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Your Guide to Surf in the Banyak Islands

Nestled off the coast of Sumatra, the Banyak Islands are a hidden gem in Indonesia’s surfing scene, offering some of Indonesia’s premier surf spots without the heavy crowds typical of other destinations. Renowned for their world-class waves and minimal crowds, the Banyak Islands are a top choice for surfers.

Beyond the waves, the Banyak Islands enchant visitors with their stunning natural beauty, from lush tropical forests to crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. The islands’ remote location ensures a peaceful retreat, making it a perfect destination for surfers who crave both adventure and solitude.

Where are the Banyak Islands?

The Banyak Islands are a remote and picturesque archipelago located off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. Nestled within the Indian Ocean, these islands are part of the Aceh province, known for its stunning natural beauty and rich marine biodiversity.

The archipelago consists of approximately 99 islands, though only a few are inhabited or frequently visited. The Banyak Islands are situated to the northwest of Nias and to the southeast of Simeulue, two other notable islands in Indonesia’s surf scene. Despite their proximity to these more famous surf destinations, the Banyak Islands maintain a sense of seclusion and tranquility.

How to get to the Banyak Islands?

To reach the Banyak Islands, travelers typically fly into Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, and then take a domestic flight to Gunugsitoli in Nias or a drive to the coastal town of Singkil or Sibolga. From those towns, a boat ride is necessary to reach the islands, which adds to the sense of adventure and remoteness.

The journey to the Banyak Islands is well worth it for those seeking unspoiled natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and some of the finest surf breaks in Indonesia. The isolation of the islands has preserved their pristine environment, making them a perfect getaway for surfers, nature lovers, and adventurers alike.

Best time for Surfing in the Banyak Islands

The peak surfing season is from April to October when the Indian Ocean produces large, consistent swells. Although this period sees more visitors, it remains less crowded than Mentawais, Nias, or Simeulue. For those seeking fewer crowds and smaller waves, the off-season period from November to March sees glassy surf in the 2-4 ft range, making it an ideal time for intermediate surfers.

AWAVE Travel’s favourite Waves in the Banyak Islands!

The Banyak Islands offer a diverse range of surf spots, from fast, hollow barrels to long, playful points. With their pristine environment and uncrowded line-ups, the Banyak Islands are a dream destination for surfers looking to experience world-class waves in a tranquil setting. The AWAVE Travel team loves surfing there and has picked a few of our favourite waves:

Treasure Island (Pulau Bangkaru) – Treasure Island is the crown jewel of the Banyak Islands’ surf spots. It delivers long, powerful, and consistent right-handers that can hold up to triple overhead. The wave features multiple barrel sections, making it a favourite among experienced surfers looking for thrilling rides.

Cobra – Cobra offers a fast, hollow left-hand wave that is perfect for advanced surfers. This wave is known for its powerful barrels, especially during the peak season from April to October. The takeoff can be challenging, but the reward is a high-quality, adrenaline-pumping ride.

Gunturs / Bay of Plenty – Gunturs is another right-hand reef break known for its powerful and fast waves. It offers both hollow barrels and open-face sections, making it suitable for advanced surfers who enjoy high-performance waves. The break can handle significant swell.

Dindos / Bay of Plenty – Dindos is a versatile left-hander wave that can accommodate a range of skill levels. On smaller days, it’s fun and forgiving, perfect for intermediates. When the swell picks up, Dindos transforms into a more powerful wave with thrilling barrel sections, appealing to more experienced surfers.

Lolok Point / Bay of Plenty – Lolok Point offers long, peeling lefts that are perfect for carving and manoeuvring. The wave is consistent and can provide lengthy rides, especially during mid-sized swells.

Lizards Nest – the left-hander wave on Pinang is very sensitive to swell direction and works only with large swell. It is shallow and incredibly fast with up to 20sec barrels

Where to stay in the Banyak Islands on Land

Pingan Island

Just moments from the Bay of Plenty and the pristine surf spots of Treasure Island in the Banyak Islands, Pinang Island’s location offers a haven for surfers. For those craving a genuine connection with nature and a break from the frantic pace of modern life, Pinang beckons.

Pinang Island boasts a serene setting amidst unspoiled nature, ideal for hosting surfers and accommodating adventurous families. With a unique blend of Indonesian sanctuary, sustainable living practices, and wildlife conservation efforts, the hotel provides the perfect escape for those in search of an authentic tropical getaway.

Where to stay in the Banyak Islands on Boats

Seriti

The Seriti is a 25 m-long aluminum charter. This solid and dependable design has a very experienced crew, providing comfort and safety onboard all trips. The charter can comfortably sleep 12 persons across 2 doubles and 10 single bunk beds located in 2 large air-conditioned cabins.

