Myths and Legends at the Forbidden Island of Satonda


Satonda is one of the islands in the Dompu Archipelago, just by the northern tip of Sumbawa Island. There is not much to say but the island is extremely exotic. To explain it simply, Satonda is a ring-shaped small island with a lake inside it.

Satonda Island. via Instagram/afiholle

But that is an oversimplification because Satonda has much more than just that simple description. Apart from its unique topography, Satonda is also shrouded in mystery and myths. Here is what you need to know about Satonda, an enigmatic island at the northern shore of Sumbawa.


The island as seen from above. via Instagram/travellerkaskus

Satonda is not the easiest place to visit, but it is not too had either. All public transportation to get you from Sumbawa to Satonda is already in place. Administratively, Satonda Island is within Pekat District, Dompu Regency. The island is just two kilometers away from the northern shore of Sumbawa.

How to get there

The island. via Instagram/bengalboy69

The easiest way to go to Satonda is via Nangamiro Port. It is a small town port at the northern edge of Sumbawa. If you come from Sumbawa Besar, you will need eight hours’ drive to reach this town. If you come from Dompu, you only need five hours. From Nangamiro Port, you can then charter a boat or take a public boat to the island. This is the most economical way to reach Satonda.

The only way to get there is by boats. via Instagram/kulicitra

The alternative is by taking a cruise tour from Bali or Lombok. This might cost a fortune but you will be able to enjoy your holiday fully, especially if you also visit wonderful islands nearby. Some tourists come to Satonda on liveaboard ships. Essentially, you charter a ship to explore the beautiful islands in Indonesia.

The Island

The island is quite small. via instagram/bonsai_monca

Satonda is a roundish island with a relatively huge lake nearby, creating an illusion that the island is a ring. The island is believed to be an ancient volcano that rises from the depth of the ocean.

The vegetation here is very healthy. The saltwater lake dominates the vista in the island. The salinity of this lake is way higher that the nearby sea.

Myth and Legends

The banishment island. via Instagram/bengalboy69

There are several myths and legends on this island. Some locals believe that Satonda is a forbidden island and nobody should venture, let alone live there. This island was the site where Princess Dae Minga of Sanggar Kingdom was exiled.

The princess was so beautiful that there were many princes bidding war to have her as their queen. To avoid any more bloodbath, the king then exiles his daughter on this island.

The Hope Tree. via Instagram/veronicathaanum

There is also a myth about Pohon Harapan (Hope Tree). Some say that any wish would be granted if you pray under the tree and then hang whatever you have in its branches. Some people obviously believe in that since there are lots of things hanging on that tree.

The only accommodation you can find in the island. via Instagram/rizkyariyanto

There is already a pioneer homestay and accommodation in this island. They will provide good bed and nice food and beverages directly on the island. They even provide snorkeling and diving equipment rentals. So, there is really no reason for you to miss this exotic island if you are in Lombok or Sumbawa.

satonda island Sumbawa