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Waingapu is the largest town of the island of Sumba in the Nusa Tenggara region of Indonesia.


Waingapu is the largest town on Sumba and the capital town of the East Sumba Regency.

Get in[edit]

Waignapu is the gateway town to Sumba and many visitors arrive here.

By plane[edit]

Waignapu's Mau Hau airport (WGP IATA) is a small single runway regional airport served by a few regional arilines. The main airlines are Wings Air (a subsidiary of Lion Air) and Nam Air (a subsidiary of Sriwijaya), with both offering flights from Denpasar (Bali) and the provincial capital Kupang. Susi Air operates routes to smaller airports on nearby islands, including various airports on Flores.

By boat[edit]

The Pelni [1] passenger ship Awu calls in at Waingapu twice on its 14 day round trip of Nusa Tenggara. This allows access from Kupang and several other cities in the region. The Awu is by far the safest and best way to reach Sumba by sea.

The ferry experience is very enjoyable. When boarding expect a tussle as the usually friendly and courteous Indonesians will push and shove their way past anyone to get on. If travelling economy class do not expect to get a bunk in one of the many dorm style rooms. The spaces go quickly, so it might be worth taking along a mat to sleep on and a heavier weight sarong for if the weather changes. Quite frankly, it's better on the deck as the rooms are very hot and do have a very strong odour. On the subject of odours, be prepared for the bathrooms. Not well maintained or cleaned very often, just be aware. Wet wipes for washing hands are recommended.

Food is served 3 times a day, just listen out for the words "economy" on the loud hailer. Just follow the crowds. You'll need to take your ticket with you. It's not much, so you might want to bring along your own food; dry biscuits and so on. Bearing in mind the state of the toilets a lightweight diet may be in your favour. Hot water is available for a few thousand Rupiah from the little kiosk.

From Lembar to Waingapu is about 26 hours.

Get around[edit]


The village of Prailiu, 3kms from the city centre on the road to the airport has impressive megalithic tombstones and really good examples of hand woven Sumba ikat cloth, coloured with natural dyes in traditional designs.

Rende (sometimes spelt Rindi) village has large traditional houses with imposing megalithic tombstones, about 70kms east of Waingapu, or 7kms east of Melolo.






  • Hotel Elvin, Jl Jend. A. Yani 73, +62 387 61443. 2 stars hotel in Waingapu.


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