The northernmost of Sumatra’s major islands, Simeulue is part of Aceh province and has fantastic waves and unspoiled natural beauty.  The island scores reliable waves year-round, but the most consistent swells hit between April and October. A big bonus is the easy access courtesy of daily domestic flights from the Sumatran city of Medan. That means even on short trips you can score the fun waves at The Peak, Dylan’s Right, or the more serious slabs of Thailands and Teabags.

Quick Facts

Over a dozen recognized quality breaks varying from barreling reef to mellow, easy-to-ride beachies.

Uncrowded waves suitable for all surfing levels

Yoga & health retreats, jungles activities

Easy to get to courtesy of daily domestic flights that depart after most International arrival flights

Where to surf

The best waves are located on the south and west coasts and feature coral reefs breaking close to stretches of pure white beach. There’s a variety of waves for all different levels, although the best such as Dylan’s and Teabags are right handers. Most resorts also have access to the Hinako Islands, which has seven different set ups on four different islands meaning there’s almost always somewhere to surf on any given day. There are uncrowded waves all over the south and western side of the island and some are yet to be discovered or named. The dozen recognized quality breaks however vary from barreling reef breaks to more mellow, easy-to-ride beach breaks, all within easy access.

When to go

Peak season is really between April and October when the swell swinging from the Indian Ocean winter storms combine with light trade winds blowing from the south-east. Even during the off season when the trades swing west and north-west there are still quality waves to be had. Due to the latitude, wind patterns are relatively calm. Sea temperatures remain steadily balmy at around 28°C or 82°F all year.


Fishing around the island can land some good catches. The best deep sea fishing is found on the drop off at the edge of the reef near Babi Island and day and overnight trips can be arranged. There are numerous excellent snorkelling locations around nearby islands; Mincau has excellent deep water coral reef for the serious diver as well shallow snorkelling off the beach. Take a trip to the local village markets and see how the locals live and interact. There are also waterfalls, freshwater lakes, pristine tropical jungles and endless deserted beaches to be explored. Taking a day trip to Deserted island and explore your own tropical paradise is a wonderful experience. Finally, if you are keen on underwater life, you can have a great experience watching the turtles!

The Country

With more than 18,000 islands providing 108,000 kilometers of beaches it’ms hard to get your head around the sheer scale of Indonesia. As an example the distance between Aceh in the West and Papua in the East is more than 4,000 km. Laying on the western rim of the Ring of Fire, a long horseshoe-shaped seismically active belt of earthquake epicenters and tectonic plate boundaries, Indonesia has more than 400 volcanoes, of which 130 are considered active. And while 6,000 of the islands are uninhabited, the rest are home to around 240 million people, making it the fourth most populous country in the world. Yet in many places, especially the remote sections where surfers go, the transport, technology and medical infrastructure is often poor. It is a fascinating and sometimes frustrating destination, but one that rewards the traveler who takes any time to understand it.

The Island

Simeulue is located 150km olf the west coast of Sumatra and is part of the Aceh Province. Surfing is the main attraction to western travelers. It is only in recent years that tourism has begun to develop on the island. Surf smart travelers have realized that compared to other parts of Indonesia, Simeulue remains far less crowded. Many guests have commented that it reminds them of how Bali was prior to over development.

The main town called Sinabang is located about 15 minutes from the airport. There are markets, local stores, traditional coffee shops and warungs lining the streets. There are no major shopping centres, bars, clubs or western restaurants on the island. There is a large hospital located near the town center.

The people of Simeulue are warm and welcoming. The local religion is Sharia Muslim and you will see Mosques in every village you pass through.

In respect of the local customs, dressing modestly is appreciated. Men should wear t-shirts when riding scooters outside of the resort, and surfing or sunbaking in Bikins is reserved for boat trips to outer islands. It’s a simple gesture to be polite.

Simeulue is suited to those that want to step back in time, avoid the hustle and bustle (crowds and traffic) of other major Indonesian tourist spots, and relish in the pristine coastlines and sleepy atmosphere of island life.

Getting There

Medan (KNO) is the gateway into Simeulue, the capital of Sumatra and the fifth largest city in Indonesia. It is accessible from cities like Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Denpasar, and Surabaya. Direct hour-long flights leave from Medan to Simeulue on Lion Air Wings. Once at the airport, your boat or resort representative will pick you up and take you to the resort/boat, and of course will also take you back to the airport after your stay as well.

Travel Information

Time Zone

GMT +8


Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Calling code



230 Plug type V, C, F