South of Flores in the lesser Sunda Islands lies Sumba, twice the size of Bali at 11,153 square km in size, and formed of a mixture of terrains and habitats making it quite different from its neighbouring islands. There is dry savannah, mountains and some of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia. Sumba’s dry deciduous and semi-evergreen forests support almost 200 species of birds including seven endemic and range-restricted species.
There has been very little tourist development on Sumba: the luxurious, top end place to stay is Nihiwatu Eco Resort, while Sumba Nautil Resort offers great service and spacious rooms at very good value. This means the island’s traditional culture is still very much in evidence, with vernacular three-storey houses with high pointed roofs and locals still wearing traditional dress. Headhunting only stopped around 50 years ago, and thus the island has been the subject of anthropological documentaries. There are regular flights from Bali, making Sumba easy to combine with a stay there before flying home.