Only a 50-minute flight from Bali, the island of Sumba lies in the east of Indonesia’s archipelago, the largest set of islands in the world. Part of the East Nusa Tenggara province, Sumba is one of the closest Indonesian islands to Australia and lies within the Wallacea ecozone, giving it a mixture of plants and animals of Asian and Australasian origin. This largely untouched island is seeing strong tourism growth due to its uncrowded waves, empty white sand beaches, unique inland adventures, and striking, largely unexplored natural setting.
Despite contact with Western cultures, Sumba is also one of the few places in the world where megalithic burials are used as a ‘living tradition’ to inter prominent individuals when they die. Burial in megaliths is a practice that was used in many parts of the world during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, but has survived to this day in Sumba, raising significant interest from scholars around the world. Sumba is also one of the last remaining cultures to practice Marapu religion, a form of ancestral worship. It's traditional beliefs are still followed closely, but with 90 percent of Sumbanese having converted to Christianity, they have found a way to weave their ancient practices with the new.