This lovely little city is an amazing blend of beautiful scenery, culture, and history. Teluk Dalam in South Nias, is a prime destination for surfers both local and international, with its challenging sites and fierce rolling blue waves. This city is also the spot where the famous traditional ‘stone, or boulder jumping’ takes place, a heart-stopping sport requiring great acrobatic skills and athletic ability.
Teluk Dalam is the capital city of the South Nias regency in North Sumatra, aside from also being a district of its own. Among the locals of Southern Nias, Teluk Dalam is referred to in the local dialect as Luahaziwara-wara, which translates to “the meeting place.” If you look on the map it is easy to locate Teluk Dalam as it lies directly on the southern tip of Pulau Nias, bordering the Amandraya district and the Lahusa District.
The majority of the population in this quaint little city is Christian and the rest, Muslim. Most of the residents make their livelihoods here as farmers of the many natural resources such as rice, coconut, rubber, cocoa and fruits as the main crops. Others work as fishermen and being so close to the ocean it is a relatively prosperous occupation. The main catches around this bay are fish, shrimp and crab.
If you are interested in the lives of the traditional Nias people, this city is a highly recommended destination. The villages in Teluk Dalam are located relatively near to each other and each is thick with tradition and the unique Nias architecture. One prime example of a traditional village is Bawomataluo, which is about 15 miles from Teluk Dalam. This village is located on a hill about 400 meters above sea level. The houses in this village are all built using the Nias traditional architecture, known as Omo Nifolasara, which is hundreds of years old. These unique houses were built facing each other leaving a large courtyard in between, which to this day is still used as a stage for traditional art performances such as the famous stone or boulder jumping (Hombo Batu) and the War Dance. Several other noteworthy villages to visit are the Hilinawalo Fau, Onohondro and Hilinawalo Mazino Villages.
Near Teluk Dalam you can also see Megalithic relics located in the Orahili Village, in the Gomo District. These large stones are located among the hills near the Gomo River. According to local history these megalithic stones were part a settlement or village dating back to the Early Stone Age (Neolithicum) from around 1000 to 1500 AD.
Teluk Dalam is also known for its beautiful beaches. The waves by these beaches are well known by surfers from all corners of the world, namely at the Lagundriand Sorake Beach. The waves at both of these beaches make for two excellent surfing spots due to their continuity and their perfect height, making it a challenge but also doable for beginner surfers.
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There are approximately 60 homestays lined up right along the Lagundri and Sorake Beaches. The fees here are fairly economical with a minimum price of usually around Rp75.000, per night. These are usually equipped with basic daily necessities such as bedding, private bathrooms, clean water, electricity, fans and mosquito nets. Here are some references of nearby hotels in Teluk Dalam that you can refer to when choosing your accommodations.
Hernelis Hotel Jl. Imam Bonjol Dermaga Teluk Dalam Nias Selatan.
Penginapan Siotu Jalan Sudirman
Keyhole Surf Camp
Resort Pantai Sorake Desa Botohilitano
The Heritage Teluk Dalam Jl. Dermaga Baru Teluk Dalam
Teluk Dalam is a city known for its natural attractions, art, traditions and history. Listed below are some of the places of interest.
Bawomataluo village, located about 15 miles from Teluk Dalam is a traditional village picturesquely set on a hill. To reach this village visitors have to climb a long flight of stairs totaling 88 steps. This village is one of the most well-known in this area and the most frequented by foreign tourists. The Nias traditional architecture, known as Omo Nifolasara, as seen in the traditional houses here, is very well preserved. These large houses are actually the only original traditional wooden house of their type left standing in Indonesia. Houses are usually built in a row, at approximately the same height and almost the same shape. So the neat rows of traditional houses are an interesting sight. The houses in the village are believed to have stood for hundreds of years and are the ancestral heritage of the village. Every week in this village are performances and competitions such as the “Nias stone or boulder jumping’, and the Fataele Dance which in a traditional war dance unique to Southern Nias. All of the unique factors of Bawomataluo Village have entered this village into the World Heritage Tentative List of UNESCO. This village is also the most easily accessible compared to other traditional villages around the Teluk Dalam bay.
Saroke beach is a paradise for surfers and is located at the mouth of the Lagundri Gulf. At peak seasons, this beach is visited by surfing tourists from all corners of the world who come to ride these high waves and enjoy the long white sandy coast. The high waves and rolls on this beach have been touted the second most perfect waves after Hawaii. This may no doubt be due to their height, reaching up to 15 meters, and the five levels of wave which are hard to find on any other beach. The popularity of these waves and the charming surrounding scenery has led this beach to become a well-known destination world-wide. Several international surfing competitions have been held here. Along the coast are also home-stays ready to accommodate visitors who wish to spend more time on Saroke.
Lagundri Beach is a white sandy beach which lies about 13 km south of Teluk Dalam. This beach is directly adjacent to Sorake beach. Much like Sorake Beach, Lagundri Beach is also a favorite surfers’ destination although its waves aren’t as high as those at Sorake. Because of the lower waves, Lagundri is more suited for activities such as swimming, sunbathing on the smooth white sand, and snorkeling, although much surfing is still done here too. Some of the attractions particular to this beach are the diving and snorkeling as the waters here are rich in beautiful ornamental fish. A walk on the beach can be a very relaxing and refreshing activity, as you enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery, rocks that adorn the coast, and the clear water with waves breaking along the beach. The cool ocean breeze caressing your face as you stroll along the beach is an experience not soon to be forgotten.
As you leave Teluk Bay and head towards Saroke and Lagundri Beaches, you will pass through Genasi Hill and Hilisataro. Genasi Hill has a hilly landscape offering a stunningly beautiful panoramic seaview with the horizon in the distance. If you are driving you will definitely want to stop to enjoy this rare panorama. Take some photos and enjoy a drink from one of the roadside stalls as you soak in the beauty surrounding you. After enjoying the beauty of Genasi Hill, you can make your way toward Hilisataro.
Hilisataro is a gently sloping, sandy beach. As you approach this coastal region, along the way, you will start to see more and more palm trees, bananas and sweet cocoa vendors lining the road. Much like at Lagundri Beach the waves here are not that high or strong, but still present a fun day for beginner surfers. This can be seen as practice grounds before advancing to try out the more challenging waves at Sorake. Swimming activities are also very enjoyable at this spot.
Find Megalithic relics at the Orahili Village, in the District of Gomo. The megalithic relics in the village consist of various forms and show a mixture of old and new megaliths. Old megaliths, such as menhirs, terraces, and flat stones, as well as new elements (which are also classified as megaliths), such as human statues and animals, are found there.
Nias is accessible by both land and air. If you wish to fly, there are two airlines that fly directly to Nias, those being Sriwijaya Air and Wings Air. Both depart from Kualanamu International Airport in Medan to Gunungsitoli in Nias. Another available option is to depart from Padang using SMAC airline, however these fly only Mondays to Fridays. From Padang you will transit briefly at Pulau Telo Island then from there straight to Binaka Airport, a small airport in Nias, located about 17 km from Gunung Sitoli.
If you are looking for a more economical mode of transportation, there is also the option of taking a ferry. You can take the ferry from Sibolga (North Sumatra) directly to Teluk Dalam, which usually takes between 11-13 hours, depending on the weather. The ferry leaves from Sibolga at 8:00 am daily , except Sunday. Ticket prices are Rp 69.000 economy, and cabin tickets for Rp103.000. Tickets can be purchased at Gunung Sitoli or directly at the Sumut Port in Sibolga.