other tourist delights. The third beach is Srau Beach, located at Candi Village where tourist could enjoy surfing as well as treating themselves to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the beach from hills and corals on the beach surroundings. Last but not least is Soge Beach, located in Sidomulyo which holds an engaging high waves for surfers to explore.

9 | Bali: Uluwatu

It would not be perfection if we exclude this legendary surfer destination! Uluwatu Beach Bali is alluring with its iconic waves which makes it an absolute surfer paradise.
Uluwatu is also famous for the spectacular 11th century Hindu temple called Pura Luhur Uluwatu. For surfers, Uluwatu is the home to the five top breaks (Bombie, Racetrack, Temples, Peak and Outside Corner). It’s also in close proximity to other top breaks and beaches including Padang Padang, Bingin, Dreamland, Impossibles and Suluban. With all of these breaks to choose from, Uluwatu is the perfect for the ultimate surfing experience when you visit Indonesia.

10 | Bali: Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan

Apart from Uluwatu, another worldly known surfing destination in Bali is the trio Nusa Islands consisted of: Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Penida is the biggest of the three, Nusa Lembongan is graced with three main breaks, with a fourth on Nusa Ceningan, but each Nusa island has uniquely amazing landscapes and home to some world class waves.

Among the reef breaks that graced the Nusa Islands are Playgrounds, Lacerations and Shipwrecks which is best surfed at high tide. Waves hunter could enjoy a pleasant surfing experience all year round but the locals says that the waves are excellent on the months of April and October. An astonishing view of Bali’s volcanoes, crystal-clear waters and variety of waves, boat rides to the spots, are all the magical surf experience the Nusa Island has to offer.

11 | NTB: Desert Point Lombok

Another thrilling surf paradise for waves hunters is Lombok Island. Lombok is surrounded by a number of smaller islands locally called Gili. The Lombok Islands are administratively part of West Nusa Tenggara, and has become a world renowned surfing destination amongst surf enthusiasts’ world wide.

Huge waves and challenging surf lure the waves hunters to Bang-Bangko (Desert Point) on the south western tips of Lombok, with hollow breaking waves that would draw your adrenaline. Desert Point is also dubbed as the number six best quality waves worldwide, a perfect challenge for waves hunters to experience.

12 | NTB: Sumbawa

A hidden gem for surfing enthusiast worldwide, Sumbawa is a new unexplored surf frontier, hosting some of the most impressive surf spots in the south pacific. With stunning picturesque white sand beaches lapped by crystal clear water, friendly locals, world-class fishing, magnificent coral reefs bustling with life, and some of the best and least-crowded waves in Indonesia.

The most reliable, high-quality surf is found on the west and south coasts of Sumbawa. The first is one of the most famous surf spots in Indonesia called Lakey Peak. Lakey Peak is a hollow offshore right-hander in South Sumbawa. This A-frame reef break is suitable for all level surfers. The second is Yo-Yo’s, the small cove here shelters two beginner-friendly waves, The Wedge and The Hook. Third is Super Suck, a thick left-hand reef break suitable for all surfers, located on the southwestern tip of Sumbawa. The fourth is for a more experience and professional surfers called the Scar Reef which holds one of the best waves on Sumbawa.
This barreling wave takes off like a freight train and has several backdoor sections. Sumbawa is an ideal destination for a marvelous surfing adventure.

13 | NTT: Rote

To the East of Nusa Tenggara province lies Rote Island, home to an array of world class surfing destination. Surfing enthusiast from around the globe favored Rote’s Nemberala Beach, to ride the near perfect tubes formed by the shallow reefs and off-shore winds. Swells can hit Nemberala all year round, but the typical surf season runs from March through November with the biggest swells hitting from May through September.

Each year local government held an international surfing competition around the month of September to October. The captivating beauty of the beach with its irresistible waves, stunning white sands and swaying palm trees, are a magnet for surfers who seek a challenge, adventure and unwind.

14 | NTT: Nihiwatu Sumba

Another gem for surfers to enjoy in East Nusa Tenggara province lies in Sumba Island. The best waves in Sumba are concentrated on the southwestern and southeastern tips of the island, particularly inside the areas of the luxury resort, Nihiwatu.

This resort is host to one of the world’s most coveted private waves, popularly known as “Occy’s Left” (after Australian surfer Mark Occhilupo).  The Occy’s Left presents a challenge even for the professional surfers because it is so sensitive to different conditions: tides, size, strength, and direction. The wave has been a popular one for avid, recreational, and professional surfers for decades. First-time surfers can still get their feet wet with lessons on Occy’s, depending on the swell. Calmer waters can often be found at nearby Coconut Cove, where surfers can spend half a day with breakfast or lunch and do some light surfing, then be driven back to the resort.

15 | Papua: Tanjung Saruri, Biak

A potential surfers destination, arise on the eastern tip of Indonesia, Papua, Indonesia’s “East Pearl”. In a small island located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua lies Biak Island. Biak is the largest island in its small archipelago, and has many atolls, reefs, and corals. Surfers would be delighted with Biak’s Tanjung Saruri Beach.

Tanjung Saruri Beach also known as Batu Pica Beach or Watu Gonga Beach presents tides that could accumulate up to 3 meters before it breaks into the Indian Ocean. Surfing the waves is enticing and the potential is limitless. Apart from surfing, other activities to enjoy in Tanjung Saruri are snorkeling and trekking the natural rain forest and indulge the natural beauty and serenity of its surroundings.

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