What are the dates available?
If you click on the trip schedule link in the top navigation bar you will be able to see our availability
What is the scheduled transport to the waves?
The scheduled transport is for the waves that are offshore in the morning winds and are blown out by the trades. We are centrally positioned in a spot where the waves are offshore in the trades which start up usually around 11:00am. This all fits in perfectly with lunch and a relaxing afternoon at the camp, in and out of the water of course.
When are the biggest swells?
The biggest swells generally hit around July-August
How big are the biggest swells, whats it like in between?
The biggest swells we usually get are around 10-12ft. Around the months of May and July, we get even bigger swells maybe four or five a season but those one’s are hard to predict and can come at any time of year. Generally we get one swell a week that is between 6-8ft , in between it’s usually around 2-5ft. Our biggest swell was 20ft Hawaiian , a once in 15 year swell we had in May 2007. There are sheltered spots if your not up for anything thats too big.
What are the conditions like Feb-May?
Some of the cleanest swells of the year exist during these months. Swells at this time of year are more perfect and groomed as the onshores down south in WA haven’t eventuated yet, messy swells are less frequent than the mid-season of July-August. The winds are light, which can be better for some of the premier waves. Its not rare to have all day offshores in this region in Feb-May. During this time you can get a rare system that can spin us some howling onshore and heavy rain all day, these can last a few days but this kind of thing happens only a few times during this three month period and is only a few days per trip if it does happen. This we believe is worth the gamble as during these months is some of our best conditions we have here, sheet glass and groomed perfect swells with not a drop out of place.
On a normal day if it rains, the rain hits around mid day to mid afternoon and straight after the rain squall you can sheet glass oily conditions.
This part of year usually brings the best beachbreak sessions as the banks are better due to the rivers flowing and shifting the sand where it needs to be and the huge swells haven’t guttered the beachies out yet. These beachbreaks have been compared to and rated better than some of the best beachbreaks in the world.. eg. Puerto, Straddie, Booj & Hossegor.
Don’t be fooled that July-August is the only time of year, early and late season have brought us some of our best sessions in Secret Sumatra. Be aware also that sometimes we can see plenty of rain at anytime of year due to us being next to a big mountain range
What is late season (Sept-Nov) like?
Much like Hawaii, the swells (which are usually more groomed) keep pumping with the trade winds backing off a bit, sometimes being glassy all day which can open up a whole new window of options.
The swells in Indonesia usually don’t back off until the end of November, so we are still here getting shacked late season.
What’s a general breakdown on what the different parts of the season are like?
This is a general response as we all know nobody can predict swells more than a few weeks out and still predictions aren’t accurate until a few days out and you still really don’t know until your standing on the beach when the swell is arriving.
One of the most positive things about the area is we are very open to swell, there’s nothing stopping it getting in here, there’s no refraction, the middle of South-West swells which are the most common in Indonesia hit us straight on so a lot of the time we see signs of swell 6-10 hrs prior to Bali & The Mentawais which makes the area super consistent for swell
So here’s a general description of the different seasons we have here.
Start of Feb – End of March
Is really good for the beachies as the banks are nice and compacted, the reefs also get good & generally the swell size each day is 3-5 ft with the odd bigger swell of 6-8 ft and an occasional bomb swell of 10ft +. We surf the beachies, a long 300m left, a perfect right that’s offshore most days, the waves outfront and the other hollower and protected spots when we get the bigger swells.
Start of April – Mid May
The swells are more frequent (swells at this time of year can be anywhere between 5-10ft). The winds are still light, with the trades coming up around 10-11am which allows us to surf the morning spots for a lot longer opening up better windows for tides etc.
Mid May – End of June
Similar to the start of April – Mid May, frequent swells but they are getting bigger the in-between days can be less so less days at the beachbreaks and the long left but more days at some of the more gnarly waves and the sheltered spots, the swells are around 6-12ft with the odd 15+ day.
Start of July – till the end of Septembar
The swells are in full force (6-12ft) with the odd 15+ plus day, the trades have kicked in more by now so it can sometimes limit the morning spots as they can start around 8 am and somedays they are up at sun up and occasionally they blow all night. The trades are offshore for the waves out front which is also a good scenario as it’s super easy, we have guys that come back for this time of year as they just like to wake up and surf out front. On some of the biggest swells (12-15+) an onshore wind can come with the swell but this is super rare and only lasts for a day
Oct – Nov
Very similar to Start of April – Mid May .
What else is there to do other than surf?
