We know that being part of a boat trip in Mentawai is an experience that will change your life, and want to make sure you have all the information you need. Below are some of our frequently asked questions and comprehensive answers to get you started. Please do get in touch if you can't find the answer you're looking for, we are here to help.
Q: Can you help me organise a visa even during the pandemic?
A: Yes we can. Since September 2020, it has been possible to organise visas for people coming from overseas. As long as your country allows you to travel, we can get you in Indonesia. Currently (November 2020) the price of the e-visa is $475 for 60 days.
Q: Where do I need to fly in order to start my trip?
A: You need to fly to Padang City, in Sumatra. The major hub points to reach Padang are from Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Please ensure you have at least 6 months validity in your passport.
Q: By what time do I need to land there?
A: You need to land in Padang by 3pm on departure day. Please send your flight details to firstname.lastname@example.org , specially your flight arriving in Padang so we can organise your transport. Your airport pick up and drop off are included in the price.
Q: Do I have to pay extra to bring my boards on the plane?
A: Please check online for the most current surfboard baggage policies, but as a guideline, the info at the time of writing was:
Garuda: free of charge - most reliable airline.
Lion Air: 200,000rp ($15) per surfboard - delays are very common, avoid.
Citilink: 200,000rp ($15) for the whole board bag.
AirAsia: You need to buy sports equipment as check-in baggage in advance to avoid a higher price at the time of check in. You can buy it with your ticket or by managing your booking. Price varies.
Sriwijaya Air: free of charge - impossible to pronounce but best value airline.
Q: Do I need to have travel insurance?
A: Travel insurance with cover for adventure sports and medivac is mandatory for any destination in Mentawai. This is why we like World Nomads as they offer all of this and plus coverage for the costs to cancel all or part of your trip for up to 14 specific Insured Events including a sudden illness or serious injury, natural disasters, strike or lost passports. They also cover theft, emergency dental and even hire of sporting equipment if your surfboards get misplaced by the airline and don't make it to Padang in time for departure. The cost for a cover for 13 days is as little as $50 to $70 USD and it could save you a lot of headache or more, but we advise you to get protection for the whole extent of your travels, not only to come with us.
Q: What if my trip is cancelled because to COVID-19 travel restrictions?
A: In that case, you may reschedule your trip to a future date completely free of charge.
Q: How about internet onboard?
A: There is no Wi-Fi on the boat, but we do get cellular signal in some locations in Mentawai. If you want to purchase a local SIM card, we recommend Telkomsel. For only $10 you get the SIM with enough internet credit for your whole stay. If the whole group needs to stay online often, we can prioritise zones that get good connection.
Q: Mentawai Surfing Tax?
A: Please bring with you $75 in cash to cover the Mentawai tax. This is not for us, it is a fee that was introduced by Mentawai's governor which requires each surfer to pay 1 Million Rupiah (around US$75) upon visiting the region. Guests will pay it in Padang with cash money and a receipt will be provided.
You can find more info on the matter in this Surfline article
Q: How strict is the no drugs policy?
A: Absolutely no drugs of any kind tolerated. Foreigners caught with drugs may face capital punishment or life imprisonment.
Q: I'm a vegan/vegetarian/have a food allergy, what now?
A: We will cater for you. About a month before departure we will send you a questionnaire asking info about you, such as your dietary requirements and even wave preferences, with that info in hands we will be able to serve you better.
Q: Are beers included?
A: Yes, you get 30 beers per person. If your group manages to run out, there are places we can stop at to get more, or if you know you are going to be drinking well let us know in advance and we can get you more at cost price before departure.
Q: How about photos and videos?
A: We provide professional photography service with every trip, but this is not included. The price for all images (photos, videos and lifestyle/landcape pictures) is to be negotiated directly with the photographer but it varies between $200 and $400. Most of them are happy to offer group deals when everyone buys it.
Q: Can I book the Master Ensuite?
