Free Bali Photo Map


The dates for the Nyale festival and Pasola have just been announced and I will be taking a group there in March to experience this very unique event. 

We will have a fascinating adventure together exploring the traditional villages, huge megalithic gravesites, and traditional architecture, visiting some stunning natural landscapes, attending the Pasola ritual observing the riders dressed in their traditional, beautiful Ikat clothing, handed down from their ancestors, getting ready for battle against the other clans.

We will also sit with the high priests and witness the Nyale ( sea worms) emerge from the ocean at sunrise one morning before the horse fighting begins on the beach. Another highlight will be witnessing traditional boxing. This experience will bring us closer to the people as we immerse ourselves into their culture, historical beliefs, and ways of thinking, by spending many hours in the villages with the people.This is not your standard tourist experience. This is very much a cultural, educational experience but photographers are very welcome as there are many photo opportunities every day, so if you have a camera please bring it, or a smartphone is fine also.

The Pasola is a ritual fight with spears involving hundreds of horsemen. It is quite a thing to witness first hand, and something you will never forget. It happens just twice a year only, in Feb and March, and is dependent on the second and third moons of the solar year and culminates in the spring ritual cycle.

The Pasola is a culmination of a series of fertility rites called Nyale (sea worms)

There is only one day of the year when the sea worms decide to make landfall and come in on the tides. That date is determined by high priests called Rato who communicate with the ancestors.

We will also visit several old villages with megalithic stones and old tombs. The whole island is very interesting – this is a cultural trip with plenty of photographic opportunities.

During the time we are there you can expect to get a good insight and overview of Sumba Adat law, spiritual beliefs, and history as this journey is all about learning, connecting with the local people, and seeing life through their eyes as much as possible, and for those keen to capture it through a camera lens an added bonus.

We will be spending our time in West Sumba, however there is an option to travel to the east as an extra excursion.

The East has some of the most beautiful hand-crafted weaving in all of Indonesia and some beautiful and interesting places to see.

The team consists of Dave Metcalf a 11 year Bali resident and founder of the Togetherness project, who will be involved in the first part of the journey,  who coordinates the program and has visited Sumba on 5 occasions, including attending 4 Pasola festivals, and is building an indigenous tourism model in Sumba and other parts of Indonesia, and Desi our very friendly, experienced and knowledgable Sumbanese guide who has a lot of knowledge of her culture and is very respected in the communities. She is delightful and you will enjoy your time with her and Dave. A great team along with our driver.



Arrive in West Sumba at 11.15 am 
Lunch, then visit a Waterfall and two traditional villages 
Stay the night in this area 


Visit a waterfall followed by traditional market, and head across to the South West part of the island (approx 1.5 hour drive), check in to Lelewatu resort hotel, then head to Baliloku traditional village for dinner with the local indigenous community.

Plenty of times to ask questions and meet the Rato ( priests) to learn about Nyale and other rituals.

Attend the traditional boxing in the evening, which may not finish until 12 midnight, then back to Lelewatu.


Rest in the morning after the previous late night, and then visit traditional villages and backroads of the area, lunch in a traditional village including cooking class, learning about local food, and spend time with the elders in the village learning about the Sumbanese culture and history. Visit a village as they prepare for the Pasola festival the next day, then back to Lelewatu resort to rest up.


We will leave the hotel at 4 am to head down to the beach and sit with the high priests to wait for sunrise and witness them go into the tide to welcome the Nyale (sea worms). The local people will come down to the beach and gather the sea worms, so it will be a busy morning followed by the Pasola which continues into the early afternoon.

Stay that night at Lelewatu resort.


Leave the Hotel after breakfast and drive 4-5 hours to East Sumba. Those that want to return to Bali will be driven to the airport in West Sumba.


Part One – West Sumba 4 nights/ 5 days 

Single24 Million rupiah
Based on sharing a room19 Million rupiah per person

East Sumba excursion

Single7 Million rupiah
Based on sharing a room6 Million rupiah per person


Single31 Million rupiah
($ 2,100 USD) 
Based on sharing a room6 Million rupiah per person
($ 1,800 USD)


  • All local transport (comfortable air conditioned van) 
  • All meals
  • All Accomodation 
  • Park entrance fees 
  • Local guide 
  • David’s fees for the first part of the trip


  • Domestic Flights to and from Sumba 
  • Tips 
  • Alcohol 

Contact Dave directly for any questions.
WhatsApp +62 8111331255