Sumatra is one of those places that aren’t on the tourist radar just yet. There are travelers of course, but not that much at all. Whether you visit the jungle, the volcanos, or the paradise islands, chances are you won’t encounter many others. When you really wanna go off the radar, then plan a visit to Pulau Weh. A tropical island on the most Western tip of Indonesia. Most of its visitors are either Malaysian or locals from the mainland coming over for the weekends or holidays.

Why Pulau Weh?

But alright, more about Pulau Weh. Because why should you go all the way up north? Well, because you’ll find paradise. The beaches are white, the ocean is the brightest blue, the hills are lush, the palm trees are there in abundance, and the coconuts are ready. As long as you’re not here on holidays or weekends, it’s most likely you got it all to yourself. I gotta warn you, from here on you’ll get some serious palm tree spam.

Long beach in Pulau Weh Sumatra
Treetop Gueshoust in Iboih Pulau Weh

Treetop huts with killer views

We checked ourselves into Treetop Guesthouse in Iboih, which were literally houses on poles overlooking nothing more but the Indian ocean. Accommodation is simple, but sufficient, with a big balcony with stunning views, and from time to time some random curious visitors (frogs, bugs, birds). Just down the stairs of our little treetop house, we had the most incredible snorkeling area with loads of fish all to ourselves. A morning swim for two to wake up, please?

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Find your inner diver

The island is well known for its underwater world. Of course, you can spend your days snorkeling, but Pulau Weh is a diving mecca. With about 100 different exciting dive sites for all different levels, you can find whale sharks, manta rays, a zillion colorful fish, and plenty of coral. Due to the fact that the island isn’t like Koh Tao, the place is not overcrowded at all and neither is the ocean. If you’re looking for a diving company check out Lumba Lumba dive school in Gapang. They’re PADI certified and really have all the patience in the world to let you enjoy the underwater world.

diving in Pulau Weh Sumatra
Pulau Weh Island views in Sumatra

Cruise around the island

How tempting it may sound to just stay and discover the underwater world of Pulau Weh, the upper water world got something good going on as well. Just rent a scooter and cruise around. You’ll find waterfalls, incredible viewpoints, little towns, and remote beaches.

One of those beaches is Long Beach where you’ll find the lovely Bixio Cafe. With tunes of The XX and Jamiroquai, hammocks in the trees on the beach, and only three bungalows this is your perfect paradise getaway. Pop by for some Italian comfort food, or settle down and get used to island life. Grab a book, crash in one of the hammocks, snorkel a bit, and let the day pass by while you become as lazy as a sloth. Globalization is a thing, and Bixio proves just that. Who would’ve thought to find the most delicious Italian food on this tiny island just off the coast of Sumatra? Pasta, gnocchi, and tiramisu are on the menu, and they rock it. Quite a welcome change after loads of nasi goreng.

Casa Nemo on Pulau Weh Sumatra

Paradise with a cause

If you are looking for a bit more luxury than just little huts on the beach I can recommend you, Casa Nemo. This resort has beautiful bungalows each with those true paradise vistas. With delicious food (try out their pizzas), a relaxing spa, and a nearly private beach, this really is the place to unwind. There’s a thing to Casa Nemo that makes this place even more special. The owners started a project to create a safe haven for single moms and other people for which local life can be difficult. Casa Nemo is for them a place where they can truly be themselves, take off their hijab and talk about their life.

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One of a kind island life on Pulau Weh

Pulau Weh is a unique island. Its tropical beaches, the little rural towns, the lush green rolling hills, and the amazing underwater world. If you are up for a bit of an adventure and beaches all to yourself, then check this beautiful island out! You are in for a one-of-a-kind experience.


Ps. Keep in mind that Pulau Weh is part of the Banda district and therefore falls under Sharia law. Although they are milder towards tourists, alcohol is very hard to get, and swimming in bathing suits on some beaches prohibited. For women, it’s handy to bring a scarf along if you’re visiting public places, so you always got something to cover up a bit.

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Beach views on Pulau Weh Sumatra

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