Where is the surf camp?
The camp is situated in a secluded bay on the southern end of Siberut, the largest of the Mentawai Islands. The camp is around 200-300m from a small and friendly village of Pei Pei. Situated “on the beach” we’re just 5 mins from the nearest wave!
What is the local religion?
All Indonesians must profess one of the state-supported religions of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism & Buddhism. The Indonesian government views Jarayak, traditional Mentawai animism, as a primitive belief of ignorant tribal people. Although many Mentawai still practice Jarayak, most shamans will say they are Christian, to avoid the possibility of violence against them and their families. In Pei Pei, where the camp is very close to, there is a majority of Christian belief, as well as a small Islamic following.
Can you tell more about surfing in the Mentawai Islands?
We’ll probably never know who actually first surfed the Mentawai islands. It is claimed that a Californian, name unknown, surfed the area in 1944 while stationed on a US patrol boat. A few hundred kilometers north, surfers were consistently riding Lagundi Bay, Nias, as early as 1975. By 1980 some Australian surfers claim to have visited Macaronis, but never returned due to the rigors of overland travel in the islands. Martin Daly had a chance to scope the area in 1989 and was soon back with a group of mates all sworn to secrecy. During the early nineties a handful of other pro surfers were lucky enough to visit and then finally the first magazine photo trip took place, although the area was still unnamed. By 1993, Rick Cameron was taking groups of surfers to the uncharted Mentawai surf zone and then gradually over the next decade, news of the islands gradually leaked into the surfing world. To this day, there are approximately 30-40 charter boats (max) sailing through the islands on any given day in the main season (May-Oct). There are relatively few surf camps due to the relative difficulty in land acquisition and then the subsequent problems with the development of the land. The Playgrounds/Nyang Nyang surf area (known as wave park) is the most wave rich area by far.
Do we need Visas?
All visitors to Indonesia need a valid passport (with over 6 months validity) and need to obtain a visa to gain entry. Travellers wishing to stay 30 days or less can obtain a visa at the airport.
Nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the USA can apply for a Tourist visa, valid for 30 days (non-extendable), on arrival, provided that they enter through one of the authorized airports or seaports. Those wishing to stay longer need to contact the Indonesian Embassy prior to travel to arrange this.
What are the health risks?
Travellers to Indonesia must contact their local medical centre at least 4 weeks in advance before travelling. All visitors need full health insurance including emergency repatriation cover. Adequate routine medical care is available in all major cities, but emergency services are generally inadequate outside major cities. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payments before any treatment is given. Although medical costs are fairly cheap, drugs can be expensive.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas. The countries and areas included in the yellow fever endemic zones are considered by Indonesia as infected areas.
Cholera and Typhoid also occurs.
Malaria risk exists throughout the year everywhere except in the main tourist resorts of Java and Bali, Jakarta municipality and other big cities where risk is only slight. Please contact your local GP to arrange suitable preventative measures before travelling.
What’s the dress code?
There is a minor dress code in the area. When around the camp and beach, men are allowed to wear just board shorts (no t-shirt). Women may wear bikinis/swim suits when swimming, or relaxing at the camp. Sarongs must be worn when on the beach or outside the camp.
Can we drink alcohol?
Yes. Alcohol should only be consumed on the premises. Drunken and disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in an early departure from the camps.
Can we change money in the local area?
No. There’s no local currency changing facilities, so all cash needs to be brought with you prior to travel. We’d recommend bringing a few hundred dollars as a safe guard. Alcohol isn’t included in any of the packages. Some fuel charges may be incurred on some packages as well. Please also note that traveller’s cheques are not accepted in the area.
What about general Indonesian Warnings, natural hazards and disasters?
All guests are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest up to date travel advice.
Australian Foreign and Commonwealth Office
1902 241 444 – Passport information line (Premium rate call – domestic calls only – charged at A$3.50 per minute)
00 11 44 20 8082 4726 – Passport credit card line (UK number – credit card only – charged at £0.69 per minute)
1902 941 555 – Visa information line (Premium rate call – domestic calls only – charged at A$2.75 per minute)
1300 858 472 – Visa credit card line (Premium rate call – credit card only – A$9.90 flat fee)
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tel: 0845 850 2829begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0845 850 2829 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
US Department of State