East Sumbawa offers a diverse landscape characterised by mountains and rich volcanic river valleys. The main ethnic group is the Mbojo, also known as Dompu, in which these devout Muslims have kept their traditional animistic practices. The landscapes of this massive island, three times the size of Bali, have been dramatically influenced by the eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815, the largest single eruption in history, which showered over 150 km³ of volcanic ashes across the valley. Standing at about 2,700 metres above sea level, this volcano today is easily accessible and offers a rewarding trek that can be completed in 2 to 3 days. The area also offers some archaeological interest with its excavation site around Tambora village.
Head towards the west to Pekat peninsula for amazing views over Moyo island or explore the northern coast and Satonda island, a volcanic land with a saltwater lake in its crater. With its 300 metre high cliffs, Satonda offers magnificent landscapes and is best to be explored on a boat trip, possibly combining it with Moyo in the north-west. Day and night diving, visits to the waterfalls and an exploration of the crater are just some of the activities you can engage in this peculiar environment.
Towards the south, the area around Hu’u and Lakey features famous surf spots and beautiful white-sand beaches for the non-surfers. Located in the east is Bima, the largest city in East Sumbawa, known for the strong Islamic heritage. Visit the Sultan’s Palace to learn about Bima’s golden days as the capital of the Sultanate, explore the night market (pasar malam), where you can find the traditional songket textiles, and attend a horse race to meet the famous Sumba horse.
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