A: Yes you can. It is our first class option. You may reserve it in advance at an extra charge. If you are part of a private group, you may decide among yourselves who stays where.
Q: Where will we be surfing?
A: There is a very large number or breaks in Mentawai, as much as we would love you to surf every single one of them, it is not realistic to do it in only 10 days. We always pursue a balance between getting to see a good variety of places and being in the best spot without spending excessive time in transit. Where to go is also heavily determined by the group's preferences and abilities. Please note that under extreme weather we may sometimes need to take shelter and wait for safe navigational conditions for your own safety.
Q: Is Mentawai only for professional surfers?
A: There are waves for all tastes in Mentawai, however, almost all of them break over reef formations, hence one gets more value out of their trip when already at a reasonable skill level. 2 years of surfing is a good minimum for a surfer to be able to fully enjoy the perfect waves on offer.
Q: How many cabins are there?
A: We have 5 air conditioned cabins of varying styles. We also have 6 bathrooms onboard, and 3 decks, a living room, a kitchen and a large room for your surfboards with direct access to the dinghy via a sea level platform out back. for finer details on each cabin including pictures, please click here
Q: What if I get hurt?
A: We have a basic first aid kit onboard and can help out, but we recommend you bring any medications you believe you might need. In case of more serious injuries, there are health centers in some places in Mentawai with with foreign doctors available. For critical situations, we can assist you to be transported to Padang and then a bigger hospital in Malaysia, Singapore or Jakarta. All costs are to be paid by the patient, hence having travel insurance is compulsory.
Q: Do you have safety equipment onboard?
A: We comply with every safety legislation and are authorised to host 22 people (much more than we usually have). We have two 15 people life rafts which are inspected and serviced every year, 22 life jackets, EPIRB, Radios, flares, 2 tenders, a lot of surfboards and a very trained crew.
Q: Do I need to bring a towel? What should I bring?
A: We have towels for you. for a full list of inclusions please click here. We recommend you to bring at least 2 good quality leashes (leg ropes) as it is not uncommon for them to snap. Not many clothes are required but extra fins, wax, or anything surf related should be welcome to join your luggage.
Q: What time does the boat get back to Padang in the last day?
A: We aim at get back to port by 7am, but as we are at sea and things can change fast, it is better to schedule your flight to leave Padang from 12am in case of delays on the way back.
Q: How can I pay for my trip? What are the terms and conditions?
A: When making a reservation, we will hold your spot for 7 days until a deposit is paid. If not paid, it is marked as available again. The deposit needs to be of at least $800. You may send a direct deposit to our Indonesian bank account via your bank or TransferWise, or you can pay by credit card using PayPal, in which case a 3% charge applies (it is 4,4% but we cover part of it).
After the deposit, the remaining balance needs to be fully paid by 60 days prior to departure. If not paid by that date, the booking will be cancelled
No refund is offered in case of natural disasters, such as tsunamis, earthquake, storms, floods, etc. or due to political instability, be it local, national or global. The exception being the COVID-19 pandemic where we reschedule trips free of charge.
The remaining balance payment (excluding $800 of the booking deposit) can be refunded only in case of waiver up to 30 days prior to departure. Taxes for the transfer are to be paid by the guest.
Solo traveller bookings are welcome, Taking into considerations that we need a minimum of 8 guests to confirm the charter. If we cannot get to the minimum number of bookings, the guest will be reassigned to another date or will have the full value paid refunded (including the booking deposit). Despite this disclaimer, we will always do everything in our power to ensure departure where people are counting on it, even if we have to depart with less people than the minimum required in some cases.
In case of an emergency, bad weather or any reason at the discretion of the captain, the boat can stay in a sheltered bay or protected area for the period of time deemed necessary. Your safety is our first priority.
Q: Can I book the whole boat for myself?
A: Surely, there is no minimum amount of people for a private charter. Please get in contact and we can give you a quote for your unique requirements. We can also tweak the dates if required where it is not clashing with neighbouring paid trips.