Palm tree speckled islands, 28 degree turquoise water, white sand beaches and rustic charm. These are some of the things to expect when traveling to the Mentawai Islands.

The Mentawai Islands is a remote archipelago located in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The Mentawai Island chain is formed by around 70 different islands and islets, covering approximately 150 kilometres of the paradisiacal Western Indonesian Coast.

Due to it’s remoteness, it is not the easiest place to get to. However they say, the greater the effort, the greater the reward. And low and behold, once we made the effort, a beautiful beachfront resort waited upon our arrival. The effort was worth it. 

Mentawai islands indonesia

Why travel to the Mentawai Islands?

People from all over the world travel to the Mentawai's for picture perfect waves. If you're an avid surfer, this place should definitely be on your bucket list. It's the scene from your tropical dreams. Literally clear blue warm water, an abundance of coral, endless palm tree speckled backdrops and waves so perfect, reliable and fun on tap.

It's completely untouched, transcending you back in time to life's simple pleasures. No phone towers, freshly caught food, and only the sound of nature. It's worth a visit at least once in your life. But we know, we will be heading back again and again. 

mentawai islands surfing

Shop this surf suit

If you don't surf, there are other adventures to enjoy such as snorkeling, SUP and maybe some hikes, but with no shops or reception, you're looking at lot's of sunbaking and frolicking in the warm tropical waters. There is not much else to do. Which could just be the way you like it...

Swims At Aloita Resort

When to go:


Weather: During this time of the year expect to enjoy sunny days with little to no wind, and occasional rain – just your standard tropical weather!

Waves: These months bring the best waves of the year with them, definitely the best season if you want to hit unforgettable waves! Expect slightly bigger swells which are more frequent and more waves in the area to choose from.


Weather: With drier weather and light variable winds, during these months sky is mainly clear and you can enjoy amazing sunny days.

Waves: When it comes to waves, this period marks the start and end of the surfing season, which means shoulder season where the ocean still gifts us with amazing smaller waves – making it the perfect season for beginner and intermediate surfers!


Weather: Weather can be a bit unpredictable during this season, still on average you will get mostly sunny days, and refreshing nights.

Waves: With changing winds, swells arrive less frequently during the Christmas period and it can be good to enjoy waves with little to no surfers around.

How to get there:

The closest city to the Mentawai Islands is Padang, Indonesia. You need to make your way here (airport code: PDG) from either Jakarta (with Garuda, Citylink, Batik Air or Lion Air) or Kuala Lumpur (with Air Asia). 
We personally flew Garuda (from Sydney > Jakarta > Padang) and we had a great journey. Would recommend flying with them. 
You need to arrive in Padang the night before your transfer to Mentawai's. Stay at the Mercure. It's not the prettiest of cities, so we wouldn't recommend booking anymore than one necessary night. The transfer is a 3 hour ferry trip from Padang port to Tua Pejat (capital port of the Mentawais) where you should then be greeted by your resort staff who can transfer you onwards to your resort. 
As we said, it's not the easiest place to get to, but well worth the effort!

mentawai fast ferry

Where to stay?

There are many resorts to stay in the Mentawai Islands, however these are our top 3 picks. 

Aloita Resort for barefoot luxury and romantic, rustic charm.

Aloita is an intimate boutique resort with only 10 absolute beachfront bungalows / villas surrounded by lush tropical island vegetation and a private 2km white sand beach. This secluded hideaway is simply breathtakingly beautiful. 

aloita surf resort
aloita surf resort bungalows indonesia
aloita surf resort


Mentawai Aloita Surf Resort

Enjoy three meals a day, prepared by international chefs who frequent the resort. You can expect fresh produce, locally caught fish, vegan and vegetarian options. Smoothies are also available on tap, which are so deliciously good!

A surf guide will take you the best waves of the day, pending conditions, via a  speedboat ride. 70% of the Mentawai Islands’ renowned waves and surf spots are accessible from Aloita, and five world-class surf breaks are within a ten minute speedboat ride. Not to mention there is a perfect fun left hander right outside, perfect for beginners right through to advanced. 

For ease, we booked the TRANSFER PACKAGE with Aloita so they took care of everything for us. This included all transfers from Padang airport to our hotel and to the harbour the following morning, the Mentawai Fast ferry with 15 kg luggage allowance and for surfers 1 board bag (15 Kg), porters and our speed boat to Aloita.

aloita surf resort


Alaia Resort for boutique luxury, pool vibes and access to long board waves

Alaia Resort is also a boutique resort, located in the Northern Mentawais. They only cater to a max of 10 guests at a time, meaning you can enjoy a private resort with your friends or make a couple of new friends to share a once in a lifetime dream vacation. 

They also have luxury, rustic bungalows but they also have a pool for ultimate island unwinding.

They are surrounded by 30+ surf breaks all within 30min boat ride. Many lady sliders head to this resort to take advantage of long boarding waves close by.

Kandui Resort for barrels and good vibes

Kandui Reosrt is another resort we'd recommend staying. It's also located in the Northern Mentawai's. Their proudest achievement is a 70% guest return rate. There are many reasons for this, and you can check out their website to read why.

Adventures to do:


The number one reason you'd head to the Mentawai islands is to surf. It's one of the world's best destinations for clean, fun, reliable and picturesque waves. The waves can cater for all abilities so if you're a beginner, make sure to enquire with your resort if there are beginner lessons available. What better way to learn to surf than in the Mentawai's? If you're an intermediate surfer, it's the perfect place to practice your technique and perhaps score your first barrel. 

Surfing Mentawai Islands
Surfing Mentawai Islands
Surfing Mentawai Islands Indonesia


Most of the resorts should provide access to snorkeling gear. The reefs surrounding Aloita Resort are the most beautiful and diverse of all the Mentawais. They organize half-day snorkeling trips to Pulau Setan Islands, suitable for first-time snorkelers and expert free divers.


Your resort may provide SUP boards for hire. Aloita can organise half-day tours suitable for everyone, in which you can explore reefs while improving your balance, experience the beautiful surroundings of the Mentawai Islands. 

We hope this provides you with some inspiration and information on what to expect and how best to plan a trip to the Mentawai Islands. As always, see you out there.

Love Bec & Rach x

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Guide to the Mentawai Islands

June 02, 2022 — Bec Mangan


Chelsea Audibert said:

This post has been tremendously helpful in making our decision how to arrive and where to stay in the Mentawais this coming May. Thank you!

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