The Location: The exotic Mentawai Islands are located off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia — about 90 miles as the crow flies, which isn’t far, but due to strong ocean winds, unpredictable currents, and razor sharp coral, they remained completely isolated from the mainland until the 19th century.
The Activity: Surfing
The Mentawai Islands offer some of the most consistent year-round surf on the planet thanks to the archipelago’s wide-open exposure to the southern Indian Ocean and its southeast trade winds. If you visit during the southern hemisphere’s winter — roughly April through October — you can expect to score the best waves of your life. Most of the action takes place on the east side of the largest island, Siberut, and the six islets off its southern tip. Here you’ll find a smattering of small surf camps built in the local style, with sago palm thatched roofs and hardwood floors, and seemingly endless white sand beaches. Don’t worry about restricting yourself to just one surf camp; with varying winds and swells, dinghies are part of the daily surfing experience. Every surf camp employs expert guides and boat drivers to get you to the best spots.
What Else to Do: While it wasn’t very long ago that a fully stocked bar didn’t exist on the Mentawai Islands, visitors can now partake in fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking. Some of the surf camps even have stand-up paddleboards, but you still won’t find WiFi here.
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