Monday, August 4, 2014

Mentawai Islands - Sumatra

The Ultimate Diversity Of The Hidden Paradise

For some people you may be thinking, 
"where the heck are the Mentawai Islands" 
and others may know of them well or have personal experience there. 

People have always asked, 
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
What I have really wanted to say, is...

"When I grow up I want to live on a Pacific Island, run a small guest house, raise an island family and live amongst the tropical forest with the ocean as my horizon."

Yep, that sums it up...

   The Mentawai Islands are just that for me....only now that I am grown up it is very, very hard to leave.....

Yep... something like this is what I envision when I go to my happy place....Togat Nusa Retreat

> Background <

The Mentawai Islands are not terribly far from the mainland of Sumatra but the island and the people have been kept isolated up until the 19th century because of strong winds, unpredictable currents, and razor sharp coral reefs.  It is thought that the archipelago separated from Sumatra about 500,000 years ago, resulting in the very unique flora and fauna that ranks the Mentawai Islands alongside Madagascar in terms of endemic primate population.  For example: the siamang kerdil, a rare species of black and yellow monkey, named simpai Mentawai by the locals.  
How freaking cute!
The largest island, Siberut, is where the majority of Mentawai people call home and is also the most research and protected of all the islands.  About 60% of Siberut is still covered with tropical rainforest which has earned its biological protection from the Unesco biosphere reserve.  The whole western half of the island is protected as the Siberut National Park.  The park is open to visitors, check out their website to learn more. 

If you are a surfer and are in search of the holy grail of waves, Palau Sipora is the spot for the continuous big wave barrels.  While it is the primary drop off point for surfers it is also the seat of regional government.  Surfers comprise the majority of tourism, many of whom rank the Mentawais as the ride of their life.  

Further south are the Pulau Pagai Islands - Utara (North) and Selatan (South) which is far less traveled than the other islands.

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There are many different surf breaks among the islands - check out this map and if you already know which break you are interested in this will help you decide which island to go to.

While the Mentawais are primarily a surfing destination do not let that deter you from visiting this fantastic archipelago if you are not a surfer.  
With majority of the waters being a part of the Unesco Heritage Park there are more than enough activities to keep you entertained. 
* Scuba Diving
*Underwater Photography 
*Island hopping
*Boat riding
*Learn to surf

* Hike through the rainforest
*Relax on the beach and drink fresh coconut water
*Lounge poolside 
*Photograph some of the best wildlife in the entire world
*Mingle with fellow travelers 
*Visit a spa
*Eat, eat and eat some more
*Walk the endless miles of beach

Check out these websites to help plan your trip!
Travel information:
Best Travel Guide

Official Tourism Website

United Military Travel

Ferry Schedule and how to get around

Magic Seaweed Surf Report

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Places to stay:
Mentawai Surf Camp

Macaronis resort - Premiere Family Surf Resort

Aloita Resort - Mentawai's most refined and comfortable resort and spa

Mentawai Surfing Retreat

Awera Island - The Perfect Surf Spot

Kandui Resort

Wave Park - All Inclusive Surf/Family Resort

Togat Nusa Retreat

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Life is too short too not go on adventures
See the world
Step out of your comfort zone
Meet new people
Travel to exotic locations
Never feel guilty about taking a nice vacation
Spoil yourself
Make life everything you want it to be...

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo