Sorake Bay © Jen Joaquin
Famed for its right-hand reef breaks, Nias is a key surfing destination for many travelling through the area, with the best known surf spots being Sorake Bay and Lagundri Bay. But this fascinating island also boasts a rich cultural history with prehistoric remains which are thought to have been built in the megalithic Stone Age. Tourists visiting Nias Island can enjoy the war dances performed by locals, among other traditional festivities, and the local music, which is mostly sung by women, is known to be hauntingly beautiful and unique. The beauty of the island is the main draw for those who visit its shores but for the anthropologically-inclined this area is of great interest as its relative geographical isolation has allowed its traditional culture to thrive. Popular activities other than surfing include scuba diving and snorkelling in the clear waters, which brim with rich marine life.
More than 1,000 people died in Nias in the 2004 and 2005 earthquakes which shook the region and some evidence of this tragedy may still be visible on the islands, but the tourism industry has recovered. The locals tend to be extremely friendly and they have a respect for the tourism industry as it provides many of their livelihoods.