Surfing the Mentawais: An In-Depth Guide to Accommodation Choices

The Mentawai Islands, off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, are applauded for their incredible surf breaks and stunning tropical scenery. Surfing the Mentawais offers surfers a unique experience with consistent waves and pristine waters. Selecting the right housing can greatly enhance your trip. This guide outlines the accommodations available in the Mentawais, highlighting their advantages and unique features to help you plan an unforgettable surfing adventure.

When choosing accommodation in the Mentawai Islands, it is important to consider your budget, surfing level, and the type of experience you seek. With many options, you will surely find the perfect place to stay for your unforgettable surfing adventure in the Mentawai Islands.

Surf Resorts

Surf resorts in the Mentawai Islands blend luxury, comfort, and proximity to the best waves. These resorts are ideal for surfers seeking convenience and additional amenities.

Eco-Conscious Comfort:

Many surf resorts in the Mentawais focus on sustainability, using recycled materials for construction and implementing eco-friendly practices. These resorts often feature modern, comfortable bungalows with hot water, fans, and spacious rooms that stay cool even in the tropical heat. Activities such as guided jungle tours, yoga sessions, and cultural visits enhance the overall experience, making these resorts perfect for those looking for a home-like atmosphere during their stay.

Amenities and Activities:

Surf resorts typically offer a variety of activities beyond surfing, such as snorkeling, fishing, and cultural tours. This makes them ideal for couples and families seeking a diverse vacation experience. The emphasis on environmental conservation ensures that guests can enjoy the natural beauty of the Mentawais while minimizing their ecological footprint.

Surf Camps

Surf camps in the Mentawais are an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers and those who enjoy a more communal atmosphere. These camps range from basic to mid-range accommodations, often including guided surf sessions and opportunities to engage with local culture.

It offers an economical way to experience the Mentawais. Basic camps provide dormitory-style accommodations with shared facilities, making them excellent for solo travelers or groups of friends. The communal atmosphere promotes a sense of camaraderie among guests, creating a vibrant and social environment.

Mid-Range Camps:

Mid-range surf camps offer private rooms and better amenities for those aspiring for more ease while maintaining a relaxed and social vibe. These camps provide added perks such as private bathrooms and sometimes air conditioning, balancing affordability and comfort. They are an excellent choice for surfers who want to stay close to the action without sacrificing too much on convenience.

Surf Charters

Surf charters offer the ultimate flexibility for surfers looking to chase the best waves around the Mentawai Islands. These boats allow you to move between different surf spots, ensuring you always find the optimal conditions.

Surf charters allow you to explore various surf breaks without being tied to a single location. Equipped with comfortable sleeping quarters, dining areas, and experienced crew members, these charters ensure you can navigate to the best waves based on real-time conditions. This mobility allows for a dynamic and responsive surfing experience, avoiding crowded spots and finding the best surf each day.

Living on a surf charter is an adventure, fostering a strong sense of community among the group. Sharing close quarters with fellow surfers creates a unique bond, making the trip challenging and rewarding. Surf charters are perfect for those who thrive in a communal environment and are looking for an immersive surfing adventure.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to surf the Mentawais is during the main surf season from March to October, which aligns with the dry season. This period offers the most consistent waves and favorable weather conditions. Early March, among other shoulder seasons, presents prime surfing chances, offering excellent surfing opportunities beyond the peak season crowds.

Must-Visit Surf Spots

The Mentawai Islands boast a variety of surf spots suitable for different skill levels:

Advanced Surfers:

Powerful and Hollow Waves: Some spots are known for their fast, heavy waves that provide thrilling rides for advanced surfers.

Long, Fast Barrels: Certain breaks offer long rides with challenging barrel sections, perfect for experienced surfers seeking adrenaline-pumping sessions.

Intermediate Surfers:

Consistent Left-Handers: Intermediate surfers can enjoy spots with consistent, playful waves that allow various maneuvers.

User-Friendly Breaks: Several breaks offer more forgiving conditions ideal for building skills and confidence.

All Skill Levels:

Friendly Left-Handers: Some surf spots are suitable for all skill levels, providing a safe environment for beginners while offering fun waves for advanced surfers.

Protected Spots: Certain areas are sheltered from strong winds, making them reliable options even when other spots are less favorable.

Travel Tips

Planning your trip to the Mentawais involves a few key considerations:

Surf Tax:

Be aware of the Mentawai Surf Tax, a required fee for all surfers. This fee is typically payable in the main city before you head to the islands, and it helps support local conservation efforts.

Packing Essentials:

Pack essential items such as a multi-tool, mosquito repellent, reef-safe sunscreen, and a first aid kit. These items will ensure you are prepared for the tropical conditions and any minor issues that may arise.

Accommodation in Transit:

Due to ferry schedules, you should stay a night in the mainland city before and after your trip to the Mentawais. Options range from budget hostels to luxury hotels, so plan well to guarantee a smooth transition.


Surfing the Mentawais is a dream come true for any avid surfer. The pristine waves, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking scenery create an unparalleled surfing experience. Whether you choose the luxury and comfort of a surf resort, the social and communal environment of a surf camp, or the freedom and flexibility of a surf charter, each accommodation option provides unique benefits that greatly enhance your trip. 

By understanding your options and planning, you can ensure your time in the Mentawai Islands is enjoyable and memorable. Explore online resources dedicated to surfing destinations for more detailed information and booking options. These platforms offer valuable insights to help you decide about your Mentawais adventure.

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