Pulau Weh also known as “Weh Island” or Sabang is an Island on the Northwest of Sumatra, Indonesia. Pulau Weh is a small island which is 156 km2 but very mountainous. The main reason for visiting this off the beaten track island is for most travellers the diving.
During the plankton season you can even spot manta rays, whale sharks and sharks. The diving here is extremely beautiful; the water is so clear, full of colourful coral and many spices of fish!
As soon as you arrive here, you will feel the Island vibes and time feels to somehow go slower. Most houses and shops have hammocks in front of them in case you will need a rest after whole day admiring the underwater world or the lush greenery.
Consider the size of Pulau Weh, there is surprisingly a lot to do! We have found for you
The best 17 things to do in Weh Island, Sabang, Aceh, Indonesia
Waterfall Pria Laot Weh Island
To get to the waterfall is very easy its only a 10 minute walk. There is no entrance fee and the path is pretty clearly recognisable. You will need to cross the river and climb a few rocks to discover a very nice waterfall! The water is super clear and refreshing, so make sure you have your swim suit with you to be able to jump in.
Volcano Jaboi Weh Island
Volcano Jaboi is an active volcano and probably the easiest we have ever climbed. You can literately drive your bike in front of the volcano, where the sulphur is pumping out of the ground. After another maybe 200m walk you are in the actual crater of the volcano.
There is no entrance fee nor guides, so just please be careful when walking around, as the steam coming out of the earth is really hot.
There are few holes in the ground where is boiling water and the surface didn’t seem to be too solid either.
Pulau Weh Diving
Weh Island Indonesia is the most known for diving and snorkelling around the protected corals and rich marine life.
And we can just confirm that the best thing about Weh Island is the underwater world. As Weh Island is a world class diving area there are many diving centres and free diving centres. Most of them are concentrated at Gapang beach.
When the water gets little bit cooler, from October, the bigger creatures arrive. You can spot here Manta rays, whale sharks or Black tip reef Sharks.
For shipwreck lovers there are quite a few shipwrecks, the most known one lies in 40 metres of water, and another one is in 26 metres.
Snorkelling in Pulau Weh
At least once every day we would grab our mask and flippers and jumped into the water. No matter where you are, if you are staying near the beach, there is a big chance that right in front of your bungalow might be beautiful coral with hundreds of colourful fish!
The best beaches for snorkelling are supposed to be Iboih beach and Gapang beach.
At Iboih beach every day at 8 am the counter opens and sells a half day or whole day snorkelling trip. Half day (4 hours) snorkelling trip costs 350k IDR for boat (2 people). Whole day (10 hours) includes lunch costs 700k IDR per boat.
Snorkelling gear is being rented for 40k IDR per day, but it’s very old and low quality masks and flippers, so if you have your own, it will be a big advantage!
Swimming with doplhins, Weh Island
If you will walk on Iboih beach and ask for snorkelling with dolphins, you will find many boat drivers. The trip starts at 6 am and it costs 350k IDR per person. First you will go to watch and swim with dolphins during sunrise! After this lifetime experience, you will go to the Rubiah Island for breakfast, which is included in the price. After breakfast the boat driver will take you too many snorkelling spots and trip finishes at 4 pm. It’s necessary to organize this trip one day before. You need to have a towel, water and sun block with you.
Tip: Do not leave this trip for your last day, just in case your driver would sleep in and didn’t show up!
This is what happened to us:( Even tho we booked and confirmed our trip, got up at 5:30 am, our driver didn’t show up and wouldn’t pick up his phone. And as it was our last day to do it because the next we had to leave, we missed this experience.
Fishing in Pulau Weh, Indonesia
Thanks to very rich marine life, you have a big opportunity to catch a fish like we did. If you have your own fishing gear, you can try your luck off the beach or go spear fishing.
We cooked our catch in banana leaf on the beach during sunset. Nothing can beat these kinda afternoons.
If you do not have your fishing gear you can jump on a boat with a local fisher man, rent his fishing rod and try to get one of many tuna in Pulau Weh.
Kilometer Zero Indonesia
Kilometre zero or “Kilometer Nol” is a monument at the very Northwest point of Indonesia. The only entrance fee is a parking fee 3k IDR (0,3 AUD). To get to see the very end (or start) point of Indonesia, takes only 15 minutes easy scooter ride from Iboih beach.
Kilometer Zero is one of the best spot to watch sunset too.
