CNN Travel has just released a list of the top 24 destinations in the world to visit this year. First place went to Sumba in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara, which the influential news outlet described as “a beach destination that prioritises community consciousness and sustainability”.
CNN senior journalist Karla Cripps noted that one of the most amazing features of the island is the Nihi Sumba Resort, which provides luxury accommodation and has been voted the world’s best resort multiple times. In recent years, Nihi has been joined on its idyllic island home by several other new luxury eco-resorts, including The Sanubari and Cap Karoso.
For those who make the trip to Sumba, one of the biggest attractions is the island’s natural wonders. From the savanna at Wairinding Hill to the pristine scenery at Bawana Beach, there are plenty of wild places to explore and admire. Located just outside Kalenarogo Village, Weekuri Lake is a breath-taking tropical lagoon fringed by coral reefs and verdant forest.
Just as spectacular are the island’s cultural treasures. Due to its remote location, Sumba is distinct from most other places in Indonesia and plays host to some fascinating ancient customs. From the distinctive village huts and their towering thatched roofs, to the annual Pasola rituals, in which tribesmen on horseback engage in a mock war to placate ancient gods, tradition remains alive and well in Sumba.
In their tribute to the island, CNN highlighted Ratenggaro Village in Kodi District, which is home to various monolithic burial sites and overlooks the see from a picturesque vantagepoint atop a cliff. Other traditional villages recommended in the feature included Prai Ijing, Pasunga, Praiyawang, Tarung and Bodo Ede.
The other lesser-visited destinations recommended by CNN included Tartu, Estonia; Turkey’s Black Sea coast; Tainan, Taiwan; Northwest Michigan; Trans Dinarica Cycle Trail, Balkans; Culebra, Puerto Rico; Angola; Saint John, Canada; South Korea; Albania; Chile; Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia; Macedonia, Greece; Panama; Galicia, Spain; Singapore’s offshore islands; Mérida, Mexico; Morocco; Florida’s freshwater springs; Texas Hill Country; Fujairah; Greenland; and Uzbekistan.
Located just an hour away from Bali by plane, Sumba offers the winning combination of remoteness and connectivity. Here, travellers can enter another world of spectacular landscapes, beach breaks and ancient tribal customs. Twice the size of its more famous neighbour, there’s plenty of room to breathe and explore, while savouring the peace and quiet of one of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets.
As CNN put it in their list, “for those looking for a beach destination that prioritises community consciousness and sustainability, the Indonesian island of Sumba delivers.”
To explore Sumba and take a look inside Nihi, Travel With Us.