The Mentawai Guide
We created The Ultimate Mentawai Guidebook to answer all your questions about your trip. This guide is stuffed with inside information, tips & tricks, where to go and what to do. Please read it carefully, as this will hopefully answer all of your questions instantly!
Most common questions
✔ Daily cleaning
✔ Laundry service
✔ Wifi for guests
✔ Siberut boat transfer
✔ Use of our yoga platform & fishing/spearfishing equipment
✔ Breakfast, lunch, dinner
✔Coffee, tea & drinking water
✔ Surf Guiding & Surf transfers
✘ Travel Insurance
✘ Flights & Transport to Siberut / Tua Pejat
✘ Mentawai Surftax
✘ Alcoholic drinks & non-alcoholic beverages other than water, tea & coffee
✘ Surf photography
We do have free wifi for our guests at Driftwood that is strong enough for general internet browsing, messaging and emails.
Usually our guests have no problem streaming youtube or making video calls. However, this can depend on the amount of active people on the network since we have limited broadband.
Yes, all our rooms are bookable as a private or shared room. When you want to book a private room then select the "Privately Reserve" checkbox when selecting your accomodation.
This strongly depends on your service provider. Some people may have cellphone service in specific spots on the island, others don't have any service at all.
It's not rare to get service, but don't not count on it!
If you’re heading out to the Mentawai Islands for waves, the main Mentawai surf season runs during the dry season, from March to October. This is much like the rest of Indonesia, although the Mentawais receive less rain than Bali even during the wet season.
That being said there is surf all year round, but it is not quite as consistent or always world class. The shoulder season is from October to March, during which you can expect smaller surf that’s more manageable for beginners, with smaller crowds and better deals.
If you want to avoid the wet season, you should know that January and February have the highest rainfall.
For more detailed information about the seasons check this out!
We do offer vegetarian or pescatarian alternatives upon request. Please let us know through the customer portal after you make your reservation.
If you have any other dietary requirements like gluten-free, dairy-free, please contact us before making your booking as we can not always guarantee this option.
We recommend to bring at least 2 boards, or 3 to be safe. We do have a backup quiver at the resort but keep in mind that if anything serious happens with your board, it will take at least 3 to 4 days to get it repaired.
The Ments are known for their world-class barreling monster waves. But the truth is - there’s waves for every level. If you have the basics of surfing down & know proper surf etiquette, you can surf the Mentawais.
If you have never ever surfed before we recommend getting at least a couple of sessions in before coming to the Mentawais. Standing up is the bare minimum skill required to enjoy your trip!
If you are in Bali, or anywhere else in Indonesia, it will take about 2 days to get to Driftwood.
On your first day you will have to travel to Padang (Sumatra). On your second day you will need to travel from Padang to the Mentawais.
You can find more detailed info about this here.
- At least 2 surfboards
- At least Rp 5 000 000 in cash
- Credit cards (Visa or Mastercard)
- Ding repair kit
- Charger for phone/device and adapter
- Long sleeve t-shirt (1-2)
- Pants (1-2)
- Passport + 2 photocopies
- Travel insurance information
- Prescription medicine
- Sandals / Slippers
- Sealable ziploc bags
- Personal toiletries
- T-shirts (3-4)
- Shorts (2)
- Travel backpack (1)
- Waterproof windbreaker jacket
- A good book
- Big wave leash
- Extra leashes (2)
- Board shorts (3)
- Extra fins
- Fin key
- Long sleeve rash vest (easier to wear this than covering your body in sunblock)
- Reef booties
- Sunblock (recommend zinc or other waterproof sun lotion)
- Tropical surf wax (2 – 3)
- Wax comb
- Surf hat
- Surf bag
- Mosquito repellent
- Beach towels
- Energy bars
- Medical kit
- Anti-inflammatory pills
- Motion sickness remedy
- Pain Killers
- New toothbrush for scrubbing wounds
- Antiseptic treatment (e.g. Alcohol antiseptic or 3% hydrogen peroxide)
- Adhesive wound dressing (e.g. Primapore)
- Sterile cotton gauze squares
- Antiseptic ointment (bacitracin, Bactroban)
- Any personal medication along with medication for anything you’re susceptible to, for example: ear and/or sinus infection, allergies, UTIs, asthma, stomach/digestive ailments, skin ailments
Quick tip: Stock up on vitamins before you get on the plane, as planes are the most likely chance of you getting sick during your trip.