As it is super consistent here we don’t often get trips where we are bored looking for things to do, we have a beautiful island around a few k’s out to sea which we can charter a local fishing boat to, it’s some of the whitest sand and most incredible water colour you’ll ever see, it’s great for fishing and diving, it’s a great experience to connect with the locals, try a local cooked lunch and see how people live on a small island off the coast of Sumatra.
There’s a coffee plantation up in the hills that is famous for ‘Kopi Luwak’ where the bean is ingested by civets and them excreted, during this process the stomach acid of the civet takes out any bitterness in the bean, then it’s washed roasted, grinded and brewed. Kopi Luwak is known as some of the smoothest and finest tasting coffee in the world going for US$50 per cup at some cafes in NYC.
We are out in a beautiful place on the side of a big mountain range where everyone can take a break from their busy lifestyles and take some time out for themselves, we have set up our beach bar and infinity pool with the atmosphere of lounge bars like Kudeta but in a less pretentious style suited to surfers on a white sand beach with huge comfy beanbag daybeds and groovy tunes playing in the background so you’ll be chilling in between surfs and if the mrs doesn’t surf she’ll be looking up at the palm trees while you get barrelled.
How many people stay at one time?
Our limit is 12 surfing guests and our mates drop in from time to time.
Where is the best place to fly into ?
We always recommend flying direct to Jakarta unless you plan on doing Bali before or after your trip. The flight to Sumatra leaves from Jakarta at 0905 in the morning, so we travel during the day to Secret Sumatra and arrive at 1500-1700 to get a late surf in.
Can you organise my international flights?
As we’re not a licensed travel agent we don’t organise international flights, nowadays online is the go, check out; Qantas & Garuda first for direct flights from Australia to Jakarta then Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar, Garuda, Air Asia, Scoot, Tiger, Singapore airlines if your coming through Singapore or Bali. All of the airlines are quite competitive with prices and have some great deals but if you would like a more personal service, Flight Centre have the best service as a face to face travel agent who can also help you with changing flights by phone or email.
How long should I allow for connections in Jakarta?
Jakarta is one of the biggest international airports in the world, it’s also one of the most poorly planned, there aren’t trains to each terminal and as there are around 300 million people in the country we need to allow for delays to get from one terminal to another so if you’re coming on a flight from Bali or anywhere else in Indonesia it’s safe to allow 3 hours minimum between landing and departure, many flights have been missed so it’s good to be aware of this prior to booking domestic flights, we can take the stress out of that for you and book your local flights with the right connecting times or connecting through without having to change terminals. Check our packages section for more information.
Where do I stay in Jakarta?
We recommend FM7 airport hotel if you’re only staying overnight and want to stay close to the airport, this hotel offers pre-orded free airport shuttles from the airport to their hotel and return. This needs to be organised at least the day before your stay and for your return when you check in.
If you’re staying in the city we reccomend Art Hotel, Akmani or Maxone which are all in the Sarinah/Thamrin area which is the best part of town.
We can also take the stress out of hotels and book them for you just ask us.
What time does the flight leave Jakarta?
The flight to Sumatra only leaves from Jakarta and it leaves at 0905 and the return flight arrives back into Jakarta at 0935.
How much is the flight from Bali to Jakarta?
From Denpasar (Bali) to Jakarta, the flight cost will be $320AU return.
What time does the flight leave from Bali to JKT?
The flight leaves at 0630 to connect through to Sumatra however flight schedules often change in Indonesia, guests will be notified on any amendments to flights. The return flight arrives back into Denpasar between 14:30 & 17:00.
Delays & Moving Gates!!
In Indonesia everyone is on Indo time, also known as rubber time. Flight can be delayed or pushed till the next flight so we need to be patient in regards to delays, it’s always good to check after checking in with your ticket on the flight departures board to identify your gate incase of it being moved and if your flights been delayed you will need to speak to the airline to organise your next flight.
Can I get my own hut? How much would that cost? Do they have toilets in them?
Everyone gets their own room, there are male and female bathrooms with western style toilets and showers that are seperate from the rooms. If you’re bringing the mrs the bathrooms and showers aren’t shared.
How do we get to the waves?
Some waves are out the front and some are up to 50mins drive.
What non surfing activities do you have? I am thinking of coming with my partner but would like a few extra things to do, either why the boys are surfing or with my partner.
When the waves are small we usually do a trip to a small island on a fishing boat (photo’s in the gallery) we walk around the island which takes about 2hrs the trip out can be nice as we reguarly see dolphins and just seeing the mountains from the boat is really nice, this is usually a great day for everyone.