The charter has a large dining room, loads of space to chill throughout, and an epic rear deck to watch sunsets from! The charter comes with 2 support boats, allowing you to split your crew between waves!

The Dream

The Dream is a 26m Indonesian-built boat with 5 twin rooms suites and 1 larger cabin with a double bed. The charter offers air conditioning for all indoor spaces, keeping you cool and comfortable. The charter is capable of accommodating up to 12 guests and accepts solo travelers!

The Dream is capable of cruising up to 10 knots, keeping cruising times down between spots. The large indoor space is well designed and can fit all guests whilst eating. Up on the deck are multiple spots to relax with loads of storage for boards and equipment. Equipped with a small 30 HP dinghy to get you to the surf, The Dream is perfect for group trips and solo travelers!

Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance and safety advice to help you travel confidently. World Nomads offers travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. It has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Safety Wing Nomad Insurance is a travel medical insurance that covers you for extended travel all over the world, while outside your home country. Travel with continuous coverage across 180+ countries. Simple claims process. 24/7 human support. Please click HERE to get a free quote.

Booking Your Trip

AWAVE Travel’s team is here to help you find the perfect resort for your trip. Once you have decided on the trip and the route that would suit you, we can set you up with an offer for booking!

All of our trips are covered by our Best Price Promise, so you will always get the best rate booking with AWAVE Travel!

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Customer Reviews

AWAVE Travel

Customer Reviews

Tatsiana Radchanka 04/21/2024

Google
Amazing surf camp. Felt at home there. Super nice, kind, helpful staff. Any of my requests has been satisfied. Highly recommended!

Charles Viellevoye 03/27/2024

TrustPilot
Very professional team. Giulia is always on and have an accurate answer to all my questions. The boat trip was incredibly well organised. Nothing was missing.

Emily Bullen 04/03/2024

TrustPilot
Professional and Top Notch! From the moment we started planning our trip AWAVE was responsive and professional. We had a lot of back and forth picking the perfect location and resort and James and Giulia were patient and helpful. The resort we stayed at, AYADA in the Maldives, was beautiful and relaxing- great for families and couples! It was perfect for us- we have 1 surfer in the family, he was able to enjoy the waves and we also were able to enjoy the reef and snorkel as a family. Our kids loved the kids club and the private pool on the beach villas was amazing. The alcohol is expensive if you don’t do full board but that is to be expected. Wonderful vacation and amazing travel agency! Definitely recommend!!

Cobus and Jackie Van Aswegen 10/19/23

Google
awesome last minute trip which was well communicated, friendly crew and great surf guide! waves were not the best but we realised at the time of booking that it was end of season. crew could not be more friendly and willing to help all the time - chef prepared a wide variety of food and never any complaints on that front - thanks!!!... we will be back for more!

Steve 10/07/23

TrustPilot
I've used Awave twice ... so far. This is the second time I've used Awave for a trip to the maldives. Stayed in 2 different resorts this time. They've always been incredibly prompt at replying and handled everything for us, making sure the 2 Resorts were in touch to get us transfered half way through our trip. At one of the resorts I even bumped into Giulia and Delia who were out there surfing at the time. There's no doubt in my mind that I'll use awave again if I'm booking a surf trip

Donald Ayres 11/06/23

TrustPilot
Indonesia Surf Trip/ Java/Bali/Sumba - James Colston was my representative from AWAVE - I’m an older solo surfer and James was attentive, respectful, extremely responsive from the initial planning stages all the way through the booking. And he was so patient with all my crazy questions along the way. I couldn’t have been more pleased with James’s level of service. Thank you James

Alex Daish 12/28/23

TrustPilot
Giulia was an amazing person to book with. I was overwhelmed with choices initially, but AWAVE knew their stuff and helped me with my options and even suggested delaying my trip so I could go to a certain hotel which ended up being the best decision I made all year.

Mickey 01/24/24

TrustPilot
Giulia and James were always on line to answer any question or to give an advice. The Ayada resort is perfect both for families or for couples. We did not have waves as the season goes from April to September, but there are plenty options to have fun and good times. Highly recommended both Awave and Ayada.

James 01/30/24

TrustPilot
The AWAVE team are knowledgable and helpful. Giulia is a very helpful and patient person to deal with, and do not worry, you can trust her. I had to delay my trip to Morocco due to unforeseen circumstances and Giulia was very understanding. I have just returned from having a fantastic week at Amouage in Taghazout. Thanks AWAVE!

Omar AlJammaz 03/07/23

TrustPilot
Great travel options, great customer support, simplifying planing process.
Looking forward for my next trip.
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