Eat at Warung Rubiah View
Local street restaurant (warung) on Iboih beach quickly became our favourite warung on whole Island! Would you believe that even though we ate here every day (sometimes twice a day) we have no photo of the meal for you?:D That´s how delicious the food was!
Our favourite is Ayam Penyet, which is chicken dish with rice and veggie for 25k IDR (2,5 AUD) or Nasi Goreng for 15k IDR (1,5 AUD). They have as well wide range of fresh juices for 10-15k IDR. Try the Watermelon (Semangka in Indonesian) or Pineapple (Nanas in Indonesian), yummm!
Sunset at Pulau Weh
For us the best way how to spend sunset is being on the beach or on the boat. Best beach to watch sunset would be one of these on the west side of Weh Island. Our favourite beach is 12 minute drive past Gua Sarang. Its small white sandy beach on the right side. There is no sign or name, but you will see a small track coming down of the main road.
Another really good spot for sunset is the Kilometre Zero area.
Explore white sandy beaches
Pulau Weh doesn’t have many sandy beaches. It’s mostly rocks and harbors. So those few hidden ones are a perfect whole day mission on the bike.
Our favourite way is to switch our google maps into the satellite mode, find sandy spots and then try to explore them on the bike! Beaches we really loved are Pasir Putih, Long beach, Secret beach and Sumur Tiga beach.
Eat an Italian food on the beach
Even tho we LOVE Indonesian food, sometimes it can get little bit repetitive and it’s good to mix it up with something else. In case you are feeling this way, Bixio Cafe on Long beach will save you! An Italian restaurant owned by Italian family will serve you the real pasta right on the beach!
And they yes, they do have beer:))
Try Sate Gurita – squid or octopus sate
If you are a sea food lover, you can´t leave Pulau Weh without trying out the traditional street food dish! For 25k IDR (2,5 AUD) you will get 5 sticks with grilled octopus or squid. Served with rice and spicy peanut sauce.
Look for small grill on the side of the road, usually on the beach. They open at 5 pm and close around midnight:)
Rent a scooter and explore Pulau Weh
No matter where we travel to, we always try to rent our own scooter. That´s the only way we feel we can properly explore and get to know the place we are at. In Pulau Weh you can rent a scooter for about 100k IDR (10 AUD) for one day or 70k IDR (7 AUD) per day if you are renting for more than 2 days. Fuel is being sold on the side of the road in plastic bottles. One litre is 10k IDR (1 AUD).
It takes around 1,5 hours to drive from one side to another. And it´s such a nice drive, mostly in the shade of the jungle around, fresh air and no traffic at all! Just keep your eyes open for cows, monkeys and landslides.
Gua Sarang – Snorkelling in caves
Gua Sarang is MUST SEE whilst on Weh Island:)
Off the main road you will see a sign “Gua Sarang” (“Den Cave” in English). After parking your bike and paying 5k IDR (0,5 AUD) they will probably offer you a guide. We really don’t think you need a guide, so you can just continue down the stairs at the very bottom.
From there you have 3 options how to get to see these caves.
- You can rent a boat for 200k IDR (20 AUD) which will take you where the caves are to have a look and back. Approximately 10 minutes trip.
- You can swim there right off the beach. It´s an easy swim right there, but you might don’t wanna leave your stuff unattended on the beach.
- So what we did is you can walk over the rocks directly to the caves. It´s not a really difficult walk, but some of the rocks are loose and sharp, so just walk carefully and slowly if you decide for this option.
We walked over the rocks, put our stuff on the ground and jumped into the crystal clear water! You are surround by beautiful rock formations, turquoise blue water and one cave you can get in to.
Catch a sunrise
There is nothing more peaceful than getting up when everybody is still asleep and watching the Mature Nature getting awake. Especially on islands, where except fisherman, everything is quiet and sleeping and you have these pink skies and singing birds just for yourself. This view is from Iboih beach right from our bed at Fie Resort.
At the very end of Iboih beach is Olala accommodation, with bungalows right on the water and one of the clearest water we have seen on Pulau Weh! No matter if you stay there or not, you can always go for a walk on their jetty and go for a swim.
Stay at accommodation on the water
The first picture which comes up when you google Pulau Weh would be a picture of bungalow right on the water. This typical type of accommodation for Weh Island is something you should try. There aint nothing better than falling asleep with the sounds of the waves underneath you and waking up with the view of blue colour all around you.
Where to stay at Pulau Weh?
Read more about Pualu Weh here