We also send ‘just the couple’ out for a few different trips also, theres a valley you can view from as high mountain that is quite magnificent and about an hrs drive there is a Bali village with a few temples to check out. Usually we organize this stuff on the small days when we have more flexibility with the cars.
As for stuff to do while the boys are out, i’d bring some books for timeout in the hammock. We have a nice 100M2 eating area and bar with pool table and outdoor cinema which is there to hang out in. Also you could do the above things I have mentioned solo, we also had a couple where the girl was quite independent earlier in the year and she was going down to the market with the girls from the kitchen some days, there are some rice fields to check out. Some days you will be able to go with the boys when there’s space in the car. There’s a nice beach for swimming about a 15min walk (5 by car).
So that’s what we can usually do for the non surfing partner to spice things up a bit.
Is it possible to get meals without meat in them?
There are vegetarian meals available for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Is there a time of the season that is the safest bet for good waves?
Our area has consistent swell all year round but the most consistent swell window is April-October.
Can you drive there and would it be worth having a car with us?
You could drive to us, but it’d be a more expensive and time consuming way to do the trip.
I just looked at your website i was wondering if Secret Sumatra has any softer waves I have a 14 year old son and he is a good surfer for his age
There are definatly less hollow waves around, there’s a point that is a long lefthand style point with more wall and there are also beachbreaks in walking distance. He could work his way up to the more hollow waves through these spots for sure.
Where is your spot in relation to all the waves and town?
Our spot is a very central location in the middle of the radius of all the waves we surf.
Town is also close, so you can check out the markets and buy any items you require from the shops in town.
Is it worth bringing a short board or are semi-guns and guns the only boards I’ll need?
I’d say bring a short board, a semi gun and if your into real solid waves bring a gun also/ otherwise bring 2 semi’s (4 boards is the maximum).
Where is the closest/best place to exchange dollars into local currency? Bali or Jakarta
Bali is definately the best. Don’t ever change money at Jakarta airport. Best exchange rates are usually at the banks. Upstairs at BCA bank Jl. Raya Kuta is great.
Are there other camps in the area?
We aren’t the only camp in the area, there are currently 2 others about 30 mins from us that can accommodate about 15 guests each , they are a good option if you are mainly focused on surfing the left point. They have been running for many years and we’ve heard good reports from their guests.
Are there boat charters through this area?
No there aren’t
Is there someone at the camp to advise ue on the best options according to the weather conditions?
Yes, we have a surfguide.
Could you tell me about the wave size we could expect and the board size?
The wave size will generally be from 3ft- 8ft. I’d say bring a small wave board and 2 medium boards, if your into big waves bring a gun also (4 BOARDS MAX per person).
Is there a swimming spot for the ladies close by?
Right out the front or a 15 min walk to a white sandy beach.
Are there things for the non surfers to do? (We’re not expecting “bells and whistles” low key things of interest)
Secret Sumatra is a place to relax by your own private white sand beach , we can organise to take non surfing partners to the Island close by. Snorkelling and fishing are great non surfing past times.
What’s the situation with personal security (muslim/christian thing) and also valuables?
If you read the culture section on our site you will find some helpful information.
The people here are mellow, it’s a place in the middle of nowhere and the people practice their own religion peacefully, I wouldn’t go around handing out bibles as it’s important to respect anyones beliefs in any other culture, but there definatly isn’t any bad sentiment towards foreigners.
Our area is the most comfortable we’ve felt when we are in Indo, it’s basically the middle of nowhere.
The people are the friendliest we’ve encountered not only in Indonesia , but in the world. They have helped us so much with Secret Sumatra and we are so greatfull to be where we are. It’s a great alternative to Bali. Very relaxing.
Is it consistent?
We pick up A LOT of swell in our area being at the centre of where south-west swell energy hits Indonesia. The ocean fetch here is also the deepest in Indo so the waves rarely get under 3 ft and when its maxing there are sheltered spots to surf.
Do you have fishing and diving equipment or do we bring our own?
It’s best to bring your own, although fishing equiptment is available in town.
What’s the cost for non surfing partners?
For non surfing partners.
The couple stays in one room. The rooms have a double bed with a bedside table with a lockable compartment.
Prices as follows:
$2360au per couple for a 2 week package, high season, please check our schedule for prices at the other times of the season.
2nd person doesn’t get priority in transport to the surf breaks, however if there is room they may join .