The risk while on the islands is very small because there are usually very few people. This means that there are very few potential carriers for the mosquitoes to bite.
In order for the Malaria parasite to be transferred, a mosquito must bite a person who is already infected. The now infected Mosquito must stay alive for a week while the parasite undergoes a life cycle change. Then it must bite another person for them to get infected. If there is nobody infected to bite, there is no malaria.
However, the risk in Padang is greater due to the dense population, so be extra careful when you’re in Padang.
The best strategy is to use preventative measures and to try not to get bitten in the first place. It is recommended that you bring light cotton pants, socks and long sleeve shirts. After you shower before dusk, covering up with this apparel is the best protection against being bitten by mosquitoes.
Shirts and pants should be loose-fitting, as mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothing. Lighting mosquito coils at night is useful. Having fans in your bedroom also make it difficult for the mosquitoes to land. You should apply insect repellent when the sun starts setting. Staying in a bed with mosquito nets is important, preferably nets that are dipped in pyrethrum insecticide. Mosquitoes are repelled and eventually die on contact with the nets, but it is safe for humans.
We recommend that you do NOT ingest anti-malarial (Lariam/Doxycycline/Malarone/ACT) drugs while on the island. For trips longer than 10 days, we recommend that you bring Larium or Malarone with you in case symptoms do appear. Anti-malarial drugs have been known to cause such side effects as hyper-sensitivity to sunlight and even psychotic episodes, as well as increasing risk of the area developing a drug-resistant strain of the parasite.
It is of course up to you whether or not you want to take the preventative malaria medication, and you are encouraged to seek medical advice before your trip.
The symptoms of malaria include: high temperature (fever), sweats and chills, headaches, vomiting, muscle pains, diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear between 7 and 18 days after becoming infected, but in some cases the symptoms may not appear for up to a year, or occasionally even longer.
If symptoms appear while on the islands, you should be taken to a doctor for a blood test. Results should be received within a day. If you have malaria, you’ll be transported to a hospital in Padang. If malaria is diagnosed and treated promptly, virtually everyone will make a full recovery.
A: Staying for 30 days or less
In the airport in Indonesia, when you go through passport control, you will get a free Visa On Arrival. This is valid for 30 days. Thus, you don’t need to apply for a visa before traveling to Indonesia, as long as the country of your passport is on the VOA country list.
B: Staying for more than 30 days
You have two options:
i. Do a visa run. This means you must fly out of Indonesia before your 30 days expire. When you fly back into Indonesia, you’ll receive another free 30 days Visa On Arrival. A quick flight to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur are the usual choices, and can be done within a day.
ii. Extend your Visa On Arrival. This allows you to stay for 60 days, after which you will need to do a visa run to stay longer. It’s quite a process:
Step 1: When you arrive at the airport, you must purchase a 30 day VOA (that’s extendable to 60 days) for $37 USD. This must be paid in cash (USD, EUR, AUD or IDR) at a special counter in the airport.
Step 2: You need to go to an immigration office to extend your visa to 60 days. It’s possible to do this yourself, but will be a lot easier (and take a lot less time) to get an agent to do all the work for you. For example, Bali Business Consulting offers a fantastic service.
They’ll take your passport. After a few days you’ll need to go to an immigration office to get your photos taken. A few days later you’ll pick your passport up from your agent. The whole process takes between 7 and 12 business days.
Cost: Rp 800 000 IDR.
(All prices are subjected to change)
We require our guests to pay a deposit of $15 per guest per day. This deposit will act as a spending credit at the bar so you don’t have to worry about payments later. At the end of your stay, the deposit minus your on-site expenses will be refunded to your account within 7 days.