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Sumba Property FAQ


From Denpasar, Bali (Ngurah Rai domestic airport) you can either use Garuda Indonesia or Lion Air (operated by Wings air)

Garuda Indonesia has a brand new jet airplane (Bombardier NexGen CRJ1000) that will take you from Denpasar to Tambolaka airport (IATA code: TMC) in only 45 minutes.
A small collation with mineral water is served mid way through the trip.

Lion Air, operated by Wings Air is a propeller plane (ATR72).  The flight takes about 1h20. 

Price: both companies have tickets within the IDR800,000 and IDR900,000 range.


There are 2 major cities in Sumba: Waingapu in East Sumba and Waitabula (aka Tambolaka).

Each one of them is home to a domestic airport Waingapu Airport (IATA code: WGP) and Tambolaka Airport (IATA code: TMC)


The majority of recent development is occurring in West Sumba.  


The north coast is the lee side of  Sumba Island.  Clients who are seeking well protected beaches favor the north coast.

The south coast is the windward side of Sumba Island, it features live coral barrier reefs, world class surf wave, beautiful bays and record breaking game fishing.
– minimum 2 hours drive from Tambolaka Airport


Foreign investors in Sumba will have to be aware of some basic but important rules regarding land ownership in Sumba Island.
Aspiring land owners should consult with an Indonesian notary; the same land ownership regulations apply in all Indonesian territory.

After gathering all the paper and making sure that every thing is order, the Foreigner will be able to nominate an Indonesian citizen, to “purchase” for him the freehold land from the original owner.
To make sure that everything will stay in the foreigner’s power, the Indonesian citizen will have FOUR option agreements with him:

1/ A Loan Agreement: specifying that the Foreigner has lent to the Indonesian citizen the purchase price of the land.

2/ A Permanent Right of Use: This document is an agreement giving the Foreigner the rights to use and occupy the land, as he wants it.

3/ An Attestation Letter: on which it will be stipulated that the Indonesian Citizen admits and agrees that the Foreigner lent him the money for purchasing the land and that he is only a fictitious owner.

4/ A power of Attorney: this paper signed by both parts is irrevocable.  It says that the Foreigner owns the complete authority to sell, mortgage, lease or make any other deals with the land, and this, without notice to the Indonesia Citizen.

It is not possible for the Indonesian citizen to conclude any deal or agreement on this land before the end date of the contract.
All the details of the deal between the Foreigner and the Indonesian Citizen will be written down the contract, preventing from reissuing new ones without the foreigner’s consent.

In case of conflict between both parts, the foreigner will have the right to end the partnership with the Indonesian Citizen and “lend” the land to another one.

As a Foreigner, you can create a PMA Company (Penanaman Modal Asing = foreign capital investment), in order to do business in Indonesia.  This allows you to have a 100% ownership of your real estate investment.

Large corporations are using this company title to buy lands and build hotels.  The PMA Company is established and licensed for a maximum of 30 years operation, renewable.

The company can ask up to 3 working permits for its foreigner head managers on the first year of activity.

~ propertysumba is partner with a Bali based business license company ~ propertysumba can assist our clients in cooperation with a legal notary to set up their PMA company.


25% to 30% of the population practices the animist Merapu religion. The remainder are Christian, a majority being Dutch Calvinist, but a substantial minority being Roman Catholic.  A small number of Sunni Muslims can be found along some coastal areas.

From the eighth to the 18th century, Chinese and Arab traders came and went, bringing horses (still central to Sumbanese culture) and taking away sandalwood and slaves.  The Dutch East Indies took control of the island in 1866, but it did not conquer the hearts of the fierce, headhunting islanders.  The Dutch finally handed over sovereignty to Indonesia in 1950, independence following in 1962.

Fifty years on, Sumba is in many ways a forgotten world.  Animist priests read the duodenum of a chicken to determine if a sick child will live or die.  The annual festival of Pasola, held when seaworms swarm the coast each spring, is still celebrated, although these days the lances thrown by riders are blunt.  Funerals involve the sacrifice of horses and buffalo that most Sumbanese can ill afford to make.  In an attempt to curb such profligacy, a limit of three large animals per funeral was declared in 1990.  But, as ever on Sumba, the rule of law has proved hard to impose.


Sumba roads are currently being upgraded and the government has made significant investments to create brand new roads to cater for more and more traffic due to the general development of the area and to people coming to visit the Island.

Roads in Sumba are connecting essentially the villages but also the beaches and coasts of Sumba.

Around the airport the paved roads are good; it is still a bit long to reach remote areas but the roads network improvement has definitely started, and it will become easier to travel by car around the Island.


A list of all the hotels in Sumba can be found on Bedforest.
We tried 3 of them, here are our reviews.

Sumba Mario Hotel and Café where we stay most of the time.  Newly built, 20 min from Tambolaka airport, Clean room with 250 movies to watch on plasma tv. 

On the beach (pantai kita).  Great view on the ocean from the room. Our favorite hotel.

Sumba Sinar Tambolaka Hotel: right in the middle of the city center. Rooms are small and not very clean although we haven’t tried the new rooms.  We prefer to wake up looking at the ocean…

Sumba Nautil Resort: in the south near Marosi.  One of the best resort in Sumba.


Weather and seasons along the entire Indonesian archipelago are effected by its location between two landmasses: the hot, dry deserts of Australia to the south, and the green, lush Asian continent to the north.

High season for both surf and weather in Sumba is March through October, when the southeast monsoon blows hot, dry air up from the deserts of North Australia.

Although Sumba does not receive nearly as much rainfall as the islands to the north, November to March is the rainy season.

Seasonal air temperatures range from 26°C – 35°C (77°F – 95°F) with the hottest months being November through February.  The water temperature is just about perfect year round at 26°C – 28°C (77°F – 82°F), with the coolest months being June and July.



BEWARE! As of today only Telecomsel (simPATI) is available in Sumba. XL and the other operator don’t work yet.


In the cities phones work fine.  In remote places it is not always the case although a lot of cell towers have been built recently and coverage grow more and more.


Near the cell towers you can get 3G coverage although you shouldn’t expect anything close to what you are used with your 3G at home.  This is Sumba 3G, it is still quite slow.


Some places offer a free WIFI service.
To name just but one: Gura Garam Restaurant in Tambolaka, 300m from the airport.  And the food is good!

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