The island remains pristine due to its remote location in Indonesia. So pristine that most of the populace live in a sort of Dark Ages where they lack modern amenities such as proper sanitation, electricity and even suffer from malnutrition. In light of the lack of electricity, it is a wonder to receive phone signals on the island. Properly manned hospitals or medical centers are even rarer so the chances of finding medical aid near the explorable surf breaks are non-existent. Even for experienced travelers and surfers alike, these conditions can prove difficult, but for the multitude of Sumbanese the threat of tropical diseases, such as endemic malaria, is a battle of survival.
Nestled in the heart of one of the most remote islands in Indonesia and known for its private wave, Occy’s left, Nihiwatu was awarded by Travel Leisure Magazine to be the #1 Hotel in the World in 2016. The contrasts of luxury blending with the remoteness and poverty of Sumba was an interesting topic for us to dig into. Nihiwatu is not only a luxury surf resort but also a place that has inspired philanthropists to give light to high social impact projects in Sumba.