Siberut National Park, Surfing Paradise and Archaic Tribes


On the west of Sumatra Island, lies a unique island that has been made into a national park; Siberut. Part of Mentawai regency, West Sumatra. This island is home to unique flora and fauna, as well as a truly unique tribe; the Mentawai Tribe. This tribe lives harmoniously with nature, still living in a sub-economy way of life.

Surfing in Mentawai. via Instagram/theshadowmentawai

Geographically, Siberut is a hilly island with various elevation. That means this island has quite a diverse ecosystem, from the hill to underwater. Several endemic species can only found in this national park. From the tourism point of view, Siberut offers several attractions that are so unique, even in Indonesia. Here are some of the actions you don’t want to miss when you visit this island.

The remarkable ways of Mentawai People

Mentawai people. via Instagram/selvaticacreations

It’s still unclear when the first person arrived at this island. However, there is some sort of agreement among the historians that the Mentawai People came to the island a thousand years ago, making them one of the most archaic tribes in Indonesia.

The tribe practices traditional way of living. via Instagram/rindhamitha

They haven’t changed much since, and today you can still see how they still live according to hunter-gather traditions. Mentawai People have a fascinating culture as shown in their unique tattoos, pants, and pointy teeth for women. They live in a close-knit community, with many families live in a big house.

Wonderful trekking experience

Exploring the island. via Instagram/

Even though not entirely a pristine island, most of Siberut is still untouched by modern development. That opens the possibilities for great trekking on this island. There are several types of trek you can choose here. You can explore the mangrove forest, tropical jungle, riverside track, or even swamp trekking using a canoe.

The island. via Instagram/larswire

You will find many species endemic to this island, including Bilou, Simakobu, Bokoi, and Joja. Many birds and endemic animals are also present here.

Get wet in the refreshing waterfalls

Kulukubuk Waterfall. via Instagram/msyasud

There are several waterfalls on this island. The most popular one is Singunung Waterfall, located in Malancan Village, North Siberut. This three-tiered waterfall is unique in every way. Surrounded by lush tropical jungle, the water here is clean as seen by many fishes swimming there. The endemic primates of this island also often drink in the river.

The pond is also refreshing. via Instagram/mentawai.ecotourism

Then there is also the two-tiered Kulu Kubuk Waterfall that is located on Madobak Village, South Siberut. There is no entrance fee to the waterfalls but getting here can be challenging as the road is not yet developed well.

Coastal tourism

Surfing in Mentawai. via Instagram/rensavv

The last part of the island is, of course, its coastal area. Siberut has many beautiful white sandy beaches, several lagoons, challenging surfing spots, and even coral reef gardens.

Seaside attractions are the most developed in this island. There are lots of resorts, surf camps, and hotels near popular beaches. Several smaller islands offer great island-hopping experience in southern Siberut.

How to get to Siberut and what to do there

Small islands on Mentawai. via Instagram/ melulumain

Siberut is easily accessible from Padang, where there is Minangkabau International Airport. From Padang, you need to rent a speedboat to head to the island. Getting around the island is possible by renting a car. If you want to go to a certain tourist destination, you can set up a tour with an agency or a resort of your choice.

Lovely surf break. via Instagram/favelamentawai

To many tourists, Mentawai and indeed the whole Siberut National Park is known for its wonderful and challenging surfing breaks. However, this area is a unique place with fascinating Mentawai tribe.

mentawai siberut