Though not a great distance from the mainland, the Mentawai Islands and its people were kept isolated until the 19th century by strong winds, unpredictable currents and razor-sharp reefs.
It’s thought that the archipelago separated from Sumatra some 500,000 years ago, resulting in unique flora and fauna that sees Mentawai ranked alongside Madagascar in terms of endemic primate population.
The largest island, Siberut, is home to the majority of the Mentawai population and is the most studied and protected island in the archipelago. The western half of the island is protected as the Siberut National Park.
Pulau Sipora is home to Tua Pejat, the seat of regional government and a surfer drop-off point. The archipelago’s airport is located at Rokot. With only 10% original rainforest remaining, it’s also the most developed of the Mentawai Islands.
Further south are the Pulau Pagai islands – Utara (North) and Selatan (South) – which rarely see independent travellers.
Waves vary in size from 2 to 12 foot with the average wave height being about 6 foot. The Mentawai Islands region can also get big swells with reports of up to 15 feet plus recorded. They can range anywhere from fun sized walls to awesome stand-up barrels. If can hold you're own on a wave, whether you're natural or goofy, this place has the wave for you. Even today you still have the opportunity to surf uncrowded waves as this area keeps producing quality line ups which are scattered amongst a vast array of reefs, point breaks and secluded bays.