Mentawai is the name of an archipelago located at around 150 km off the mainland of Western Sumartra in the Indian Ocean. Consisting of three main island groups named, Siberut, Sipora, North Pagaï Islands, and South Pagaï islands (each with its own small islands), the archipelago is inhabited by tribal communities with a population of 64,235 inhabitants.
Mentawai archipelago is considered one of the top surf beaches in the world, behind Hawaii and Tahiti. A true paradise the Mentawai Archipelago West Sumartra really is a tropical beach getaway you can not miss. With beautiful white beaches, pristine blue turquiose waters it is difficult to find another beach destination which can compete for sheer beauty and quality waves to surf. great surfing waves can be found in many different districts with the most popular being at Siberut Selatan District, District of south Siberut and Sipora in North Pagai. The best time of the year to surf is from April to Oct.
The waves are considerably smaller during the months of Nov through to March. However this does not mean that there is nothing to do at this wonderful Archipelago as there is wonderful snorkeling and Diving to be had as well as great tropical rain forests which have been under the protection of UNESCO since 1981, which can be hiked and if your lucky you may see some of the protected rare primates such as the Kloss Gibbon, Tail Monkeys, Snub-nosed monkey and Joja. In other unprotected areas of the archipelago, you can try your hand at fishing with great opportunities to go out with locals and catch good size fish.
There are many opportunities for accommodation usually based around a surfing holiday and great local traditional restaurants.
Culturally the Mentawai Archipelago has a rich island tribal community different culturally to mainland Indonesia. Make sure you get a chance to witness the famous song and dance of the local tribal celebrations which is extremely colorful and unique to this region of the world.
The easiest way to get there is by traveling on the night ferry which departs on the second and third Thursday of every month from Padang at 9 pm and arrives at Muara Siberut at approximately 7am. The trip generally takes 10 hrs.